Top 10 Tracks – May 2020


Jackson Wyatt, Digital Editor-in-Chief

When the world seems to collapse in on itself, it may be hard to find the silver lining in anything. It seems as if everything is being taken away from us piece by piece, but if you look close, things are still being given. There are ways to get through this, and music is largely one of them. Stuck inside with not much to do, new songs being released by our favorite artists mean more now than it ever have before. In a difficult and dark time, here are ten new tracks to make your April just a little bit brighter.


  1. Kim Petras, ‘Malibu’

Bursting forth like a rush of blue ocean waves, pop extraordinaire Kim Petras’ new track ‘Malibu’ is the feeling of summer wrapped up into one sleek, addictive package. Petras compares her lover to the tropical destinations of Malibu and Curaçao over glistening synths and a bouncy beat, creating such a flirtatious and care-free vibe that ‘Malibu’ ends up feeling as fun as a raucous pool party. Summer is here, and it has never sounded better.


  1. Standing On The Corner, ‘Angel’

Time and reason slip away on Brooklyn experimental group Standing On The Corner’s track ‘Angel’, a back-lit, glitchy transmission that was seemingly sent from the edges of the universe. Pitch-shifted vocals bounce back and forth like an astronaut in orbit, buoyed by shuffling percussion, twinkling piano notes and head-shaking bass. The resulting feeling could only be compared to floating in an endless void, making ‘Angel’ one of the year’s most foreboding and calming tracks. In short, it is a masterpiece.


  1. Tkay Maidza, ‘Shook’

Just as its title suggests, Adelaide rapper Tkay Maidza’s ‘Shook’ is an earth-rattling, braggadocious cut that seems fit to overflow with bombast. Over a low-riding beat and sporadic bursts of synths and shouted ad-libs, Maidza speaks to those who have underestimated her, claiming that now she has to push them away while referencing everything from Tetris to TikTok. This combination of cocky lyricism with a slamming instrumental makes ‘Shook’ a banger that more than lives up to its name.


  1. Ian Isiah, ‘N.U.T.S’

Moving in with a strut and never leaving its slick pacing, Brooklyn singer Ian Isiah’s new track ‘N.U.T.S’ is an audible confidence boost sure to leave any listener with a swing in their step. A soul-infused beat underscores Isiah’s lyrics about self-love and acceptance in the face of inner doubts, bookended by samples of angry shouting to show how important mental health is against the resistance many queer and black people face every day. With a message that powerful and a song that good, you would be nuts not to like ‘N.U.T.S’.


  1. Everything Everything, ‘Arch Enemy’

Can a song equating the wealth-based corruption of modern society to a sentient fatberg creature also be an infectious art-pop triumph? On Manchester band Everything Everything’s track ‘Arch Enemy’, the answer is yes. Frontman Jonathan Higgs pushes his falsetto higher and higher over choppy synths and rising guitar riffs, describing a hulking, fatty being in great detail before fearfully pledging allegiance to it. The idea may be mad, but on ‘Arch Enemy’, Everything Everything are mad geniuses.


  1. Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist feat. Tyler, The Creator, ‘Something to Rap About’

The new collaboration between rappers Freddie Gibbs and Tyler, The Creator with prominent genre producer The Alchemist does not deceive with its title; ‘Something to Rap About’ is a no-nonsense, no-frills rap song, composed of just two lengthy verses that hold the track up like Atlas. Accompanied by The Alchemist’s wonderfully sampled, liquid-smooth instrumental, Freddie and Tyler touch on the struggles and successes of their lives respectively, building up rhyme schemes and wordplay to create a behemoth of a cut that is as impressive as it is lavish.


  1. Lady Gaga, ‘911’

May saw the complete return of Lady Gaga to the pop hemisphere with her album Chromatica, and the fascinating ‘911’ is a definite stand-out of the dancefloor-ready tracklist. Themes of emotional distress and medication usage are assisted by BloodPopⓇ and Madeon’s wonderfully glitchy, robotic production, becoming fully realized as Gaga’s voice is manipulated from cold and artificial to warm and emotional over the course of seconds. All-in-all, it comes together thematically and sonically to make ‘911’ both an addictive pop rager and exciting technical feat.


  1. Khruangbin, ‘So We Won’t Forget’

Wafting in like a cool summer breeze, Houston funk trio Khruangbin’s ‘So We Won’t Forget’ is a refreshingly low-key track that seems to make time stop in its tracks and smile. Comforting falsetto vocals and a nimble bassline trade back and forth through lyrics about documenting as many memories as possible so that the sweeter moments of life are not forgotten. Tied together with a rollicking drum beat, ‘So We Won’t Forget’ is a truly heartwarming addition to this month’s catalogue, sure to make you grin from ear-to-ear within one listen.


  1. Yung Baby Tate, ‘B.O.M.B.S.’

The ‘B’ should stand for ‘bombast’ on Atlanta rapper Yung Baby Tate’s ‘B.O.M.B.S.’, a high-octane club banger that sounds like the audio equivalent of a backflip. Tate gives her all over the fast-paced instrumental, rapping, singing and flexing about how much she feels herself. It is a caffeine shot of confidence much needed in times like these, and with the versatile ‘B.O.M.B.S.’, Tate proves that she is a voice to definitely watch out for.


  1. Katy Kirby, ‘Tap Twice’

Warmly-realized and softer than a kiss on the forehead, Nashville singer-songwriter Katy Kirby’s track ‘Tap Twice’ paints an intimate picture of love. Descriptions of knocking softly on door frames and bags of oranges being left on beds as a gift provoke a comforting feeling of smallness, building up traction as the instrumental swells into a burst of swaying guitar riffs. It hits hard, and while Kirby aims for the heartstrings on ‘Tap Twice’, the resulting track is a salve to whatever frays appear in the strings.


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

For more track reviews:

Top 10 Tracks – April 2020

Top 10 Tracks – March 2020

Top 10 Tracks – February 2020