Top Ten Songs of 2018

top ten songsThough this past year has had it’s fair share of ups and downs, 2018 has consistently delivered some killer songs. In previous years my number one song of the year was obvious, it would spark something within me, ignite a fire that would keep burning all year. This time round I’ve had that same feeling about half the songs on my list!  Continue reading


Top Ten EPs of 2018

top ten epsThese lists aren’t final until they are up on the site to give a chance to those November and December releases that often get forgotten. That said, a basic list usually gets drafted quite far in advance as a guide. This list however is the exception. It took a long time to narrow down to a top ten, and even longer to decide on the final order. It’s been an impressively consistent year for EPs across the board, but after much deliberation I’ve settled on my final rankings. Continue reading

Top Ten Album Covers of 2018

album coversWe’ll be starting this year’s list season with a brand new one. They say you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, but often album covers can say a lot about the music within. Many times I’ve bought a record simply because the artwork has drawn my eye every time I see it, and not once have I come away disappointed. As great as these albums are however, we’ll be ranking them solely on how eye-catching, unique and memorable the cover is. Continue reading

Top Tracks: Michael McArthur – Elaine

“Love is all you need”. Besides the obvious Beatles connotation, it’s a sentiment that has been attempted to be expressed in countless ways. The trouble is in trying to sum up a love so potent in mere words, or in the same chords that make up every song under the sun. Neither can really do it justice. True love is beautiful and baffling. It can weather the fiercest storms and only gets stronger with time while all others crumble and fade. This track from Florida’s Michael McArthur doesn’t capture that indescribable feeling, but it comes closer than almost any song I can think of. ‘Elaine’, taken from his debut album Ever Green, Ever Rain out 25th January, reminds me what it’s like to fall deeply and completely in love. That warm glow that outshines all else, that feeling that you could almost just close your eyes and float away.

Top Tracks: Skip Curtis – Wild Love

The debut single from Welsh singer/songwriter Skip Curtis is imbued with the spirit of adventure. ‘Wild Love’ is the kind of track that makes you want to shed all your responsibilities, leave your fears and insecurities behind, and just take off running. There’s an energy to it that compels you to keep seeking the next horizon in the hope that there’s a better place awaiting you on the other side. As much as the song calls out to you to get away from everything that’s holding you back, it manages to provide its own escape with its driving bass, emphatic chorus and infectious energy. ‘Wild Love’ whisks you away and reminds you that you can’t let a particular place or person to define who you are, sometimes you just have to take the plunge into the unknown and see where it leads.

Top Tracks: Averly – Patient

Belwood favourite Jonny Carroll has teamed up with producer extraordinaire Jon Class for new indie pop project Averly. It’s always rewarding to hear an artist you know exploring new ground and experimenting with new ideas, and there’s no better way to do that than collaborating with another artist. This duo has brought two different worlds together and each side injects their own ideas and idiosyncrasies into their debut single ‘Patient’. Detailing that familiar disheartening frustration when you feel as though you’re not making as much progress towards your personal goals as you’d hoped, ‘Patient’ dances with shimmering melodies. It’s rooted in an organic indie sound, occasionally reminiscent of Manchester Orchestra, albeit cloaked in an air of electropop that knows all the right buttons to push. It delivers all it promises and more, and certainly marks an assured first step for this new partnership.

Top Tracks: Opia Bloom – Side By Side

The spectacular new single from Brighton based rockers Opia Bloom (fka YOUTH) is an indie fan’s dream come true. ‘Side by Side’ boasts bombastic drums, soaring riffs, the nostalgic fuzz of super 8 film, and the kind of anthemic chorus that you’ll spend half the summer belting out at the top of your lungs. Even though this track veers pretty close to perfection, the same isn’t true of lot of things in life, like the kind of rollercoaster relationship that the song describes. When you both seem to find yourselves clashing with each other, a constant push and pull where you’re as much enemies as lovers, but despite it all you’d be lost without them by your side. Even in the depths of winter I can say with some confidence that this will be the soundtrack of my summer next year.

Top Tracks: Janet Devlin – I Lied To You

It feels like such a long time since we last heard new music from Janet Devlin, but this new single is worth the wait. With its breathy vocals, elegant strings and confessional lyrics, ‘I Lied To You’ is perhaps her most intimate and heartfelt work to date. In this image centred world we find ourselves in, where we constantly try to maintain the illusion that our lives are perfect, it’s hard to admit when things are wrong or when you’ve made a mistake. Doubly so when you find yourself in the spotlight. It’s an admirably open and honest track, though it’s the kind of song that people can attach their own meaning and importance to. With this taste of her upcoming album, I’m excited to see what else Janet has in store for 2019.