Best of September 2016
Regardless of whether you stream or download — start making space in your library, because September has proven to be a huge month for music. Second singles, comeback singles, flawless albums, and EPs you’ll want to play on repeat… really: this month had everything! To hear this post as a playlist – check us out on SoundCloud and Spotify. Finally, in no particular order, here’s the best of September 2016!
1. Mat Zo – MAD EP // featured track: Troglodyte
Mere months after the release of his critically-acclaimed sophomore album, Self Assemble, Mat Zo dropped a great 3-track EP titled MAD. From start to finish, the 10-minute EP takes you on an indescribable journey most studio LPs are unable to achieve. The track we’ve chosen to feature – Troglodyte – opens and closes with a futuristic lullaby, but not before dropping into a glitchy sea of synths and loops.
2. Griz – Good Will Prevail // featured track: What We’ve Become (feat. Natalola + Cory Enemy)
Oh, funk yeah!! GRiZ drops Good Will Prevail – a saxy 13-track album that will surely have fans dancing when his tour kicks off in October. While GRiZ dabbles with rock riffs, hip-hop, and pop, the album stays true to the funky sounds his fans have grown to love. Really, there is a track for every type of GRiZ fan out there. Our early favorite, What We’ve Become, has more of a house vibe to it — check it out!
3. AlunaGeorge – I Remember // featured track: Not Above Love
It’s undeniable: AlunaGeorge has been on a full-speed train since first hitting the scene in 2011. Having released or been featured on some of the hottest tracks in the past few years — it’s no surprise that their sophomore album, I Remember, is packed with hit after hit. Once stuck in a toxic and dead-end relationship, Not Above Love finds Aluna reclaiming her freedom from someone that continually left her with empty promises.
4. Anna Lunoe – Radioactive
Anna Lunoe is right: she always delivers. Radioactive – Anna’s first release with OWSLA – is an infectious house hit. The artist, who recently celebrated 1 million streams of the track, dropped it’s accompanying video late last week. Check out Anna and some friends riding through the desert in sick golf carts and dancing at sunset.
5. Zara Larsson – Ain’t My Fault
Zara Larsson will soon claim the crown as reigning pop star in the U.S. Larsson first struck gold in June 2015 with her single, Lush Life — only to release the MNEK-collaborated and international hit, Never Forget You, one month later. The videos for both tracks have collectively garnered nearly 700 million plays on YouTube, with the latter track serving as the duo’s first U.S. Top 20. Larsson’s latest single, Ain’t My Fault, finds the 18-year old Swedish singer teaming up with MNEK again to deliver a bold and unapologetic track that will soon be inescapable.
6. The Weeknd – Starboy (feat. Daft Punk)
Drugs, beautiful women, mansions, and an absurd amount of money — think less 2007’s “American Gangster,” and more 2016’s The Weeknd. Well, actually — I guess the story lines are quite similar. At least that’s the perception from Abel’s latest single, Starboy. Long gone are the days of lonely vices — now, his girl is cutting drugs on a $20,000 table. Cue, Denzel. Bought his mom a place, riding in luxurious cars — limitless — he’s a starboy. Cue, Denzel. Given how the movie ends, we can only hope the parallels end there. Regardless, The Weeknd sounds great on the track, and Daft Punk’s subtle yet pronounced touch was perfectly executed.
7. Lady Gaga – Perfect Illusion
By now, most have formed an opinion on mega-star, Lady Gaga — but here’s the truth: she’s about to release one of the best albums of 2016. Yes, we said it. Perfect Illusion, from the forthcoming album Joanne — is a clear indication of good things to come. Heavy electro-pop synths and killer guitar riffs encapsulate every second of the adrenaline-filled anthem. The first single seems very reminiscent of Marry the Night and Judas minus the theatrics. The video, which is also stripped back compared to prior videos, carries a grit and rawness reminiscent of The Fame Monster/Born This Way Gaga — leaving many fans hoping we’ll get a slice of the Gaga that crawled out of New York’s disco-pop/rock scene in the late 2000’s.
8. Sylvan Esso – Radio
Sylvan Esso returns with a great new track that fits perfectly within their growing discography. Starting out with what seems like an 80’s safety video beat, the song soon kicks in to the familiar loops and vocals that make Sylvan Esso’s music effortlessly distinctive. “Slaves to the radio” howls lead singer Amelia Heath — what will someone do to get on the radio? To gain and keep that notoriety? Is it worth it?
9. What So Not – Divide & Conquer – EP // featured track: Montreal (feat. Kimbra)
What So Not delivers the first EP sans-Flume’s co-production and it’s damn good! The title track is a perfect intro into this buzzing EP. Check out our early favorite, Montreal, featuring one of our favorite artists, Kimbra. The sultry track asks a simple question that really applies to the direction and EP as whole — baby, can you handle this?
10. Jadu Heart – Ezra’s Garden // featured track: Galaxy Surfing
Admittedly, we were not expecting another EP release from Jadu Heart this soon. Following the release of their incredible debut EP, Wanderflower, the duo — who are signed to Mura Masa’s label — drop Ezra’s Garden. Similar to their debut effort, the EP blends everything from R&B and pop to ambient electronic music. It’s fresh, it’s unique, and just the beginning for the duo. Check out Galaxy Surfing, and if you’re really liking the track, stay for the whole EP — it won’t disappoint.
11. Ruby Empress – Strung Out
Following their viral debut single, Deluca, Ruby Empress serve up a perfect follow up, Strung Out. The track is a trippy glimpse into angsty teen love, desire, and one’s internal chaos when engulfed by either. Chopped synths over smooth indie beats flow through every last second of this great track. Ruby Empress are slated to release their debut EP on October 21st. Hopefully, we get another track out of them before then.
12. Machineheart – Stonecold
A follow up to their debut EP, In Your Dreams, which features a track with Vanic — Machinheart return with a track that highlights Stevie Scott’s mesmerizing voice over a relaxed electro-synth track.
13. VÉRITÉ – Somebody Else
How do you take a hot new track and make a cover of it completely original? Ask, VÉRITÉ — because she just did it. Taking one of The 1975’s more ballad-driven songs — giving it the upbeat/club-ready treatment, along with VÉRITÉ’s distinctive vocals — leaves the gem that is presented before us. If you’re digging this, you definitely need to check out VÉRITÉ’s original content, starting with her debut EP, Echo.
14. Lyon – Gold Dust
In a world that is quickly being diluted by electronic music, it’s great to find artists, like LYON, that are still able to make electronic music that is fun to listen to and not an exact copy of every radio-ready song out there. From her new EP, Falling Up, we give you Gold Dust. The dizzying and upbeat track serve as a perfect complement to the mix of ha’s and filtered pop vocals we find throughout the track.
15. Angel Olsen – My Woman // featured track: Never Be Mine
Angel Olsen’s latest release, My Woman, is more than just her indie anthem, Shut Up Kiss Me. The new album, which was released earlier this month, is a great mix of vulnerable and captivating lyrics over some of the best indie, guitar-driven, tracks in recent history. Never Be Mine is about the woes of a self-made love triangle — one that doesn’t seem to be playing out in Angel’s favor. “He wants to know why I only want to know you — I want to tell him, I know the feeling” — an all too familiar feeling for many.
16. Skott – Amelia
Keep your eye on Skott — the Swedish singer, who has been praised by Lorde, is quickly rising. Her song Porcelain is a straight hit, and Amelia is no different. A little darker than the aforementioned song, Amelia is a plea for love to remain through what seems to be a long and at times painstaking relationship. Leave and never comeback or stay and we’ll throw a party. The ultimatum is an ode to the superficial truths that plague dead-end relationships.