Breaking Beats: January Update

My top ten favorite songs RN

To celebrate the end of January, I put together a playlist of the songs I bumped the most this past month. Major drops by Rihanna and Chairlift made up most of my January listening, but I also caught up on some slept-on acts of 2015, like Bryson Tiller and Wolf Alice. Take a listen below:

Rihanna — Work ft. Drake

Anti, Rihanna’s highly anticipated 9th studio album, is finally out. Unless you were living in a dark, dank dumpster in Jermaine Dupri’s basement, you probably already knew that. The first single is a Drizzy-RiRi collaboration produced by long-time Drake collaborator Boi-1da, and it shows a more subtle side of Rihanna. Anti, as an album, is strides ahead of Rihanna’s last album Unapologetic, and while “Work” is a total club banger, it’s also refined and catchy AF. BRB, I gotta go for a dance break.

Bryson Tiller — Exchange

I’m sad to say I’m late to the Bryson Tiller party. Tiller is the suave hip-hop artist that made it big last spring with “Don’t.” Tiller has been playing a sold-out tour and just performed nearby at the Fox Theater in Oakland, which got me listening to his debut studio album, T R A P S O U L. My favorite cut is “Exchange,” a thoughtful track about a relationship that never really was what it could have been.

ZAYN — PILLOWTALK

The former 1D boybander is finally out on his own! PILLOWTALK holds its own, though I hate the music video. What’s up with all these psychedelic-wannabe-hip-so-bad-but-really-just-cheesy transitions? Regardless, I can still get with the song.

DJ Snake — Middle ft. Bipolar Sunshine

DJ Snake has really been poppin up on the dance music scene since his role in “Turn Down For What”(2013), “You Know You Like It” (2014) and “Lean On” with Major Lazer (2015). “Middle” is his first single of the year, and it’s a playful track with a dope-ass chorus beat.

Sofi Tukker — Matadora

You might have heard Sofi Tukker’s “Drinkee” in an Apple commercial. The deep house duo is based in NYC, but they sing in Portuguese. It’s been a dancey kind of month.

Chairlift — Show U Off

Chairlift never sounded as pop as they do in “Show U Off,” one of my favorite tracks off their new album Moth, which came out earlier in January. Frontwoman Caroline Polachek’s vocals scream young-and-in-love. Mix that with the funky guitar riffs in the chorus, and you got me feeling some type of way.

Miike Snow — Genghis Khan

Swedish boys Miike Snow are back, and they’re raising the bar in the pop world. I love the production behind this track. The guys pulled together some classic Miike Snow grand piano cords with a constantly-running, jazzy drum style. The lyrics are golden as well. The line “I get a little bit Genghis Khan, don’t want you to get it on with nobody else but me” is tied perfectly to the bridge, “I wanna pull it together but I don’t know myself.” For all you greedy lovers out there, this track is for you.

Louane — Avenir

I just heard this song for the first time on Beats Radio 1 last week, but apparently it came out over a year ago. This French cut would’ve been perfect for my playlist on Paris a few months back!

Frankie Cosmos — Young

Another artist I missed in 2015, Frankie Cosmos has a low-fi pop style mixed with the cutest voice and lyrics. The lyrics of the song are more than cute, they’re endearing. “I heard about being young, but I’m not sure how it’s done” makes me think about flirting with a world of insecurities. Kinda college, right?

Wolf Alice — Freazy

London post-punk rockers Wolf Alice came out of the pub scene, blending aggressive guitar riffs with delicate vocals. My favorite track from their debut, “Freazy,” is made up of soft yet sassy vocals with a pop-heavy production style. When frontwoman Ellie Rowsell sings the chorus (with a distinctly English twang), “You can hate us all you want but it don’t mean nothing at all,” the verse just pops. It’s quite refreshing.

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