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Skyelyfe’s Definitive Ranking of the 18 Best Songs of 2018

December 30, 2018

When it comes to music, 2018 was an interesting year… to say the least.

You had the bad (the emergence of SoundCloud “rappers”); the surprising (Pusha T had a resurgence seemingly out of nowhere—and in a major way); the consistent (Cardi B just kept the hits comin’!); the classics (Death Cab for Cutie reverted back to their Plans-era sound with the release of Thank You for Today).

And while this was the first year in a very long time that there wasn’t a song I was consistently obsessed with, I will say there were still indeed some gems.

Keep reading for skyelyfe’s definitive ranking of the 18 best songs of 2018 (and scroll to the very bottom for the full playlist):

18. ‘Northern Lights’ by Death Cab for Cutie

I had to give this song a few listens before accepting this was actually from 2018, and not 2005—but this is meant in the best way possible. DCFC’s entire Thank You for Today was a much-appreciated time warp back to their Plans and Transatlanticism-era days—ones they’ve diverted from slightly in recent years. “Northern Lights” is the perfect uplifting melody, with the story-filled lyrics the band has maintained consistently. But seriously, this entire album is so good. It’s a reminder that “real” music still exists in this day and age.

17. ‘Back to Life’ by Hailee Steinfeld

Hailee Steinfeld has certainly had some catchy hits, but this gem from the Bumblebee soundtrack is without question her best. It’s uplifting, easy on the ears and really showcases her vocal talent. It’s truly an instant dose of happiness.

16. ‘Tease’ by Ralph

Canadian indie pop artist Ralph’s music is a wonderful reprieve from everything going in the world. Not only does her sound take you back to another era, but her lyrics are light, and her melodies are easy on the ears. And I guess it’s an added bonus that she’s adorable and sounds even better live. I had the pleasure of seeing her perform at The Moroccan Lounge during a rainy night in DTLA a few months ago, and it was a wonderful experience.

15. ‘OTW’ by Khalid, 6LACK, Ty Dolla $ign

Following the release of last year’s “Location,” I didn’t know if I could ever grow to like Khalid, as that song made a terrible first impression on me. “OTW” was the second song I’d heard by him (and the first by 6LACK), making me willing to give Khalid another chance. The dark, melodic jam produced by Nineteen85 (and with some additional vocals by Ty Dolla $ign) gives off those sexy ’90s R&B vibes in a way I haven’t heard in a long time.

14. ‘Science’ by Allie X

Allie X was definitely my artist of the year. The Canadian synthpop princess consistently churned out bop after bop, and that was pretty evident when it came down to the tough decision of picking just one song for my Top 18—it was between “Science,” “Focus” and “Girl of the Year.” While I only chose one track to be on this list, Super Sunset deserves its fair recognition as one of the best albums of the year.

13. ‘God is a woman’ by Ariana Grande

When I first saw the title to this song, I thought it was going to be a feminist ballad—and while it was certainly written in a way to empower women, it’s much more sexy before it is girl power. While most fans and critics hail “thank u, next” as Ariana’s song of the year, I have to say “God is a woman” never gets old, and when holiday season passes, I have a feeling the Christmas jingle-esque novelty of “thank u, next” will eventually fade as well.

12. ‘Walk It Talk It’ by Migos f./ Drake

Following their 2017 breakout year, Migos continued to churn out the hits in 2018. While “Walk It Talk It” is no “Motorsport” or “I Get the Bag,” it was a radio hit that I couldn’t quit, and even Drake’s verse impressed me.

11. ‘Young and Reckless’ by Charlotte Lawrence

One listen to Charlotte Lawrence’s well-developed vocals, mature lyrics (“Let’s just get undressin’,
get arrested, it’s fine”) and impressive production, you wouldn’t believe (just as I didn’t) that she’s only 18. The daughter of actress Christa Miller and behind-the-scenes Hollywood extraordinaire Bill Lawrence, the beautiful budding indie pop singer proves she has all the talent in the world to make it—established parents or not.

10. ‘Drop’ by G-Eazy f./ Blac Youngsta & BlocBoy JB

This song has all the components of a potential hit, but where did it go? This was definitely my early July anthem. I expected it to be huge, but it never took off. Either way, it deserves recognition, as it has one of the catchiest beats I’ve heard all year, and G-Eazy actually flows nicely on the track. And while I am totally anti-SoundCloud rappers, BlocBoy JB proved to be my one exception throughout the whole year.

9. ‘Under’ by Transviolet

Much like Allie X, selecting just one Transviolet song to make my Top 18 is no easy feat. With captivating melodies and lyrics that are equal parts heartbreaking and empowering, it’s hard to ignore this L.A.-based indie group’s appeal. “Under” is an expression of resilience and keeping your head high when you feel like you’re sinking.

8. ‘High’ by Sizzy Rocket

Alluring and mysterious, “High” is a diversion from Sizzy Rocket’s more angsty, girl-power productions of years past. Whether you’re in fact getting high or simply just lounging around in the house, this is the perfect track to keep you in a mellow state of mind.

7. ‘Powerglide’ by Rae Sremmurd

“Powerglide” was one of the first new hip-hop singles I heard on the radio in 2018—and it’s certainly one of the most underrated. While I thought for sure this would take over airwaves and set the precedence for a year of blast-worthy bops, I was indeed in for disappointment when the track barely got any love. Either way, this is a surefire jam, and even if it didn’t get as much mainstream love as it deserves, I’m giving it its fair acknowledgment right here.

6. ‘On Your Side’ by Penguin Prison

In a year full of either really crappy music or music that made us think way too much, Penguin Prison brought us this upbeat, carefree tune that evokes 100% good vibes. There are not enough wonderful things to say about this little gem right here.

5. ‘MI Amore’ by FRENSHIP

Much like the song that precedes it, “MI Amore” is all things upbeat and lively. According to what the duo told Billboard, the track is about “when you love something and truly care about it, chase after it with every ounce of your being and don’t let anyone or anything get in the way.” Amen!

4. ‘Without Me’ by Halsey

Raw and well-produced, it would take a heartless person to not feel an ounce of bittersweet emotion upon hearing this song. Not only is the track itself well-done overall, but it completely showcases Halsey as a true artist, in case anyone had their doubts.

3. ‘Let Me Know’ by LeyeT

I was unfamiliar with LeyeT (pronounced “light”) prior to hearing this song, but the indie pop tune has me very intrigued about this artist moving forward. The incredibly soothing melody accompanies lyrics that beg the question so many of us wonder: Are we more than just friends?

2. ‘Yes Indeed’ by Lil Baby & Drake

Because this song came out in the middle of the year, I can’t quite call it my 2018 anthem, but, once it dropped, it was on regular rotation nonstop. The only reason it didn’t make it to the No. 1 spot is because it’s a whopping 2:20 minutes long. So, while I wish there’d been a little more effort, I will never say no to this track.

1. ‘My Life’ by ZHU f./ Tame Impala

This isn’t the first time ZHU’s fallen into the No. 1 slot of my top songs of the year. His collaborations are key, and “My Life” by Tame Impala exemplifies just that. Easy on the ears, mellow on the mind, I could listen to this for hours and never get bored.

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Music

Röyksopp, Tritonal, Scavenger Hunt & 26 More Artists: New Music Monday!

September 12, 2016

royksopp-feat-susanne-sundfor-never-ever-495x495Fall is nearing, but there are a handful of artists in this week’s New Music Monday playlist who can’t seem to shake the summer vibes.

From Röyksopp and Susanne Sundfør‘s “Never Ever” to Pat Lok‘s “Let Me Show You In,” along with a slew of others, there’s a dance party in the making.

Right up there on that list is Tritonal‘s upbeat melodic “Running Into Me,” from their just-released album Painting with Dreams.

But if you’re feeling on the more mellower side, you should give a listen to Teeth & Tongue‘s “Do Harm,” “Ride to Die,” by The Shallows, “I Still Wonder,” by The Chain Gang of 1974, and Psychic Twin‘s “Running in the Dark,” from their debut album Strange Diary.

Click the playlist below for 29 new tracks, which also includes Elohim, Oliver, FRENSHIP, Rameses B and more!

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Music

Bearson, Mystery Skulls, Cosmic Gate, Gorgon City & 14 More Artists: New Music

March 28, 2016

It’s been a little slow (IMHO) with new music releases I’m smitten over lately, so I am especially appreciative for this week’s crop of fresh tracks.

From Norwegian electronic artist Bearson‘s melodic delight “Want You,” to Mystery Skulls‘ fun little disco-inspired number “Believe,” among others, there is a solid selection of dance-friendly songs to choice from as part of this week’s New Music Monday.

Let’s also not forget Gorgon City and Vaults‘ “All Four Walls” or old-school trance pioneers Cosmic Gate‘s “Round We Go” with Myon & Shane.

If you’re looking to take things a little slower, perk open your ears to the sounds of The War on Drugs‘ “Touch of Grey,” Frenship‘s “Carpet,” HANA‘s “White,” Astronautica‘s “Falling for You,” or Amason‘s cover of Foreigner‘s “I Want to Know What Love Is.”

Click below for the playlist of 20 new tunes, also including selections by Fitz & the Tantrums, Ty Dolla $ign, Logistics, Kraak & Smaak and LISTENBEE.

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Music

24 New Tunes! GEMS, Miike Snow, Grimes & More!

November 2, 2015

GEMS-SCARS-skyelyfeIt’s November, it officially feels like fall (at least today it does), so what’s more fitting than some dark, melodic music to complement the aroma of your favorite apple-cinnamon-scented candle?

GEMS does just the trick for the vibe I am trying to achieve. The D.C.-based artists just released their 11-song album “Kill the One You Love,” and (pun intended, of course), it is to die for. Give a listen to “Scars,” which I have featured on this week’s New Music Monday playlist.

It’s also incredibly refreshing to hear new material from Miike Snow for the first time in three years! I was not expecting “Heart Is Full,” and although it is a slight departure from their signature sound, I am definitely looking forward to the release of their new album next year!

But whatever it is your are in the mood for, you have come to the right place because there are 24 fresh tracks to choose from, including Grimes, Pia Mia, DJ Dan, Night Riots, RAC, The Neighbourhood, Hekky and Frenship.

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Music

TV On the Radio, Human Life, Vok & More: New Music Monday, 11.24.14

November 24, 2014

TVOntheRadioIt’s the week of Thanksgiving, and – shocker – one of the things I am most thankful for is music!

So, with that, I bring you six new songs to listen to, perhaps en route to your holiday destination.

TV On the Radio‘s indie-rock “Trouble” is an easy delight, while I continue to dig tunes by Icelandic indie-electro act Vok. They just released their new single “Tension.” Frenship is new to the music scene, but the L.A.-based duo continues to consistently create great material, including their latest single “Cover Up,” featuring Lily Elise. Brooke Fraser‘s “Magical Machine” has a cute song name, but an equally appealing melody. These, along with Human Life‘s El Diablo and Moony‘s bass-heavy “Rusty Hell” make up this week’s New Music Monday list.

Take this little break you have from work and other regular priorities to discover new music! List any findings of your own in the comments below and I will check them out!

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