Elle Varner feat. J. Cole – Only Wanna Give It To You (2011)



Okay, I like the Elle Varner vibe, but the opening salvo of the ESG and Biz Markie samples is probably the reason this song makes the list. It more than makes up for a slowish jam about shoes. ‘Only Wanna Give It to You’ was Elle Varner’s lead single release off her debut album, Perfectly Imperfect, and features rapper J. Cole. Have a great weekend.

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Noir & Haze – Around (Solomun Vox) (2011)

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Malaysian DJ Haze’s CV past collaborations include a notable roll call of house music institutions (Kings of Tomorrow, Fanciulli, MJ Cole, Defected Records and Strictly Rhythm). In 2011, he worked with Danish DJ Noir (aka Rene Kristensen) and together they produced ‘Around’. And then, they enjoyed collaboration squared when German DJ Solomun cut his own downtempo Vox mix of the single. The remix became a floor-filler.

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Serge Gainsbourg – Ballade de Melody Nelson (1971)



22-year old English actress Jane Birkin wafts in and out of this classic song, like a refrain. She whispers “Melody Nelson” to her lover. Serge Gainsbourg listens. ‘Ballade De Melody Nelson’ features on his 1971 album Histoire De Melody Nelson.

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Angus and Julia Stone – Big Jet Plane (2010)



Three years after releasing their debut, A Book Like This, the Australian brother and sister Stones created something gift-wrapped for the American market. “She smelled of daisies, she smelled of daisies/She drive me crazy, she drive me crazy.” ‘Big Jet Plane’ features on their 2010 album Down The Way.

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The Notwist – One With The Freaks (2002)



Good morning folks. The Notwist released the tremendous ‘One With The Freaks’ as one of the promo singles from their 2002 album Neon Golden. They do electro-guitar-pop very well, allowing their sound to breath with a clever touch of minimalism. Have a great week.

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HONNE feat. Izzy Bizu – Someone That Loves You (2016)



HONNE are a British electronic soul duo from the East End of London. This year, James Hatcher (producer) and Andy Clutterbuck (singer/producer) teamed up with Izzy Bizu for the track ‘Someone That Loves You’ that features on their debut album Warm on a Cold Night. Clutterbuck sounds like James Arthur, but hey, that can be a positive right? “Don’t tell me that you could, don’t tell me that you could.” Have a great weekend.

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Okkervil River – Okkervil River R.I.P. (2016)



Full disclosure: in 2005, I spent a reasonably significant time believing that Okkervil River’s album, Black Sheep Boy & Black Sheep Boy Appendix, was quite possibly the best thing that had happened to americana since Wilco. Fast forward over a decade and Okkervil River have released their eighth studio album Away. And by George, they’ve gone and called a new song ‘Okkervil River R.I.P.’ What are you up to Will Sheff? Are you a band or a transitory project? In the meantime, keep knocking out the class.

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Jorja Smith – Where Did I Go? (2016)

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19-year old Jorja Smith is hot property and armed with a voice to match. Earlier this year, she released the buttery ‘Where Did I Go?’ She’s come a long way from native Walsall. You can tell she listened to Amy Winehouse and Lauryn Hill when growing up, if that’s something she’s finished doing.

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La Femme – Septembre (2016)



French synthpop… here we are at last. ‘Septembre’ features on La Femme’s second album Mystère. What sounds like a simple 1980s pop track eventually opens out into something a little more psychedelic than you’re initially primed for. I like it.

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Mac DeMarco – Another One (2015)



On the title track of last year’s album Another One, the languid Mac DeMarco contemplates whether another is knocking at the door of his loved one. Like a second part to his introspective ‘Chamber of Reflection’, the song builds on his impressive and explorative diary of common travails. Have a great week.


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9 of the best – sounds of 2003

My favourite songs of 2003 and in no particular order:

Broken Social Scene – Stars And Sons

Kings Of Leon – Red Morning Light

Outkast – Hey Ya

Richmond Fontaine – Barely Losing

My Morning Jacket – One Big Holiday

Mew – Comforting Sounds

Radiohead – A Wolf At The Door

The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army

Broken Social Scene – Lovers Spit


Honourable mentions also go to: Sun Kil Moon for ‘Carry Me Ohio‘; U.N.P.O.C. for ‘Amsterdam‘; The Postal Service for ‘Such Great Heights‘; Junior Senior for ‘Move Your Feet‘; The Weakerthans for ‘Plea From A Cat Named Virtute‘; and The Killers for ‘Mr. Brightside‘.


GoGo Penguin – Hopopono (2014)



Hailing from Manchester, Chris Illingworth, Nick Blacka and Rob Turner are GoGo Penguin. They create an ambient sound that is full of infectious piano melodies and rhythmic break beats. ‘Hopopono’ is the last track on their critically-acclaimed sophomore album, v2.0. Have a great weekend.

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Tobias Jesso Jr. – Just A Dream (2013)



Based out of North Vancouver, Tobias Jesso Jr. started playing piano in his spare time while working for a moving company. During this time, he wrote his first ear-catching song ‘Just a Dream’. Girls bassist JR White took note and produced his ensuing album Goon with with Patrick Carney of The Black Keys and John Collins of The New Pornographers. The rest, as they say, will be history.

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Todd Terje – Inspector Norse (2012)


Todd Terje

‘Inspector Norse’ was written, performed and produced by the world’s favourite Norwegian DJ, Todd Terje. He released it as a single on Smalltown Supersound Records and then as part of his EP It’s the Arps. More beach lounge than dance floor, this was the sound of summer 2012.

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Julia Holter ‎- Goddess Eyes (2011)



In 2011, not only did Julia Holter draw on the work of Arthur Russell and Laurie Anderson, but also she had the composure to create something totally original. Her debut album Tragedy features ‘Goddess Eyes’ in all its vocoder-processed glory. “I can see you, but my eyes are not allowed to cry.”

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