I don’t know very much about soca, but I do remember Destra Garcia from her fantastic track “Bonnie & Clyde” from ten years ago, so when I saw Alex Macpherson tweet about a song of hers from last year, I made sure to check it out. This led to a bit of a soca spiral on Youtube, where I found a slightly more a recent (and more EDM) track from Destra, as well as a song by Skinny Fabulous from 2014 with an absolutely gorgeous, ringing melody.
Also from the beginning of last year, Art Royalty by TT The Artist, a Baltimore rapper making the kind of bass-heavy bangers that remind me of Fannypack or indeed L’Trimm. I don’t really know anything about Baltimore rap, but this album is a strong suggestion I should look into it.
More rap, this time from Tumblr. I don’t mean this dismissively — I think it’s great that hip-hop crews can come together in virtual spaces as well as physical ones. Babeo Baggins has a hyperactive flow which reminds me of that other Tumblr rapper, kitty, although Baggins’s speed sounds like confidence, rather than kitty’s awkward apologeticness (to be clear, I like kitty, so I mean the comparison as a complement).
Still on music from last year, Girli manages to sound, unexpectedly and impressively, like Lolita Storm and Nicola Roberts at the same time (and when is Nicola Roberts’s second album going to come out? And how about Bridgit Mendler‘s second album, while we’re about it?).
Iris Gold is Radio 1 approved, and “Colour Trip” starts off as tasteful as that endorsement might make you fear; I guess the synths that kick in at 50s are still pretty tasteful, but they’re the sort of tasteful I can get behind.
Cam’s album Untamed came out right at the end of last year, and TBH it’s mostly a bit too on the arena rock end of country for my taste, but I do like “Hungover on Heartache,” where the gloss is a bit more poppy, and listening to the album gave me a chance to re-appraise “Half-broke Heart,” which I’d not thought much of when I heard it on her EP, but I’ve now fallen for its obvious (some might say cliched) country charms.
And finally, we get to tracks that came out this year. Dal Shabet’s last EP was quite disappointing, but they have returned with a Stock Aitken and Waterman pastiche almost as good as Wonder Girls, so they are back on form.
The last track I can remember hearing from Fantasia was the super dramatic (in a good way) “End of Me,” so this much more laid-back track came as something of a surprise. A good surprise, though, as its not everyone who can make ennui and irritation into such a catchy song.