In His Big Post-Vegas Moment, Jason Aldean Punts

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Last October, six days after a gunman killed 58 people during his performance at the Route 91 Harvest festival on the Las Vegas strip, Jason Aldean made a surprise appearance on Saturday Night Live. For the show’s cold open, the country star and his band covered “I Won’t Back Down,” which functioned as a dual … More »

So, What’s Popping On The UK Pop Charts These Days?

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“God’s Plan” rules the world. Drake’s dominant single is #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart for an eighth straight week, and its ubiquity extends well beyond the United States. Although the song hasn’t caught on in Asia or Africa and is only a minor hit in Latin America, it’s the most popular track globally … More »

Top 100 Songs of 2017

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2017 was quite the year, and we couldn’t have gotten through it without these songs.

Songs are like friends for us. When we hear a song that we love at The Wild Honey Pie, it becomes an integral part of our lives. I remember having contests in the office to see who could transcribe the lyrics to “Mary” by Big Thief first, or who could belt out “Don’t Kill My Vibe” by Sigrid the hardest. These songs have been the soundtrack of so many changes in our lives, and have given us those truly special moments of realizing that we are not alone.

Though it is pretty much impossible to fully dive into every song that came out this year and hold them up against one another, these are, quite simply, the ones that have found their way into our lives and have not left. These are our favorites of 2017 – the ones that have gotten us through the hardest times, and gave us a little bit of hope through it all.

Please let us know if we missed any of your favorites, and click here for our Top 30 Albums of 2017!

Playlist

100-81

100. Palehound – “Room” – Listen
99. Yebba – “Evergreen” – Listen
98. Middle Kids – “Your Love” – Listen
97. Now, Now – “SGL” – Listen
96. Waxahatchee – “Silver” – Listen
95. NIGHT FLIGHT – “Death Rattle” – Listen
94. Cut Worms – “Don’t Want To Say Good-Bye” – Listen
93. Nicole Atkins – “Darkness Falls So Quiet” – Listen
92. Penny and Sparrow – “Wendigo” – Listen
91. James Vincent McMorrow – “National” – Listen
90. Camp Howard – “Juice” – Listen
89. Haux – “Touch” – Listen
88. PARC – “4U” – Listen
87. LPX – “Tightrope” – Listen
86. Tashaki Miyaki – “Girls On TV” – Listen
85. Faye Webster – “She Won’t Go Away” – Listen
84. Said The Whale – “Step Into Darkness” – Listen
83. The Staves and yMusic – “Trouble On My Mind” – Listen
82. Half Waif – “Severed Logic” – Listen
81. Generationals – “Catahoula Man” – Listen

80-61

80. Japanese Breakfast – “Boyish” – Listen
79. Noah Gundersen – “DRY YEAR” – Listen
78. Alex Cameron – “Stranger’s Kiss (Duet with Angel Olsen)” – Listen
77. Lomelda – “Interstate Vision” – Listen
76. Iron & Wine – “Last Night” – Listen
75. Land of Talk – “This Time” – Listen
74. Gordi – “Can We Work It Out” – Listen
73. Yoke Lore – “Beige” – Listen
72. Pearla – “Somewhere” – Listen
71. Julia Jacklin – “Eastwick” – Listen
70. Chimney – “Paintings Are The Only Place You Never Lied To Me” – Listen
69. Kllo – “Dissolve” – Listen
68. Cape Francis – “Iditarod” – Listen
67. Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile – “Over Everything” – Listen
66. HAIM – “Found It In The Silence” – Listen
65. Middle Kids – “Edge Of Town” – Listen
64. Maggie Rogers – “On+Off” – Listen
63. WHY? – “Easy” – Listen
62. Wilder Maker – “New Streets” – Listen
61. Lucy Rose – “Strangest of Ways” – Listen

60-41

60. Wilsen – “Final” – Listen
59. Father John Misty – “Pure Comedy” – Listen
58. Valerie June – “Astral Plane” – Listen
57. Ibeyi – “Deathless” – Listen
56. Dirty Projectors – “Cool Your Heart” – Listen
55. The War On Drugs – “Strangest Thing” – Listen
54. Laura Marling – “Soothing” – Listen
53. Real Estate – “Darling” – Listen
52. MUNA – “I Know A Place” – Listen
51. Jessie Ware – “Alone” – Listen
50. Nilüfer Yanya – “Sliding Doors” – Listen
49. Carly Rae Jepson – “Cut To The Feeling” – Listen
48. Alvvays – “In Undertow” – Listen
47. San Fermin – “Bride” – Listen
46. Weaves – “Walkaway” – Listen
45. Laura Marling – “Wild Fire” – Listen
44. Grizzly Bear – “Mourning Sound” – Listen
43. Arcade Fire – “Everything Now” – Listen
42. alt-J – “Deadcrush” – Listen
41. King Krule – “Dum Surfer” – Listen

40-21

40. Henry Jamison – “The Wilds” – Listen
39. Slowdive – “Sugar For The Pill” – Listen
38. Cigarettes After Sex – “Sweet” – Listen
37. Vagabon – “The Embers” – Listen
36. Sigrid – “Don’t Kill My Vibe” – Listen
35. LCD Soundsystem – “oh baby” – Listen
34. Portugal. The Man – “Feel It Still” – Listen
33. Big Thief – “Mythological Beauty” – Listen
32. Tourist – “Apart” – Listen
31. Overcoats – “Leave The Light On” – Listen
30. St. Vincent – “Los Ageless” – Listen
29. Feist – “Pleasure” – Listen
28. Fleet Foxes  – “If You Need To, Keep Time On Me” – Listen
27. Sylvan Esso – “Die Young” – Listen
26. Julie Byrne – “Natural Blue” – Listen
25. Overcoats – “23” – Listen
24. Ryan Adams – “Shiver and Shake” – Listen
23. Phoebe Bridgers – “Scott Street” – Listen
22. (Sandy) Alex G – “Bobby” – Listen
21. SZA – “The Weekend” – Listen

20. Perfume Genius – “Slip Away”

19. Jay Som – “The Bus Song”

18. Julia Jacklin – “Eastwick”

17. Vince Staples – “Big Fish”

16. Phoebe Bridgers – “Would You Rather”

15. Lorde – “The Louvre” 

14. Mount Eerie – “Real Death”

13. HAIM – “Want You Back”

12. Beck – “Colors”

11, Bjork, Arca – “The Gate”

10. Frank Ocean – “Chanel”

9. Moses Sumney – “Plastic”

8. Julien Baker – “Appointments”

7. Big Thief – “Shark Smile”

6. SZA – “Love Galore”

5. Sufjan Stevens – “Tonya Harding”

4. St. Vincent – “New York”

3. Kendrick Lamar – “DNA.”

2. Big Thief – “Mary”

1. Phoebe Bridgers – “Motion Sickness”

New Music Friday: Sigrid at the top, Third Eye Blind cover (?) at the bottom, various songs in between

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Song of the week:
Sigrid — ‘Strangers’ 
If you’re judging it only on this year’s run of songs, of which BloodPop®-esque techpop corker ‘Strangers’ is the fifth, Sigrid’s probably 2017’s best new popstar. This week she’s also released a Leonard Cohen cover (!) as a pivotal part of the Justice League soundtrack, which isn’t the sort of showcase moment that exactly lands in the lap of every hasn’t-actually-had-a-hit-yet new artist, so we think it’s fair to say Sigrid’s team are upping the ante as 2018 comes into view.

Wrong of the week:
Timeflies — ‘Semi-Charmed’
This is a semi-cover of Third Eye Blind’s ‘Semi-Charmed Life’, a song that in 2017 is only remembered with any fondness at all by two members of Busted.

Additional notes:

  • There’s a barrage of new Sia material this week, and there are some quality control issues. This involves a pretty good song from her Christmas album (but she’s still holding back the best ones for some reason — ‘Snowflake’ in particular is a real moment), but it also involves a sub-par song that’s ended up with Dannii Minogue, and another underwhelming appearing on a TQX single.
  • There are also three songs out today (none of which are on our playlist, apols) involving Ed Sheeran — a remix of one of his own songs, a song on the Taylor Swift album, and an underwhelming Fuse ODG track.
  • Oh and Nick Littlemore‘s been busy too — Empire Of The Sun and Pnau both have new music out today. The Empire Of The Sun song’s pretty spectacular, but the Pnau album’s worth a listen too and includes a good track with Vera Blue.
  • We’ve included an Adam French song called ‘The Rat’ on this week’s playlist. It’s shit, but the first two seconds sound like it’s going to be ‘No Scrubs’ which is quite funny.
  • Taylor Swift‘s new album is out today but Taylor and her team want to make as much money as they can from it so sadly you can’t hear it on any streaming services.

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Songs That Inspire Everything Everything [Guest List]

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Award-winning Manchester band Everything Everything is currently on a mini-tour to follow up the release of their album A Fever Dream. We asked them which songs meant the most to them, and here is what they gave us.

“This playlist represents songs we’ve gravitated towards recently during the making and release of our new album, A Fever Dream. Songs we listened to at the end of a day of recording to refresh our ears and brains; songs we heard while driving around the country promoting the album in record stores, and songs we play in dressing rooms through our little speaker to get us excited to play shows.”

 

Deerhoof – I Will Spite Survive


One of our favourite bands. This song kind of sounds like Paramore but badly recorded (in a good way) with some Bach counterpoint organ on top getting it wrong (in a good way). 

Joe Jackson  – Steppin’ Out 


Recently rediscovered this song. My mum used to have it on a compilation cassette in the car when I was a child. Obviously I thought it was awful at the time. 

Mica Levi – Children 


It’s been amazing and quite surreal to see Mica go from making strange little pop songs with The Shapes to being on red carpets in Hollywood for her mesmerising film scores. This piece is from the Jackie soundrack and we listened to it through the very large and expensive speakers of the studio when we were recording our album, A Fever Dream.

Sigrid – Don’t Kill My Vibe


This song is about Sigrid co-writing with some male songwriters and feeling talked down to and disrespected by them. It feels timely and honest and, above all else, is a brilliant song. 

Weezer – No Other One


We’ve been listening to this song in our dressing room recently. I went back and listened to Pinkerton a few months ago, having missed it the first time round, and was surprised how good it was as an album. No Other One is probably my favourite  track on it from a band that seem to always change yet never change.

Solange – Cranes In The Sky


Solange was the best artist I saw at Glastonbury. Her highly-choreographed show felt old-school like James Brown while also feeling like the most future-thinking and focussed production of the Glastonbury weekend. This song is particularly special.

The Yardbirds – For Your Love


I don’t really know The Yardbirds but enjoyed hearing For Your Love on the radio recently. It’s got a surprisingly otherworldly sound and feel to it, a bit like the Odyssey and Oracle album by The Zombies, which we love. 

Public Image Ltd. – Rise


Such a strange tone to this song. It’s angry and downtrodden yet euphoric and uplifting. PIL itself are a strange beast and under-appreaciated. 

Mr Jukes – When Your Light Goes Out 


This is Jack from Bombay Bicycle Club’s new band and features our friend Lianne La Havas on vocals. It has a kind of lilting effortlessness and subtle hooks that made it immediately stand out to me. 

Lorde – Green Light


Just a banging pop song by a special artist. 

Grizzly Bear – Wasted Acres


This album came out on the same day that ours did in the UK, which annoyed me a bit at the time. It’s music for a band written like it’s for an orchestra and  beautifully executed. 

The Brothers Johnson – Strawberry Letter 23


Heard this in a record shop in Nottingham while touring round the UK doing in-store shows on release week of our album and remembered how good it is. Such a weird and wonderful way to start the song too… 

Thundercat – Bus In These Streets


This song reminds me of watching American TV Shows when I was a kid. Sounds like something from Sesame Street but with lyrics about very 2017 concerns such as social media and over-sharing.

Blur – On My Way To The Club


One of the highlights from the only Blur album that was almost entirely bereft of guitarist Graham Coxon, this could have been at the darker end of Gorrillaz output. Damon’s best work all contains the sense of melancholy on show here, and the lyrics seem to be about the loss of his friend, and the phrasing owes much to David Bowie.

Michael Jackson – Leave Me Alone


Through a series of events that I still don’t quite understand, I saw this video on a cinema screen last week. Despite the fairly serious message of the lyrics the video is witty, irreverent and deftly crafted. 

Be sure to check out Everything Everything on the final few dates of their tour:

10/13 – Irving Plaza – New York, NY – TICKETS
10/14 – Black Cat – Washington, D.C – TICKETS
10/15 – The Sinclair – Cambridge, MA – TICKETS

Songs That Inspired Sigrid’s ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’ EP

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It should come as no surprise that Norwegian starlet Sigrid was inspired by some of the strongest hooks in pop history while writing her Don’t Kill My Vibe EP, which was released on May 12 via Island Records. After all, her lead single “Don’t Kill My Vibe” shows a studied understanding of how to nail irresistible melodies, and the electropop number is rife with the type of clever and playful songwriting that you would only expect from an artist who has mastered her craft. That track is a rebuke of industry producers and writers who had doubted her song craftsmanship, but as you’ll see from her playlist, this is a songwriter who knows what she’s doing. From Adele to Zara, here’s Sigrid’s playlist of inspirations for her debut EP.

PLAYLIST

1. Adele – Rolling in the Deep


I discovered Adele when I was 13, and I remember asking myself how I could ever like another artist after hearing this song. It’s just a perfect banger! She’s probably one of my biggest inspirations, because her music taught me how to appreciate a good chorus.

2. Lorde – Green Light


I’ve been listening to Lorde since her first album came out, but I think Green Light is my favourite song so far. Damn, WHAT a tune. can’t wait to scream my lungs out at one of her shows!

3. Skepta – Shutdown


I remember hearing this for the first time and thinking “Ok, that sounded very aggressive in an elegant and calm way. How did he do that?” Skepta’s way of being snarly in a quirky yet cool way inspired me to scream “I tried to play it nice, but” right before the chorus hits in “Don’t Kill My Vibe.” Seriously, I tried to copy him, haha.

4. Rihanna – Needed Me


My favourite Rihanna song, but then again everything she and her team make is great. Greatness. Gah, where’s the fangirl emoji when I need it.

5. Grimes – California


I love her album Art Angels, and “California” is probably my favourite song on it. It’s smart, fun, and crazy pop. How can you not like that?

6. Justin Bieber – Sorry


I think this must have been one of the first songs I heard where I actually paid attention to the vocal melody. How smart, intricate, interesting and catchy it was. They probably could’ve gotten away with half of those vocal hooks, but nope – they just made a whole song without any boring melodies. I can’t get over how brilliant this song is.

7. Julia Michaels – Issues


I wasn’t really surprised when I fell in love with Michaels’ first single – after all she’s the topliner behind Justin Bieber’s Sorry. The first thing I thought when I heard “Issues” for the first time was “YES!”. It just felt so fresh! Julia Michaels + topline is probably my favourite combination.

8. Zara Larsson – Lush Life


Can we talk about the title of this song? It sounds perfect, and oh my the graphic possibilities dealing with two words both starting with L and both made up of 4 SYLLABLES/LETTERS. I wish I was a part of Larsson’s creative team and show some love for symmetry. #LL

9. Gabrielle – 5 Fine Frøkner


I’ve listened to this Norwegian songstress for a long time, it’s truly impossible to not like her tunes. They’re catchy, honest, cool, sassy, fun, big, euphoric. They’re everything to me, her music makes me feel.

10. M.I.A. – Paper Planes


The first time I listened to this song was with my older brother and sister doing laundry back home in Ålesund. I was around 14 or something, and obviously I looked up to them and their music taste. My brother put this on and I couldn’t believe how cool this song was. I hadn’t heard anything like it before, so it was definitely a special moment.

11. Maggie Rogers – On + Off

12. Tove Lo – True Disaster

13. Imogen Heap – Between Sheets

14. Neil Young – Tell Me Why

15. Haim – Falling

16. Neiked – Sexual

17. Charli XCX – Break The Rules

18. LÜT – Boytoy

Sigrid Electrifies with Debut EP and Live Performance [Stream]

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Earlier this month, Norwegian pop starlet Sigrid took on her sold-out show at the legendary Mercury Lounge with the best weapon: a smash hit. By the end of last Monday night, Sigrid had the entire crowd dancing and singing along to her debut American single, “Don’t Kill My Vibe,” an explosive track that begins with minimal piano and vocal chops but finishes with a sing-along chorus (which she nailed) placed triumphantly over a descending guitar line. Right before closing her set with that song, Sigrid completed her outfit — a flowing yellow blouse over high-waisted blue jeans — with a black cap that displayed the title lyric, gifted to her from an audience member. She peered out into the full crowd and said a simple “I love you” in a disarming accent, smiling at the incredulity of it all.

But that’s not to say that the audience wasn’t won over way before “Don’t Kill My Vibe” was performed. Sigrid has been making the rounds in the US following the release of that song in February, quietly gaining public admiration. Lorde featured her on a homemade playlist, Billboard hailed her music as kin to the “explosive pop euphoria” of Robyn, and she’s also connected directly with listeners; “Don’t Kill My Vibe” alone has picked up nearly 15 million Spotify streams.

But it’s the strength of her debut EP (released via Island Records on May 12th) that rebukes any notion that Sigrid could be a one-hit wonder vying for a single shot at success. On the Don’t Kill My Vibe EP, Sigrid powers through each electropop cut, flitting through vocal registers and emotional states in service of truly ingrained pop hooks — a feat surreal in how deceptively effortless it sounds, both through headphones and in a live setting. In “Plot Twist,” Sigrid’s voice intones more sharply than the rhythm section, jumping from a raspy, belted “shots fired” to a percussive “better work on that hype, oh” within four beats of music. “Dynamite” is similarly impressive, as Sigrid muses on an old flame like the Icelandic pop cousin of Adele, with the implied vocal thorns strongly intact.

It remains to be seen whether Sigrid can follow up her four track EP with an equally engrossing full-length, but the potential is certainly there; many of the tracks she previewed at her Mercury Lounge show sounded promising. Either way, Sigrid has shown that she is in this for the long run, and all we need to do is to continue to take notice. For now, take a listen to Sigrid’s debut EP above.

New Music Friday: Sigrid at the top, MØ at the bottom, various songs in between

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Song of the week:
Sigrid — ‘Plot Twist’
This is a song that seems to have been conceived by writing down phrases associated with popular tweet formats — title aside, we also like the “SHOTS FIRED!” shout — but apart from obviously being the best song of the last seven days ‘Plot Twist’ gets the top spot this week because its artwork features Sigrid wearing A SCARF WITH THE TITLE OF THE SONG ON. Watch and learn, lesser pop entities. This is how you do it.

Wrong of the week:
CANCELLED
The MØ single is almost comically underwhelming but you will be pleased to hear that the past week has brought with it no song that is truly offensive or terrible. But that’s not to say it’s all plain sailing…

Additional notes:

  • Hey do you remember when Lady Gaga came out with ‘Just Dance’ and it felt like she was pushing forward the sound of pop music? She’s done a song that sounds like loads of other stuff on Spotify.
  • Hey do you remember when Swedish duo Sharks came out with ‘Wait’ and it felt like they could be the most exciting girl duo since Mini Viva? They’ve done a song that sounds like loads of other stuff on Spotify.
  • Hey do you remember when Hurts came out (THAT’S ENOUGH OF THAT THANKS — ED)

Subscribe to Popjustice’s rotating New Music Friday Spotify playlist here

NEW THIS WEEK: We’re trying out doing the playlist on Apple Music too. Let’s see how it goes.

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