Top Tracks of 2019

‘Regardless of when they are discovered, some tracks stay in your mind from the moment you press play.’

In a year that’s been as musically diverse as possible, these 19 tracks truly showcase Listen to Discover’s 2019 . Tracks in order of when they were featured.

Superbird: Cola Bottle Fizz:
Without so much as a split second to settle in, the full-on funk sound that is ‘Cola Bottle Fizz’ breaks the silence prior to pressing play. Want 80’s style guitar lines and colourful dance-inducing riffs? You’re served them in abundance. Even before the unmistakable sound of Joe’s vocal enters, it’s a sound that’s as tasty as hell and downing the first of many musical sugar rushes, you immediately want another. [continue reading here]

MALMØ: Frostbite: The Inevitable End Part 1
Aptly filling you with chills from the outset, you immediately want to grab the gloves and try to keep warm. Instantly we are enthralled by what we are hearing and with an atmosphere evolving like no other to date, you can’t fail to become absorbed. This, incase you haven’t guessed, is also within just seconds of the track starting but with Maria’s ASMR-esque vocal perfectly complimented by its surroundings, it really is the case. [continue reading here]

Velvet & Stone: Oh Boy:
Rhythmically thumping, the combination of drums and palm muted guitar makes for a dance encouraging, toe tapping introduction. Enticing? Yes. Anticipation filled? Most definitely. This sound however gives no real indication of what is to come, and with the emergence of gentle, wordless vocals – which subconsciously call for you to join in – being appropriately joined by soothing harmonies, it feels like this is how it will remain. However, moving into the first verse, we get a hint that this will not be the case. [continue reading here]

Sophie and the Giants: The Light
Beginning in a way that sits perfectly between mainstream and atmospheric, the opening of ‘The Light’ feels as enticing as can be. Blending hummed melodic content and chord based accompaniment, it’s a relatively unassuming sound but seamlessly shifting into the initial verse – and hearing Sophie deliver the opening lyrics of ‘You got me breathless, but I’m still breathing’ – you get some hint of what is it come. However, with the sound resembling one that could be termed as London Grammar meets Florence and the Machine, we don’t really know where it will end up. [continue reading here]

MarthaGunn: Saint Cecilia
Delivering immediate momentum, rhythmically ticking high hat and accentuated bass lines introduce us to Saint Cecilia. Like the band themselves, she is determined, full of anticipation and sure to give us incredible musicality. And wow does she do this. It may only be a few seconds in but with sustained synth chords shifting to become more driven and guitar centred, she certainly makes sure to display all her characteristics. [continue reading here]

Freya Roy: Say Something
Balancing a mix of atmospheric musical transportation with down-tempo waltz-like accents, Say Something makes for the perfect contrast to ‘Midnight Train’ which precedes it on ‘Ahlke’. Full of depth-generating reverb, it feels instantly sophisticated and soothing us through a multitude of emerging instrumental melodic lines, you could, like the rest of the album, listen to this opening for hours. Honestly. However, with the sound as it is, you do wonder how Freya will showcase her vocals. This wonder though is soon to turn to wonderment. [continue reading here]

Yakul: Daydreaming
Instantly encouraging us to daydream an effortlessly chilled sound full of jazz and bluesy influences greets us. Musically developing a gentle sense of sway, its reserved nature makes us do likewise and with the texture growing in the initial moments, we are guided to the first appearance of the most generous of male vocals. To say it’s smooth just doesn’t do it justice. However, with it oozing soul on every syllable, and the harmonies enhancing it even further, there is no chance of us fully drifting away and not paying attention. [continue reading here]

The Ashton Jones Project: Good Thing Guaranteed
Getting us into a funked-up mood instantly, chromatically harmonised horn lines greet us. Infectious as can be, it breaks the silence prior to hitting play in the most musical of ways and falling off at the end, it’s three seconds – yes three seconds – that guarantee it will only become even more so. And it most certainly does as replacing the acoustic opening, a 70s style combination of talky synths and bass guitar sets up a sway inducing groove that balances mid-tempo rhythms with energy-filled musicality. [continue reading here]

DLORE: Jackal
From the moment the deep vibrating tones and atmospherics emerge you know that this is going to be a track of captivating musicality. Curious sounding and instantly stirring, the combination of sweeping sounds, lapping water and wordless call to prayer style vocals conjures up images that truly relate to the title. Musically there’s no doubting the Jackal is on the prowl. As starts go, you wonder if it could be any better. But, with Dan’s vocals joining it does exactly that. Get’s better. [continue reading here]

The Milk: Never Come Down
Gently emerging into existence from nothing, bell tone-esque chords appear to draw us into the latest of The Milk’s offering. Stirring up anticipation, it fully engages us and makes us listen from the very first sound. However, the sense of growth soon becomes completely apparent with shuffle-style drums and soaring guitar riffs combining effortlessly. Mixing elements of soul, rock and blues it’s a seamless blend of incredible musicality. [continue reading here]

Another Sky: The Cracks
Emerging from the silence, synths begin to soar skyward and bend their way into your mind. It’s essentially one sound but what a sound it is. Anticipation-filled simply doesn’t do it justice and emphasising this even further, the first of many cross-rhythmic ideas enter and fuse with pounding drums. It is indeed one of the most dominating, yet carefully crafted beginnings to a track I have ever heard and pushing the introduction to the max, the initial sequence alters to direct us to the opening lines. [continue reading here]

Ben Simmons: Do You Hear The Rain?
Opening with a beautiful combination of dominant rainfall and bluesy electric guitar, the essence of Ben’s latest track is truly captured. Meandering through the downpour, we are encouraged to step indoors and let the musicality wash over us instead. It may only be seconds in, but it’s quite the atmosphere and turning to become acoustically centred, an intimate sound comprised of effortlessly finger-picked acoustic guitar and piano emerges. [continue reading here]

Superbird: Super Superior
Greeting us with an ever-growing combination of palm-muted chords, polyrhythmic electro-percussion, busy basslines and distorted guitar licks, it immediately seems that Superbird’s latest track will live up to the name. Of course, as we have come to expect from their music, there is more than a sufficient helping of musical cheekiness. And that’s before we’ve even heard Joe’s vocals. We are about to though and delivering the title centred, anthemically funky chorus for the first time, we latch onto the infectious sound instantly. [continue reading here]

Luke Burr: Keep On Loving
Beginning with chilled, free form organ chords and atmospheric crowd noise, a true sense of context and tonal centre is found immediately. Feeling sparse, it ensures the track has somewhere to go and transitioning to synth brass and heavy, yet sporadic beats the multitude of influences start to show their incredibly musical colours. However, with the lyrical content about to emerge, they become even more colourful. [continue reading here]

TOYGIRL: Reign
Setting up the balance of chilled yet momentum filled musicality that runs throughout TOYGIRL’s debut track, synth brass, soft, rim-shot infused drums, and organ chords grab our attention instantly. Immediately showcasing the unique blend of influences that they stand by, you can’t pinpoint what genre the track lies in. But it simply doesn’t matter as what you are hearing is sophisticated musicality of the highest level. And, with Hannah’s vocal soon to enter, it gets even higher. [continue reading here]

The Ashton Jones Project: I Need Love
Taking us a world away from the burning powerhouse sound that fills the vast majority of Toast,‘ a romantic, down-tempo and luscious sound awaits us. Sandwiched between the seduction of Sadie Marie and the amusement of Aaron’s Call, it makes for a most welcome addition to the album and captivates us instantly. Beginning with syncopated piano, free-flowing hammond-organ set melodic lines and seductive horns, it feels effortless, chilled and incredibly delicate. As I said, a world away. [continue reading here]

Josh Vine: The Water
Beginning almost immediately with what lies at the heart of Josh’s latest offering, a sense of no-nonsense musicality quickly becomes apparent. Texturally it may be sparse. However, with strummed electric guitar bringing inferred energy and the opening lyrics entering only seconds after, it feels wonderfully purposeful. Equally, with Josh’s vocal feeling completely heartfelt through the craftsman-like control of his gravel-centred tone, we are captivated within seconds. [continue reading here]

Danny G & The Major 7ths (ft. Fehdah & Zazka): Time The Healer
Instantly sounding like an underground soul-funk track from years ago, deep bass, distant drums and heavily wah’d guitar set up a true sense of style. Captivating us, and drawing us in so we are to hear exactly what’s going on, it’s a most welcome break from tracks that put everything out there at the start. It is indeed a sound that engages but, switching to true-tone, an altogether different atmosphere emerges setting up the intent of the track. [continue reading here]

TOUCAN: Honey
From the second that you hear the horn accents, the energetically rhythmical percussion and the harmonised vocals, you are hooked. It’s infectious. It’s as groovy as can be. And, most of all, it instantly makes you want to devour as much of the sound as possible. Effortlessly tasty, it’s a combination that truly sets up the sensations to run throughout this track which sits between the other two on the EP. However, if you think your auditory appetite has been well and truly whetted, it’s about to be even more. [continue reading here]

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