Listen: Karen Harding ‘Say Someting’ (FACES Remix)

karen harding

Such a good remix by FACES of an already good pop track from Karen Harding (co-written by MNEK).

2014’s Random List

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

This was the year that the male duo made a comeback like no other, with acts like HONNE, CHPLN and Whilk & Misky all making considerable impact.

chpln

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.

tove lo

Best Song That Should Have Done Better

Becky Hill didn’t take off as well as I had hoped this year. This song, penned by Alfitude favourite MNEK, really should have been heard by more people. It’s a sexy piece of pop.

becky hill

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.

Made In Heights

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.

rag n bone man london

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.

scarlet pleasure

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…

TOLD SINGER

Most Exciting Major Debut

Seinabo Sey. I can’t fault anything this new soul powerhouse is doing right now.

seinabo sey

Best Song To Make Babies To

Huntar managed to come up with the sexiest song of the year (in my reckoning, anyway).

huntar

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.

Snoh Aalegra

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.

years and years

Chris Malinchak – Happiness (feat. MNEK)

CHRIS MALINCHAK

Chris Malinchak is back with another track featuring Alfitude favourite MNEK on vocals. He will be embarking on a 5-city US tour with shows in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, DC and Brooklyn, NY following his European run in London, Paris, Amsterdam, and more.

This song will be on Kylie’s new album

kylie kiss me once album cover

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.

2013’s Random List

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 single cover

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

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

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.

Cutest act

broods

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!

Catchiest track

nonono

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

Mutya Keisha Siobhan

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 singer

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

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

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.

Biggest bang(erz)

miley cyrus stop

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

Sailor & I – ‘Tough Love’. A real heart-stopper of a track that’s nothing short of stunning.

Most feel-good

join the riot

Join The Riot – Again, another Scandi act makes it on this list. Nothing but good cheeky pop from this group.

Quirkiest act 

manou

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

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.

Best trooper

aiden

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.

Best gig

Mutya Keisha Siobhan London Live Scala August 2013 a

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

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

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.

BBC Sound of 2014 longlist released!

bbc sound of 2014 logo

bbc sound of 2014 list

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.

The BBC Sound of 2014 is often a predictor of what music acts will launch big in over the next twelve months, and has featured the likes of Adele, Jessie J and 50 cent.

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:

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!

MNEK – THE MIXTAPE, VERNACULAR

mnek

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

I’m open to a bad idea…

digital farm animals

Love this track from London synth-disco producer Digital Farm Animals so much. The EP is released September 30th.

DEVolution feat MNEK – Too Much Heaven

DEVOLUTION

Perfect for a hot evening like this, I present to you a slick piece of electronic house from DEVolution and MNEK.