In all honesty, this has been one of the most ridiculous, fast paced and fun years of my entire life – from my year abroad, to a hectic Summer and getting into final year there’s been things to do non-stop. Therefore, I’m more thankful than ever that this year has also tangentially been one hell of a year musically speaking – the rise to prominence of tropical house, the revival of genres long rested (I’m looking at you 2-step) and a constant outpouring of fantastic remixes, original hits and talented DJ’. Below is a list of 5 that have really made this year a kick-ass one for me:
1. Lilly Wood & The Prick and Robin Schulz – ‘Prayer In C’
I’ve already mentioned this song previously, but that’s because I honestly think it’s one of my favourite songs that I’ve listened to this year. The gentle flow of the music, coupled with Lilly’s beautiful, melancholic voice really makes this song a genuine delight to listen to. The lyrics are very powerful, describing (to me) the irredeemable nature of certain actions, and even more importantly than the message is the fact that they’re coherent and well thought out – something all too often lacking in certain contemporary music.
2. Sam Smith – ‘Like I Can (Artful Remix)
Since I first heard this song it’s been on a near-constant repeat on my iPod! Artful really has made a point with this one, and that point is, ‘I’m still here, and I’m still fucking relevant!’ This one really does benefit from the original from Smith being excellent in the first place, with a really nice lyrical structure and a very upbeat feel. However, Artful totally owned it and made it his own, and I know I for one can’t wait for his new comeback album!
3. Time Stands Still – ‘This Is My Year (Matoma Remix)’
This one’s a new entry for me, but boy is it a good one! If you haven’t heard of Matoma by this point then you either hate music or live under a rock: either way, you aren’t reading this blog entry so screw you! This year has really been an incredible one for Matoma, and that’s really reflected in this song (which is also definitely one to watch out for this New Years Eve). As always, it’s bouncy, upbeat and I can’t help but feeling like I can take on the world after listening to it.
4. Felix Jaehn ft. Jasmine Thompson – ‘Ain’t Nobody’
Well, this one was one of my very first blog posts, and if anything, I love it more now than I did then – a beautifully reworked and re-imagined version of ‘Ain’t Nobody’. Since I’ve already written about it I won’t wax lyrical, but just listen to it – seriously, go on, click it now and listen. It speaks for itself: the clarity of the lyrics, their impeccable delivery and the sublime production on the song all make it a true top 5 contender this year.
5. James Blunt – ‘Postcards (Niklas Ibach Edit)’
This was a tough one for me, as there are a number that I’d have liked to put in here. However, eventually I settled for this one, because of two reason: firstly, the lyrics are beautiful, for which naturally all credit must go to Blunt. They really tell a story, and have meaning and purpose to them, and I feel like this wasn’t a song knocked out in a couple of drunken minutes – real thought and energy went into this, and it comes through. Secondly, Ibach’s rework really stands out for me, as indicative of what has happened to music this year; a relatively small producer has come along, seen potential in a song and made it their own – and I think that warrants a space in my top 5.
So, there you have it – it may not be perfect and it may not be your top picks, but these songs all stood out for me this year, made me happy and kept me going! Some honourable mentions have to go to Kygo for his original project ‘Firestone’ and Naxxos for ‘Acapulco’, along with the SJUR remix of ‘Fancy’ and finally a newbie from Embody called ‘With You’ which is exceptional. Tell me in the comments what you think, and whether I’ve missed any sitters!
Oh and Merry Christmas to all from everyone here at The Music Brewery!