2018 was a stellar year for new and exciting music, here we explore our top 10 picks for the year.
10 Leon Vynehall – Movements ( Ch III )
Leon Vynehall is the man who brought us the quite brilliant ‘House of Dupree’ a few years back – a song that was played in almost every soft house set at that time. He is back with a new more mellow jazzy set of releases here. Elements of hip hop infused with Vynehall’s sheer ability to adapt this totally new style – this is a fantastic listen. Chapter III is perfect for the sunshine while sitting in the park. A great 2018 release.
09 BEN KHAN – WARRIORS ROSE
Taken from Khan’s self titled debut album released in the middle of the year, we found it hard to pick our favorite tune from it. Khan an English/Pakistani artist who has drawn many comparisons to the egnigmatic Jai Paul in style, always bosses it with his trip future pop productions and this album was much anticipated since I heard his fantastic ‘Savage’ and ‘Tidel wave of love’ a couple years ago. The vocal in ‘Warriors Rose’ shades our song of the album. It’s mellow all over. Check it below.
08 Nick Mulvey – Dancing For The Answers
One of the most melancholy voices in British music in recent years, Nick Mulvey has been making some solid stuff to be fair. This one may just be his best body of work thus far. Ever since the mystical ‘Fever to the Form’ launched him into the known, we have been tracking his every move since. This year came another very pleasant number called ‘Dancing for the Answers’. The smiley string plucking – the smooth voice – the feels. Put on the kettle and enjoy. Mellow Mulvey! Summer 2018 feels! Infectious!
07 David Kitt – Hammer Time
In fairness I never expected when we started ‘The Sound Sniffer’ in January that I would be writing about David Kitt, let alone him sneaking into my top 15 annual list, but ‘Hammer Time’ just caught a hold. The Irishman has just made a beauty. Chilled: atmospheric: just simply lovely! Hats off Mr Kitt! This was my most played ambient tune of the year and it is so very under appreciated.
06 Biig Piig : Raze Plan B
Irish\Spanish/Londoner Jess ‘Biig Piig’ Smyth has lit it up completely this term with yet another flawless batch of flawless releases. Her smooth voice coupled with her, now, trademark ‘toot toot’ at the end of most tunes, she is killing it at the moment. Perdida was her breakthrough which took influence from her time living in Spain and showcased her bilingual talents. Her latest release ‘Raze: Plan B’ just pips it on my list. With the beat from Mac Wetha and Sukha behind her here, her voice is in full blossom. Check.
05 Dj Koze – Illumination (Ft. Roisin Murphy)
Koze with another vibing production with none other than the legend that is ‘ Roisin Murphy’ on the vocals. How has this even happened? I would pay a top end dollar to hear more of this match made in heaven. Murphy is bringing back those wonderful Moloko feels again. Have a cup of tea and enjoy this – I’ve had this on repeat all year walking through London. Slick!
” I need a bit of light here “ – lyric of 2018
04 LANKS – Stronger Than
This man is my favorite pop style artist for the last few years. I generally get excited when I see a new LANKS release posted, the lad is a maverick. ‘Stronger Than’ has his trademark purposeful piano chords coupled with his lovely vocals and I’m sold. Throw a little distortion in the mix and a harmony or two and it’s a keeper. This almost sounds like a mix on Bon Ivers new hip electronic voice and James Vincent McMorrows falsetto – ‘Stronger Than’ is a very IN sound. Check out his new EP Inoue now.
03 Ross From Friends – Pale Blue Dot
The UK producer who dons one of the most fantastic stage names of all time, also graced us with his full debut release this year and it’s stand out track was most definitely ‘Pale Blue Dot’. This is a LoFi piece of art which has been filling dj sets all year. If you are a fan of this check out ‘Talk to me you’ll understand’ for a LoFi house masterclass. The video for Pale Blue Dot is not half bad either, footage taken by the artists parents during their hippy days touring around, a cool cool gene pool.
02 Kojaque – Bubby’s Cream
Irish R&B has been searching for that one real breakthrough artist for the last decade of so. So many have tried to make it big domestically or abroad but it has just never matierialized for one reason or another. Admittedly we wouldn’t be huge followers of Irish Hip Hop but remember Collie Collins breaking through to the charts in 2004 with his satirical ‘Some Sham’ track and Nu-Centz winning a collab with American artist Lupe Fiasco not long after. Since- there have been many lads trying their best to pave a path in the industry but nothing has quite tickled ears to date – Until we heard this lad ‘Kojaque’. Featuring on a new Spotify designed playlist earlier in the year ,he has every chance to be the one dime Irish Hip Hop has searched for. The production of ‘Bubby’s Cream’ is smashing- subtle beats merged with mellow mellow sax. Like an Irish Loyle Carner- We hope this is the beginning of something good. Bubbys Cream hits the jackpot and slots into second place of our top 10 for 2018.
01 Aleksandir – Yamaha
Well, Where did this come from? An absolute peach of a track coming out of Tessellate London. The track was premiered unsurprisingly by ‘Houseum’ – the channel run by Tessellates founders Max Van Dijk & Deelux Audio. This Turkish producer ‘Aleksandir’ is some find by them and we just have to place this as our track of the year. Brilliant progressive, soft, mesmerising track with bass hooks aplenty and synth arpeggios leads everywhere. This tune brings us on a lovely pleasant little electronic expedition. There’s just something about this I love, the list is very mismash but this was always going to be my pick for the year as soon as I heard itr.
Im surprised that I haven’t heard any of these artists. I’ll have to check them out. Good new music is the best.
-Leslie Anne Ikpe
Indeed, hours and hours of searching culminates in a list like this. Thanks for checking us out.