1. M.I.A - BORDERS
The latest offering from M.I.A condemning the European response to the refugee crisis. Simple, catchy production teamed with lyrics delivering an important message and pissing of Paris St. Germaine in the process. M.I.A will never stop reflecting society back on itself through her music, and remains a hugely important voice in British music, not least as a refugee herself during a humanitarian crisis. Rachel Earnshaw.
2. KANYE WEST FT. KENDRICK LAMAR - NO MORE PARTIES IN L.A
After 2015, the future of Kanye West’s SWISH was uncertain. There was a string a disparate singles including a collaboration with Paul McCartney, a house-razing performing of “All Day” at the Brit Awards and uninspired guest verses on almost every major label rap album of the year. Despite all of this there was no indication that SWISH was any closer to completion and Kanye West seemed more concerned about his fashion line than his music. In the last month however something has woken up in Mr. West as his latest two songs in his revived G.O.O.D. Fridays have him sounding better than ever. “No More Parties In LA” is this second of these two tracks featuring a staggering 4 minute long verse from Kanye. It’s the funny, self-deprecating and charmingly arrogant Ye that everyone knows and (debatably) loves. We haven’t heard Ye rap like this since My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (a reaction that he himself acknowledges in his verse). The rest of the track also delivers with Kendrick turning in his usual stellar performance and Madlib turning in his usual inimitable beat. Welcome back Kanye. Patrick Cartlidge
3. GRIMES - KILL V. MAIM
The latest single to come from the incredible Art Angels, Kill V Maim is written from the perspective of Al Pacino in The Godfather if he were a gender-switching vampire. The production reminds you of a Japanese computer game and the vocals are typically otherworldly for Grimes. RE
4. LCD SOUNDSYSTEM - CHRISTMAS WILL BREAK YOUR HEART
5. CRAIG DAVID x BIG NARSTIE - WHEN THE BASSLINE DROPS
6. J CAPRI - CANNOT REFUSE MY LOVE
A tragic inclusion due to the talented and promising dancehall diva’s untimely death. Her last recorder single is presciently emotional, making this a fitting farewell to one of the most exciting young talents in Jamaica - no small title. Calum Grewar.
7. FRANKIE COSMOS - OUTSIDE WITH THE CUTIES
8. ISAIAH RASHAD - SMILE
Top Dawg Entertainment’s (hopefully) next in line to their throne finally comes out with something new. Smooth yet heavy beats await you from the Tennessee talent. CG
9. CHAIRLIFT - ROMEO
Last year was a fantastic year for pop music and with “Romeo” from upcoming album “Moth” Chairlift are trying to ensure that 2016 will be -DJ Khaled voice- another one. Caroline Polachek’s songwriting skills have only improved since her experience with producing Beyonce and this song, as well as the other 4 amazing singles from “Moth”, is proof of that. Beginning with a distorted riff, this take on Greek mythology is brisk but memorable synth-pop with a soaring hook that only Polachek could deliver. PC
10. SIA - REAPER
11. TENNYSON - LIKE WHAT
After releasing bursts of songs on Soundcloud, the teen brother-sister duo of Tennyson have finally released their full first EP. “Like What” is the title track and is a fantastic demonstration of the group’s technical talent and songwriting skills. Featuring sweetly melancholic melodies this haunting track combines languid soundscapes, skilled keyboard shredding and skittering Apex-Twin-like drum beats. It conveys a longing and a sadness that most instrumental electronic music can merely aspire to. The combination of dance, jazz and ambient results in a unique sound which can only be associated with the pair. Tennyson live up to their potential in their EP and it’s clear they are destined to do great things in the future. PC.
12. TORAE FT. SAUL WILLIAMS - IMPERIAL SOUNDS
The kickstarter-funded full length album - ‘Entitled’ - from Torae blends the old-school with some Coney Island power. Sirenlike vocals add class, and Torae’s talent on a mic make this album and great listen. CG
13. PORCHES - BE APART
14. PORTER RAY - RAIN SHOWER
The final track from the Seattle-based artists’ most recent release in a series of short and very sweet EP’s starting in 2013. Ray’s old school style is not lost in this smooth number. CG
15. FUTURE - INSIDE THE MATTRESS