Music is the only thing redeeming 2020.
12. Ariana Grande & Justin Bieber – Stuck With U
Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber’s first original collaboration Stuck With U feels like it edges more towards Grande’s sound than Bieber’s. It’s a sweet, safe ballad for a good cause and we’ll leave it at that.
11. Tei Shi – Die For Your Love
Tei Shi was meant to be on tour with Blood Orange but instead, she’s given us this apocalyptic break-up anthem. It’s a dramatic but excellent pop song.
10. Audrey Mika – Just Friends
19 year-old YouTuber turned pop hop Audrey Mika is edging closer and closer to a big hit with each song. Just Friends has serious legs to make that happen for her. It’s a breezy, disco-tinged bop that is going to sound great on the radio in summer.
9. SEBASTIAN PAUL – IMPATIENT
We were introduced to SEBASTIAN PAUL with his excellent last single BACK AND FORTH and now he’s delivered once again with IMPATIENT. It’s Post Malone-esque R&B that delves even further into the pop world with an instantaneous ear worm of a chorus.
8. Mae Muller – I Don’t Want Your Money
There’s some real hype around 21 year-old Brit Mae Muller and for good reason. She’s got a Jimmy Napes co-write on her latest I Don’t Want Your Money and together they deliver a sharp-tongued, soulful cut reminiscent of fresh-faced Lily Allen.
7. Hayley Williams – Pure Love
Hayley Williams’ PETALS FOR ARMOR is finally out in full and the third part is led by this slinky piece of funk Pure Love. She’s out of the darkness here and sinking into new love with an inspiring sense of renewal.
6. Aly & AJ – Joan Of Arc On The Dancefloor
Aly & AJ have successfully transitioned from nostalgic teen stars into legitimate purveyors of alt-pop. Joan Of Arc On The Dancefloor is their biggest statement yet. It’s a bold, ’90s-influenced dance track with a synth-line that’s impossible to deny.
5. Wafia – Pick Me
Extending the daydream aesthetic Wafia’s been building over her last few releases, Pick Me floats with confidence. It’s self-love anthem with bite that unfolds over a soulful, piano-led beat. Wafia has always looked to the electronic world for inspiration but this one has a soulful backbone reminiscent of H.E.R. or Snoh Aalegra.
4. Charli XCX – i finally understand
Charli XCX‘s third offering from her quarantine album how I’m feeling now is a glitchy epiphany i finally understand.
While previous drops forever and claws have been full of bold, abrasive production, i finally understand moves at a smoother pace with the odd jitter here and there.
3. G Flip – Hyperfine
G Flip‘s Hyperfine got its premiere on triple j’s Like A Version weeks ago but the studio version has finally arrived on streaming services. Hyperfine is a dizzying, urgent pop song that has some of the best songwriting of G Flip’s career. The bridge, in particular, is her at her (hyper)finest, giving us melodies that could compete with the heavyweights like Taylor Swift and Halsey.
2. Kehlani – Grieving (Feat. James Blake)
Kehlani’s new album It Was Good Until It Wasn’t is a raw, autobiographical trip and while the whole thing is pure honesty, nothing cuts deeper than Grieving. It’s an in-the-moment depiction of Grief backed by this luscious, rabbit hole of a beat. Blake’s heart-melting verse at the tail-end is just the cherry on top.
1. Jessie Ware – Save A Kiss
Jessie Ware has absolutely snapped on her latest What’s Your Pleasure? single Save A Kiss.
Ware started her career on the dancefloor but has deviated from it since. She’s right back on it though with this album and Save A Kiss is the biggest banger she’s ever released. Spotlight and Ooh La La were inspired by ’70s disco but this one seems to find its pleasure in the ’90s, giving us a pulsating beat as well as sweeping, luscious string.
A few of these songs plus more of ours faves appear in our Top Tunes Spotify Playlist: