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> Dirca's Top 350 of 2020, A little bit of [s]excess[/s] XS
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post Feb 23 2021, 06:49 PM
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Hey I just impulse decided to do this. I have a way too large list of my favourite stuff for all of the 2010s, but I figured if I'm gonna post one of these two things, I'll go for the one that will go out of style sooner (well I mean I don't know if 2010s lists are still in fashion, but I'm sure the tipping point isn't in the midst of 2021).

Anyway I like listening to music a bit as you tend to do. I'm relatively thorough about finding things I like which means that I have a tendency to flock to stuff that is so niche, the artists in question have less Twitter followers than me. That is in addition to the occasional fling with stuff that is extremely popular and doesn't at all need my affirmation. The two worlds work in tandem to validate each other though. The stuff I like is not limited to what's on this list but you have to stop counting somewhere. Either way I'll try to breeze through the bottom section relatively quickly and put more into the top stuff which warrants more effort.

This post has been edited by Dircadirca: Friday, 08:44 PM
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post Feb 23 2021, 06:49 PM
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350. Boo Seeka - Take A Look
349. Billie Eilish - Therefore I Am
348. Juice WRLD (feat Trippie Redd) - Tell Me U Luv Me
347. Clea - Sugar
346. Travis Scott (feat Young Thug & M.I.A.) - FRANCHISE
345. The Kid LAROI (feat Juice WRLD) - GO
344. Jax Jones & Au/Ra - I miss u
343. Jonsi - Swill
342. BENEE (feat Grimes) - Sheesh
341. Joji - Run
340. Liza Anne - Bad Vacation
339. Skegss - Fantasising
338. Bring Me The Horizon - Parasite Eve
337. leftprojects - Flow
336. Run The Jewels (feat Pharrell Williams & Zack De La Rocha) - JU$T
335. Future Islands - For Sure
334. ONEFOUR (feat A$AP Ferg) - Say It Again
333. Louis The Child (feat Foster The People) - Every Color
332. Bryson Tiller (feat Drake) - Outta Time
331. GRAACE - Body Language
330. Banoffee - Count On You
329. Chloe Lilac - Here's Your Song
328. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Intrasport
327. H.E.R. - Damage
326. Lil Baby (feat 42 Dugg) - We Paid
325. Pink Sweat$ - Not Alright
324. Royal Blood - Trouble's Coming
323. Run The Jewels (feat Mavis Staples & Josh Homme) - pulling the pin
322. Kllo - Insomnia
321. tobi lou - Endorphins
320. Ashnikko - Daisy
319. Rina Sawayama - Chosen Family
318. Dizzee Rascal - Body Loose
317. Taylor Swift - mirrorball
316. Tired Lion - ~cya later~
315. Tinashe - Rascal (Superstar)
314. SAYGRACE - Feel Good
313. Megan Thee Stallion - Savage
312. BENEE - Kool
311. Spillage Village with JID & EARTHGANG (feat Jurdan Bryant, Mereba & Hollywood JB) - End Of Daze
310. Yves Tumor - Kerosene!
309. SAYGRACE - Gone
308. The 1975 - Me & You Together Song
307. JOEY DJIA - You.
306. Sycco - Nicotine
305. Jack River - Dark Star
304. Megan Thee Stallion - Girls In The Hood
303. Fiona Apple - Heavy Balloon
302. Woodes - Dancing In The Rain
301. ROLE MODEL - alive

Billie Eilish released 3 singles in 2020, one of which is Sir Not Appearing In This List while "Therefore I Am" takes solace as the low but secure middle child. Juice WRLD also proves strangely prolific on this list after my rocky initial feelings on his music. Jonsi pulls the rare feat of maintaining arbitrary relevance across 4 different decades, though BENEE has already managed 2 decades in a significantly shorter span which probably feels unfair. Future Islands pull the classic trick of releasing a mild replica of their biggest hit to some successful effect. Drake put out some pretty good singles this year but his only appearance at all is his guest spot on a chill Bryson Tiller cut, which itself is an offbrand inclusion since that album also has a sample of my favourite Flight Facilities (of my avatar fame) song. GRAACE is not to be confused with R.W. Grace who was originally called Grace until SAYGRACE had a worldwide hit, making R.W. Grace change her name to reduce confusion, although now SAYGRACE has changed hers. SAYGRACE has appeared in an older list of mine but now all 3 of Australia's Graces have had a turn, though there's a higher Australian Grace in the list. Got all that? King Gizzard make their obligatory appearance by virtue of releasing more music than anyone can keep up with. Lil Baby turns up on this list far more frequently than anyone could have predicted, though not quite as much as Rina Sawayama or Taylor Swift which will eventually be quite clear. I usually don't even give hit remixes the dignity of ever listening to them, though I will admit that the "Savage" remix being comparatively unavoidable has warmed it to me. I think the best version of the song is a middle evolution that has Beyonce, but not that much Beyonce, so for the time being I take the original. I just learnt in researching my red text that JOEY DJIA is actually Joelle who competed on Australian X Factor in 2013 and had a top 40 hit single covering Concrete Blonde's "Joey". The 1975 prey on my love of jangle pop while Sycco gets in with a song that I first heard as radio filler but had it grow on me quite a bit after I took to another song of hers, much, much later in this list.
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post Feb 23 2021, 10:31 PM
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350 *.* i'll make sure to keep up with this

Intrasport was an instant highlight from the last King Gizz record! and Parasite Eve is iconic too of course
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post Feb 25 2021, 02:51 PM
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QUOTE(SevenSeize @ Feb 24 2021, 06:31 AM) *
350 *.* i'll make sure to keep up with this

Intrasport was an instant highlight from the last King Gizz record! and Parasite Eve is iconic too of course

I say this as someone who listened to every album they put out in 2017 but I find it so hard to keep with KG&TLW's fact just looking up right now is how I learn that they just released ANOTHER album laugh.gif I await the next lead single in March tongue.gif

300. Essie Holt - Lover X Liar
299. ILUKA - Willing To Break
298. Tkay Maidza - My Flowers
297. Amber Mark - Generous
296. FLETCHER - If I Hated You
295. Rina Sawayama - Tokyo Love Hotel
294. Eefje de Visser - Controle
293. Willaris K. - COBAKI SKY
292. Aly & AJ - Joan of Arc on the Dancefloor
291. Fiona Apple - Relay
289. Taylor Swift - this is me trying
288. Robbie Miller - I Heard You Say
287. Juice WRLD - Righteous
286. Car Seat Headrest - Can't Cool Me Down
285. Yumi Zouma - Cool For A Second
284. Arca & ROSALIA - KLK
283. Stevie Jean - Bored
282. Lil Rae - Rae Yagami
281. The Avalanches (feat Rivers Cuomo & Pink Siifu) - Running Red Lights
280. Bad Bunny & Jhay Cortez - Dakiti
279. JessB - Pon It
278. Husky - Wristwatch
277. Evie Irie - Little More Love
276. The Strokes - Bad Decisions
275. Sasha Sloan - Matter To You
274. Something for Kate - Situation Room
273. Carla Wehbe - Somebody Loves You
272. Ball Park Music - Cherub
271. Slowly Slowly - Race Car Blues
270. POPPONGENE - Don't Even Know
269. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - Cars In Space
268. Eminem (feat Royce Da 5'9", Black Thought, Q-Tip & Denaun) - Yah Yah
267. Sasha Sloan - Lie
266. Ty Dolla $ign (feat Kanye West, FKA twigs & Skrillex) - Ego Death
265. Taylor Swift (feat Haim) - no body, no crime
264. Nick Ward (feat Lontalius) - I Wanna Be Myself Or Nothing At All
263. Madison Beer - Selfish
262. Balu Brigada - nice to have someone to miss
261. Mia Wray - Work For Me
260. Flume (feat Toro y Moi) - The Difference
259. Lilly Carron - Superhuman
258. Lil Baby - Emotionally Scarred
257. JXN - paranoia
256. Hayley Williams - Over Yet
255. Tkay Maidza - 24k
254. DMA'S - Never Before
253. Romy - Lifetime
252. will hyde - meant to be
251. Taylor Swift - august

This is still all so deep in random Spotify discoveries that almost everything that isn't by a clearly recognisable artist not from Australia, is probably one of many New Zealand entries in this section. Or Dutch in Eefje de Visser's case. Willaris K. filled the recent RÜFÜS DU SOL void with a similarly sprawling and dense electronic track. I have to thank repeated exposure from friends getting Aly & AJ, Car Seat Headrest & Arca in this list with songs that would have otherwise passed me by. There are borderline elder statesmen in The Avalanches & The Strokes though they're dwarfed by Something for Kate who have been around for quite a bit longer! They hadn't released a new album since 2012 though, in which time Ball Park Music had released about 5 albums. Oddly to me, "Cherub" has become their highest charting single in Australia that nearly made the top 50 despite being a 5 minute slow burner. I'm not remotely about to go to bat for Eminem's latest album but making an extremely '90s posse cut that re-unites Q-Tip with a Busta Rhymes sample is a viable way to reach me. Otherwise Ty Dolla $ign & Flume are competing for both the strangest collaborations and most unlikely route to take them. I never got around to listening to Hayley Williams' album but "Over Yet" stood out a lot to me from what I did hear. Romy makes a bold solo statement, or at least as much as you can make when Jamie xx is still producing it.
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post Feb 27 2021, 09:59 AM
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250. The Avalanches (feat Jamie xx, Neneh Cherry & CLYPSO) - Wherever You Go
249. Pnau & Ladyhawke - River
248. Rina Sawayama - Snakeskin
247. Sycco - Germs
246. Eefje de Visser - Stilstand
245. Tkay Maidza - PB Jam
244. Le Youth - About Us
243. Young Franco & Pell - Juice
242. Little Mix - Happiness
241. Annie - American Cars
240. Chloe x Halle - Ungodly Hour
239. The Avalanches (feat Blood Orange) - We Will Always Love You
238. Ariana Grande - love language
237. Tate McRae (feat Lil Mosey) - vicious
236. Megan Thee Stallion (feat Young Thug) - Don't Stop
235. Madison Beer - Stained Glass
234. Rina Sawayama - Comme des Garcons (Like the Boys)
233. Run The Jewels (feat Greg Nice & DJ Premier) - Ooh LA LA
232. LAUREL - Scream Drive Faster
231. Alex Lahey - Sucker For Punishment
230. ONEFOUR (feat The Kid LAROI) - My City
229. Creeper - Cyanide
228. Troye Sivan - Easy
227. Sam Smith - Diamonds
226. Mo'Ju - Put It On Hold
224. Lil Baby - Errbody
223. Pop Smoke - Got It On Me
222. DMA'S - The Glow
221. Run The Jewels - yankee and the brave (ep. 4)
220. Juice WRLD (feat The Weeknd) - Smile
219. Taylor Swift - gold rush
218. The Strokes - Brooklyn Bridge To Chorus
217. Owl Eyes - Invisible Woman
216. The Lazy Eyes - Tangerine
215. Maggie Rogers - Celadon & Gold
214. Taylor Swift - cardigan
213. Bartees Strange - Mustang
212. Fiona Apple - Rack Of His
211. Aitch & AJ Tracey (feat Tay Keith) - Rain
210. Tame Impala - One More Hour
209. Hockey Dad - Heavy Assault
208. Sophiegrophy - Shake
207. Empty Country - Untitled
206. AViVA - Evil
205. Celeste - Stop This Flame
204. The Naked and Famous - Bury Us
203. Disclosure, Kehlani & Syd - Birthday
202. Little Dragon & Moses Sumney - The Other Lover
201. Fontaines D.C. - Televised Mind

Incidentally kicking back off where I left, actual Jamie xx as part of a curious collective on one of the 8 or so singles The Avalanches released. Pnau re-unite with Ladyhawke 13 years after making the monster banger that is "Embrace". Speaking of Australian music in 2007, "Snakeskin", but actually it's unrelated Rina making one of the most bonkers interpolations I've ever heard and making it work. Ariana Grande's new album was pretty good where "love language" stood out to me in particular...incidentally ARIA left it off the chart for no discernable reason. Tate McRae is still riding high on a single from a year ago though I must admit it was some of the follow up singles she put out that I preferred. LAUREL had one of the most surprising entries in the Hottest 100 this year if only because I can only justify its entrance as 'It's really good', but given how artist oriented voting tends to be, it doesn't make much sense to me. Even a Kid LAROI collaboration can't keep a ONEFOUR song from collapsing down the charts but I do find it to be a rare major collaboration that lives up to the hype. I could not possibly advertise ASHWARYA as it is basically a cursed version of "bury a friend" that everyone but me is too cynical to buy into. I'm still waiting for "Got It On Me" to have its turn on the Pop Smoke hit roulette. My most disagreeable opinion is that I still thoroughly dislike "Lucid Dreams" but the cheap soundalike "Smile" hits the right spot for me. Mere hours before twenty one pilots released their single, The Lazy Eyes somehow managed to get in first with their own 2020 song that uses the word 'quarantine' in the lyrics though I think it's just a coincidence ("Germs" earlier in this list was also written pre-covid). The mass spree of Taylor Swift entries ends with "cardigan" as the highest.

This post has been edited by Dircadirca: Feb 27 2021, 10:03 AM
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post Mar 1 2021, 12:55 PM
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200. Matt Berninger - One More Second
199. Paige - Cold Blooded
198. Cub Sport - Confessions
197. Jay Electronica - Ghost Of Soulja Slim
196. Yuna - Dance Like Nobody's Watching
195. Stevan - On My Mind
194. Dizzee Rascal (feat Smoke Boys) - Act Like You Know
193. The Strokes - Ode To The Mets
192. Great Gable - Blur
191. Rina Sawayama - Paradisin'
190. Mac Miller - Hands
189. Troye Sivan - Rager teenager!
188. Dua Lipa - Hallucinate
187. Eefje de Visser - De Parade
186. Garrett Kato (feat Julia Stone) - Breathe it in
185. choicevaughan (feat MELODOWNZ) - To Live and Die in AD
184. The Avalanches (feat Denzel Curry, Tricky & Sampa The Great) - Take Care in Your Dreaming
183. Tame Impala - Lost In Yesterday
182. imugi 이무기 - Somebody Else
181. Kid Cudi - Leader of the Delinquents
180. Don Toliver - After Party
179. Tame Impala - Breathe Deeper
178. beabadoobee - Together
177. UMI - Mother
176. Alaina Castillo - ocean waves
175. Something for Kate - I Will Defeat You
174. Mac Miller - Blue World
173. San Cisco - Messages
172. So Below - Old
171. Bea Miller - making bad decisions
170. Essie Holt - Wanna Stay Up With You
169. Evie Irie - Misfit
168. Kwame (feat CLYPSO & Phil Fresh) - TOMMY'S IN TROUBLE
167. London Topaz (feat Blush'ko) - Drown
166. Psychedelic Porn Crumpets - Tally-Ho
165. Oliv - If You Find a Way To Heaven
164. Elizabeth Fader - Big Mistake
163. Alexander 23 - I Hate You So Much
162. Arno Faraji - Bass Jumpin
161. Tate McRae - don't be sad
160. MAY-A - Green
159. Arlo Parks - Caroline
158. Megan Thee Stallion - Circles
157. Busta Rhymes - Look Over Your Shoulder (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
156. Something for Kate - Come Back Before I Come Back To My Senses
155. Gretta Ray - Passion
154. Stellie - Californian Lullaby
153. Hooligan Hefs - SEND IT!
152. Foster the People - The Things We Do
151. Two People - A Taste

But just after all the Taylor Swift entries is the tangentially related solo National content. Great Gable exist as another Western Australian band in the world of 'what if Tame Impala still sounded like they did in 2008', though come a little short of beating actual Tame Impala whose highest entries show up here. Dua Lipa also gets her only entry possibly helped by being the one single on the album that hasn't been super overplayed here. Despite the unique Korean name, imugi 이무기 are in fact another of the big collective of NZ artists in here. I continue to be shocked that there are no shared writers on "After Party" with "Mo Bamba" because I'm pretty sure otherwise Travis Scott is trying to release the same song twice. A good trick that works on me is to make your water metaphor-based song evoke an aquatic vibe which I think Alaina Castillo gets. I've not remotely latched onto anything else I've heard from Alexander 23 but "I Hate You So Much" has a certain ominous vibe that stands out a bit. I'd also somehow missed the hype for Arlo Parks until she released "Caroline" right near the end of the year. I'm hoping "Circles" can get a proper push for Megan at some point because it sounds like a hit to me. Busta Rhymes has a song that shows how long ago it was leaked because how else could you explain there being a Kendrick verse in 2020. Hooligan Hefs answers the question of what if Australian drill was built around EDM drops, and has been enjoying Australian top 50 success for a few months now for it.
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post Mar 3 2021, 04:01 PM
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150. CHAII - WOW (Look At Me)
149. Glass Animals - Your Love (Déjà Vu)
148. Elley Duhé - MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT
147. IDLES - Reigns
146. Fiona Apple - Cosmonauts
145. Madison Beer - Baby
144. Hayley Mary - Like a Woman Should
143. Georgia - 24 Hours
142. Gengahr - Never a Low
141. Dove Cameron (feat BIA) - Remember Me
140. Eliza & The Delusionals - Sentimental
139. Citizen Kay (feat Genesis Owusu) - Funny Business
138. Northlane - Enemy of the Night
137. Kita Alexander - I Miss You, I'm Sorry
136. Stellie - I'd Have Killed For You
135. Madison Beer - BOYSHIT
134. L Devine - Boring People
133. Eliza & The Delusionals - Swimming Pool
132. Methyl Ethel - Charm Offensive
131. RIIKI - Share Your Luv
130. The Avalanches (feat MGMT & Johnny Marr) - The Divine Chord
129. San Cisco - Alone
128. Internet Money & Gunna (feat Don Toliver & NAV) - Lemonade
127. Erthlings - Irrational
126. Lolo Zouaï - Alone With You
125. Baker Boy - Move
124. Fiona Apple - Newspaper
123. Rina Sawayama - Who's Gonna Save U Now?
122. 5 Seconds of Summer - No Shame
121. deryk - Call You Out
120. Mallrat - Rockstar
119. Kaylee Bell - Be With You
118. beabadoobee - Sorry
117. Biig Piig - Feels Right
116. Amila - Colours
115. Paige - Make Room
114. Doja Cat - Boss Bitch
113. Tired Lion - Lie To Me
112. Baker Boy & Dallas Woods (feat Sampa The Great) - Better Days
111. Hermitude (feat Kimbra) - Janela
110. The Strokes - Not The Same Anymore
109. Lastlings - Out of Touch
108. Tkay Maidza - You Sad
107. George Alice & NASAYA - Stuck in a Bubble
106. Hope D - Miscommunicate
105. Wafia - Good Things
104. Azure Ryder - Oh What A Relief
103. Lastlings - No Time
102. Genesis Owusu - The Other Black Dog
101. Mia Rodriguez - Psycho

Glass Animals & IDLES both show up with their sole entries from their 3rd albums. Madison Beer also succumbs to having many entries but not quite getting to the top 100, which may well happen again in 2021. I believe the first song here I heard in 2020 was Georgia's "24 Hours", which thus started at #1 and has been dropping down ever since. A not-obvious fact is that Citizen Kay & Genesis Owusu are brothers, from the surprisingly lucrative musical hot bed of Canberra. Winning the battle of The Avalanches isn't one of the pre-release singles but a late arrival in "The Divine Chord". I'm unsure if I'm more surprised that NAV has managed to sneak up here or rather that 5 Seconds Of Summer have, that latter one is a fun one to show to the me of 2013. Mallrat achieves the rare feat of releasing a song called "Rockstar" [sic]. The Strokes had a relatively good showing, just narrowly missing the top 100 but having the honour of breaking up the seemingly endless spree of Australian artists (which doesn't stop at #101). Almost half of those last 10 artists have more to show for higher up in the list, where if things work out right, I'll have a lot more words to say on each song.
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post Mar 7 2021, 07:24 AM
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100. DMA'S - Life Is a Game of Changing

Life is a game of changing because we're now at a point where DMA'S figure in my list whereas so many other artists I was very much into around when I was clowning on DMA'S endlessly do not. You can't just say it's due to changing sonics as it's far from the first song of theirs I've liked, but it's a very likeable outing. A great control of pacing and peaking, and that fun thing that some songs do by overlapping previously separate layers and somehow it just works.

99. Eefje de Visser - Maak Het Stil

There are definitely songs in this list that I did not actually hear in 2020 and this is nearly one of them. Suffice to say it wasn't on my radar when it first came out but this album that I cannot begin to attempt to pronounce, by this artist that I cannot begin to attempt to pronounce was an instant vibe with me when I did hear it. Of course, the value of hearing pre-release singles beforehand has its strengths in that you don't absorb an entire mass of songs in one and have difficulty remembering which one them are.

98. Mac Miller - I Can See

I was very slow to getting around to listening to "Circles" because I figured it was going to be a pretty heavy undertaking that I was not at all prepared for. But it was also an album that I really didn't know what to expect from, as a posthumous album that wasn't especially hastily put together, but also one from an artist whose creative trajectory wasn't especially clear in the first place. What we ended up getting seems about right I suppose but also I took to it pretty readily.

97. Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers - Desk Chair

You'd think that I'd have heard so much music like this that I'd be numb to it, but somehow there are always some songs that manage to find their way to stand out enough for me. In the case of "Desk Chair", I think the simple situation is that they did not at all need to go so hard, and yet here we are. I didn't think it'd quite make my top 100 list but then I kept listening and realised that I couldn't leave it out.

96. Grouplove - Deleter

The class of 2010 has done pretty well for itself but I must admit that I didn't expect to be writing about Grouplove again. I want to avoid talking about how music from January-February 2020 feels a bit weird to listen to now but clearly this is symbolic of something. The main thing to take away from it that this song manages to compell my favourite bad joke but also be extremely fun as a side gig.

95. Billie Eilish - my future

It is very difficult to truly determine what is the algorithmic desired song structure. Whenever something that doesn't really fit in underperforms, it's quick to cry foul of generic listening habits but at the same time that's entirely ignoring every time a strange song does take hold. Maybe there's some layer of artist expectation involved, in that the Billie Eilish hit song expectations has a few archetypes but "my future" is assuredly not one of them. For me it makes me weirdly nostalgic for 2000s coffee house music which doesn't feel like something I should be nostalgic for, but this song makes a good argument for re-evaluation. It's all just so light and breezy which plays off well with the light optimism of the song itself.

94. DVNA - Half Past Sober

Vaguely on the topic of 2000s coffee house music, I have especially isolated nostalgia for the early 2000s which is especially manifested in whatever particular songs struck a fancy with me. I didn't know what the charts were at this time and there was often little discernable correlation with that and what I heard, so it means that even something as shrug-offable as say Madison Avenue's cover of "Reminiscing" by Little River Band is a track I always like to go back to. I imagine for anyone older at the time either aware of the original, or growing numb to the Madison Avenue hit empire, it's a pretty forgettable outing. For me, it's an instant time capsule but one that holds up on its own as I find both of Cheyne's vocal registers pretty compelling and the whole thing just a pleasant melodic journey. I was already making this comparison when I first heard DVNA's song "Sushi In Tokyo" in 2019 but this song oozes in it so hard that I feel the initial comparison wasn't deserved. Maybe most people would just call it indie girl voice and call it a day, but there's something about the way she controls her affectation to take control of the song's mood that it feels like a masterstroke.

93. Charli XCX - forever

Relatively speaking I only have a passing interest in Charli XCX's music so I never really know what I'm going to get. For that matter, when something does gravitate towards me, I feel a stronger kinship to it because it just as easily could've been a song that never clicked with me (or rather I didn't give it enough time for the chance to do so). "forever" tows the line between abrasive and simple. I think with a more conventional sound, the lyrics could fit into a crossover hit, there's even a(n assumably unintentional) slight nod to her biggest one in 'drove a car off the road'. But the core sentiment is so universal that it strings everything together in a cathartic way.

92. Empty Country - Emerald

I listened to this album when it came out and enjoyed it, but with the absence of a big obvious draw, it was destined to be shelved until I inevitably returned to it in December to sift through for these purposes. What I ended up with is perhaps the most obvious result by which I mean I really like this song which sounds a lot like "Pretty Years", the last album Cymbals Eat Guitars released before dissolving into this project. What is this if not a combination of the huge cathartic release of "Mallwalking" and the intense guitar straddling of "Dancing Days". Yet at the same time, it feels like D'Agostino has skipped back an undeterminable number of emo waves because I want to compare it to Built To Spill at the same time.

91. AYLA - Go Slow

It's taken a number of years but we've got one of those fun big league promotions here courtesy of AYLA who's been on my radar for years at this point. This success comes by way of a team up with Reuben from Peking Duk which probably becomes apparent after the chorus of this song. It's a tasteful drop though that gels well with the general icy tone of the song.
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post Mar 9 2021, 01:16 PM
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90. Laura Marling - Held Down

I think I often spend more time admiring Laura Marling's music than actually listening to it. It didn't take long for her to assert herself as an evocative songwriter who wasn't just swept up in 2008 folk-wave with nothing to offer. Maybe at this point it's not necessary to say that she defies her age as she's only just turned 31. "Held Down" isn't remotely re-inventing the wheel but is just more a reminder of her strengths in making a compelling performance under even the most simple templates.

89. 彩音 [Ayane] - Frustration

I don't partake in much anime at all but I do really like Higurashi, though in fairness my entry point is the visual novel with the anime just as a by-product. This song isn't from the anime, but instead a mobile Higurashi tie-in game that I was only scarcely aware existed when I first listened to this. I don't play mobile games so I wouldn't be a good judge of whether or not it's good but at least this element of it certifiably slaps.

88. Yuna - Invisible

I can make the astute observation that the #1 & #100 artists from last year's list have ended up remarkably close to each other a year later, with #100 being DVNA's "Sushi In Tokyo", and #1 being Yuna's "Pink Youth". Perhaps moreso than last year, Yuna is capitalising on what seems for me is an unprecedented interest in R&B-adjacent music which I didn't even notice until I put this list together. While last year she was mostly trading on songs with big hooks, this song only barely registers one at all, mostly working as a warm blanket.

87. BLOXX - Thinking About Yourself

I've evidently reached a point where I'm too cynical to get invested in many modern UK rock bands that don't rhyme with Jewel Phallus, which is either because I've seen the tale of the tape too many times or just more likely because I don't have time. BLOXX seem relatively promising though and this is a song that I could not bring myself to release from my playlist for a very long time. There's nothing especially deep to it, the song is rather direct. The stilted delivery and scattered line stops make it fun to sing along to in its own unique way.

86. deryk - Brains [HOME DEMO]

I want to say deryk caught my eye with her evocative first single but it also applies to her visually striking EP artwork. I worry that putting this song here is going to date my list hard if she eventually releases a 'proper' version of this song, but honestly you could take out the qualifier from this and nobody would question the quality of this track. It only really feels that way at the start which feels like it's doing the Jasmine Thompson "more" thing by putting in a really early voice app recording.

85. Purity Ring - peacefall

I don't know if this is even the best Purity Ring song this year because I never got around to hearing the album, which is a common theme for me but hey, at least I'm honest. It's a strong effort in the world of fulfilling the Purity Ring brand. The production is often chaotic but a pretty & pleasant hook still manages to poke through.

84. Lastlings - Take My Hand

If nothing else, Lastlings are proof that what I said about Eefje de Visser wasn't just an issue of language barrier. If you got me to plot together lines to correctly match up the 3 Lastlings songs I was into last year in terms of order, name, what they sound like and which one I liked the most, I would undoubtedly fail because human memory is mush and I won't pretend to be immune to it. Still, they've definitely found a niche that works for them.

83. RedHook - Cure 4 Psycho

I can only assume that a member of this band is an avid Wikipedia editor because I've scarcely seen a more professionally written article for a bang who I'm not sure technically qualify for Wikipedia's notability clause in the first place. I'm not sure I've heard anything else from them, but this song shows its borderline nu metal cards very quickly and suddenly I'm sold. On the other hand I do associate this song with the first time I heard it, which was just before I broke my 28 winstreak in Hades, so it's impressive that I didn't reject the song out of spite.

82. Cardi B (feat Megan Thee Stallion) - WAP

I'm bad at ranking comedy songs. A principle rule I made for myself early on in my weekly chart making days was to never chart a song if my primary interest in it is for comedy, largely because I was really into Flight Of The Conchords at the time and had no idea what to do with them. I'm also bad at ranking popular hit songs due to a complicated history with my own shyness. As much as I enjoy those annual novelty articles about 'What your favourite album of the year says about you', that itself is rooted in a frustrating tendency we can have to maliciously categorise people based on these small pockets of information. I'm not free of doing the same thing myself though I do try to internalise it and stop myself. So with that, it's kind of part of the reason I gravitate to the niche and obscure because knowing there isn't an easy out from which to ridicule me gives me a much needed safety barrier at times. This is all to say that here's a song that peaked at #39 on my chart that otherwise needs no introduction. In many ways it's the song of 2020 where for better or worse, your stance on it says a lot about you as a person. While this may look like a spite-based top 100 entry, it honestly just comes down to the fact that listening to this song still now, I can't help but revel in it as a greatest hits package of absolutely shameless depravity. Also that bassline is perfect.

81. RAYE - Natalie Don't

This song draws a lot of comparisons to "I Will Survive", which I completely get, but for me I instantly thought of "It's A Sin". Either of these is of course a very high compliment, though I am more partial to the Pet Shop Boys on that head to head. And of course really it should get compared to "Jolene". Still, it's a remarkably good example of a song that was always destined to get modest radio airplay, above average sales and absolutely zilch in the world of streaming (there's certainly an observation to be made about the ratio of plays between this and "Secrets" on YouTube vs. Spotify, although "Secrets" is weirdly censored on YouTube so I guess I couldn't blame people).
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post Mar 12 2021, 05:39 AM
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80. Cardioid - Old Records

As the saying goes, girl put your old records on. Despite the title, this is not at all about boomer music, but instead extreme breakup pain, though depending on who you ask, there's probably a strong link between the two. This manages the impressive feat of being extremely overloaded but still feeling like it makes a heavy drop when the chorus comes through.

79. SG Lewis (feat Lucky Daye) - Feed The Fire

I have had a habit of late of a lot of new artists entering my chart with a big hit and not necessarily being able to follow through, or at least there hasn't been enough time to say. This song in particular allowed Lucky Daye to baton pass away his own one hit wonder status and hand it over to SG Lewis (in fairness I like quite a bit of his stuff, just not to this degree). This is a nice chill dance tune though, one that I feel could get some popular traction if not for the problem of lacking a hitmaking name on it.

78. Two People - Been a Little While

I regret to inform you that the start of this song sounds like the start of "Younger" by Ruel. I think when I first heard this I had really high aspirations for it as if it were to eventually become my favourite Two People song. That didn't quite happen but I still went away very much enjoying it. There's a moment where everything drops away before the chorus and it arrives with what feels like an airhorn, which might be the least likely place to find one.

77. Little Simz - might bang, might not

Little Simz does a little bit better at defending her crown obviously. This is not a very long song but it doesn't need to be either, as it trades on the initial burst of energy that never really lets up. It's all about that sheer surprise when you first start listening to Schrodinger's Bang, especially when it comes on shuffle.

76. Phoebe Bridgers - Kyoto

This is another song that I severely underestimated on my first run through. I think I'd been occasionally hearing new Phoebe Bridgers songs for a while that had mostly not really stuck with me but "Kyoto" definitely feels like the bid for stardom moment. For someone who's otherwise relatively low key, this song just sounds huge and triumphant, aside from how much of a downer it actually is.

75. Rina Sawayama - Dynasty

I think it's a very good idea to put a huge banger as track 1 on an album, especially if it's not a single because it just hypes you up to coast through the rest. Rina's album is full of bangers in perhaps not the obvious way. One of my favourite moments is when she interpolates the actual victory jingle from Final Fantasy which is both hilarious and weirdly works. "Dynasty" on the other hand blends nu metal & Evanescence, but also scarcely rests on its tricks for very long, vaulting into a monster guitar solo barely 2 minutes in.

74. Tkay Maidza - Shook

Kendrick speaks of playing Tetris in the first person but Tkay has it in the third person so it's not entirely clear if it should be considered a diss or not. Speaking of Kendrick I'm convinced that his voice is briefly sampled in the outro to this song. Have I ever mentioned though that Tkay is just on a mammoth winstreak lately though? I'm sure I'll get another chance to.

73. Methyl Ethel - Majestic AF

An extremely good song title all things considered, although it works best if you didn't listen to their other music from 2020 or you might have trouble remembering which song it is (shocking to think they released a song that doesn't say its title I know). Methyl Ethel have a rewarding discography that being said, just because when the songs do click, they often have very distinctive hooks & grooves which means listening to the proverbial greatest hits package is always fun. "Majestic AF"'s main trick is the classic chorus that never stops giving, with at least 3 distinct passages, like some sort of self-contained proverbial greatest hits package in the space of 20 seconds.

72. Troye Sivan - Take Yourself Home

It has been a very long time but I have been notably rather dismissive of Troye Sivan in the past and he doesn't deserve it. At this point he's proven to be one of the most interesting artists in this country to amass a strong following. "Take Yourself Home" doesn't remotely sound like something that's focus grouped to hell because there are so many things about it that just scream 'you need to get rid of that'. But he didn't and you get a real treat for it. The spooked outro is just icing on the cake.

71. Halsey - Experiment on Me

It's easy to look at all the different avenues that Halsey takes her music sometimes and wonder if her biggest hits are thus some manner of compromise for record sales. I don't think it's entirely fair as a lot of those songs strike me as especially personal with no real sign of being generally checked out for it. I think she's just eclectic like that. That being said, this hit me like a ton of bricks and I'm absolutely here for more of it. Not just from Halsey but Bring Me The Horizon as well for that matter, as I can't recall the last time they've sounded quite this relentless either. I love that she doesn't hold back either, absolutely belting it out at the end.
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post Mar 17 2021, 09:01 AM
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70. Something For Kate - Inside Job

In what can only be described as very exciting to Australian cis straight dudes in their mid 40s, actual Bernard Fanning is on this track. This obviously serves as a tip to the hat from arguably the #1 band most responsible for Something For Kate never winning an ARIA Award. It would be extremely funny if they were to end up winning the Adult Contemporary Award next year or something like that. Something For Kate's new album, their first in 8 years, is genuinely top tier.

69. Cosmo's Midnight - A Million Times

Honestly I couldn't tell you what Cosmo's Midnight are going for with this but it's working for me. Like it could be a straight forward love song but it's built around such a roundabout turn of phrase like it's trying to be extra. Punctuated by a choppy beat though, it proves to be evocative all the same. In one of the many strange cases of Australians hitting it big overseas, Cosmo's Midnight helped write a song on BTS's latest album.

68. Fiona Apple - Shameika

I always feel a bit weird if I find myself gravitating to an album or discography as a whole that's seen in high regard, but at the same time not necessarily for the key moments that are generally seen as the best. Kind of like you're going halfway to buying into the consensus to not be a contrarian, but at the same time being a contrarian with the added adage of wondering if you're supposed to be liking something so much. This is all my roundabout way of saying that my favourite "Fetch The Bolt Cutters" tracks are probably not the same as yours, but on the other hand, most people tend to agree on this one. If the whole album is a bit too much to get through, this is a good bite sized experience, carrying all the quirky, frenetic energy into a more brisk 4 minutes.

67. Biig Piig - Don't Turn Around

This and another song in this post are carried so hard by their samples that I start to question myself on whether the actual songs do hold up without it. The seed for me liking this was definitely planted by the sample even if I couldn't recognise it, Montell Jordan's similarly sampling "Get It On Tonite" being a modest favourite of mine recently. The end result is that I think what Biig Piig is doing on this song is good, but for the most part, I'm just waiting for that smooth transition into chorus again.

66. Samsaruh - Radio Silence

I am just checking in for another year to say that I enjoy Samsaruh's music. She made my favourite song of 2017 so I'm always keen to hear more. I also especially enjoy the regular mystery of what sub-genre of rock her music will be categorised as on iTunes. This one is listed as Adult Alternative. There's a different producer in tow for this single but it still manages to fit in pretty nicely with her other recent singles.

65. The Weeknd - After Hours

I am nothing if not so painfully on brand as to take the one song on The Weeknd's new album that reminds me most of the mixtape days and get fully on board with it. That said, I do think "After Hours" is probably his best proper album, with a lot less bloat than its predecessors, and a pretty strong consistent vibe (although if I could go the rest of my life without having to hear any of the singles again, I'd probably be fine with that). With that in mind I'm shocked the title track exists. It also naturally took the status of following up one of the biggest hit songs of all time to even be a modest chart hit that it otherwise had no business being.

64. Vera Blue - Lie To Me

Speaking of The Weeknd, this song's chorus is so remarkably similar to "Pray For Me" that I wonder if some sort of unintentional melodic memories could be in play. This is also a far way away from when she was a teenager singing Simon & Garfunkel on The Voice, but it definitely works for her. I obviously cannot remotely call it my slowest grower of 2020 but it's definitely up there, considering there was a time when it wasn't even my favourite song called "Lie To Me" that was around at the time.

63. Washington - Dark Parts

The days of Washington bubbling around the charts with a fervent audience are long gone but she's gotten no worse in the years since. There's something cute about the way the song skirts around a consistent tone, using words like 'icky' and 'yucky' just before launching into a big moment of self-realisation. A song about imperfections should never be straight forward I guess. To her credit, she won an ARIA Award for Best Album Artwork, 10 years after she won her first one.

62. SACHI (feat Naïka) - Enchanté

This could be describe as an extremely /r/thathappened song. The idea that you have the perfect snarky response on hand to dismiss a creepy dude at a bar. If I was better acquainted with French beforehand, it would have made for a fun surprise to see the titular phrase used entirely ironically. It being a total banger on the side is just a neat bonus.

61. Megan Thee Stallion - Outside

As a follow up to my Biig Piig comment, this is a song with its own vintage sample, but one that I was certainly less familiar with. It harks back to the late '80s with Michel'le's "Something In My Heart". That's a great song in its own right that's carried by Michel'le evocative crooning. "Outside" takes it to a different direction in that it takes 2 seconds to cite a catchphrase from Juicy J. That being said it's definitely something different from Megan that's not focused as much on over the top absurdity and flexing. The flex is still there, but the minor chords make it feel more grounded, like a reflective moment.
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post Mar 19 2021, 03:45 PM
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60. Something For Kate - Waste Our Breath

Aside from being generally evocative, there's a subtle hint of poetry to this song's hook. It's kind of hard to portray a motif without it being heavy-handed or overly blatant, but here we get the youthful nostalgia of tying a ribbon in a secret public place, with two ideas of the fleeting nature of time ('the shortest day of the year', 'we can waste our breath'). Taking a special feeling of intimacy and tying it to mortality is evidently effective, and I imagine if he had three lives, he'd marry her in two.

59. King Princess - Ohio

This song does in fact sound quite a bit like "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd, or at least it does for the first 2 minutes before it gets different ideas. It's something of a credit to the hugely shifting template that I often don't even notice that some lyrics from the start of the song return near the end because I've just completely forgotten about that part there. I have to admire the gall of making an extremely not playlist friendly track.

58. Owl Eyes - Silver and Gold

The pains of when your favourite artists are trapped in label drama and can't release new music. Her new EP she put out in 2020 is her first proper new music since 2013, which can be long enough to worry that the magic will be gone after all that time. Not the case fortunately but I hope I don't have to wait as long again. This feels like the black sheep of the EP only because it's the sole one that hasn't had its own release of some manner, like it's there to pad out the numbers or something. It does have the casual cross promotion aspect of being a partial Flight Facilities production credit though I don't think I've ever seen that actually get brought up either. It's a pretty flashy production though which manages to pop out more than Polo G.

57. Liyah Knight - Energy

It has been proven with science at some point that 'hey ya' is an effective hook for a song. Admittedly it's probably not my favourite part, it's more just a nice bit of glue to piece the whole thing together. In general it's a nice, mellow vibe that's always nice to go back to.

56. The Beths - Dying to Believe

Dropping out everything for a nifty little guitar riff before the chorus is of course the oldest trick in the book. I made this observation before I saw the music video which borderline makes fun of the sheer calculated nature of song structure. This is all pretty apt since this song is not re-inventing the wheel (although admittedly I'm not sure I've heard a New Zealand train voice over in a song before) and instead makes for a comfortable gaze into familiar territory.

55. Ok Sure - Portals

Once again Ok Sure wins the title for having the most obscure song in my list, which at the time of writing doesn't even have 1,000 plays on Spotify. Conveniently I only heard this song because I just happened to stumble upon it when I was researching about the obscurity of the last song of hers I had the same observations about. But it's no slapdash affair for it, as there's an alluring darkness to it all. The pulsing sound of it doesn't overwhelm the ears, but provides the necessary tension. Very few women get much attention in the world of electronic music so this is my shout out.

54. Jess Locke - Destroy Everything

If you're by chance into the vibe of "Violent Turn" but find it a touch too long, then you could listen to this song twice in the same amount of time. This is a more straightforward song though, even when the chorus arrives, the chords hardly noticably change. It is moderately amusing to have a song that mentions eating cake next to a song called "Portals".

53. Lucky Daye - Fade Away

I wasn't really aware of Lucky Daye before this song but he does a great job of selling himself on this song. It's already got a great vibe, but it's all the stellar vocal melodies that especially had me coming back to this. I mean just listen to the way that the pre-chorus just cuts through, like an assurance that it's not just a by-the-numbers chill out.

52. Hockey Dad - In This State

A curious stat from my chart this year is that Hockey Dad is the only artist to score two top 5 hits on my chart. Ok well technically some other artists did but those were with 2019 holdovers so it's not as notable in the context of this list, so do not expect any artists to dominate the top end of this list. What I like about this song is just how well the central hook fits the mood of the song. There's a stress on the titular phrase that I totally buy. Assumably they hope to come and see you when your state's doing great though.

51. LOSER - Come To Terms (Meditate)

You know I get the feeling that these guys like Nirvana and/or the Foo Fighters. But in another sense I'm reminded of "Summer" by Grenadiers for just being so blatantly a throwback that it sticks out immensely in a modern context. It's that sort of diversity that has made my weekly chart listen through such a fun experience.
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post Mar 23 2021, 06:07 PM
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50. Lolo Zouaï - It's My Fault

Sometimes a song can stop me in my tracks without trying too hard. This is a very restrained, slow track which perfectly utilises all that empty space. The tension only rises just before the chorus arrives so it can be suddenly thrown away, making for an especially evocative hook.

49. The Beths - I'm Not Getting Excited

There's a song that was on triple j rotation around 2006/2007 that had a similar intro guitar riff to this and I can't for the life of me pin down what it was. I feel like the line was accompanied by a repeated lyric along the lines of 'sing...a love song' but I'm not sure that's 100% accurate either. This is a very fun time though, and since it sticks the title line at the start of the verses, it really just feels like an all-chorus rush that never ends.

48. NIKI - Selene

I'm not going to pretend that I had heard this song in 2020. Heck, I had thought I'd finalised this list before I heard it. I don't want to jump the gun and make a comparison even though I already have, but it's very much 'imagine if that song higher up on this list had horns & guitar instead of percussion'. Not saying the result is clearly worse, but it's rewarding enough in its own right to not toss it aside as a weak simulacra.

47. BENEE - Happen To Me

Clearly the true sign that I'm a boomer in disguise is that I drew my comparison back to the far reaching year of 2005 to say that this song reminds me of "This Modern Love" by Bloc Party. The younger folk would go for the much more modern comparison and say it's "Weird Fishes / Arpeggi" from 2007 and that is an extremely valid point. Really though it's fun that BENEE and her producer can slip a drum pattern like this into her album and have it fit in pretty seamlessly. The whole thing feels like a more serious outing in general too, lacking the playful side from a lot of her music.

46. Shannen James - Arrows

Seeing a proverbial promotion is always fun. Shannen made a pretty good impression on me the year before with "Something In The Water", but this really stepped things up a league. From that relatively chill side this song low key goes harder than nearly everything else in this list with that tremendous guitar feedback over the chorus. I never caught it myself but I believe triple j absolutely flogged this, and I always like when their playlist seems to overlap with mine by chance, which makes me feel like my haphazardous hit searching is doing something right.

45. Peking Duk (feat Alisa Xayalith) - Move

A lot of the time, Peking Duk songs get bogged down by a clunky hook or drop that kind of takes me out of it. Mind you that's true of my favourite ones as well; "Say My Name" embraces chaos and it's arguably better for it. "Move" is the first time in a long time though that all the pieces just seem to fit together perfectly. It's a cliche to say it, but that first sustained note of the chorus just feels euphoric.

44. Jaguar Jonze - Rabbit Hole

Hell yeah Eurovision, I think. Saying this is my favourite Eurovision-related song would be like saying Die Hard is my favourite Christmas movie probably. It's probably just easier to treat this as an otherwise conventionally released single with a curious tidbit attached. It's very evocative though. I find myself pulled in by the strangely worded chorus, almost as if it represents a certain tension where you can't get your words out concisely.

43. Cherry Glazerr - Rabbit Hole

No, that's not a typo. I thought quite long about this because it seemed almost too stupid to actually happen but here we are. This song took me by surprise as it doesn't tick the usual Cherry Glazerr boxes, until the bridge there's nothing close to the big guitar riffs I'm used to. What we get is a more groove-driven affair, and it turns out that it works just as well.

42. Alina Baraz (feat 6LACK) - Morocco

I kind of want to use this song to launch into an observation of what I call zoomer song structure. It's kind of a recurring tendency where a young artist will have a viral hit out of nowhere thanks to a catchy hook, but the song itself is so scarce on ideas that it barely clocks 2 minutes if that (to be supplanted by the inevitable remix of course). This doesn't really work here because Alina & 6LACK are about my age, but nonetheless, Alina barely clocks 30 words in her only verse on this song and then the chorus largely takes over. It's such an alluring tune though, which I'm just now seeing compared to "Pyramid Song" & Tame Impala of all things which I can actually totally hear. Also 6LACK saying 'daddy's home' in peak 6LACK voice is never not funny.

41. Jessie Ware - Spotlight

I feel like putting words to explaining why Jessie Ware makes good songs is a tough affair because this is a song that just screams 'duh, of course it's good'. But I mean that vocal run up to the chorus is just delightful, and I appreciate the ways of keeping it fresh when the backing vocals kick in later on.
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post Mar 29 2021, 02:30 PM
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40. flowerkid - miss andry

In the music video for this song, flowerkid looks like he should be singing about being on smoko, though in reality he's barely old enough to even entertain the notion. A very interesting song though and hard not to stop one in their tracks through its evocative lyrics. They're surprisingly measured too given the blunt subject matter.

39. SIR - 絶対束縛彼女

I feel like there has to be a better way to translate this title which ends up being "Absolute Bondage Her", feeling like a machine translation more than anything. I personally could get behind the idea of it just being about monogamy as in 'absolutely binding girlfriend', which if nothing else, is an easier thing to try to pretend to sing along to as the song's main hook. Not to be confused with the TDE artist.


I am fairly certain I've made this comparison for another song before, but if you have by chance played the 3rd Ratchet & Clank game, I'm certain you would remember the fake Britney Spears song about robots committing genocide on organic lifeforms. How could you forget when it manages to be the ultimate minute long banger? Anyway it's of no short compliment to say that the pre-chorus of this song resembles that main synth line immensely. Slow it down and you can sing this song over it I swear. I find Mia's position of fame to be extremely peculiar, but if she keeps making bangers like this, maybe one day she'll be as famous as Courtney Gears.

37. clipping. - Say the Name

This song obviously gets a bit wacky when it turns into a pool of Nine Inch Nails-esque chaos. By comparison, there's that Twin Peaks episode I saw recently where the Nine Inch Nails portion is probably the most normal part of it. clipping. is such a niche product that there's not a single comment I can find on "My Mind Playing Tricks On Me" connecting the interpolation that throughlines the entire song.

36. 彩音 - God's Syndrome

So the real reason I heard "Frustration" is because it's placed as a b-side to this track, which closes out the new Higurashi anime. I could not remotely say it's even my favourite ED from the series because honestly "Taishou a" would contend incredibly high on this list if not for the fact that it's over a decade old, and the new one they had this year is pretty great too. The lyrics which I'm just now reading for the first time connect with the themes of fate, and becoming helpless and defeated in attempt to overturn it. This is a lot of the stuff that only started to get touched on towards the end of the original story. I go out of every new episode just wanting those kids to be happy.

35. Phoebe Bridgers - I Know the End

This song hits like a sledgehammer the first time you hear it. It's somewhat similar to "Kyoto" in that sense but amplified to such an absurd degree, especially when nothing seems especially up for the first couple of minutes. It's a very good idea though. I think about watching fireworks, how the degree to which they can be escalated never gets very far. You can't get a big finish to go out on because you've already been desensitised to the endless barrage of explosions, even if the last one ends up just that little bit bigger. Phoebe just keeps expanding the chaos until you end up in a completely different place from where you started.

34. James Blake - Before

I regret to inform you that James Blake has removed the distinction of being a GRAMMY Award winner from his Twitter bio, which is remarkably hilarious when you realise what he won it for. "Before" is a series of neat little ideas that all package together pretty well. It's only when listening that I remember just how many there are, as I can get so focused on the big chorus hit, totally forgetting the intense change of pace after the fact (for some reason there are a lot of those in this part of the list).

33. RIIKI - Good Times

I'm not saying that RIIKI sounds a bit like BENEE but the first song of her's that I heard does mention monsters in her sleep. For that matter, this production sounds more like BENEE than most of her actual music did this past year. Combine it with her name and you've got a summation of the non-reggae side of popular NZ music.

32. The Lazy Eyes - Cheesy Love Song

This song sounds positively ancient by this point, even if it's only a year old. With a name like this I'm not sure how seriously they're taking things, but this band's first single is a terrific approximation of late era Beatles. I'm sure if it came out around 2012 it would be my absolute favourite song but I still get a kick out of something that feels so instantly nostalgic like this.


The other observation I have with zoomer pop is the plethora of edgy pop which may or may not start with Billie Eilish. I do seem to come across it fairly often, with this being one of my favourite examples. As a bonus, REI AMI actually is a zoomer. I think it's the slower tempo which allows the song to feel especially creepy. Music trends tend to sneak up once the prevailing generation ages more into taking over the zeitgeist so I do wonder if we'll eventually see a lot more music like this making it big.
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Iz 💀
post Mar 30 2021, 09:29 AM
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Been pleased to see Higurashi Gou impact on this list! Absolutely love "God's Syndrome", it closed out the episodes it was there for so beautifully, chills all the way through, accompanied by some pretty poignant artwork of course. Not even fair that one of my favourite anime franchises also has some of the best possible music it could have.

the rest of this list impacts from "very good and I know it" (like clipping., I'd say "Say The Name" could stand as a great introductory track to them, great and pleasingly simple despite its weirdness) to "I don't know it and it's probably good" x
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post Apr 3 2021, 08:09 AM
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QUOTE(Iz 💀 @ Mar 30 2021, 05:29 PM) *
Been pleased to see Higurashi Gou impact on this list! Absolutely love "God's Syndrome", it closed out the episodes it was there for so beautifully, chills all the way through, accompanied by some pretty poignant artwork of course. Not even fair that one of my favourite anime franchises also has some of the best possible music it could have.

the rest of this list impacts from "very good and I know it" (like clipping., I'd say "Say The Name" could stand as a great introductory track to them, great and pleasingly simple despite its weirdness) to "I don't know it and it's probably good" x

Obviously the best compliment I can give to Gou's soundtrack is that I've not once skipped the intro or credits on Higurashi Thursdays. There's probably more I could say but I could also probably do that later thinking.gif

Also as a side note, clipping. has the most bizarre entry point for me just because I first heard their music when "Work Work" somehow made the ARIA Charts back in 2014, which makes zero sense to me except that I guess it was juuust before streaming was added to the charts. That whole album was a big favourite of mine at the time. Thanks for reading!

30. 070 Shake - Guilty Conscience

5am don't start 'til I walk in. You might recall 070 Shake for providing the best 2 minutes on Kanye West's "ye", though not enough to get an official credit on it. This is one of the best hooks of the year, enough so that it completely earns the repeated chorus because it doesn't even need to swift transition to sound huge. Combine that with the beautiful synth patterns and I don't think it's controversial to say that 070 Shake is one of the best endorsements Kanye West has made recently.

29. Lil Baby - The Bigger Picture

I fell into the obvious traps and was very dismissive of Lil Baby. I scarcely actually heard his music, but it's easier to just pick two lines from "Yes Indeed" and feel justified to never look further. "The Bigger Picture" isn't really his first song that 'has meaning' but the big splash it made, made it impossible to ignore what he had going for him this entire time. After all, if you ignore Billboard's increasingly distorted idea of what a calendar year is, he did have the biggest album of 2020 in the US and you have to have something going for you to get that sort of draw. As for "The Bigger Picture", I especially admire it as a political song that doesn't just swing for the most extreme angle on either side of the perspective. The reservations made in the song are measured. You can tell he just wants to make a point, but he's focused on the issue at hand, rather than rubbing his nose in a different political alignment in the constant battle for one-upmanship which it often feels like. It makes the song feel unifying in a rare way.

28. System Of A Down - Genocidal Humanoidz

Speaking of songs that are so inherently political that the only reason they exist is because of national strife...System Of A Down have always been very up front about their Armenian heritage. It's very easy to miss a lot of global conflict that isn't American & Eurocentric and ignored conflict is unchecked conflict. System Of A Down releasing new music for the first time in a decade and a half to shine a light on this all is pretty admirable. "Protect The Land" sounds extremely like Scars On Broadway but "Genocidal Humanoidz" is classic System. I enjoy the fact that the Wikipedia article calls the drumming tighter than a Khabib chokehold because it's a very evocative comparison that I only first understood shortly before the song was released.

27. Owl Eyes - Tokyo

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Brooke likes Lost In Translation. It's a simultaneously cute & heartbreaking concept though, going overseas to try and make that flailing connection work, but only growing more apart, likening the incompatibility with trying to make sense of the foreign street signs. The sonic palette of the EP is pretty diverse but there's definitely a consistent lyrical theme of being scorned by asshole dudes. I hope it works as an outlet because I can't imagine just how much bottled up frustration she must have at times.

26. KUČKA - Contemplation

You might recall KUČKA (pronounced 'kootch-ka') from her numerous Flume collaborations, and if you still don't, get on "Hyperreal" because it's one of the best songs he's put out. My favourite song KUČKA's done though is "Real" which was the previous single before this in 2019. I feel like this is just ticking a lot of the same boxes. Everything about it is hypnotic, and it's the sort of music that no other artist really can make.

25. Husky - Light a Cigarette

While a lot of Husky's music is low key, and I like it for that, this is a song that shoots for the fences and absolutely sticks the landing. It's not often you can say 'wow, this Husky song has a killer guitar riff', but also it's the constant punch of drums that really get the song moving. It's a song with so many moods. Like, I would scarcely imagine ever saying that a folk rock group could put out a song that sounds true to themselves, but also sounds strangely like "Let It Happen" by Tame Impala. And yet.

24. Disclosure, Amine & slowthai - My High

The monster club anthem that 2020 couldn't possibly have a use for. US & British rap are so often separated that seeing them together is something of a novelty, but it's pretty seamless how well Amine & slowthai both fit with this Disclosure beat. Even in the confines of my headphones in my room, this is a massive party.

23. Tired Lion - Waterbed

Tired Lion have been an enduring favourite of mine for many years. I got to see them live a few years ago when our local council put on a free live show that they opened, and I was one of the few people especially keen to see them. They've since relocated from Western Australia to Queensland but I'll still rep the local loyalty. After all these years though I have a new favourite song from them in "Waterbed". This is of course the song that has the whistle hook but also as a side gig goes absolutely relentless on the guitars. It sounds even more massive on the rare cases I was able to hear it while outside.

22. KIAN - Sunbeam

The king of the fake BENEE songs. If nothing else you can trust me as being internally consistent because I didn't realise Josh Fountain (who has produced every single BENEE song except "Night Garden") produced this one until I was already very on board with it (which is to say that there isn't a lot of BENEE in this list but if I put my 2010s End Of Decade list up, the compliments would be properly actualised). It also serves having the bonus context that it comes from KIAN who notably had a very big hit (read: spent forever on Hot Hits Australia) a few years back with "Waiting", a largely thrillfree song. I very much enjoy abstract metaphors like this especially when love is described like something that sounds like a Castform attack.

21. Danté Knows (feat Tasker) - Laced

Every now and then I'll come across a song that I generally vibe with on initial impression only for it to spiral out of control. I feel like charts do this inevitably as the old drops away (well, back when that actually happened) reliquishing their positions that have to be filled with something. Often times it feels only natural for it to have happened. "Laced" feels twisted but enticing all the same. I'm not familiar with either artist's ouvre but they play off well here, especially at the end when Tasker starts chopping up the hook to reach peak chaos. It's a great melding of rap & electronic music that comes together with a hazy je ne sais quoi that I never tire of going back to.
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20. Samsaruh - I Am a Woman

I'm late to realising this, but I feel like a good touchstone for this song is "Sound Of The Underground", if say it was really leaning into its surf-rock elements. It's another strong entry in the world of 'This isn't what I signed up for but I can't complain with the results all the same', which is to say that it's quite a divergence from Samsaruh's early singles which I was quickly on board with.

19. girl in red - rue

What's always a fun surprise is when a song goes harder than initially projected. Just because my past experiences with her music has been relatively restrained on the musical front and it already quickly feels like this song has shown all its cards quickly. But then that big pulsating rhythm comes roaring in and it just makes for a huge, intense atmosphere.

18. Tkay Maidza - Grasshopper

For as much as I bemoan the extended, drawn out post-album single environment, I do know what it's like to be just sitting on a monster and not really noticing until it gets more attention itself. At least it happened a lot with albums in the mid-late 2000s, though nowadays I'm more likely to pick out my own favourites pretty quickly. This wasn't prompted by anything other than me going back through my collection in order to make this list but it wasn't until then that I realised that this EP I bought months ago was housing this absolute monster. "Awake" is well documented for how good it is but I think this goes even further. Monstrous thuds, a blaring siren & Tkay going all in on it, what's not to love?

17. mxmtoon (feat Carly Rae Jepsen) - ok on your own

I swear I can like chill music as well. This is just drums and a ukelele after all. Then again maybe chill is the wrong word because it's really quite sombre. All the elements are in tandem to punctuate every note and draw that emotion out fully. Also there's a nice rhyme scheme in the chorus with comprehend/friend/confidence/confidant, the latter being a word I'm not sure I've ever otherwise seen used outside of Persona.

16. Jaguar Jonze - Deadalive

This feels like a nice meeting point of her singles discography. It has a bit of that intensity from "Rabbit Hole", but it's also punctuated with small rollicking guitar motifs that aren't unlike "You Got Left Behind". Also in general there's an excellent guitar solo across the bridge which gives me more creedence to the idea that rock is not remotely just a genre at its best when confined to the most clear image branding for it.

15. HAIM - 3am

There's a part of me that thinks I'm only being this random about this one because of me randomly hearing this song, from a rather well respected album I've admittedly not heard in full. But given how consistently I liked, but never stuck with the singles from this album, this felt like a revelation on first play. I'm not even entirely sure what exactly it is about this song, but I guess the airy vibe of it works well with the thudding backdrop. Not that I can relate to this manner of phone calls. If they'd made a song about discord pings, then I'd be all in.

14. Max Leone - Cautious

I mostly only came across this song by fluke by choosing to spend longer than necessary still listening to triple j after a countdown. For many this would be the least flattering comparison ever, but I get some serious "Falling" by Trevor Daniel vibes out of this other bleach-blonde looking dude with trap beats. Like it's all there in the weird melodic flow that's simultaneously fun to sing along just because of how freely it roams around. This is a song that was released in early 2020, before heads & hearts became more unified.

13. Jantoje (feat Jade Alice) - Bad Minded

I'm actually not sure that this song ever gets any better than the first 15 seconds, when it's at its most tense and minimal. It's fairly reminiscent of All Saints' "Black Coffee", which is a comparison that came to mind months after first hearing this. Obviously there's more to it or I never would have stuck by the song and heard it more than once. The hook in particular has a strong sustained modulation which makes the otherwise not particularly unique production really stick out to me. For how often I hear repetitive dance music and never feel compelled to listen again to something with so few tricks up its sleeve, sometimes those few tricks make me keep coming back.

12. Maddy Jane - Femme

This was such a slow burner for me that no song in the last 3 years has spent more weeks on my personal chart than it, even though it only got to #5. Basically a song I thought I had figured out but realised every week that I was selling it short. It's not quite as direct as say a Camp Cope song but the sheer conviction with which she voices her frustration with the system really is quite powerful. The chorus line itself is a succinct rebuttal to anyone who tries to dismiss it, and what a big entrance that chorus makes at times.

11. Rina Sawayama - XS

In general it's all just a lot to take in. There's probably been a time in the past when I would have rejected the audacity but now I'm all in. The song basically revels in the...XS with a chorus that never ends, wants more, and then gives you more. My first listen was a fever dream that I found myself desperately wanting to return to because all these things I'd heard before, but never in such a galling combination proved extremely enticing. It was also a strange circumstance because triple j at the time were doing an all-requests, only requests week on the radio which unlike usual request radio, resulted in absolute oddities getting airtime. So me hearing this made me think I'd encountered some strange way-too-enthusiastic deep cut High School Musical track, which would have been completely on brand for that moment.
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Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 14th April 2021 - 07:42 AM