As we edge ever closer to the end of 2014, November certainly didn’t disappoint with its quality of music. Former Swedish House Mafia members Axwell and Ingrosso debuted their new collaboration with the track ‘Can’t Hold Us Down‘, while Mark Ronson teamed up with Bruno Mars for the incredibly infectious ‘Uptown Funk‘. Lorde continued to unveil songs from her curated ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1‘ Soundtrack with Stromae’s ‘Meltdown‘ ft Pusha T, Q-Tip, HAIM and Lorde herself.
In terms of music news, not only did Ed Sheeran sell out three Wembley gigs, he reached number 1 with his single ‘Thinking Out Loud‘. If you watch one video this month, let it be Greg James singing ‘Blank Space‘ with Taylor Swift. It’s no wrecking ball, but thoroughly entertaining! Speaking of Taylor, the pop princess recently removed all her music from Spotify due to ‘fair royalties‘, while Youtube unveiled plans for a new music key subscription. Tweet of the month has to go to Lorde who jokingly put Diplo and his manhood in his place after he criticized Taylor Swift. Next year’s Super Bowl XLIX Half-time show artist is none other than Katy Perry who is set to follow in the footsteps of last years performer Bruno Mars. The EMA’s took to Glasgow’s SSE Hydro with host Nicki Minaj, while here in London the Brits Critics Choice Nominees were unveiled with George the Poet, James Bay and Years and Years all shortlisted for the coveted award. Fleetwood Mac and Clean Bandit announced details for their 2015 tour, while Foo Fighters announced their Slane gig in Ireland with the Kaiser Chiefs and Hozier. Bob Geldof returned with Band Aid 30 to support the Ebola Crisis. Order your copy here to support the cause. Even though it’s only November, Summer festivals are only a few months away. Reading and Leeds announced Meatallica as the first headliners for 2015, while Muse are set to headline Download Festival. Roll on festival season!
Now in December, we look forward to the first ever BBC Music Awards, a Top of the Pop’s Christmas Special, non-stop Christmas songs on the radio, and a roundup of Best tracks/albums of 2014. Keep an out out for my top tracks of 2014 and in the meantime, have a look at my Top 100 Tracks for 2013.
1) Prides – Out Of The Blue
Scottish synth-pop trio Prides, made up of Stewart Brock (piano, lead vocals), Callum Wisecow (guitar, piano, vocals) and Lewis Gardiner (drums), unveiled their explosive new single ‘Out of The Blue’. The single serves as the follow up to ‘I Should Know You Better’, ‘The Seeds You Sow‘ and ‘Messiah‘ and immediately serves up a synth-pop indulgence with its infectious hook, spiraling synths and pulsing beats. Having recently performed at the 2014 Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony in Glasgow, The electro-pop trio are currently in the middle of their UK Tour. ‘Out of The Blue’ is set for release Dec 8th.
2) Axwell Λ Ingrosso – ‘Something New’
Having just unveiled ‘Can’t Hold Us Down’ as the first new material from collaborative super-duo Axwell Λ Ingrosso, the duo have only gone and dropped their official debut single ‘Something New’. The single once again featured as Zane Lowe’s ‘Hottest Record’ and are the first band ever to receive the honour twice from the same album. As with ‘Can’t Hold Us Down’, the single stays true to each of the producers form with its euphoric top line melody, big kick drums and roof-raising vibes. The former SHM duo sure know how to make an impact, with the single also featuring in the latest Beats by Dre #SoloSelfie Campaign. ‘Something New’ is set for release 8th March , with their highly anticipated debut album set to drop later in 2015.
3) DJ Fresh ft Ella Eyre – ‘Gravity’
UK producer Daniel Stein, aka DJ Fresh, unveiled his new single ‘Gravity’ which premiered as Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record. Featuring the soulful vocals from Mobo Award winner Ella Eyre, ‘Gravity’ serves as the follow up to ‘Flashlight‘ ft Ellie Goulding and ‘Make You Bounce’ vs TC. With its drum n bass vibes and jungle flair, Ella lets loose throughout this high energy, piano driven track with her soulful powerhouse vocals; Perhaps taking a page out of her own book, having co-written Sigmas epic single ‘Changing’ ft Paloma Faith. ‘Gravity’ is set for release February 8th, via Ministry of Sound Recordings.
4) Bakermat – Teach Me
Upcoming Dutch dance producer Lodewijk Fluttert, aka Bakermat, unveiled his new soul-filled house single ‘Teach Me’. The single serves as the follow-up to the successful ‘One Day’, which sampled Martin Luther King’s infamous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. ‘Teach Me’ received its premiere with Pete Tong on BBC Radio 1 and delivers a retro-inspired, deep house track with soulful gospel-style vocals and euphoric strings that take the track to another level. ‘Teach Me’ is set for release February 8th via Be Yourself Music.
5) Show N Prove x Big Narstie – Gas Pipe
Sottish producer Ellis Taylor, aka Show N Prove, dropped his new single ‘Gas Pipe’ ft Big Narstie. The colossal sounding single received its premiere with Sir Spyro on Rinse FM. Having previously collaborated with artists from Wretch 32, to Tinchy Stryder, Show ‘n’ Prove enlists the skills of grime MC Big Narstie (What’s The Story Brixton Glory Pt II), who delivers with such energy over the bass heavy beats and industrial sounding production. Currently signed to AATW/Universal, Show N Prove is fast becoming one of the UK’s finest producers with ‘Gas Pipe’ further adding to his already impressive back catalogue (Zimma Frame, My People, If Only ft Shakka)
6) Stormzy – Not That Deep Remix (ft Solo 45, Big Narstie, P Money and JME)
Having already delivered his massive breakthrough banger ‘Not That Deep’, Mobo Award Winner Stormzy takes it to the next level with an all-star grime remix. Stormzy enlists grime heavyweights P Money, Big Narstie and BBK’s Solo 45 and JME for a deadly collaboration, each of which goes in hard on their verse and spit with such vigor and bite. The remix premiered with the People’s Prince, AKA Charlie Sloth on BBC1 & 1Xtra. Big things in store for Stormzy for 2015!
7) Jack Garratt – ‘The Love You’re Given’
London based producer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Jack Garratt, unveiled his new single ‘The Love You’re Given’. The single premiered with Zane Lowe as his Hottest Record and serves up a complex multi-layered track. Opening with simple piano and haunting vocal sample from Lisa Fischer from the film ‘20 Feet From Freedom’, Garratt intricately crafts each layer with fuzzing synths, falsetto vocals and off kilter beats. All the music heard throughout the track is played/sung by Garratt showcasing his never-ending skills and placing him as a firm favourite for 2015.
8) Bastille ft Haim – Bite Down
Last month, Bastille unveiled their latest single ‘Torn Apart vs Grades vs Lizzo’ from their forthcoming mixtape ‘Other people’s Heartache, Pt III’. The latest single to surface is titled ‘Bite Down vs HAIM’. The Californian Sisters are the latest artists to collaborate with Bastille on their highly anticipated and unique mixtape, which sees both bands style represented and fused together seamlessly. Bastille frontman Dan Smith, perfectly harmonizes with Este, Danille and Alana and serves up some killer riffs and a catchy chorus as expected. While their previous mixtape featured a collection of original songs, covers and mash-ups, ‘Other People’s Heartache, pt III’ serves up a collection of originals, with collaborations from artists such as MNEK and Angel Haze. The experimental project is perhaps a taste of what’s to come for the next album and see Bastille experiment with different styles and sounds. Bite Down vs HAIM is set for release November 30th, while the mixtape is set for release December 8th.
9) Slaves – The Hunter
2-piece Garage Punk duo Isaac Holman and Laurie Vincent, have unveiled their new single ‘The Hunter’. The 3-minute single serves up a riff-laden grungy vibe, with crashing drums and intense vocals as it builds to it’s clamorous conclusion. The Hunter is available now via Virigin/EMI. Upcoming London dates include the London Forum (March 4th) as well as the NME Awards Tour 2015.
10) Cashtastic – 808
South London rapper Cashtastic, unveiled his new single ‘808’, which premiered with Charlie Sloth on BBC 1Xtra. Cashtastic has teamed up with Dutch producer Diztortion (Stylo G – Soundbwoy, Lethal Bizzle – Rari Workout) who works his slick production combining heavy 808s and infectious beats. Despite Cashtastic recent deportation to Jamaica, he continues to make waves in the UK scene. ‘808’ is set for release February 15th via 3 Beat Productions.
11) Destructo – Dare You To Move ft Problem (Shiba San Remix)
French producer Shiba San has remixed Destructo’s ‘Dare you to Move’ ft Problem. Having recently re-interpreted Deadmau5 and Kaskade’s ‘I Remember’, the French producer transforms the original, delivering a slower-paced remix, highlighting its deep bassline, yet retaining the originals garage and dub vibe. Shiba San’s remix is set to shake up the dance floor and is taken from Destructo’s ‘Dare You To Move Remix EP’, set for release December 9th.
12) Wiley – From The Outside ft JME and Teddy
The Godfather of Grime Wiley, unveiled his latest single ‘From The Outside’ ft Teddy and JME. The single is taken from Wiley’s forthcoming tenth album ‘Snakes and Ladders’, and serves as the follow up to Wiley’s massive summer single ‘On A Level’. ‘From The Outside’ delivers an absolute beast of track as the trio spit with vigour over the melodic beats. ‘Snakes & Ladders‘ is available via Wiley’s own label Big Dada and features artists such as Cam’ron, Problem and Stormzy.
Check out my November Selections below in one big playlist for your listening pleasure: