Look Good, But Don’t Be Obsessed

Ask me what my favourite band is from 2010 to the present, and I’ll tell you one of them is Chvrches. What started out as an innocuous little electropop outfit has matured before our eyes, the songwriting improving, the musicianship evolving, and the emergence of a powerful female voice in popular music. Every new release […]

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The Best Tracks of 2019, #8

8. Carly Rae Jepsen, “Now That I Found You” On a terrific album that saw Carly Rae broadening her sound a little more, “Now That I Found You” was the one big, instant classic CRJ track. The arrangement falls right in her wheelhouse: tentative and sweet verses build to a chorus of euphoria and fireworks, […]

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The Best Tracks of 2019, #10

10. Tove Lo, “Sweettalk My Heart” I could have chosen a much edgier Tove Lo track from 2019 to single out, but as the months have gone by, “Sweettalk My Heart” has grown on me tremendously. It’s a unique song in that its melody and sensibility is a lot lighter and brighter than anything she’s […]

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The Best Tracks of 2019, #13

13. Ashley O, “On a Roll” I have no idea what Black Mirror is, but I could not escape the news that Miley Cyrus played a pop singer on the tv show. Normally I wouldn’t care, but what hooked me in, along with everyone else, was the fact that her fictional character sings a completely […]

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The Best Albums of 2019, #14

14. Tove Lo, Sunshine Kitty (Universal) It’s been great fun hearing Tove Lo evolve as an artist over the past decade. The highly conceptual Queen of the Clouds remains a near-classic debut, while Lady Wood and Blue Lips headed into considerably darker territory. The sad aspect of sour relationships, which Tove always showed a great […]

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The Best Tracks of 2019, #14

14. Charli XCX w/ Christine & the Queens, “Gone” Charli XCX’s hotly anticipated album Charli was a mild disappointment, but “Gone”, her collaboration with Héloïse Letissier, was one of a handful of inspired moments. A sublime marriage of Charli’s futuristic take on pop music and Christine & the Queens’ much funkier sound, “Gone” sees both […]

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The Best Tracks of 2019, #19

19. Bat For Lashes, “Kids in the Dark” Natasha Khan returned in an admirable way in 2019, releasing an album that felt like her best in a decade, which was led by “Kids in the Dark”, a song that plays to all of Khan’s musical strengths. She’s brilliant at creating dreamy, sparkly art pop, and […]

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The Best Tracks of 2018, #2

2. Robyn, “Missing U” “Can’t make sense of all of the pieces of my own delusions,” Robyn sings on her masterful comeback single, “Can’t take all these memories / Don’t know how to use ‘em.” In one sense, it’s the classic Robyn narrative that permeated such classic singles as “Dancing on My Own” and “Call […]

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The Best Albums of 2018, #5

5. Gwenno, Le Kov (Heavenly) Best remembered as a member of the Pipettes, a band whose first album I still adore, Gwenno Saunders kicked off her solo career in 2015 with Y Dydd Olaf. A jaw-dropping sci-fi concept album sung primarily in Welsh that mined the innovative sounds of such art rock legends as Can, […]

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The Best Tracks of 2018, #6

6. Grimes, “We Appreciate Power” It was a big year for Grimes, for all the dumbest reasons. Good for her for having some fun with Elon Musk, but in a year where a lot of her admirers – myself included – eagerly awaited the follow-up to 2015’s Art Angels, arguably the best album of the […]

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The Best Tracks of 2018, #7

7.CHVRCHES, “Graves” Of all the great tracks on CHVRCHES’ excellent third album, “Graves” is the one I kept going back to the most. Frankly I always enjoy it when the trio crank up their dance influences, and “Graves” is as good as a banger as I’ve heard from them. Curiously, for all the visceral power […]

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The Best Albums of 2018, #8

8. CHVRCHES, Love is Dead (Glassnote) The reigning tastemaker in synth-pop for three albums now, CHVRCHES have always straddled the line between mainstream pop and “alternative”/“indie” with extraordinary skill, and you could imagine record label execs wishing the Scottish trio would pull out all the stops in an attempt at mainstream superstardom. Instead the band […]

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