Trending in 2021 - Part 1

This year kicked off very slowly and the impact of 2020 and the global pandemic is evident and pretty much the new context. It seems that there have been less releases than in any previous years prior to the pandemic. A lot of concerts and festival have been postponed for another year or cancelled and some were even organized online.
As for the music releases, the commercial highlights come from with the likes of The Weeknd, Lana Del Rey and Lady Gaga and they still echo their 2020 album releases. It is also great to see that the independent production is active and the most prominent this and last year is certainly the Italians Do It Better music label which has had quite a few exciting releases out. Last but certainly not least, Duran Duran returning with first new material since 2015. 
Below is the selection of 25 songs which comes as a six months round up of 2021. Hope you enjoy it!

  • Lana Del Rey - Chemtrails over the Country Club 
  • maye - Yours
  • Jake Shears - Do the Television
  • Cannons - Bad Dream
  • Geoffrey O'Connor - Foolish Enough (feat. Laura Jean)
  • Juno Francis & Alejandro Molinari  - Symmetry 
  • Foster the People - Lamb's Wool
  • Moses Gunn Collective - I Can Cry
  • Wolf Alice - The Last Man on Earth
  • Jessie Ware - Remember Where You Are
  • Sharron Van Etten & Angel Olsen - Like I Used to
  • The Antlers  - Solstice
  • The Weather Station - Parking Lot
  • The Weeknd - Save Your Tears
  • Marina - Ancient Dreams in Modern Land
  • Lady Gaga - Alice
  • Glüme - Nervous Breakdown
  • Camlann - I'm Nobody
  • Yves Tumor - Jackie
  • The Goon Sax - Psychic
  • VR SEX - Dog Complex
  • Duran Duran - Invisible
  • CHVRCHES ft Robert Smith - How Not to Drown
  • Anika - Finger Pies
  • Manchester Orchestra - Bed Head

Video of the Year 2020 (VOTY)

Before we finally let go the 2020 into history one final wrap up for you. As you know, every year we presen you our favorite music videos from the running year and as per our small evaluation committee the following videos made a cut. Thanks to everyone who contributed and voted!!

Happy New Year!!!


01. Jessie Ware - Spotlight

02. The Killers - My Own Soul's Warning  

03. Arca - Nonbinary  

04. SRSQ - Temporal Love   

05. Kirin J Callinan - The Homosexual  

06. Planet 1999 - Party  

07. Lady Gaga - 911  

08. Future Islands - For Sure  

09. Bree Runway, Yung Baby Tate - DAMN DANIEL  

10. Cannons - Fire for You

11. Working Men's Club - Valley
12. Private World - Hypnagogia
13. breathe. - Home
14. Jennifer Touch - Attic
15. Billie Eilish - Everything I Wanted
16. Sparks - The Existential Threat
17. Ängie, Harrison First - Basic
18. GusGus - Higher ft. VÖK
19. IC3PEAK - Плак-Плак
20. Yves Tumor - Kerosene!
21. Perfume Genius - Describe
22. Netta - Cuckoo
23. Active Child - Weightless
24. Sevdaliza - Rhode
25. Kelly Lee Owens ft John Cale – Corner of the Sky

Best of 2020 - The Songs List

The year 2020 has been different in many ways and could not be compared to any of the recent years. The world stopped for a certain period of time, paralyzed by the global COVID-19 pandemic where the virus spread to all corners of the world leaving difficult consequences for the population everywhere. 

It certainly did affected the the music world in the sense that all major music events, festivals and concerts were cancelled until further notice. Only one global event was organised to support the World Health Organisation -One World: Together at Home- a benefit concert, organised by Global Citizen and curated by singer Lady Gaga whose objective was to promote the practice of social distancing while staying together during the COVID-19 pandemic and also support the medical staff all over the world.

On the quantity level of album and singles releases, it might have been less in offer this year but certainly not on its quality level. Every year has its own charm, no matter what is going on and the events that occurred this year events certainly influenced the artists and some of them have already integrated them in their music. 

Our Top 50 songs list, is as always a festival of styles and genres and while this years saw some interesting new comers emerging on the music market, it also meant some happy returns and come backs. Hope you enjoy the Songs list!



01. SRSQ - Temporal Love
02. Jessie Ware - Spotlight
03. The Killers - My Own Soul's Warning
04. Weyes Blood - Wild Time
05. The Neighborhood - Devil's Haircut
06. The Flaming Lips -  Flowers of Neptune 6
07. Sally Dige -  It's You I'm Thinking Of
08. Groove Armada - Edge of the Horizon
09. Cold Beat - Double Sided Mirror
10. Angelo De Augustine - Santa Barbara
11. Fleet Foxes - Sunblind
12. Gorillaz ft Peter Hook - Aries
13. New Order - Be a Rebel
14. Jessie Ware - The Kill
15. Girl in Red - Rue
16. The Weeknd - Blinding Lights
17. Structures - Sorry, I Know I'm Late
18. Porridge Radio - Circling
19. Yves Tumor - Kerosene!
20. James Blake - Godspeed
21. Working Men's Club - Valleys 
22. Laurel - Scream Drive Faster 
23. I Break Horses - Death Engine 
24. The Strokes - At the Door 
25. Alex Kapranos & Clara Luciani - Summer Wine
26. Perfume Genius - Describe 
27. Doves - Prisoners 
28. Of Montreal - Gypsy that Remains 
29. The Flaming Lips - Will You Return 
30. PRIZM - All Night 
31. The Killers - Caution 
32. Tame Impala - Why Don't They Talk To Me 
33. Declan McKenna - Beautiful Faces 
34. Active Child - Weightless 
35. The Dears - The Worst in Us 
36. Protomartyr - The Aphorist 
37. SOKO - Are You A Magician? 
38. Future Islands - For Sure 
39. Alice Boman - Everybody Hurts 
40. DMA's - Live is a Changing Game 
41. Orion Sun - Coffee for Dinner 
42. Private World - Hypnagogia 
43. Chromatics - Famous Monsters 
44. Cindy - Never Let Me Go 
45. The Men - Children All Over The World 
46. Agnes Obel - Camera's Rolling 
47. The Blow Monkeys - The Storm 
48. Kleerup fr Yumi Zouma - I Don't Mind
49. Everything Everything - Violent
50. Buscabulla - Nydia


Best of 2020 - The Album List

The year 2020 has been different in many ways and could not be compared to any of the recent years. The world stopped for a certain period of time, paralyzed by the global COVID-19 pandemic where the virus spread to all corners of the world leaving dificult consequences for the population everywhere. 
It certainly did affected the the music world in the sense that all major music events, festivals and concerts were cancelled until further notice. Only one global event was organised to support the World Health Organisation -One World: Together at Home- a benefit concert, organised by Global Citizen and curated by singer Lady Gaga whose objective was to promote the practice of social distancing while staying together during the COVID-19 pandemic and also support the medical staff all over the world.
On the quantity level of album and singles releases, it might have been less in offer this year but certainly not on its quality level. Every year has its own charm, no matter what is going on and the events that occurred this year events certainly influenced the artists and some of them have already integrated them in their music. 
Our Top 25 album list, is as always a festival of styles and genres and while this years saw some interesting new comers emerging on the music market, it also meant some happy returns and come backs. Hope you enjoy the Album list!



01. The Flaming Lips - American Head [Bella Union / Warner Bros] 
The Flaming Lips have returned with their 16th studio album American Head released through Bella Union in the UK and Warner Bros in the US. It seems that the band have returned to their winning formula of the late 90's and early 00's, focusing on the American roots producing symphonic psychedelic sound which could easily be treated as future Americana. The songs reveal a strong sense of melody by being freaky and tendering at the same time. There is also a drug connotation throughout the songs on the album, bringing the acid and psychedelic in front. Out of the seven songs which were released as singles, the outstanding are certainly "Will You Return", "Flowers of Neptune'' and "You N Me Sellin' Weed". 


02. Jessie Ware - What's Your Pleasure [PMR] 
What's Your Pleasure? is Jessie Ware's fourth studio album, released through PMR. The album includes 12 tracks out of which half of the songs were also released as singles. Overall this is a very uncomplicated, joyful and passionate electronic, dance album with a festival of sub genres and influences from all decades which flow into a nice cohesive package. At the same time the album marks Ware's return to her roots and moving away from the soul melancholy of the previous album. This album might not have been released in perfect timing, in the year of COVID-19 pandemic when all dance floors are sealed, still it feels like a time machine and a trip to better times with, a great staying power. Favorite tracks: “Spotlight”, “The Kill” and  “Remember Where You Are”.
   
03. Porridge Radio - Every Bad [Secretly Canadian] 
Porridge Radio is among the best newcomers this year and at the same time probably the best female fronted indie band in 2020. Every Bad is their second album and the first one on a big record label. Released through Secretly Canadian, the album contains eleven tracks, where each of the songs seems to be an interesting chamber of elements that harmonize with each other. In addition to the indie elements there is noise but it does not get too loud, there are synth accents, but it does not get too electronic. There is also a great emotional range to the lead singer’s voice which plays perfectly with all rhythm sections. Favorite tracks: “Born Confused”, “Sweet”, “Long”, and “Circling”. 

 
04. Fleet Foxes - Shore [Anti-] 
Fleet Foxes released their fourth studio album Shore in Fall this year. It was quite a surprise release for an album whose writing and recording started in 2018/2019 respectively, to be released only one day after the announcement. Beautiful as ever, bright, complex and accessible, this is how I would describe this nearly solo effort by the singer/songwriter Robin Pecknold. There is an autumn feel throughout the album and the feel of closing oneself in the deep drift away against the existential worry of 2020. It is the same vein as their debut album, the finest range from baroque pop to the 60’s spacey folk. Favorite tracks: “Shore”, “Sunblind” and “Maestranza”.  

 
05. Linea Aspera - LP II [self released] 
Linea Aspera has surprised us all this year with the reunion and the release of a brand second album which comes eight years after their debut album release. The duo Alison Lewis and Ryan Ambridge split after the debut album release but never really stopped making music, moreover continued exploring new dimensions and grounds with their solo projects. Their second album comes with a similar recipe of songs as their debut but even more perfected and crafted. LPII is dark, scientific and emotional with great analogue production against Lewis' intense vocal delivery. Different from 2012, when Minimal Wave and Synth pop were closer to  mainstream, this year this record feels more like a loner in its genre and certainly the best Minimal Wave album of 2020. Track highlights: “Solar Flare”, “Equilibrium” and “Entanglement”. 

 
06. Protomartyr - Ultimate Success Today [Domino] 
The Detroit based Protomartyr released their fifth studio album Ultimate Success Today this year, their second Domino release following the critically acclaimed Relatives in Descent. Using the Post-punk as foundation for their sound the band continues to deliver good quality production songs feeding in the misfortunes of the modern world like sadness, anger and aggression. Even though the themes might be sinister and dark, the band manages to deliver quite an involving sound with guitars that shine on. The input of the session musicians on saxophone and clarinet even more contribute to the diversity of sound. Even though this record was recorded before 2020, it is probably the loudest and most fitting album to the COVID 20 soundtrack. 

 
07. Groove Armada - Edge of the Horizon [BMG Rights Management] 
The duo has released their ninth studio album this year. Edge of the Horizon comes as a 10 years anniversary to Black Light which was also our Album of the Year in 2010. It seems that the band has decided once again to leave the club friendly tech house behind and to grant us with another great synth pop album. This also pretty much goes back to the 80’s taking some influences from the hiNrg and early Italo disco underground styles. Similar as on Black Light, this album features an interesting array of collaborations which completes the overall good LP experience. The album features the hit singles “Get Out on the Dancefloor” and “Love 4 Now”, but probably the stand out is the title track "Edge of the Horizon".
   
08. The Killers - Imploding the Mirage [Island / Virgin EMI] 
The Killers released their sixth studio album Imploding The Mirage this year and with this record they have returned to our radar for the first time since Sam’s Town. This new album brings some changes both in the line up and in the music style, trafficking in Americana, catchy synth hooks and the Springsteen influence all together. It deals pretty well with every day themes and the pop-heartland-epic input makes it quite accessible. The album also features some interesting collaborations including k. d. lang, Weyes Blood, Lindsey Buckingham (Fleetwood Mac) and Adam Granduciel (The War on Drugs). Four singles were released from the album including the catchy the “My Own’s Soul Warning”.
   
09. Working Men’s Club - Working Men’s Club [Heavenly] 
Working Men’s Club is among the best newcomers in 2020 and also one of the best debut albums in this year. The band actually started releasing singles in 2019 with a different line up and this year brought the change in lineup and the sound perspective and the band adopted more electronic influences including shades of the early 80’s underground synthpop and early 90’s alternative dance. The record’s dynamic course is kept by the raving energy, a synth-guitar criss cross against the industrial lead. The outstanding tracks are of course the first single “Valley”, “Tomorrow” and “Angel". 

 
10. Cindy - I’m Cindy [World of Paint] 
With I’m Cindy, we enter the DIY territory and home base of the producer Palbomen II who started recording music around 2015. Focused on the fictional character Cindy Savalas portrayed by the actress Blue LoLãn, he recorded around thirty pieces in his home studio in Belgium in 2019 and some of them were even picked for the Memories of Cindy release. This album is set in a cold and dark synth pop setting and through out the 13 tracks, it explores different episodes in the life of Cindy Savalis where she sings about her mom, her boyfriend Justin, her cat and other personal sides of her life. Stand out tracks: “Boy Friend”, “Never Let Me Go” and “2Y and 6M”. 

11. Nation of Language - Introduction, Presence [Not on Label] 
12. Coldbeat - Mother [DFA] 
13. Kleerup - 2 [U, OK] 
14. Active Child - In Another Life [Sony Masterworks] 
15. The Orelles - Disco Volador [Heavenly] 
16. Perfume Genious - Set My Heart on Fire Immediately [Matador] 
17. The Strokes - The New Abnormal [Cult] 
18. Riki - Riki [Dais] 
19. Doves - The Universal Want [Virgin] 
20. Tame Impala - The Slow Rush [Modular] 
21. Georgia - Seeking Thrills [Domino] 
22. Muzz - Muzz [Matador] 
23. I Break Horses - Warnings [Bella Union] 
24. Alice Boman - Dream on [Adrian] 
25. Of Montreal - Ur Fun [Polyvinyl]

November Singles Round up

We have almost reached the end of 2020 and this is the last Singles Round up for this year, highlighting  with Yves Tumor's single "Kerosene" for which the video was directed by Ssion aka Cody Critcheloe. 
Yves Tumor - Kerosene!

Fiona Apple - Shameika
 

Lana Del Rey - Summertime

Nairod Yarg - Trophy


Bleachers - Chinatown ft. Bruce Springsteen

breathe. - Home

Angelo de Augustine - Blue


Nilüfer Yanya - Crash

The Strokes - The Adults Are Talking


Next Wave: Working Men's Club

Workings Men's Club is one of the finest new comer bands to emerge this year. Hailing from Todmorden in West Yorkshire, England, the band were formed in mid-2018 by vocalist/guitarist Sydney Minsky-Sargeant, guitarist Giulia Bonometti, and drummer Jake Bogacki. The band is known for their very unique turbulent post punk sound which draws influences from both the 80's and early 90's. After releasing a single "Bad Blood" heavily influenced by guitar-based post-punk,  Working Men's Club signed to Heavenly Records under which they released their self titled debut album. Their lead single   "Valley" is where you will certainly feel the 90's influence both in sound and video production.


Frankie Goes To Hollywood upcoming Reissues

Frankie Goes To Hollywood‘s two studio albums Welcome to the Pleasuredome and Liverpool, and the greatest hits Bang!, will be reissued in December by Universal Music Catalogue (UMC) – new owners of the ZTT label – which officially kicks off the process of ‘working’ the band’s back catalogue. All three releases are now available again on CD and vinyl. Bang! is now a double vinyl LP for the first time. Both albums and the compilation are all issued on 11 December 2020. 




October Singles Round Up

This October sees the return of Groove Armada and their brand new album pretty much recalls the Black Light in sound and mood. There are also other exciting releases by Fleet Foxes, Tame Impala and more.




Groove Armada - Edge of the Horizon

London Grammar - California Soil
 

King Princess - Only Times Makes it Human

Adored - Adored


The Clientele - Orpheus Beach

Tame Impala - Why Don't You Talk to Me

Cults - A Low


Sevdaliza - Rhode

BFRND - Sunglasses at Night

Roosevalt - Feels Right