Top 10 Tracks – December 2019

Jackson Wyatt, Digital Editor-in-Chief

December is the victory lap of the year, contrasting some of the coldest weather with an excitingly festive spirit and atmosphere. No matter what you believe in, there is a feeling in the air of greater things to come, with celebrations and new opportunities approaching at a rapid rate. Change is coming, and along with this chilled wind of progress come ten amazing tracks to end your year off on a sweet note.

 

  1. The Pom-Poms, ‘Sunshine’

Punching out at the listener with candy-coated fists and clenched teeth, ‘Sunshine’ sees the Miami duo The Pom-Poms pull out every stop, blending elements of rap, EDM and pop into one gaudy sugar rush of an experience. Over a racing beat and sharp, 8-bit synths, rapper Kitty jumps from chauffeured rides to the crowds of sweaty parties, with her and producer Ricky Eats Acid combining the forward-thinking sound of PC Music with the wild-child ethos of 2000’s party anthems to create an insane celebration of a track. 

 

  1. Beach Bunny, ‘Ms. California’

Everyone knows the saying about trouble in paradise, and the same goes for Chicago indie quartet Beach Bunny’s recent single, ‘Ms. California.’ Any connotations to the beautiful weather are drowned out over spiky guitar riffs and thundering drums, with vocalist Lili Trifilio venting all of her jealousy towards the California girl appearing in all of her crush’s online posts, wishing she was in her place instead. The feeling is raw, and ‘Ms California’ has all the catharsis of a quick breakdown, heartbroken but still rocking through the tears in a glorious fashion.

 

  1. Left at London, ‘6 Feet’

Intrusive thoughts, car crashes and self-love are all on the mind of Seattle singer-songwriter Left at London (aka Nat Puff) on her new track ‘6 Feet,’ a fiery, genre-bending cut that blends the resulting fear of mental illness with the glossy, explosive production of Dylan Brady and smooth vocal layerings reminiscent of 2000’s R&B. Puff’s lyrics are exceptionally candid, too, providing a human and thoughtful edge to one of the year’s most forward-thinking pop bangers. Well, forward-thinking, or at least six feet ahead.

 

  1. TORRES, ‘Gracious Day’

Tender and overflowing with admiration, New-York-based singer-songwriter TORRES’ new single ‘Gracious Day’ finds its power in simplicity. Over layers of soft acoustic guitar plucks, TORRES lays down poetry about a significant other that feels like they do not deserve love, assuring them that she will love them her entire life and shower them with songs declaring nothing but her passion. The resulting track is earth-shatteringly heartfelt, bubbling up from the ground like a quiet hot spring in the middle of the forest. With a song so comforting and sweet, it is impossible not to be gracious.

 

  1. Vince Staples, ‘Hell Bound – Ad 01’

Relegated to the background of an ad for his semi-confusing rollout of The Vince Staples Show, ‘Hell Bound – Ad 01’ deserves better due to the fact that it is truly a powerful barn-burner for the Compton rapper Vince Staples. Pixelated synths and a pounding beat spar in the background as Staples spits bars concerning lust, wealth and eternal damnation, flexing his lifestyle and ending up with a track that is not just good, but devilishly good.

 

  1. Cub Sport, ‘Hearts in Halves’

Smooth is a perfect descriptor for Brisbane indie-pop band Cub Sport’s new single ‘Hearts in Halves,’ a low-gliding track that sounds akin to driving through a fluorescent-lit tunnel in the middle of the night, hanging your arm out the window and feeling the cool night breeze. Vocalist Tim Nelson sings about the confusion between platonic and romantic love over twilit synths, ultimately finding happiness in the in-between for one of this year’s most feel-good singles.

 

  1. Whyte Horses feat. La Roux, ‘Mister Natural’

The Manchester music collective Whyte Horses meld together rock and baroque pop on their new cover of a Bee Gees song to stunning effects. Horses’ twangy guitars and shuffling drum beat surely provide an exciting, vintage flavor to ‘Mister Natural,’ but guest vocalist La Roux really steals the show, singing about crying in the rain and dancing the night away like she means every word. The original is a classic in its own right, but on ‘Mister Natural,’ everybody performs their hearts out like they wrote the lovesick song themselves. All-in-all, it just feels natural.

 

  1. Serengeti feat. Sicker Man, ‘Berolina’

Infidelity and abandonment are extremely heavy issues, and on Chicago rapper Serengeti and Berlin instrumentalist Sicker Man’s recent collaboration, the whole weight of the world seems to be collapsing in on itself. Over wailing strings and earth-shaking guitar crescendos, Serengeti weaves a tale, pants and shrieks in an almost six-minute rant somewhere between a freestyle and spoken-word poem. At the end of it all, ‘Berolina’ may be rough around the edges and hard to stomach, but that is precisely its point.

 

  1. Lil Uzi Vert, ‘Futsal Shuffle 2020’

After a hiatus and growing anticipation over his next project, Philadelphia rapper Lil Uzi Vert has returned to fanfare and a resulting dance trend with his new single ‘Futsal Shuffle 2020.’ Luckily for the fans waiting with bated breath, ‘Futsal’ is a breath of fresh air. Uzi flows confidently over sparkling synths and punchy bass, tying together flexes, a reference to Coretta Scott King and samples of Tyler, The Creator and interviewer Nardward in the most energetic way possible. Once you hear it, you would be crazy not to dance along.

 

  1. AJJ, ‘Mega Guillotine 2020’

Equal parts tongue-in-cheek and twisted, Arizona folk-punk band AJJ’s new single ‘Mega Guillotine 2020’ provides a refreshing but ridiculous solution to the political strife we have been dealing with as of recent: Off with their heads! ‘Mega Guillotine’ is more than just funny, though, overflowing with sweet guitar strums and an extremely catchy chorus that transforms into a cathartic sing-along at its close. Love always trumps hate, but for a second, AJJ lets us all feel the relief of a world without any hate to combat. The resulting track cuts deep.

 

(All sources from featured artists’ Genius and Spotify pages)

For more track reviews:

Top 10 Tracks – July 2019

Top 10 Tracks – August 2019

Top 10 Tracks – September 2019

Top 10 Tracks – October 2019

Top 10 Tracks – November 2019