Top Tracks: Megan Nash – Artifact

We have a remarkable ability to attach great meaning to otherwise unremarkable things. What would be a wholly insignificant trinket to one person could be a priceless heirloom to another. Even little scraps of paper could have years of memories attached to them. It’s quite magical in a way. How a picture or note that would be meaningless to most can become a portal to another time in the right hands; allowing a torrent of memories, and the emotions attached to them, to come flooding back. Canadian artist Megan Nash offers an exquisite exploration of this phenomenon with her new single ‘Artifact’. The track begins adrift in a dreamy wistful atmosphere, reminiscing on a past relationship and recalling how it felt to be in love. This alone would make ‘Artifact’ a sublime exercise in songwriting, but Megan takes things a step further. As growing tension and menace builds in the arrangement, the track turns to reflect on how things turned sour and fell apart, swimming with both the passion of the past and the pain of the present. It delves into how we can take the moments frozen in time contained with objects and look upon them with fresh perspectives once we’re a little older and wiser.

Top Tracks: Heavyman – Loose Lips

Picture if you will the world of music as a busy bar scene. There are many songs which are like the friendly bar staff who greet everyone with a smile. Some songs are like the quiet wallflower in the corner; easily overlooked at first, but after spending a bit of time with them they can become a friend for life. And some are more like grizzled strangers with an unapproachable air who are very much an acquired taste. Then you have tracks like ‘Loose Lips’ – our leather-jacketed, effortlessly cool leading man that commands everyone’s attention as soon as they walk in the door. This new single from London based alt rock outfit Heavyman is simply dripping with charisma. Between the heavy stomp of drums, the suave snaking bass lines, and the slick addictive riffs, it ticks all the right boxes with an assured flourish. It’s the textbook example of a “walk down the street feeling like a badass” kind of song. Beneath the bravado however there’s also some real depth to this debonair rocker. With lyrics dealing with the current torrent of fake news, and the kind of people who lap it up and let truth fall by the wayside, ‘Loose Lips’ has plenty of substance to go with its abundance of style.

Top Tracks: Rebekah Fitch – Dust

Much of what I do revolves around finding the right words, but sometimes my job is made impossible by those words simply not existing. To my knowledge there’s no word to describe a perfect unison of music and visuals. No handy expression to convey just how a great music video can elevate a song, and how a stunning song can in turn add another level of storytelling to the visuals. If such a word existed it would apply perfectly to ‘Dust’, the new single from Irish alt-pop artist Rebekah Fitch. Lyrically it deals with the heartbreak that comes with losing someone you never thought you’d lose. The sorrow that hits like a bolt from the blue when they’re suddenly not around, off living their life without you. The memories of the time you shared together marred by loss, the future that you dreamt of crumbling away before your eyes. If such a message wasn’t already enough to tug at your heartstrings, the track is paired with one of the most arresting and emotionally devastating videos of the year, depicting an elderly couple struggling with separation after many years together. Between the incredibly moving video, earnest lyricism and Rebekah’s stunning soaring vocals, ‘Dust’ is the kind of track that just tears out your heart and still has you pleading for more.

Top Tracks: Slow Pulp – Montana

I think at this point 2020’s never-ending doldrums and looming sense of dread have brought everyone’s spirits low to some degree. Though we’re all facing much the same struggle, it hits far harder for some more than others. For those who have struggled with their mental health, and have fought hard to keep their demons at bay and find peace of mind, the toll that this year has taken can be difficult to bear. It’s a devastating setback that can feel as though it’s undone years of hard to work. With this latest cut from their debut album Moveys, Chicago based Slow Pulp offer a reminder to try not to define yourself by your mental health. There’s no straight line from struggle to salvation, it’s a constant up and down with plenty of bumps in the road. ‘Montana’ pleads patience and forgiveness, to not beat yourself up when you falter but to take what time you need to recover before you can start moving forward again. The dreamy vocals, soft slide guitar and the gorgeous heartwarming harmonica serve as a comforting hand on your shoulder to say “hey, we all stumble sometimes, but if you’re patient with yourself then you’ll get there in the end”.