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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The Best Tracks of 2018, #13

13. CHVRCHES & Wednesday Campanella, “Out of My Head” CHVRCHES made a strong 2018 even better by putting out a surprise single this past summer, in the form of a quirky little collaboration with Japanese electropop band Wednesday Campanella. Combining CHVRCHES’ trademark sound with a distinct J-pop influence makes the band’s music pop more effervescently […]

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The Best Tracks of 2017, #6

6. Zola Jesus, “Siphon” I can’t remember hearing as eloquent, compassionate song about attempted suicide as what Nika Rosa Danilova has composed in the form of “Siphon”. It conveys a strong sense of urgency and tension, but for all the dark undertones lies a sense of support and positivity that steadily takes over the song. […]

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The Best Tracks of 2017, #7

7. Charlotte Gainsbourg, “Deadly Valentine” “Deadly Valentine” is simple in its approach: recited wedding vow text atop an airy electronic arrangement. What Charlotte Gainsbourg and producer SebastiAn create, however, is a fusion of romance, tragedy, light, and darkness…which you can dance to. It’s a track that bridges art and pop like few others this year, […]

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