Top 10 Songs of 2018!

Basically, long story short, if Anne-Marie decides to rehash the hits of yesteryear again in 2036, i’d quite like the below ten to be included. Thx in advance.

10. All Saints – Who Do You Love
Flying under many a radar, All Saints follow up to the impressive ‘Red Flag’ with ‘Testament’ earlier this year and the record may well be the finest work they’ve released to date. This opening track sets the tone perfectly – gorgeous harmonies, fresh production and stunning layered vocals. Plus, they save it all up for the final chorus when all the refrains and hooks come together into a magical crescendo.

9. Oceans of Slumber – No Color, No Light
Clocking in at a modest 7 minutes, this track is considerably short in comparison to the usual Oceans of Slumber tracks. Despite its length, however, your attention and emotion is gripped as tightly as the bloody heart on the album’s cover, particularly as frontwoman Cammie and guest Tom Englund (Evergrey) entwine vocals in the passionate call and response finale.

8. Ariana Grande – God is a Woman
Despite a frankly disappointing record, the lead up to Ariana’s ‘Sweetener’ was pulled off expertly – the left-field ‘The Light is Coming’ and career-defining smash ‘No Tears Left to Cry’ being two such highlights. I vouched for ‘God is a Woman’ though, an anthem carried by Ariana’s stunning vocals and staying true to her R’n’B roots whilst feeling so much bigger than anything she had released before.

7. Indiana – My Friends Don’t Like You
Another record that was criminally underrated is Indiana’s sophomore release ‘Not Girlfriend Material’. Amongst it’s numerous bops, ‘My Friends Don’t Like You’ stands out because it has a LION ON IT (uncredited feature though, she’ll be hearing from his lawyers). It’s also a great representation of the album itself – putting her ex, as the kids say, on blast.

6. Max Cinnamon – Ailleurs
Competing in the highlight of Eurovision’s national final season (France’s Destination Eurovision if you’re wondering), Max Cinnamon’s bilingual bop brought Summer to a cold, snowy January. For the uninitiated, think Shawn Mendes meets Ed Sheeran meets…I dunno…something french? You get the idea. Absolutely worth checking out if you haven’t heard of this guy before.

5. Auri – Night 13
I fell head over heels in love with Johanna Kurkela’s voice when she featured on Tuomas Holopainen’s ‘The Life & Times of Scrooge McDuck’ so to hear her again, with living legend Tuomas’s arrangements no less, was a 2018 treat to say the least. ‘Night 13’ has a similar approach to A Lifetime of Adventure from the aforementioned Scrooge record, building slowly but surely into a final breathtaking refrain.

4. Jetta – Losing Control
After a strong debut with her ‘Start a Riot’ EP, Jetta set the bar even higher with her ‘Tonic’ EP released earlier in 2018. Self produced and expertly crafted, the four tracks demonstrate what an incredible talent Jetta is. ‘Losing Control’, despite numerous replays by myself, is a gorgeous bubbling electro track flourished with Jetta’s gorgeous vocals. Good things come in threes, but topping ‘Tonic’ with a third EP is a task I’d be quite intimidated by.

3. Eleni Foureira – Fuego
You didn’t think we’d get all the way through without at least one Eurovision entry, right?! Eleni was the queen of the Eurovision fandom this year. Whilst eventual winner Netta was a tad divisive, Eleni and her fiery performance harked back to the days of (H)elena Paparizou and Ivi Adamou but with a vibrant modern production that certainly gave Israel a run for it’s money.

2. Nicki Minaj – Ganja Burns
‘Queen’ really was a moment for Nicki. Perhaps not as commercially successful as she may have wanted, but a worthy follow up to her fantastic ‘The Pink Print’ LP. Nicki is the butt of many a joke (and you get no points for pointing out the pun, either), mainly due to her more throwaway singles (‘Anaconda’, ‘Stupid Ho’ are two that the naysayers love to bring up), but dig deep and there is gold hidden away in her discography, not least this opening number from her latest record. Never one to quieten her power and confidence, I didn’t think she could top the sublime ‘The Crying Game’ from her previous LP, but this track might just pip it to the post.

1, Ghost – Rats
Firstly, let’s just enjoy one of the rare/only times you’ll see a paragraph on Ghost directly following a complimentary piece about Nicki Minaj…
Ghost, in my humble opinion, released their finest work to date this year with ‘Prequelle’. Their 80s pop influence has previously been apparent in the song structures and hooks but on this record, it’s nailed perfectly. Not compromising the riffs and anthemic songwriting that got them their masses of fans, it now feels like the band are worthy of sitting pretty in the headline slot of all the best festivals around Europe. Give one listen to the immense ‘Rats’ and you will see why this band are fusing pop and metal in the most addictive way – enjoy pummeling that replay button, I certainly did.

Happy New Year! Thanks for reading my stuff in 2018, Simon x


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