Another year of music comes to an end, and with it comes the annual Random List. I’ve listened to the good, the bad, and everything in between. As usual, Alfitude bucks the trend with blog ‘best of’ posts to come up with a random list of highlights from the past twelve months. For previous years, check this out.
Biggest Trend Of The Year
Best Use Of Drugs In Lyrics
The bulk of Tove Lo’s album involves songs about love, misunderstanding or heartbreak. All three of which are better understood via narcotics and general misdemeanours through her lyrics. In all fairness though, it’s done so well that it all seems to make sense in the end.
Best Song That Should Have Done Better
Best Use of Primary-School Instruments
This track from Made In Heights was perfectly ‘on-trend’ this year while still managing to sound super cute through using a bunch of sounds you probably haven’t heard since you were at school.
Most Epic Gig Of The Year
This was a tough one, but in retrospect, it has to be seeing Rag’N’Bone Man in London back in July. Big man, big voice, and an immense sound. I really hope 2015 is his year. Speaking of gigs, follow the Alfitude Instagram for pictures, if you like.
Funkiest Scandi Act Of The Year
Danish Scarlet Pleasure have long been a favourite of mine, and 2014 saw the release of an EP which I’ve listened to far more than I’d like to admit.
Happiest Yet Moodiest Song Of The Year
This song from T.O.L.D is one of my favourites this year. Only because it’s such a headf**k to listen to. It’s sad and dreary, but it’s happy and uplifting at the same time. It’s confusing and beautiful. Kinda like life. Deep…
Most Exciting Major Debut
Seinabo Sey. I can’t fault anything this new soul powerhouse is doing right now.
Best Song To Make Babies To
Huntar managed to come up with the sexiest song of the year (in my reckoning, anyway).
Hottest Scandi Act
Swede Snoh Aalegra made a big impact both across Eurpoean and American blogs this year with her unique mix of RnB and soul.
One To Watch
I’m 99% certain that Years & Years will be 2015’s biggest newbie. It’s as good as British pop gets right now.
Another beast of a pop song from MNEK.
One of British pop’s biggest talents, give MNEK’s new track a spin. Really loud. On big speakers.
Random and dizzy and so funny, this is MNEK’s new video.
Nothing to say but… FRESHHH.
Ah, what a great refix from AbJo. Epic and soulful and immense. And free.
New visuals from MNEK. I always get so excited for this kid.
With Kylie singing, obviously. At least, I think it will be on her new record (if MNEK’s tweets are true, which they probably are). Nice.
It’s that time of year again when I get to look back over the last twelve months and put up the obligatory ‘best of’ post that music blogs love to feature so much.
As usual I’ll aim to pick out tracks and artists that many other websites may have looked over, as well as some of the more obvious milestones. Let me know what you think of my choices. After all, it’s you guys who keep me so motivated to keep hunting for new music all the time. Before I start, check out previous random lists here!
Most definitive song of the year
Lorde – ‘Royals’. There’s something mildly terrifying about this teen talent, and her ability to sum up her youth in a standard pop track. This will be a classic for decades to come, it’s just so different to any of the big hits that have come out so far in the last few years.
Too cool for school
MDNGHT – Not many have heard of this Mancunian collective but if anything, I am confident they will pick up buzz over the next year.
Biggest Scandinavian talent
Kim Cesarion – This Swedish talent has already taken Scandinavia by storm. I saw him play a showcase in London over the summer and it was as close to pop perfection as you could get. You could be surprised for seeing me not put Icona Pop under this category; but you know, they’ve been around for a good while longer.
Broods – This duo set the blog world on fire after releasing just one track blending indie and electro seamlessly. And on a completely shallow note, how cute!
NONONO – ‘Pumping Blood’. NONONO have had as epic a year as they could get. This Scandinavian trio have made one of the biggest impacts in terms of exports from the region, thanks in large to this track.
Biggest #fail that should have been a #win
MKS (a.k.a Mutya Keisha Siobhan, a.k.a The Origibabes) – This should have been their big comeback. And on paper, there’s no reason why it tanked so hard. They picked a shit-hot producer while managing to prove that they could still hold harmonies like no other girl group. But I guess the song was probably too ‘out-there’ to have made a loud enough impact. Still, there is a silver lining for these guys later on in this post…
2014’s new ‘Lana’
Fe – She could be as popular as original Lana Del Rey. I predict Fe to catch some more buzz in 2014. She has a genuine, beautiful talent which is well worth a listen.
Wildest cat in town
Lion Babe – Literally, this lady goes for the ‘wild’ theme. Which is OK, since she does a great job of it. On a serious note though, what a sound!
Most trademark hipster Scandi sound
Postiljonen – Make no mistake, being introduced to his band has been one of my highlights this year. Their sound is pure perfection in my view and when I caught them live at the Ja Ja Ja Festival in London earlier this year it was probably a highlight for me gig-wise. This re-working of a Whitney Houston classic is amazing.
Miley Cyrus – Love or hate her, you just can’t deny that this little lady has been all over the place. She knows she’s not changing the world with her songs. So what else can she do? She’ll just have fun with it. And there’s a charming likeability in that. I mean, look at this post – she’s sandwiched between one of the edgiest acts of the year (Postiljonen, above), and one of the best songs of the year (Sailor & I, below). Two categories she’ll probably never be in, ever, but she’s still spreading herself on here. And that’s ok…
Most epic track
Sailor & I – ‘Tough Love’. A real heart-stopper of a track that’s nothing short of stunning.
Join The Riot – Again, another Scandi act makes it on this list. Nothing but good cheeky pop from this group.
Manou – This lady is one of my big ‘ones to watch’. I can’t describe her sound. Quirky, I guess. So good though.
Best slice of Norwegian rap
Lars Vaular – ‘Legender’. It’s one of those songs that sounds pretty dark, but still manages to sound easy enough to enjoy. Even if you’re not Norwegian.
Aiden Grimshaw – Following on from making one of the best and least brought pop records from a major label in 2012, this year saw the guy ditch his surname and now go under the moniker AIDEN.
Most unexpected throwback to Motown
MØ – ‘Never Wanna Know’. One of Denmark’s hippest newcomers came up with this track back in Autumn and it was adorable.
MKS (a.k.a Mutya Keisha Siobhan, a.k.a The Origibabes) – They might not have had the comeback record of the year, but the ladies definitely pulled off THE comeback gig of the year at London’s Scala. No video on YouTube could relay the experience properly though.
Most listened to song on my iTunes
The Amplifetes – ‘You Want It’. You might not like this song, but it’s the most listened to track of the year on my iTunes. Something about it speaks to me.
One to watch
MNEK – It seems like a lifetime ago since I featured MNEK but he now finally seems to be on the edge of breaking through. Already long-listed on the BBC Sound of 2014, whatever happens over the next months will be pretty special for this kid.
I wait all year to see this list get published. Only because it’s interesting to see how many people have already been featured on here.
This year’s mix is a lot better than last year’s in my opinion, and is definitely more pop-orientated than previous ‘Sounds of’. Here’s the full list:
- Banks – first featured February 2013
- Chance The Rapper
- Ella Eyre – first featured April 2013
- George Ezra – first featured December 2012
- FKA Twigs
- Chloe Howl – first featured December 2012
- Jungle – first featured September 2013
- Kelela – first featured October 2013
- MNEK – first featured May 2010 (also check out the interview)
- Nick Mulvey – first featured May 2013
- Royal Blood
- Say Lou Lou – first featured May 2012 (as Saint Lou Lou)
- Luke Sital-Singh – first featured July 2012
- Sam Smith – first featured January 2013
The top 5 will be revealed daily starting 6th January 6th 2014, with the winner crowned on the 10th. I’m not putting any guesses on who will win this time round though!
My big love, MNEK, has an amazing mix-tape with some very awesome tunes.
Janet – Nasty
Bobby Brown – Every Little Step
Soul II Soul – Back To Life
Fresh Prince Theme Song
MNEK – Every Little Word
George Michael – FastLove
Mariah Carey – Fantasy ODB
MNEK – What Good Is A Heart
Nightcrawlers – Push The Feeling On
Disclosure – When A Fire Starts To Burn
Black Box – Everybody Everybody
Javeon – Lovesong
Rudimental – Baby
Rudimental – Spoons
Duke Dumont – Need U (100)
MNEK – FML
Love this track from London synth-disco producer Digital Farm Animals so much. The EP is released September 30th.