With a new full album released at the tail end of the year Grimes has topped-and-tailed my chin stroking about the tracks which have taken my ears by surprise this year.
The industry-wide emotional blubbering about this song heralded its release as the first true sign of 2015 being ‘the year of…’ followed by as many buzz words as allowed by each publication’s house style: “women” was by far the most popular, followed closely behind by “synth”. This particular woman and this particular track became the measure by which I measured many subsequent song releases. It’s still a high bar.
Floaty and distinct with 80s style electronic beats chugging along in the background underneath the current trend for brittle melodic cuts and slivers, ‘REALiTI’ was released as an unsuccessful demo left out of this year’s album release: it’s a great little layered song, pop-princess in the middle shrouded with indie cred material. As predicted by the mags at the time, many women and synths did come together this year and Grimes should be considered the invisible influence behind much of them.
Back in 2013 I had an idea. You can see the Index for that idea here. Very pop-orientated. Very mainstream. I have pop sensibility and like a chorus strong enough to use as ballast, but really, I’m surprised by my choices coming across as more Radio 2 than 6Music. I would not choose the same list, nor put it in the same order now.
One year later is my 2014 Index . It is certainly less mainstream, maybe not organised quite how I would if doing it again (opening with Katy B, now there’s a misunderstanding about drawing in readers).
This year has seen my Spotify, SoundCloud, and ‘tucked in the back of the brain’ longlists growing by the week. Soon I will confirm the results of all that here – and as ever, the chosen 24 songs are presented in no particular order. In so many ways, this ain’t a chart.