Sunday, December 18, 2016

New Good Song: "So Close To Magic," Aquilo 12.18.16

Here's a new good song: "So Close To Magic" by Aquilo, one of my favorite discoveries of the past five years. They've done it again with another song that sounds like such an instant classic I almost can't believe it's not a remake. These guys are just incredible at capturing mood with music. They had my 17th favorite song of 2014, "I Gave It All," and my 28th favorite song of 2015, "Good Girl," which has a terrifically conceived, acted and directed video to boot. Enjoy "So Close To Magic"!

New Good Song: "Hypnotizing," Aaron Camper 12.18.16

Here's a new good song" Hypnotizing" by Aaron Camper. When I first came across it, I liked what I was hearing but wasn't necessarily transported ... until about 45 seconds in, then I was like, "Wait, what is this?" and then when those harmonies come in at 00:57 I just about went insane. This is an absolutely grade-A example of what electro-influenced R&B can achieve when care is taken to pull the pieces into a cohesive arc, and have a message that isn't trite or disgusting. This is just fantastic work by Camper; he should be very pleased with how it came out. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Oceans Away," Arizona 12.18.16

Here's a new good song: "Oceans Away" by Arizona, sometimes stylized as A R I Z O N A, which is dumb. But this song has a pleasant, classic chord progression and instrumental arrangement. Nice job. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Romantic Soul," Jhameel 12.18.16

Here's a new good song: "Romantic Soul" by Jhameel. I don't love all of Jhameel's music -- there's a lot to choose from, because he's very prolific -- but I do respect the artistry and hope he becomes more successful, because he's clearly talented, hard-working and passionate about what he does. Wish he could get some financial backing, or a generous collaborator, to make his songs sound a little more professional. But at the base of it, "Romantic Soul" is his best song to date, with a very pretty melody and relateable sentiment. Jhameel had another good song in 2014 called "Lion's Den," which was my 85th favorite song of that year. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Sunset Skies," Tw3lv 12.18.16

Here's a new good song: "Sunset Skies" by Tw3lv. A bit more sunny than what I typically care for, but I think the chord progression and arrangement are wonderful. The voice has a bit too much helium for my taste but I think the joyousness it emotes fits with the song well. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Hung Up," S.J. & Tritonal f/ Emma Gatsby 12.18.16

Here's a new good song: "Hung Up" by S.J. & Tritonal f/ Emma Gatsby. It has nothing to do with the Madonna song by the same name. It's great. Reminds me quite a bit of "Catching On" by Elephante f/ Nevv, my seventh-favorite new good song of 2016. Great melodic dance-hall pop. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "I Go Where You Go," Bell X1 12.18.16

Here's a new good song: "I Go Where You Go" by Bell X1. This act had a new good song back in 2013, a gorgeous ballad called "Careful What You Wish For," which was my 53rd favorite song of that year. This one is similarly light and piano-based but has more of a mild Blues sensibility. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Heart Of Mine," Firefox AK 12.18.16

Here's a new good song: "Heart Of Mine" by Firefox AK. Really like the instrumental arrangement in the verses. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Slow," The Chain Gang of 1974 12.18.16

Here's a new good song: "Slow" by The Chain Gang of 1974, the group responsible for my No. 1 favorite song of 2016, "I Still Wonder." That's an insurmountably high bar to surpass, but "Slow" is pretty good as well. It keeps right in that New Wave, '80s sound I do love so. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Love On The Weekend," John Mayer 12.18.16

Here's a new good song: "Love On The Weekend" by John Mayer. Surprised he's still making music? Surprised it's good? Don't be -- although he's an easy target for detractors, Mayer is full of skill and has a portfolio peppered with good songs, including but not limited to: "No Such Thing," "Bigger Than My Body" and ... actually, that's it. The rest is pretty dumb. But this new track is nice; he keeps it simple and straightforward, not preachy, not cheesy, to great effect. Enjoy!

Friday, December 9, 2016

50 Best New Good Songs of 2016

Drumroll ... Here is a countdown video I made of my 50 favorite songs of 2016, from 50 to 1. Enjoy!