Pop music is a crazy industry, even more so in our fractured age. It’s crazy how many songs can be blowing up in some corner of the world, online or off, without ever spilling over into the mass consciousness. It’s crazy how many of those songs actually do spill over without some of us realizing … More »
Paring down an entire year’s worth of songs is no easy feat.
2018 saw the explosion of songs like ZEDD‘s “The Middle” and Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa‘s “One Kiss,” dominating both the dance music charts and the radio airwaves. Ear-catching tracks like these, along with fan favorites like FISHER‘s persuasive “Losing It” and Anti Up‘s entertaining “Pizza” wiggled their way into festival sets around the world and — love them or hate them — stood out as notable tracks that do their part in immortalizing this whirlwind of a year.
We also saw a creative collective of remixes surface in 2018, including Rinzen‘s compelling take on deadmau5 and Rob Swire‘s hit “Monophobia” and Skrillex‘s intoxicating rendition of Travis Scott‘s “Sicko Mode.” We celebrated the return of Gesaffelstein with “Reset” and welcomed new projects from Diplo in LSD and Silk City. We welcomed collaborations from Ekali, Medasin, and Elohim in “Forever,” Tiësto, Dzeko, Post Malone, and Preme in platinum smash hit “Jackie Chan,” and ZHU and Tame Impala in “My Life.”
Ultimately, though, we’ve narrowed 2018 down to 30 tracks that stole our hearts and smashed streaming records.
It appears that SQUIRM came across Marshmello‘s Billboard charter, “Happier,” featuring Bastille and decided to tinker with it. A celestial house makeover gives the original a boost of speed, cranking BPMs up to 127. Uplifting metallic synths dominate the melody with an accompanying bassline around a punching house track, showing quite the ecstatic alien producer.
While pairing with another artist who used anonymity to cover their work and define their brand, few have created a new world narrative for listeners to explore. SQUIRM is on that path with the robot’s mystic persona and storytelling, Traveller EP, which crash-landed out of nowhere. Sources say there’s a veteran dance music producer behind the creation, but SQUIRM could also just be a real alien looking for friends.
Y’all wanna hear something crazy? I’ve been writing this weekly pop column for five whole years now. It seems like just yesterday that I published the inaugural installment explaining why The Week In Pop would be a good addition to the Stereogum portfolio. As we approach the precipice of 2019, I’m fairly certain … More »
Marshmello and Bastille pivot away from the tear-jerking story of a girl and her dog in their release of an alternate version of the “Happier” music video. What they’ve come up with is something even more uplifting, albeit, quirky. It plays out like an animated slideshow, showcasing the artists and their work on the song rather than involving a specific storyline. Marshmello can be seen playing multiple instruments as sort of a one-man band, accompanying Dan Smith as he sings along. Per the masked DJs general odd aesthetic, the video makes sure to include a number of oddities that make for a more entertaining watch; including a cameo by some floating graham crackers. Where he and his team find inspiration for such things, we’ll never know — but props to them for a colorful alternative ending!
Matt Medved is adding another high profile remix to his catalog with his new take on Marshmello and Bastille‘s smash hit, “Happier.” Closely following a grooving house remix of Khalid‘s “Love Lies,” Matt Medved has followed up with a buoyant, upbeat take on “Happier,” taking the tune from the radio waves to the dance floor with his re-visioning.
Accenting the track’s foundation with his own house-inspired theme, Medved leaves Bastille’s vocal work largely intact, working in his own infectious percussion arrangements around the track’s ubiquitous topline. Lush club-ready soundscapes supplant Marshmello’s cheerful piano chords as Medved breathes new life into his masked companion’s latest hit. Matt Medved’s remix also follows another inventive take on the track by JAUZ — who opted to offer a more downtempo perspective on one of the year’s biggest tracks. Stream Matt Medved’s remix of “Happier” below.
For more than a decade, DJ Earworm has been blending the year’s top songs into a massive “United States of Pop” mashup at the end of each year. He began the series in 2007, kicking off with a combo of songs from Soulja Boy, Akon, Avril Lavigne, Rihanna, Fergie, and more. It’s been 11 years since that inaugural mashup, and Earworm hasn’t slowed down in the slightest.
His 2018 edition just made its YouTube debut on December 4, highlighted by tracks from Ariana Grande, Post Malone, Zedd, Childish Gambino, Marshmello, and more. The four-minute mashup kicks off with songs from Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line, and Maroon 5 and Cardi B, before cycling through Drake‘s iconic “In My Feelings,” Bruno Mars and Cardi B’s “Finesse,” Travis Scott and Drake’s “Sicko Mode,” and dozens others.
Jauz has remixed Marshmello‘s hit collaboration with Bastille, “Happier,” almost entirely transforming the track, with the exception of Bastille’s vocal work. The Bite This helmer has made the track his own with a moody, albeit equally addicting, new take on Marshmello’s chart-topping hit.
Hushed vocals creep over chopping drums that serve as the backbone of the release. The original electronic notes are drawn out, with the tempo dramatically altered to suit JAUZ’s take on “Happier.” Bastille’s vocals are still a focal point for the track, with the emphasis on the opening lyrics as opposed to the catchy melody that hooks the listener in the original.
Marshmello performed a medley of two of his biggest hits of the year to help close out the 2018 MTV European Music Awards. Starting out on the piano, the internationally renowned producer soon took to the stage with pop star Anne-Marie, where the two performed an acoustic version of their platinum-certified collaboration “Friends.” This performance follows a recently released acoustic version of the dance-pop crossover track.
As the medley went on, Marshmello moved stages to take up his track “Happier” alongside the band Bastille, as confetti and the collaborators’ characteristically upbeat music closed out the ceremony. Watch the full performance here. This star-studded final performance of the EMAs served as a perfect follow-up to Marshmello’s win for Best Electronic Artist.