40) Queens of the Stone Age – The Evil Has Landed
An amalgamation of tightly wound guitar riffing that builds into a galloping, triumphant final minute.
39) SZA – Love Galore ft. Travis Scott
Textured combination of moody R&B and hip hop that demonstrates Solana’s ability to contort her vocals into a unique flow that takes the best parts of rap and a high ranging vocal delivery. Strong support comes from Travis Scott, both in his guest verse and ad-libs.
38) Moses Sumney – Doomed
An atmospheric, minimalist neo-soul number that sees Moses existentially ponder futility of life with a beauty that transcends the content. The result is that of a man finding comfort in art when all else seems in vain.
37) Fleet Foxes – I Should See Memphis
Held together by only acoustic strumming, strings and hushed vocal delivery, the stripped back approach allows Robin Pecknold to use his wealth of mythological and historical knowledge (Appomattox, Cassius in Rome, Osiristo are all mentioned) to eloquently express a deep sense of restless uncertainty. Like most of Fleet Foxes best work, ‘Memphis’ is a beautifully sweeping track at the surface level and highly intellectual at the core.
36) The War on Drugs – Holding On
The bold imagery and highly figurative language of Granduciel is compressed with the glistening synths and Americana inspired guitars into a driving, focused rhythm that manages to feel tight whilst simultaneously threatening to burst with emotion.
35) Run the Jewels – Panther like a Panther
Huge combative track from RTJ that utilises Mike and EL-P’s slashing, dense verses to make a characteristically aggressive stand for the people against exploitation from the elites.
34) The xx – Replica
The individuals capacity to forge a unique identity independent of what has occurred before is central to the track, with Jamie xx’s ability to create atmospheric soundscapes framing the XX’s typically delightful interplay of bass and guitar with lushness and colour.
33) Tyler the Creator – Who Dat Boy
Here Tyler takes on introspection in a way only Tyler could, spurred on by a fast paced, sneering delivery. He frames more trivial aspects of his life that stir his passions, such as sports cars and Leonardo DiCaprio, within the larger, more complex question of whether he, and subsequently we, actually know who the real Tyler the Creator is.
32) Thundercat – Friend Zone
Thundercat takes on a relatable topic for many with humour and quirk; his thick, wah-wah bass and swirling futurist synths creating a spaced out atmosphere that works with the distinctly geeky lyrical approach to make a unique listening experience.
31) Lorde – Homemade Dynamite
Lorde revels in a form of hedonism by partying on Homemade Dynamite over a fittingly thick beat. Lapsing in and out of stream-of-consciousness to express a to-and-fro between pursuit of pleasure and witty, self aware commentary on her undertakings, she captures feelings associated with being in between adulthood and youth.