Hannah Browne's Best Singles of 2018
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Image Credit: Matthew Healy via Wiki Commons1. The 1975 – Love It If We Made It As the second single from The 1975’s A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, ‘Love It If We Made It’ attempts to hold onto the world in its entirety. As a vocalised observation on society and its endless fuckery, the Manchester quartet embed abrasive pop melodies within an analysis of police brutality through systemic racism, the plastic crisis, the death of refugees, Lil Peep’s overdose and the unlikely bond between president Donald Trump and Kanye West via Twitter. The single is as passionate as it is anthemic, as Healy rails at these issues over a stubborn beat. ‘Love It If We Made It’ suggests there’s always a way to keep going despite drowning in the earth’s collective misery, offering a tainted yet sparkling vision of 2018 modernity. 2. The Carters – APESHIT Released with a video that (nearly) broke the internet, ‘APESHIT’ saw Beyoncé and Jay-Z's first feature together subsequent to Yoncé’s public journey in Lemonade. With her solo album exploring the many layers of black womanhood in America, ‘APESHIT’, which is filmed in the privately rented Louvre Museum, sees the Carters present themselves as mutualistic whilst borrowing inspiration from the art world. Ultimately, the track helps to define their vision of how men and woman relate to each other. The track itself is defiant and referential, calling out the Grammys and the NFL whilst remaining a club-worthy banger. Beyoncé notably stands out as if ‘APESHIT’ is her own, telling whoever’s listening to “Get off my dick”. 3. Maribou State ft Holly Walkers – Nervous Tics Electronic duo Maribou State flourished this year with the vibey and brilliantly meshed ‘Nervous Tics’. A single all about the lowkey constant panic that underlies modern life, the vocals of long-time collaborator Holly Walker ooze seduction with a silky, free flow, adding a sexy twist to an otherwise 'nervous' track. Accompanied by a hazy and kaleidoscopic video, the repetitions are jarred and mirror the sonic contrasts that exist within ‘Nervous Tics’. Artistically finessed, ‘Nervous Tics’ is a triumphant, technicolour track. 4. LANY – Thru These Tears
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Under both his Glover and Gambino monikers, Donald is a man that is undoubtedly worth talking about in 2018. ‘This Is America’ saw Gambino at the forefront of the discussion of blackness (and anti-blackness) in America, in a track oozing with duality. Built on the juxtaposition between jovial singalongs and menacing trap tendencies, he panders to a current ‘woke’ social climate in a statement about violence and gun control. The video turns this contrast into satire material, as a bare-chested Gambino dances through violent and wild scenes in a scattered warehouse.10. Ariana Grande – no tears left to cry Her first single since the 2017 Manchester Arena attack, ‘no tears left to cry’ defied expectations as a garage-inspired beat masqueraded within Grande’s knowledge of pop melodies. The production is a vibrant celebration of optimism that acts as a sanctuary, as Grande sings “Right now I’m in a state of mind / I wanna be in, like, all the time / Ain’t got no tears left to cry”. She realises that previous setbacks would never abandon her pursuit of pleasure, thus deserting dreary ballads in favour of an infectious earworm. As Billboard’s Woman of the Year, both herself and the Sweetener album are striking in their optimism.