From new talent to timeless icons, here’s who soundtracked my year.
It’s been a good year for music. Miss Lipa gifted us with her own set of commandments in the form of New Rules, to which everyone who’s found themselves romantically involved with a guy collectively exclaimed ‘ohhh‘. Despacito let us make believe we could all be bilingual, if only for 3 minutes 49 seconds. Lorde bestowed us with a masterpiece of an album.
I could go on, but this isn’t a year in review of the music world – this is about the artists that soundtracked my year.
I’m sure like many of you, music is an integral part of my routine so I’m always interested in discovering fresh sounds. And as I’ve learnt this year, sometimes that’s just as much about rediscovering an artist as it is finding a new one. So if you’re looking for some new additions to your playlist for 2018, get a load of these…
I first saw Jillian Hervey, half of this NYC duo as a judge on Season 1 of Rupaul’s Drag Race: All Stars. Enraptured by her dance abilities, grace and beauty, I knew I wanted more. Upon discovering her music project, Lion Babe I felt like I’d struck gold. Hervey’s vocals have this stunningly timeless quality (think Corinne Bailey Rae meets Lauryn Hill) which, when paired with with producer Lucas Goodman’s genius beats are like nothing you’ve heard. Lion Babe has quickly become my go-to soundtrack for when I want something chilled yet upbeat (like when I’m tidying my room).
Be sure to check out their instagram to fawn over Jillian’s exquisite stage outfits! And I saved the best fact about Jillian for last…her mum’s the one and only Vanessa Williams (sorry not sorry for that joke).
You know what I’m a total sucker for? An artist who puts just as much into their VISUALS as their music. The full package. And Rina is just that. I’d advise anyone listening to Rina for the first time to watch her music videos as your introduction to her world.
And what a world it is. Like a sci-fi comic book brought to life, Rina’s sound is a technicoloured explosion of futuristic fashion in the age of endless scrolling. Life in the digital age features heavily as a recurring theme throughout her debut EP (Ordinary Superstar: Girl on the screen/You’re a queen/But you’re living in a cloud where there’s no rain. Cyber Stockholm Syndrome: Came here on my own/party on my phone). The epic ‘Afterlife’ marries a snaking guitar riff with impassioned lyrics (Why are you so scared of falling?/Hold your head up high), making it a worthy addition to my ‘You Got This‘ playlist.
It was actually my friend Sanj who introduced me to Rina, citing her heavy 00s influence as something I’d like. He was so right. Rina Sawayama’s sound strikes a chord that’s both familiar (listen out for the early Britney/Xtina influences) yet fresh.
Had you asked me 12 months ago, I’ve never would have placed seeing Shania Twain live in the list of plausible things to happen in 2017, let alone that she would emerge as one of my defining artists of the year. And yet…!
Up until now, Shania Twain had been bubbling in the background as a throwback artist I’d always have a special place in my heart for. For the past few Halloweens, I’ve always said I wanted to recreate that iconic leopard ensemble from Shania’s ‘That Don’t Impress Me Much’ video (watch this space – you may not have to wait until next October).
But what really kicked it up a notch was sometime this spring, when my friend Luke messaged me to say he’d got us tickets to Radio 2’s Concert in Hyde Park. And guess who was headlining? That was it. In the months leading up to the concert, I threw myself right into that Shania Twain back catalogue, the lyrics to each song coming back to me like it was the 90s and I was watching her on Top Of The Pops. Seeing her live just cemented how much I love her and her music (the woman sang live!! Hit after hit! An icon!!).
Not to mention dancing in Hyde Park with my friend Lily to ‘Man, I Feel Like a Woman’ in the pouring rain is a memory I don’t think I’ll be forgetting in a hurry.
Speaking of friends influencing music choices, I wholeheartedly have my friend Sam to blame for getting me hooked on HAIM. I was obsessed with ‘Falling’ and ‘Forever’ when they first came out, but I’d not really listened to any of their other stuff until this year. They are undeniably cool, and it’s a welcome change in the male-dominated indie/rock landscape to see an all female band. Aaand let’s hand them extra points for this kickass cover of the aforementioned icon’s ‘That Don’t Impress Me Much’.
S p e c i a l m e n t i o n s t o:
CARLY RAE JEPSEN – Cut To The Feeling
(imo the greatest release of 2017)
DUA LIPA – New Rules
FERGIE – You Already Know
FERGIE – Big Girls Don’t Cry
BLOOD ORANGE – You’re Not Good Enough
CHAKA KHAN – I’m Every Woman
FKA TWIGS – Glass & Patron
LITTLE MIX – Power
CASHMERE CAT FT ARIANA GRANDE – Quit
ADAM JOSEPH FT AJA – Linda Evangelista
LADY GAGA – The Cure
LANA DEL REY – Love
What and who soundtracked your year? Who should I be listening to in 2018?
Comment your recommendations below or tweet me @sineadsaintelle!