Single of the Year is too difficult, one song to sum up a whole year? Nah. That’s why this year we’ve tasked our writers to each choose their own single and rather than rank them, enjoy them all.
My Enemy by CHVRCHES: Glasgow Synth-Pop band CHVRCHES released ‘My Enemy’ as the 2nd single from their 2018 album Love Is Dead, and we think you will agree – it’s stunning!
Teaming up with The National frontman Matt Berninger in an utterly intriguing blend, the track features CHVRCHES signature punchy synths at their absolute best! Whilst Berninger’s vocals fit superbly in the track and provide a nice intrigue, just wait until the chorus from frontwoman Lauren Mayberry powers into your eardrums and tell us the word ‘WOW’ doesn’t instantly pop into your head..
-Charles, Soundseeker Records, Staff Writer
Letting Go by Wild Nothing: It’s late morning and Dale wants my review for track of the year for the deadline in a few hours… …except I haven’t actually got one.
I’ve tried to sort through what stands out, but put simply, 2018 has seen a plethora of solid releases; we’ve seen the jazzy side of Sundara Karma, the chorus drenched guitars on The Night Cafe’s Bunkbed EP, and a dreamy new track from Monks in ‘Sundried’, not to mention Sam Fender’s rise to notoriety out of seemingly nowhere, grabbing a BRIT Award on the way there.
With so much choice, I consult my Spotify Wrapped Playlist, hoping it may provide some last minute inspiration: the usual suspects of Radiohead and Snail Mail. Radiohead didn’t have any releases this year, although Thom Yorke’s Suspiria work has been some of his best efforts yet. As for Lindsey from Snail Mail, I can’t get enough of her, but the emotional effects of the likes of ‘Heat Wave’ and ‘Pristine’ have faded ever so slightly with the endless repeats of Lush.
Looking back however, I’ve also discovered some incredible music this year that wasn’t actually released in 2018. ‘Hot Coffee’ by TRASH and ‘Bull in the Heather’ by Sonic Youth really had me hooked but considering these bands are no longer in existence* I wasn’t going to get away with slipping one of these in.
With no success, I called it a day, closed Google and head downstairs to grab a drink, leaving Spotify playing in the background. I returned as a new song I’d never heard before starts, and by the time the second guitar line begins I knew I’d found what I’d been searching for.
The track is ‘Letting Go’ by Wild Nothing, and it really is something special. The gnashing bass line and intricate drumming that starts the song would be right at home on a Beach Fossils release, whereas the jangly guitar lines that build over it sound like Johnny Marr yet more ominous. Jack Tatum’s approach to vocals are reminiscent of new wave pioneers Talk Talk, and the dreamy synth layering of the chorus would satisfy even Zachary Cole Smith of DIIV.
I didn’t just choose this track for the sake of a last minute choice, I chose it because it stood out immediately as something unique, and it just proves that wearing your influences on your sleeve is never a bad thing, especially when it’s clear that your tastes are as diverse as the ones shining through on ‘Letting Go’.
Hopefully this track adds something to your Christmas.
*TRASH are playing one final show in Sheffield on the 16th of February. Grab tickets here, don’t miss it!
-Chris Greene, Staff Writer
‘Dead Boys’ by Sam Fender: North Shields lad Sam Fender released his standout single ‘Dead Boys’ back in October and it’s safe to say it changed my life. I’d previously seen him at TRNSMT festival in Glasgow and though he was good, but this release cemented that idea. He’s brilliant.
Written about male suicide, Fender said: “I lost some friends very close to me because of that. This song came from that place, and I have been playing it to other people ever since.” A hauntingly poignant song, the track raises awareness for the issue and generated a great deal of conversation earlier in the year.
-Chris Anderson, Staff Writer
‘Sea Blue’ by BLOXX: A late contender but with the year that BLOXX have had it was be at the very least an oversight for them to not even get a look in at the Peanut Mixtape end of year lists and Dale would be kicking herself this time next year to see them go without a mention. ‘Sea Blue’ is easily the best of BLOXX this year though they’ve had a string of solid releases in the form of ‘Monday’ and ‘Lay Down’ before ‘Sea Blue’. No doubt crowds shall be bopping along to the ‘oOOooo00h’s in the song on their headline tour in the Spring.
‘Orange English Sun’ by Deep.Sleep: There’s a bit of irony to this one, I’m also gonna tell it like a story so strap in lads. I saw this song come out over the summer, (stupidly) slept on it and then found it again mid-October whilst hungover on a megabus home from Manchester.
Dunno if anyone’s ever been on a 6am megabus whilst nauseous but it’s not a laugh. That’s not the point though. I looked out the window, wondering being run over by the bus would hurt less than my head did at that moment in time.
Music seemed like an easy way out of listening to the middle aged woman sat behind me, lets’ call her Sandra, tap away at her phone with acrylics. I put on PM’s jams (self plug x) and lo and behold, ‘Orange English Sun’ came to me at the end of it like a lyrical Berocca.
An hour of ‘Orange English Sun’ and a lot of water later and I was feeling less deathly, I was still listening to it by the time I was getting off the bus and onto the metro. I was still listening to it a week later too. If I can still love a song after nearly throwing up in a bus station in Leeds to it then you know it has to be good. Deep.Sleep talk about being young and reckless so much I dare say it was apt?
By the time I found this it was far too late to tell anyone so I can only hope by now expressing my love for ‘Orange English Sun’ that all is forgiven for sleeping on it for so long?
-Dale Glenister, Editor
Four Out Of Five by Arctic Monkeys: Despite the experimental nature of Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino, the Arctic Monkeys provides my single of the year on one of the most divisive records of the year. The song is far removed from the quick pure rock of AM and was definitely the song I had on repeat more than any other this year.
-Ant Stonelake, Contributor