We’re heading into the autumn months which equals cold, wet and dark times ahead (I’m talking weather, not the state of the world but it’s not too dissimilar!!). Luckily this month’s list is full of tunes to keep you smiling, give you a nice warm feeling and get your body moving. There’s songs to make you move your feet, songs to make you bang your head and a few more reflective tracks to soothe the mind. Let’s get to it…
30. Raw Silk – Do It To The Music (ABSOLUTE. Rave Mix) (Do It To The Music – Single)
Total 90s sounding dance remix of this 1982 disco/funk track. Big pianos, sweet synths and a banging drum break give you that nostalgic feeling (especially if you’re as old as I am!!).
29. Chloe – Have Mercy (Have Mercy – Single)
Future pop banger from an artist who is only on her second single. Riding the perfect balance between R&B and Hip Hop, it’s slick and catchy but with enough edge to appeal to fans of both genres, you can definitely hear a Beyoncé influence but that’s never a bad thing. Definitely one to watch out for.
28. Tommy Farrow – Everything We Talked About (feat. Clementine Douglas) (Everything We Talked About – Single)
Atmospheric electronic pop topped off with a soulful vocal from Clementine Douglas. This is one to sit back and relax to, letting the lush keyboards wash over you and raising a smile when the steel drum sounds kick in halfway through.
27. Junior Simba – Kingdom (feat. Vanessa Chisakula) (Kingdom – Single)
Dark and moody electro from this Zimbabwean born/UK based producer. It has a really cool bassline and a house music meets dubstep feel, with a spoken word vocal over the top. It’s only his fourth single and his best to date.
26. Maxo Kream – Big Persona (feat. Tyler, The Creator) (Big Persona – Single)
Huge sounding hip hop banger, featuring great verses from both guys and an earworm of a chorus. Tyler is already having a great 2021 with the release of his latest album (CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST (2021)), which is a top listen and now it’s time for Maxo Kream to shine. He’s got the ability to be one of rap music’s next big stars and with tracks like this he should be reaching that next level very soon.
25. Sam Fender – Get You Down (Get You Down – Single)
I’ve been really impressed with the singles that have appeared so far ahead of the release of his second album, making it one of my most anticipated albums of autumn/winter. It’s straight up, no frills, anthemic indie rock and he’s just got the knack for making that work perfectly.
24. Drake – 7am On Bridle Path (Certified Lover Boy – Album)
Well, the album arrived and truth be told it was a bit of a disappointment. Too long, too one-paced, it was frustrating as within it’s 21 songs is the potential for an 11 track, great record. This track is my favourite, just Drake spitting bars over a hazy, swirling production and shows just how good he can be when he sounds focused and like he’s actually trying!!
23. Gorgon City – Skywalk (Skywalk – Single)
Purveyors of the type of house music to get your body grooving, this track is aimed far more for the head and the heart. It’s a beautiful piece of electro bliss and is best enjoyed through headphones, letting it’s atmospheric instrumentation soak into your whole body and transport you away to somewhere peaceful and relaxing – sometimes just what we need at times like this.
22. Wilkinson – If You Want It (If You Want It – Single)
Big fan of Wilkinson, he’s one of the most consistent performers in all of electronic music today. This retains his drum’n’bass style but with an added R&B sheen, dropping some of the pace of his usual tracks to create something more laidback and sensual.
21. Tom Morello – Let’s Get The Party Started (feat. Bring Me The Horizon) (Let’s Get The Party Started – Single)
As a fan of both Tom Morello/Rage Against The Machine and Bring Me The Horizon, it’s pleasing to report that a collaboration between the two sounds exactly as you’d imagine. Huge heavy rock riffs with an element of funk and bounce to them coupled to Oli Syke’s impassioned and powerful vocals, equals a track that works brilliantly and fits into either parties catalogues of work.
20. salute – Joy (Joy – Single)
Pure dancefloor filler, just like it’s title implies, it fills you with happy vibes and gets you moving. The vocals are smooth and give it a pop edge, the bassline is huge and absolutely bangs and the pace doesn’t let up for the entire duration of the track. He’s already released a couple of awesome singles this year and this completes the hat-trick.
19. Fivio Foreign – Story Time (Story Time – Single)
Hard hitting, real rap from one of the most promising and exciting newcomers to emerge in the hip hop scene over the past couple of years. This track really shows that he can deliver the goods solo and captures perfectly the flow and mood that he’s showcased so impressively on previous features.
18. Bullet For My Valentine – Shatter (Shatter – Single)
Now this hits hard!! The heaviest track Bullet have released in a long time and containing Matt Tuck’s most venomous vocals, this sounds like a band giving their absolute all to reclaim their spot at the top table of the metal scene. Their last album, Gravity (2018) was a far more commercial sound and didn’t work out well, so it’s good to see them regrouping and putting the pedal to the metal (no pun intended!!).
17. BURNS – Talamanca (Cristoph Remix) (Talamanca – Single)
Taking an already great dance track and giving it a late 80s/early 90s sounding makeover is the name of the game on this beauty of a remix from this English producer. It has the feel of Orbital and dare I say it, Enigma and is both danceable and relaxing, chilled out but grooving. Be sure to check out the original too, it’s also really good.
16. Joyner Lucas – Your Heart (feat. J. Cole) (Your Heart – Single)
This is hard edged but accessible hip hop, with great production and lyrics that show the danger of treating someone you love badly that are sure to hit home with many listeners. The verse from J. Cole is typically brilliant and shows why so many people rate him as the best to be doing it at the moment.
15. Kumarion – Bad (Bad – Single)
Massive sounding electro banger with a hip hop infusion. An absolute belter of a bassline, some old skool scratching and sampled snatches of vocals all add up to a track that is sure to make your speakers rattle.
14. Remi Wolf – Guerilla (Guerilla – Single)
This lady is on a roll!! Everything she’s dropped this year has been so good – pop music with the perfect amount of crazyness to keep everything sounding fresh. When her album is released it could very well end up being one of the best of the year.
13. Art School Girlfriend – Good As I Wanted (Is It Light Where You Are – Album)
Loving the debut album from this young lady, it’s full of lush sounding, late night electronic jams like this one and is definitely worth adding to your listening lists. This track can make you feel sadness and euphoria at the same time, the lift you get from the synth and keyboard work as the track progresses is such a great feeling.
12. Wet Leg – Wet Dream (Wet Dream – Single)
This is great stuff from a band so young into their career (only their second single!). It’s super catchy and has a 90s vibe that fans of Luscious Jackson, Elastica etc. will be sure to enjoy.
11. Cassyette – Petrichor (Petrichor – Single)
I was pleasantly surprised by just how good this song is. Her previous three singles are not a patch on this, an epic heavy rock monster with soaring vocals, wonderful use of electronic elements to flesh the whole thing out and a chorus that won’t budge from your head once heard – like a cross between Lacuna Coil/Evanescence and Nine Inch Nails.
10. LISA – LALISA (LALISA – Single)
Debut single from the Blackpink member and it’s a beauty. It’s very similar in sound and structure to what she would be involved in with her parent band but that’s definitely not a bad thing. Superb production, catchy everything and even a rap in English showing this lady can flow.
9. FLOHIO – Whiplash (Whiplash – Single)
Talking of ladies who can flow, this Londoner certainly fits the bill. Hard hitting, dark sounding, with a keyboard/synth motif that wouldn’t be out of place in a 1980s sci-fi/horror, this is her best single so far, which is really saying something as her output has been at such a high level previously.
8. Sfven – there for you (there for you – Single)
I am loving the stuff being released by this UK artist this year. This is another thing of beauty, delicate, rustic sounding with the right amount of electronic production work to take it out of the hands of the singer-songwriter tropes. It builds to a crescendo of gorgeous power that is just perfect. His album, when it arrives, is sure to be top of my listening list.
7. Iron Maiden – Hell On Earth (Senjutsu – Album)
Seventeen albums into one of the greatest careers in all of metal you know what you are getting with the mighty Maiden. The new album is really strong with this Steve Harris penned, epic closing track being the best of the bunch. I’d go as far as to say that this is their best song since ‘Paschendale’ from Dance Of Death (2003) and should go on to become a massive highlight in the live setting.
6. Aaron Smith – Nocturnal (Nocturnal – Single)
Full of emotion and delicate beauty, the latest single from this native of Polmont, Scotland is breathtaking. For someone who is only a handful of releases into his career, this is so assured and so well handled – what could have been maudlin and downbeat is instead soaring and full of passion and heart. Tremendous stuff.
5. Kay Flock – Being Honest (Being Honest – Single)
On only his third single Kay Flock has dropped a slice of hip hop greatness. His rugged flow sits perfectly atop a sample of ‘Changes’ by XXXTENTACION, all topped off by some big bass and snappy snare hits.
4. Friction – I Need To Feel (feat. Poppy Baskcomb) (I Need To Feel – Single)
Pure joyous dancefloor magic from drum’n’bass producer Friction. He’s moved away from the harder sounds of his earlier career into a poppier, chart bothering sound, that retains the power but makes the music danceable for all.
3. Holly Humberstone – Scarlett (Scarlett – Single)
For the second time this year, Holly Humberstone has released one of the best pop tracks of 2021. This is fantastic and contains the catchiest chorus of the month. The whole thing works so well as it’s pure pop but has an alternative edge to it that stops it being sickly sweet and gives it the feel of a classic track rather than just a throwaway pop nugget that will be forgotten by next week. Awesome song and now we need a full length to see what other aces she has up her sleeve.
2. Prospa – WANT NEED LOVE (Dimension Remix) (WANT NEED LOVE – Single)
The original of this is good but the remix by Dimension takes it to another level. It’s an exhilarating track aimed squarely at making you move and succeeds in doing so wonderfully. Much like the Friction track it’s more straightforward and less complex than some of Dimension’s previous remixes and the accessibility makes it even stronger.
1. Biffy Clyro – Unknown Male 01 (Unknown Male 01 – Single)
Being a big Biffy fan, when they announced they were releasing their ninth album, the follow up to A Celebration Of Endings (2020) and just over 12 months after that album took it’s bow, I was excited but unsure of what to expect. Would it be an album of offcuts, not deemed good enough for the original record? That wouldn’t be a problem as they always release quality material no matter where it’s placed (check out their b-side compilation albums for proof of that). Then this song dropped and it turns out it’s the best thing they’ve done since ‘Different People’ in 2013. It balances the ‘new’ style Biffy (anthemic, large-chorused rock) with ‘old’ Biffy (think Blackened Sky (2002)/The Vertigo Of Bliss (2003)) perfectly. When the guitars came crashing in and the songs time structures took twists and turns I was in heaven. This track and it’s follow up (‘A Hunger In Your Haunt’ – also great) have given me the most anticipation for the release of a Biffy Clyro album in years and 20+ years into a career, that’s a very good position for a band to be in in my eyes.
Here’s the full Spotify list –
Here’s the full Apple Music list –