Top-list

Top 25 songs in 2018

It’s this time a year again! December is closing in which also means that 2019 is just around the corner. This also means that I’m back with another top-list.

This time I’ve expanded the list with 5 spots, but it’s not the only news. I have now officially switched to Spotify as my main music streaming service. This means that it will be much easier to follow my playlists in the future (and you should do that if you want to keep up with the best music releases). I will leave some links to different playlists, so feel free to follow me there.

And now… I present the music year of  2018 in a compressed 25 songs-list:

25. Valee – Womp Womp (feat. Jeremih)
This song is guaranteed to make your shoulders move – in fact, it’s something that happens subconsciously at this point, so you won’t even notice it. Both Valee and Jeremih are on point with their flows, so just sit back and let this banger take over your body.

24. ROSALÍA – PIENSO EN TU MIRÁ – Cap.3: Celos
ROSALÍA came out with an album and somehow I heard of it. I’m really glad I did because it’s one of this years best. This song is the perfect representation of why it’s so good and you don’t even have to know Spanish to enjoy it.

23. Flatbush Zombies – Headstone
The ultimate hiphop song in 2018! If you catch all the references, you are officially, not only a part of the culture, but probably THE CULTURE ITSELF. The way they all smoothly incorporate all the references without making it corny deserves an award – well done!

22. Mitski – Nobody
Hey Mitski, I sincerely hope you found your honest kiss this year – and if it didn’t happen, I will gladly help you find it in 2019. Because NOBODY and I mean NOBODY should have NOBODY around. A simple song that goes deep into loneliness is very hard to pull off, but Mitski does it to perfection.

21. Ryan Hemsworth – Special Girl (feat. SK & Tomggg)
This song has grown so much on me and I’m not sure why. I was actually starting to get annoyed by all the afro-beat and Caribbean-vibe songs, but this has something special to it (probably because Ryan Hemsworth can’t do wrong with his producing). This is the first song I’m putting on when summer comes again – HELLO SUN, HELLO DRINKS, HELLO SPECIAL GIRL!

20. JMSN – Mind Playin’ Tricks
JMSN keeps evolving his sound with innovate new elements that he adds to his core sound and he just keeps getting better. Why he isn’t more popular is an enigma to me – but everything good doesn’t have to be popular, I guess? I’m really just glad he keeps delivering good music though.

19. Travis Scott – HOUSTONFORNICATION
Astroworld was one of the biggest releases this year and I must say Travis Scott delivered! So many good songs on that project, but ultimately I think HOUSTONFORNICATION is Travis Scott at his best. The rapping slowly increases in intensity as the song goes along and he just keeps going in. I guess he isn’t kidding when he says “I might need me some ventilation” in the chorus cause this is straight fire.

18. Anderson .Paak – Trippy (feat. J. Cole)
Everyone wants love. I just want Anderson .Paak to make a 15 minute version of this song where he keeps going in with that smooth talk. Even though this isn’t my favorite J. Cole feature this year (how can one man have so many good features in a year?), the song has some of the best production I’ve heard in a while and made it one of those songs that you enjoy having on repeat.

17. Chrome Sparks – All or Nothing (feat. Angelica Bess)
When I first heard this song, I instantly liked. But that was it. I liked it. I didn’t love it. I didn’t expect to love it. But when it got to 3:20, I knew this was something special. The melody with the horn in the background elevated the whole song and I couldn’t help myself listen to it again straight away, now being this much wiser about what this song is going to become.

16. Tash Sultana – Pink Moon
Tash came in on this song. The raw emotion in her voice coupled with the guitar makes it impossible not to sit back and take it all in. The guitar solo that comes in the end finishes off the song in the perfect way – add a little more power to this slower song and you got yourself one of the best songs of 2018.

15. Ravyn Lenae – Computer Luv (feat. Steve Lacy)
I’m a sucker for duets – especially when they are weird and quirky which this one definitely is. The song title describes perfectly what the song feels like while you are listening to it the first couple of time – is it real love for the song or is it just Computer Luv? For me the answer became obvious with time and there is a reason why it’s included in this list.

14. George The Poet – Follow the Leader (feat. Maverick Sabre & Jorja Smith)
This song sounds like it’s three parts put together – the beat, the verses and the chorus. Even though it doesn’t sound smoothly put together, there is still something that makes me want to come back and listen to the song. Many times. On max volume. Singing my lungs out. All while I’m enjoying the message of the song. That’s a good recipe for a great song.

13. Mick Jenkins – Understood
I’m having a hard time understanding why Mick Jenkins isn’t considered one of the best rappers alive. The writing, the wordplay, the flow – everything’s there to create the perfect song you can vibe to. Give this man his credits!

12. Lupe Fiasco – Stack That Cheese (feat. Nikki Jean)
Go get that cheese, and not cheese like the mouse cheese or that getting embarrassed saying stuff at the house cheese, rather that cheese as in the green cheese, hopefully not that never-to-be-seen cheese. Okay – if you got that reference, you’ve probably already heard this song and Lupe’s new album. If not then you don’t prioritize right in life – it’s as simple as that!

11. The Weeknd – Call Out My Name
The Weeknd needs no introduction – and I’ve already covered this song in a post, so check it out here – there was no way I wasn’t going to include this.

And from here on, we enter the realms of the top ten! It will be a dangerous journey so invite your friends to join you by sharing the post and read it out loud with each other or something(?)

10. KIDS SEE GHOSTS – Cudi Montage
Ghosts are only visible to children according to Kid Cudi and Kanye West. This is quite the statement, but despite the name which sounds like a 2000’s alternative rock group that you only ever saw play at your local bar (I’m kidding, I like the name), this song has everything to offer. Cudi and Kanye give you their best performances in a while, and Kanye’s verse is the best he has delivered in a while. If you want to read an even further description of why I love this song check it out
here.

9. Etherwood – You’re Missing Life
It’s been a while since I listened to Drum ‘n’ Bass on the regular. When I saw Etherwood released a new album, I had to check it out though – and there it was; I instantly fell in love with this song. It just touches on something basic in me. I know it sounds cheesy (all about stacking that cheese though), but don’t ever miss out on life – something I feel like Etherwood perfectly captured in this song. Obviously, the title helped me reach that conclusion, but there is something magical this song has going for itself. Something that keeps me listening and reflecting about my life – something deeper. I like that.

8. SAINt JHN – God Bless the Internet
I have been following SAINt JHN for at while now and was really excited about the release of his album Collection One. It didn’t disappoint – in fact, it became one of my favorite releases with a lot of good as well as different songs on it. His sense of melody is close to that of Drake’s (I know, that’s quite the statement) and his cadence just makes his voice stand out compared to a lot of similar artists. The song is the perfect night vibe song – sit back, relax and most importantly, enjoy!

7. Jenny Wilson – IT HURTS
Jenny Wilson is an artist from Sweden that made my favorite alternative pop song this year. The thematic approach in the song (and album) isn’t the typical pop stuff though. She deals with her experience of being raped. It’s crazy to go through the experience with her when you know what happened and I applaud her courage of doing it in a way where she shares the whole experience with the world – not a pleasant listen, but an important one!

6. Mac Miller – 2009
To be honest, I can’t add a lot to the conversation about the death of Mac Miller. I already made a post on this song
here. Now – more than 3 months after the fact I still feel sad thinking about it. So young, so much more to give. This song is on it’s way to become my favorite song of his with so many lines that stands out as something I can truly resonate with. May he forever rest in peace.

5. Leon Bridges – Shy
If you need something to touch your soul, you listen to Leon Bridges. It’s that simple. This man has all of the gifts when it comes to that – and Shy is a no exception to that. The chorus is my favorite this year and I can’t help but sing along whenever I listen to it. The song is just so damn enjoyable that I have really been listening to it a lot which is the reason it sneaks in my top five this year.

4. DROELOE – Many Words
This is a song that really surprised me (DROELOE again – looking at you
TOP 2017 list). The melody and voices during the ‘chorus’ is definitely the best part of the song and it never fails to put a huge smile on my face every time I hear it. The song kicks up a notch towards the end as well and it just makes a great song that 100 % will get stuck in your mind for the longest time. I find myself humming it even when I haven’t listened to it in a while, only because the melody is something that’s a part of the fundamental human experience (maybe that’s a small exaggeration, but it’s definitely feels like it).

3. Saba – BUSY / SIRENS
This is a song that does everything an introspective song should do. After listening to it, I can feel Saba’s struggles within myself – because a part of me can relate to having a ‘busy’ day. I think every person has days where they feel off and don’t feel like interacting with the world. This can be triggered by certain people or big life events, but what if you get this every day and it doesn’t get triggered by anything cause it’s just always there? Depression is a tough thing to describe to others that hasn’t experienced it first hand, but I think Saba gets his point across fairly well. His life and the context in which he experiences all this stuff is something far away from my reality, but there’s a touching point still. We are capable of feeling the same – and this song gave me chills the first time I listened to it. Damn Saba, what a story!

2. Sabrina Claudio – Messages From Her
I don’t even know what to say about this song. Perhaps I should start by saying that it’s the most beautiful song of 2018 without a doubt. Sabrina touches upon the (in my opinion) most important thing in the world – listening to the core of yourself. If you aren’t doing what you’re supposed to be doing, or you feel like you have let yourself down, find that inner voice. It will always guide you in the right direction – if you just take the time to listen. The message along with what can only be described as an angelic voice as well as the guitar that lays the fundamental for it all, this song is something very special. And you don’t have to listen to the song for more than the first 20 seconds to know that – this will automatically become one of your favorite songs as well.

1. 6lack – Pretty Little Fears (feat. J. Cole)
My favorite song of the year couldn’t have been anything other than this godly combo of 6lack and J. Cole. The minimalist beat fits both of their styles really well and 6lack’s song-writing is well-thought out and his voice gives it the edge it needs. WITH THAT BEING SAID THOUGH, the actual reason why this song tops the list is J. Cole’s verse. What a verse. Wow. I’m stunned every time I hear it. The flow is anything I’ve heard from Cole before and the song-writing takes it to another level. A beautiful message to this one person that’s his wife, his lover as well as his best friends all at the same time – A life partner. How can he even do that? I would have payed a lot of money to have been there whenever he wrote that verse:
“Before I had you this shit was fantasy
You plant a seed to grow some roots, a branch and leaves
Becomes a tree of life until our nights are filled”

The way he delivers these lines is exactly why this song had to be my number 1 this year. So if you haven’t listened to the song yet, I honestly don’t know what you are waiting for. CHECK IT OUT NOW!

And this concludes it – my top 25 list of 2018.
As always, I feel like this year has been exceptional when it comes to music (despite some tragic deaths – RIP) and we should be thankful to be in a position where it’s this easy to listen to all this great music.

As I mentioned in the beginning of the post, I have switched to Spotify which makes it a lot easier for you to follow when I add new music (if you have Spotify of course). I encourage you to follow me as I will add music to my playlists far more often than I post here. I have made the top 25 list as a playlist on Spotify – so you can easily click that play button!

If you want the compact nominees list as well as the full 2018 list, I will add the Spotify links to those AND most importantly the new, upcoming 2019 playlist:

The whole 2018 playlist: HERE
The compact 2018 nominees playlist: HERE
The upcoming 2019 playlist: HERE

I wish everyone a great holiday as well as the best in the new year!


7 songs you’ve missed this year – You won’t believe number 3!!!

WARNING: TITLE IS CLICKBAIT!

But wait. It’s too late. You already read the title and said out loud: “I just NEED to know what number three is!”

I’m sorry for using these cheap psychological tricks (apparently not sorry enough to go back and actually come up with a better title). BUT…  Without spoiling too much, I will say that there is a special surprise in the list (and you guessed it already, it’s number 3)

To be honest, I can’t keep up with writing a post for every good song that comes out, as I only write these when I’m in the mood for it. This made me want to make a list of songs that flew under the radar in the mainstream – and remember, you are free to comment on the list if you agree with it or if you just want to let me know that one of the songs I included was actually quite popular and went straight number 1 on the charts in Bhutan.

The songs aren’t listed in any particular order and I made it easy for you to check out the songs – you just click on the title (I know, I’m a genius for this one).

  1. Stromae – Défiler (Bande originale de la capsule No. 5 Mosaert)
    I bet most of you remember how good (and quite annoying at the time) Alors on Danse was. Well, Stromae is back and released (back in April) an almost 9 minute long song that is awesome in every sense of the word. Even if you don’t understand French, this is a must-listen!


  2. serpentwithfeet – invoice
    Invoice is a song that builds up pretty slow, but once serpentwithfeet gets started, he just goes all in and truly showcases his vocal range in this one. Everything in this song comes together to make it one of the most powerful songs this year. It’s definitely one of those songs that you should listen to with some good headphones to get the full experience.


  3. MMS – Don’t Believe the Internet
    The world exclusive premiere to a new song made by me. To be honest I have been playing around FL Studio for quite a bit and decided to record a song. I know it isn’t the best song ever, but I actually think it’s quite good for a first song. I uploaded it to YouTube – let me know what you think in the comments.


  4. SABA – BUSY / SIRENS (feat. TheMIND)
    Saba released one of the best (if not THE best) hip hop album this year, and somehow I didn’t make a seperate post about it when it came out. If you haven’t checked Saba before, this is the perfect time to get into him. And make sure you check out his Tiny Desk Concert performance as well. He kills it!


  5. Mewithoutyou – August 6th
    I just found this group this year when I listened to their Untitled EP, and I have to say that I really like their melodic approach. At times the way they structure their melodies remind me of System of a Down – no wonder I like them. It’s not as heavy as SOAD, but it’s some of the best rock I’ve heard in years (but I have to admit that I don’t follow the genre as much as I used to).


  6. Raleigh Ritchie – Time in a Tree
    If this is your first time hearing of Raleigh Ritchie, you should probably check out all his material. His writing abilities is the perfect combination of catchy, while still telling a (great) story. Even though I linked to the spotify in the title, you should also check out the music video on Youtube – It fits the song perfectly!


  7. Joey Pecoraro – First Kiss
    This is the defintion of Sunday music. The whole album is filled with good-feel songs (the album is named Music for Happiness which is exactly what it is). It’s instrumental only except for sampled vocals and it never fails to put me into a calm and relaxing state. I promise you that Joey Pecoraro will become your go-to for that!


And there we have it! A list that touches on a lot of different genres. Hopefully you will give it all a listen – you never know when an artist or a band hits your perfect musical sweet spot.

I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did writing it – and I can already now tell that their will be coming a Top 20 songs of 2018 list in December. If you haven’t already checked out my other song rankings of 2016 and 2017 – you can go ahead and do that now as this post is probably ending soon…

 

 

 

… But not quite yet. Okay – now it is. I promise.

Top 20 songs in 2017

Whoooa… I’m finally back to deliver music to all of you from all of me! The last couple of months, I’ve been working on my master thesis and it’s the reason why I haven’t been posting much at all. Now that I finally got my master’s degree, I’m looking for a job within my field, but until then, I’ll have more time to focus on making posts for the blog.

And the first post is going to be a 2017 top 20 song list. Overall, I think 2017 have been a very solid year music-wise and it pretty much continued the trend of 2016. Some pretty big artists dropped albums this year, so there is a lot to choose from. This time around I’ll drop a few comments as to why I liked and picked the song. I expanded the list a bit to a top 20 this time, cause there are so many songs I want to include. I originally made a document with 62 songs that were “nominated” – if you want the whole list, just send me a request on my email at Arijan13@gmail.com and I’ll send it to you.

(Every song title will lead to the song on Spotify)

I have been very excited about making this list, so let’s get to it:

20. Droeloe – Sunburn
This song really surprised me when I first heard it. The song isn’t unique in its structure, but the small details make it stand out from similar songs, which is why it deserves 20th spot on the list.

19. Rone – Faster (feat. Saul Williams)
I’ve never heard of Rone before I listened to their album Mirapolis, but this song made me realize that was a mistake. Saul Williams and this production is a match made in heaven and should be listened to by everyone with even a remotely good sound setup, which is a prerequisite to get the most out of the song.

18. Vic Mensa – Say I Didn’t
The way “I Didn’t”, a song by Darondo, was sampled reminds me of Kanye West from his College Dropout days. It was by far my favorite song from Vic Mensa’s album and the soul-sound fits him really well. I hope his next project sounds more like this.

17. A.CHAL – Matrix
ON GAZ is a great follow up album from A.CHAL and Matrix is my favorite song from the project. A.CHAL is still pretty unknow in the mainstream, but I feel like he has the potential to reach a wider audience – especially if he continues making songs like Matrix. The song’s vibe is perfect when you are just chilling and the hook is infectious which makes it a pretty great song overall.

16. The xx – On Hold (Jamie xx Remix)
The original is pretty awesome by itself, but as soon as I heard this remix, I knew it would become one of my favorites. The song has that Jamie xx’ signature sound, and he really has an ear for great melodies. It’s one of those songs that doesn’t tire me at all, and I could just listen to it forever.

15. N.E.R.D. – Kites
This is a song that came out pretty late in 2017 and I had a debate with myself if it’s even possible to rate a song so fast. I decided to include because of how blown away I was when I first heard the song. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! How the hell do you come up with a song like this? And then just include both Kendrick and M.I.A. who both does a wonderful job. The song shouldn’t even be sounding this good, but Pharrell Williams somehow made it work, and that deserves a spot on the 15th place.

14. Young Thug – Killed Before
Super Slimey was a project I really liked. Both Young Thug and Future were great and made some really good songs. But the best song on the project goes to the only solo Young Thug song. It was all the best things about Young Thug combined – His singing, his weird accent, the crazy way he vibrates his voice in the chorus. Everything about this song is weird and I love it!

13. Lil Uzi Vert – Neon Guts (Pharrell Williams)
When XO Tour Llif3 came out, I jumped on the Lil Uzi Vert wave immediately. The song completely blew me away as I couldn’t believe that Lil Uzi Vert could sound so good on a song. This made me quite hype about his debut album. The album didn’t live up to my expectations, but this song most certainly did. The result of Pharrell Williams working together with the weirdness of Lil Uzi Vert is the match I never knew I wanted. The song is just filled with the energy of both artists and now I’m secretly wishing for more of those two together.

12. Sorrow – Frumoasa
I randomly came by this song while listening to the “Try your luck”-feature in Google Play Music. The way it’s put together with the use of a sampled vocal and even the use of what appears to be a violin is so good it’s something that can’t be explained in text. It’s music that puts you in a certain mood right away and makes you reflect on life. I love music that does that, and that is why I had to include this song on the list.

11. Rostam – Bike Dream
The dreamy indie pop song Bike Dream is exactly what it says it is. I can imagine myself driving on my bike, dreaming myself away to where ever my bike can take me. The dream-like vibe it brings is really awesome, and after a while the melody will be stuck in your head throughout the whole day, but you will be glad it did just cause it’s so good. The lyrics are pretty abstract, but that just makes the song intriguing and all this combined makes it a really unique song that I love to put on whenever I’m traveling somewhere.

SMALL BREAK – “Insert ad here”

If you scrolled down to only get the ten best songs, I have to say:
GO BACK AND LISTEN TO THE OTHER SONGS AS WELL!

Oh, and welcome! Here are my favorite ten songs of 2017:

10. Dave & J Hus – Samantha
I can’t begin to name all the reasons why this song works. The piano, the 808’s, the trap-snare all mixed with Dave & J Hus delivering perfect verses, and the way they differentiate between rapping and singing – WHOA! This song deserves some recognition and that’s why I included as my number 10.

9. Forest Swords – Panic
How do you describe this song? There is a smaller ferry operating the open ocean, but suddenly starts sinking. Mermaids move around the middle of the happening and begins chanting – something bad is about to happen! I’m just going to let that image speak for itself and hopefully you’ll see why it’s number 9 on my list.

8. GoldLink – Pray Everyday (Survivor’s Guilt)
This is GoldLink at his best! I can’t believe this song wasn’t a single from the album. It’s just so good on all the criteria I have for a great song. The way he delivers his verses and the chorus, in a lazy way is my favorite thing about the song as well as the way the choir is utilized. I want more songs like this which is why It’s ranked as number 8.

7. Jaden Smith – Ninety
Ever since Jaden released his album, Syre, this song has been in my rotation. The first part of the song is really a great chill song, but what makes it stand out for me is the second part when the beat switches. I just LOVE the transition and Jaden’s singing in this part is so pleasing to my ears and I just have to sing along (almost moaning at this point). It makes me even more excited for whatever Jaden’s next move is music wise.

6. Drake – Passionfruit
Instant hit in my opinion. You know how there are just some songs you listen to once, and you connect with it somehow? That melody is just way too good. Criminally good actually. Can you actually put people in jail for making something that sounds this good? This is that “4am-the-club-is-closing-and-i’m-alone”-type of music and I love every single second of the song. Salute to Drake for making a soundtrack for every single mood!

5. Jidenna – Bambi
The sweet melody of Bambi. The great voice of Jidenna. The combination of hard trap snares and a sugar-sweet sound is really unique already, but Jidenna adds some lyrics about regret and just like the Powerpuff Girls, the results are this weird combination of sweet, powerful and badass all the way through. I don’t get blown away by many songs, but this definitely did!

4,5. Jay-Z – The Story of O.J. (Youtube)
So this is kinda awkward. I forgot consider Jay-Z’s newest contribution to the world (which I loved) only because I hadn’t added the songs to my original playlist where I took all my “nominated” songs from. This album surprised me in the best way possible and this song in particular was a standout. The video only enhanced this feeling and this is the reason why I must include it in my list (I just didn’t want to throw a song out and moving everything around). This is Jay-Z at his best, period.

4. Khalid – Therapy
My favorite Khalid song, hands down. The way he uses his own voice as a second voice in the last half of the song made me instantly hooked – It makes the song so much more enjoyable, especially if you love to sing along (that makes me the third voice actually). I always return to this song whenever I think of Khalid, and hopefully he can keep on delivering great songs and albums – I for one believe he will!

3. Kendrick Lamar – FEEL.
Kendrick proved with DAMN that he is one of the best artists (if not THE best) alive right now. There were so many great tracks to choose from, but in the end, I think FEEL. is the realest, most honest and at the same time, saddest song he has ever made. This is Kendrick pouring out his feelings and thoughts about his current situation regard fame, blackness, and love, and I feel priviliged to get inside the head of one of the greatest.

2. Daniel Caesar – We Find Love
Daniel Caesar put out one of the best albums in 2017 and I didn’t expect that at all. I mainly listened to him through his work with Sean Leon, but on this album, he takes it to a whole different level. The way he touches upon his feelings towards different subjects (mostly love) and translates it into a song is something that I can only applaud, and this is especially noticeable in this song. His voice does carry a lot of the song and I lowkey wish I could sing like that (I would sing in public everyday just to show off my voice and people would probably tell me to shut up, but I wouldn’t care and go on and on and on…) That was a bit of a sidetrack, but I honestly have nothing else to say about this. This song as well as his album, Freudian, has to be experienced. Your ears will thank me.

 

And the number one song of the year 2017 goes to…

 

1. Corbin – Giving Up
There are so many good things about this song that I don’t know where to begin – I wish that I could somehow translate whatever this song does to me, in to some kind of digital file that you could download and upload to your own brain. Shlohmo outdid himself on the production with this one – the way the song slowly builds up; Classic Shlohmo and I keep wanting more! There are so many small details to notice in the song, like the sound of a few electric guitar notes that fades as fast as it came – such details make me shiver as it makes the song sounds haunting, especially when combined with Corbin’s voice that sounds he’s been hurt by everyone on this world ever since he was born. The sounds perfectly match the lyrics and the themes of the song, and I always feel like I’m watching a movie, only the movie is pretty sad and compressed into a 4-minute song. This one goes down on my list of best songs created (which I should turn into a playlist soon).

Closing comments:
This list was quite the ride – It should have been released three weeks ago, but as I suddenly decided to expand the list from a top-10 list, I had to take some extra time.

Even though it took quite some time making this list, I really enjoyed it. I should’ve perhaps mixed up my language a bit, but I see this as a process where I’m learning what works and what doesn’t work. I will try to keep up my writing and posting new songs on the blog from here on. I wanted to finish this the list first, and now that it’s done, I can go back to deliver my favorite songs from week to week (or whatever format I’ll continue with).

As I said in the beginning of this post (I know you can’t remember that, because you probably read this list over the course of a few days), I have my full “nominated songs”-list on my computer and I can send it to you if you want it. Just send me an email at Arijan13@gmail.com.

Feel free to send me any feedback, thoughts or whatever in the comments. Anything is greatly appreciated.

Thank you for reading!