From one of this year’s coolest all-star hook-ups to a welcome return from Scandinavia’s best musical exports to an exciting new alt-R&B talent, here’s a look at five dance/electronica tracks you need to hear this December.
Metronomy – “I’m Aquarius”
Cleverly premiered via a stargazing app which would only play the song when users discovered the Aquarius constellation, the first single from the follow-up to 2011’s Mercury Prize-nominated The English Riviera finds Metronomy holding the horoscopes entirely responsible for a crumbling relationship on a suitably starry-eyed blend of shoop-shoop vocals, twinkling synths and muted R&B rhythms.
Royksopp – “Something In My Heart”
Justifying their status as the kings of melancholic electro-pop, Norwegian duo Royksopp team up with the James Blake-esque tones of The Irrepressibles’ Jamie McDermott for a typically emotive mix of slow-motion beats, chugging synths and dreamy melodies which appears on the B-side to their equally majestic new single, “Running To The Sea.”
Barnaby – “Bored”
Guaranteed to end up on next year’s ones-to-watch list, 22-year-old UK singer-songwriter Barnaby follows-up the sparse synth-led R&B of his promising debut single “Fresh Like Lemonade” with another silky-smooth and soulful ballad which gives both his confessional lyrical approach and his gorgeously delicate vocals the space to shine.
Sam Smith x Disclosure x Nile Rodgers x Jimmy Napes – “Together”
Making a late bid for superstar collaboration of the year, garage revivalists Disclosure hook up with man-of-the-moment Nile Rodgers (the voice behind Naughty Boy’s UK chart-topper), Sam Smith, and songwriter Jimmy Napes for a predictably classy disco-funk jam that, at just 2 minutes and 22 seconds, definitely leaves you wanting more.
Katy B – “Crying For No Reason”
Following the nostalgic house-pop of “What Love Is Made Of” and the post-party cry for help of “5am,” one-time dubstep queen Katy B continues her recent run of brilliant singles with a slow-burning electro-ballad which evokes Swedish pop vixen Robyn at her heart-breaking best.