We may only be almost halfway through the year but a lot has happened musically in such a short space of time; we’ve bid farewell to two music legends- David Bowie who passed at the start of the year and Prince who passed only a month or so ago, marveled at the release of Beyonce’s Visual masterpiece Lemonade in all it’s controversial glory and enjoyed an eclectic mix of new musical releases all around. Here is just a non-exhaustive look some of the stand out tracks of year so far.
David Bowie -Life On Mars
The year started off on not so musical high note as the British legend Bowie passed away from cancer. The passing of the star saw both singles and albums charts inundated with new Bowie tracks from his recently released album Blackstar as well as the old lovable classics Let’s Dance, Starman and Rebel rebel. But of all the songs his 1971 hit Life On Mars was the highest charting song in the UK singles chart – a fitting tribute to the one and only Ziggy Stardust himself.
Foals- Birch Tree
Birch Tree was the fourth single released from the Fourth studio album What Went Down described as being their loudest and heaviest album to date. The track is a lot more summery sound with a chilled indie vibe,much like the approach taken by indie bands Circa Waves and Coasts, in comparison to previous to the more alternative sounding single Mountain at My Gates- another favorite track off the album. The track is sure to sound great if played as part of their headline set at Reading and Leeds festival at the end of August, which is one of the live acts I am probably most looking forward to seeing the most.
Coldplay and Beyonce – Hymn For the Weekend
Hymn for the weekend was the second single to be released off the latest Coldplay album A Head Full of Dreams and is probably one of the best songs to come off the record. Having never really been a huge fan of Coldplay in the past as I have personally found some songs to be a little bit slow and moody in vibes I have to say that I really enjoyed listening to this more upbeat, colourful and experimental sound on the album. Hymn For the Weekend has become a go to song and will definitely be on the playlist over the summer months!
The 1975- A Change of Heart
February marked the release of what has to be personally the most anticipated new music to date- The return of The 1975. As a fan I was really confused by the deleting of all social media pages to do with the band which seemed to say they had broken up but was excited to hear what new music was to come. The band did not disappoint with their new sound which seems to include a nod to 90’s band INXS. A Change of Heart is more of a laid back slow eclectic mix of their old sound and a new experimental sounding pop in comparison to other singles off the new album, with lyrics as equally sweet if not slightly strange as the dancing clown inspired video.
Last month marked another not so musical high note with the shock passing of American legend Prince. Much like what happened after Bowie passed away, fans gathered in masses to pay tribute and remember Prince in all his glory- classic songs including him most famous hit Purple Rain stormed singles and album charts in the UK and America. One Prince classic that proved popular was his 1982 pop track 1999 with its unmistakably catchy riffs, many layers of funky pop magic and melodies – all traits of a Prince hit.
Calvin Harris and Rihanna- This Is What You Came For
On a much lighter note last month also saw the release of a new “summer anthem” from Calvin Harris with another collaboration with Rihanna. While many of his Calvin’s songs sound very alike and sometimes even the same as each other, this track appears to sound different to previous summer hits. From a personal point of view, This is what you came for is probably one of the best Calvin Harris songs in a while as it seems to experiment with a slightly different style, it appears to be layered much differently with the drop kicking in quite early on in track and the build up immediate from when the song begins. Lyrically, the track is extremely catchy and upbeat and will undoubtedly be played an awful lot over the coming months.
Catfish And The Bottlemen- Seven
Seven is the second single to be released from the much anticipated second album The Ride, due out on May, 27th which fans are sure to be super excited about. The track which follows on from previous single Soundcheck seems to maintain a lot of the bands original sound and format of being a good decent piece of music in a short space of time- a format which largely dominated their last album the balcony and for which the band have become largely renown for perfecting with style. Together with Soundcheck, this latest offering from the band provides the perfect insight into what direction the new album is going to take and if it is anything like their debut offering I highly doubt it will disappoint.
Sigala, John Newman and Nile Rodgers – Give Me Your Love
Top producers Sigala have teamed up with the soulful funky vocals of John Newman and legendary soul guitarist Nile Rodgers to create this absolute summer delight. The three paired together is an absolute dream for the ears – an eclectic mix of dance/ club beats with smooth soul lyrics knitted together with the riffs and melodies Rodgers is well renown for to create a feel good chilled out summer club song that will more than likely be everywhere when it is finally released later next month. While I wouldn’t normally acknowledge this genre of music just out of personal taste I would go as far to that this will definitely be hitting my summer playlist this year and look forward to see them progress as artists in their own right and also what musical magic this dream will create in the future!