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The December Electronic Music Playlist

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.

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About the Author


Jon O'Brien's love of music began as a six-year-old after becoming bizarrely transfixed with the 80s poodle rock of Heart, Europe and Def Leppard. Switching his attention to pop icon Michael Jackson, he then became addicted to the UK Top 40, becoming a rather pointless walking Wikipedia of chart positions in the process. Driving his poor neighbors up the wall while learning to play the drums as a teen, he toyed with the idea of becoming a musician, but in studying Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire, he realized heÕd rather write about music than perform it. Since then, he's written thousands of reviews and biographies on everything from bubblegum pop to death metal, but electronica remains his main passion, with everything from Aphex Twin to Zero 7 in his spare room-consuming record collection. Jon resides in northwest England near Liverpool.

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