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Vince Leigh has been a blessing for BMA since he joined about a year ago. His wisdom and musical erudition is matched only by his eloquent, succinct, and lively wordage.
It is with this in mind that I reached out to ole Vincey to bless us great unwashed with a slice of his favourite songs of 2019 which, as below will attest, he obligingly provided.
Take it away, Vince… – BOSSMAN SKO
10. Bruce Springsteen – There Goes My Miracle
Springsteen conjures the ghosts of rock past with this grief-stricken ode to love and time, sounding like a resurrected Roy Orbison ambling towards an inescapable twilight. The sound soars and ascends, hefty and as elaborate as some kind of musical hagiography, its writer stately and gallant but surrendering to the tempest.
9. Lizzo – Truth Hurts
A rap pop hybrid that takes hold of a nursery rhyme spirit to create an infectious and irresistible spark. Yet another track that pits familiarity with the idiosyncratic to create a prototypal gem.
8. Mannequin Pussy – Drunk II
Blistering punk power pop of the highest order, delivered with sweetness and a pulverising emotional intensity that never lets up.
7. Purple Mountains – All My Happiness Is Gone
Harnessing the lo-fi and the low octave to create whimsical drama that relies on restraint to reveal the potent emotional poetics of sadness, this track is not just a maudlin rock lullaby. What coats its pallid depths is the glimmering gilt of hope through the unburdened self and a sense of liberating relief.
6. The Japanese House – Saw You In A Dream
This is a mesmerizing marriage of the mournful with the contemplative utilizing a dreamscape of evocative instrumentation and effervescent hooks that never lose their sweet edges.
5. Jonas Brothers – Sucker
Combining the contemporary with allusions to the white soul antecedents of yesteryear this track sneakily creates a pastiche of subdued hooks that become incendiary, freewheeling grooves that tumble in and out of an intimated one, matched with a lyric that intones a swagger while it wallows in attachment.
4. Freya Ridings – Castles
This doesn’t have any of the gothic mysticism of Florence Welch’s oeuvre. But it comes pretty close, sounding more like a convincing approximation than an outright facsimile, and one whose focus is a deceptively articulate arrangement of pleasurable melodic parts.
3. Selena Gomez – Lose You To Love Me
A track that is replete with melodic lines you think you’ve heard previously, yet you haven’t, it alludes to these semblances before departing from them to create a new arrangement that theatrical and arresting, and serving the post-break-up lyric in such a conclusive manner it’s difficult to separate the artist from their subject matter.
2. Post Malone – Circles
All pop and no rap here, a persuasive blend of melancholic melodic choices with a laid bare lyric that’s reinforced by a shimmering and stark yet light-filled production.
1. Katy Perry – Never Really Over
This is contemporary pop at its finest, utilising Perry’s powerhouse bluster to great effect. A track that seems to have a never-ending series of peaks, with the synth-driven descending melodic marvel of the post-chorus (or chorus depending on your terminology) a luscious blend of binding hooks, rhythmic ingenuity and emotional finesse, this has certifiable instant classic embedded into its end-of-the-decade groove.