The second set of twenty songs of the year, as we get closer to the top ten. Check out the full list so far. (Photo: Sophie Dukoff, Variety)
30. Peach Stone – Indoor Foxes
An extremely satisfying blend of pop and rock with razor-sharp words from the Scottish soloist. One of 2021’s most promising acts.
29. Physical – Dua Lipa
Big-hitting and punchy, this epitomised the 80s-influenced sound of her album Future Nostalgia.
28. Mirrors – Rejjie Snow
A delicious blend of discordant synths and hushed groove which has been frequently overlooked.
27. Blonde – Roger Eno and Brian Eno
‘Blonde’ was a standout moment of Harold Budd-esque softness in their album Mixing Colours, which called back to the sonics of Eno and Budd’s Plateaux of Mirror.
26. Something To Rap About – Freddie Gibbs and The Alchemist
Led by carefree sliding guitars, this is an easy and gentle number that is utterly, utterly seductive. Trippy and classy in equal measure.
25. No – Billy Nomates
A stripped-back number of defiance and minimalism from one of 2020’s most acclaimed acts.
24. pink diamond – Charli XCX
A musical punch in the face. Followed swiftly by a kick. Then another punch, for good measure. The unforgiving opener of her lauded album how i’m feeling now.
23. How – NewDad
Dream-pop-meets-grunge-meets-early-Cure in this elusively ethereal number. Only NewDad’s second single of the year.
22. yankee and the brave (ep. 4) – Run The Jewels
Percussively devastating and lyrically vital, this opened the excellent RTJ4.
21. Comet Face – King Krule
Anchored by a creeping and discordant bassline, ‘Comet Face’ was a hit of post-punk hyper-realism.
20. Alpha Venom – Sophie Hunger
Hunger takes no prisoners with this vibrant and elegant synth-led powerhouse.
19. My Candidacy – Pom Poko
Following their 2019 debut Birthday, ‘My Candidacy’ sees Pom Poko delve into heavier sounds and hectic arrangements.
18. Living In America – Fontaine’s D.C.
Five power-filled minutes of joy. A showcasing of how to deliver punk simplicity at its most dangerous.
17. The Steps – Haim
A track of acoustic buoyancy and buzz. From their best album yet, Women In Music Pt. III.
16. The Spy Who Came In From The Cold – Document
A daring, chilling composition, layered with merciless guitars and shouted, urgent vocals. A stunning track.
15. Snow Day – Shame
Next year’s album Drunk Tank Pink is looking to be one of the most promising releases for a long time, and ‘Snow Day’ exhibits a greater maturity and depth in the group’s sound wonderfully.
14. Club Cougar – Nadine Shah
The stylish, authoritative opener of Shah’s album Kitchen Sink which sets the tone of defiance and empowerment.
13. So We Won’t Forget – Khurangbin
Khurangbin struck a perfect note of artistic complexity and accessibility with their album Mordechai, with ‘So We Won’t Forget’ being one of the most-loved tracks of the year.
12. No Flag – Elvis Costello
Costello sounds fresh, invigorated and, most importantly, angry, on the phenomenally destructive ‘No Flag’.
11. come – Adrianne Lenker
An acoustic track of pure delicacy and comfort. A moment of wonder on Lenker’s beautiful album songs.