Feed Limmy: Top 30 Songs of 2015

This has been a tradition since the land before time and Snapchat. While I’ve taken a long break from pop music blogging (the commentary still very much lives on in Twitter), I’m usually tempted to come back to this increasingly unfamiliar Wordpress interface every year and rank, hyperlink and embed my personal favourite tracks of the last 12 months. This year for the first time, I will be blogging with emojis. #downwiththekids

I imagine it’d be nice to scroll back through the passage of time one day to see that once upon a time, Carly Rae Jepsen overtook Robyn as the gays’ new queen of Bubbling Under pop. Once upon a time, Halsey was the flavour of the moment. Popstar of the Future Troye Sivan made an album (how traditional!). They sent troops to Syria but couldn’t extract a record from MKS. Nobody has time for the games Rihanna‘s playing anymore. And two unfuckwithable singer-songwriters in their 20s called Adele and Taylor Swift scrapped everyone’s life force with their massive-selling, Spotify-shunning, numerically titled albums. And where you were when you heard Zayn had left 1D?

Never mind. Here are 30 songs that I really, really liked this year.

Spoiler alert: At some point you might say, this list is really crap. Why isn’t Lana on here? 

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Little Boots ‘Every Night I Say A Prayer’ Single Review

I am generally quite pleased with Victoria‘s efforts of late. She has inevitably sashayed into a more dance-centric playing field despite debuting three years ago with an album glistening with productions by some of pop’s A-lists. And we’re cool with that.

Little Boots‘ latest piece ‘Every Night I Say A Prayer’ takes the children back to a time where dance pop was elegant, effortlessly stylish, and need not rely on throbbing, aggressive Guetta club beats to make an impact.

The prevalent 90s house pianos and soft “oooh” in the verses sounds like something you’d clock in a present day Bananarama single, if it was written and produced by Alphabeat.

‘Every Night I Say A Prayer’ is categorically more of a pop single than Victoria‘s last single ‘Shake’, a slick six minute-long nouveau disco jam. There’s a punchy hook that takes root with repeated listens, but only because it is so well supported in the song’s structure. Basically, the chorus stands out well because the milder, more innocuous verses aren’t desperately trying to flag your attention from every corner.

It’s a whole different discipline in pop songwriting, y’guys. And it’s not necessarily something that’s observed – or appreciated – very much these days. Nowadays, hit makers for Rihanna, Jessie J et al know that the average listening span is, like, seven seconds or something ridiculous. You gotta hit them upfront and fast before they change the station or hit skip on the iTunes store.

‘Every Night I Say A Prayer’ clearly gives not a fuck if you got better shit to do after seven seconds. Victoria is busy in verse one, setting the scene and getting you in the mood for the chorus.

Listen to ‘Every Night I Say A Prayer’:



I guess over 15,800 plays on Soundcloud and over 5,700 downloads in one day isn’t such a poor response after all.

Footnotes:

Little Boots is being oh so generous to offer a free download of ‘Every Night I Say A Prayer’.

Chart Feed – 14.11.11

Ricki-Lee‘s ‘Raining Diamonds’ rockets back up the charts from #96 to #23 this week, thanks to her no-expense-spared X Factor Australia performance and Sunrise jaunt the morning after. The track immediately leapt from #57 to the Top 5 on iTunes right after Tuesday night’s performance and the girl even became a Twitter trending topic worldwide.

The fabulous Idol star is putting the finishing touches on her album now – which is expected to arrive in the first half of 2012 – and word is, her label has already approved a follow up single to ‘Raining Diamonds’. There’s a few good tidbits in her auspop interview – go have a read.

Watch Ricki-Lee turn out ‘Raining Diamonds’ on X Factor Australia.


 
Jessica Mauboy and Stan Walker‘s ‘Galaxy’ ascends to a new peak of #13 in Australia, making this J. Mally‘s 10th Top 20 smash and Stan‘s fourth. Meanwhile, JessGet ‘Em Girls album plummets to #100 on our ARIA charts proving that she might just be a more bankable singles seller after all.

Susan Boyle has once again made her annual showing on top of the album charts with her third LP Someone To Watch Over Me reigning at #1 in Australia and the UK. The chairman cash cow of Simon Cowell‘s label made her maiden trip Down Under last week to promote the new album and voila for results. Over in the US, Someone To Watch Over Me debuts at #4 with opening week sales of 132,000 copies. SuBo will probably never recapture the hysterical success of her debut I Dreamed A Dream – which opened at #1 in the US, selling 701,000 copies in its first week. But I reckon she’ll be right.

There are seven new entries in our ARIA Top 20 this week and I reckon it’s only gonna get more competitive over the next few weeks with new releases falling like rain. Triple J‘s Like A Version 7, which was topping the iTunes charts for most of the week, managed to debut at #6. Other debuts include: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 soundtrack (#9), Il Divo‘s Wicked Game (#11), Powderfinger‘s Fingerprints and Footprints (#15), The Getaway Plan‘s Requiem (#17) and Chris Tomlin‘s Glory In The Highest Christian Christmas compilation (#19).

Watch Angus & Julia Stone do folky cover of Nelly Furtado‘s ‘Say It Right’, which is featured on Triple J‘s Like A Version 7:


 
The Wiggles tribute album is probably the best thing them indie folk types have come up with ever. Making children’s music is serious shit, y’guys. There’s no fooling around with ‘The Hot Potato’. ReWiggled: A Tribute to The Wiggles debuts at #25 this week on our ARIA charts and it features the likes of Washington doing a very straight-faced rendition of ‘The Monkey Dance’, Architecture in Helsinki giving fluorescent realness in ‘Wiggly Party’ and Living End doing a rocking cover of the aforementioned spud song.

Ed Sheeran has himself a little Aussie hit in his hands, thanks to some promo work. The ginger strummy la la artist’s ‘The A Team’ leaps to #5 on our ARIA singles chart while the album + shoots to #21. Ed has so far earned three UK Top 10 smashes with ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You’ and ‘Lego House’ both managing to follow the success of ‘A Team’. His album managed to debut on top of the British charts last month, garnering opening week sales of over 102,000 copies.

Jessie J‘s Who You Are album leaps back into the Australian Top 50 this week, placing itself at #35. Interest surrounding the new single ‘Domino’, which is still lingering in our Top 20, has got to help. The Christmas cash-in re-release of Who You Are arrived locally last Friday – that will also help the cause. Over in the UK, Jessie J launches her fifth single ‘Who You Are’ today, so we can expect for the track to break into the Top 20 next week. Over in America, ‘Domino’ rises to #67 on the Billboard Hot 100, thanks in some part to her killer US X Factor performance.

Watch Jessie J wail the house down on ‘Domino’:


 
Lady Gaga‘s Born This Way is out of the Australian Top 50 for the first time since it dropped in May. The epic top-selling album drops to #63 this week but I reckon it won’t be long before we see the bitch fight back with a vengeance. The project’s next single ‘Marry The Night’ debuts at #88 this week. Y’all better have a ton of popcorn ready too because Gaga has just announced that the forthcoming video for ‘Marry The Night’ will be her longest mini-movie yet.

Darren HayesSecret Codes and Battleships does a death drop from #15 to #53 in its third week on our ARIA Top 100. I want y’all to stop rocking in the corner because we knew this was bound to happen as soon as all promo activity wraps.

Dazza – although admirable in his plight for a sparkling commercial comeback – will always be one of those pop artists with a cult following. Pick up for his singles ‘Talk Talk Talk’ and ‘Bloodstained Heart’ haven’t improved since the album arrived but then again, he hasn’t had a solo single that really grabbed the Aussie public since 2005’s ‘So Beautiful’. And that was boosted by interest surrounding the Savage Garden best-of compilation.

Listen to Darren Hayes‘ ‘Bloodstained Heart (Monsieur Adi Remix)’:


 
Kele of Bloc Party‘s new EP The Hunter debuts at #79 in Australia this week. The collection of six new original songs and a cover of Q Lazzarus‘ ‘Goodbye Horses’ arrives a little over a year after Kele‘s first solo album. The Boxer managed to peak at #35 in Australia and #20 in the UK.

Cher Lloyd‘s wigsnatching debut Sticks & Stones shows up at #4 this week, making it the second biggest new album on the UK charts. After the first two days on shelves, the album had already racked up over 26,000 sales – putting the girl roughly 4,000 copies behind SuBo. Over at the singles bar, ‘With Ur Love’ dips a little to #6 in its second week while her fierce chart topping smash ‘Swagger Jagger’ rockets back up to #41.

Here in Australia, they’re actually trying to launch young Cher again after ‘Swagger Jagger’ flopped disastrously. Basically two radio stations in the entire country added that shit. My friend auspop informed me that ‘With Ur Love’ has picked up some local radio love in the last week, getting added to Nova 106.9 (Queensland) and The Edge 96.1 (Sydney) – just to name a few. It’s already on course to fare better than ‘Swagger Jagger’ so we’ll see what comes of it.

Catch a glimpse of Cher Lloyd‘s secret acoustic gig:


 
The Wanted‘s Battleground becomes the third biggest new release on the UK album charts this week, entering at #5 after selling over 25,000 copies in the first two days. The sophomore album’s a mostly consistent blend of present day boy band fodder. The best showing here is definitely the singles ‘Glad You Came’, ‘Lightning’ (although I prefer the Alias Radio Edit) and future hit ‘Warzone’ (which debuted at #64 this week thanks to interest surrounding the video/album).

JLS‘ big ballad ‘Take A Chance On Me’ debuts at #2 to become the biggest selling new single in the UK this week. The next major impacting new single is Pixie Lott‘s rather dated pop/R&B submission ‘What Do You Take Me For’, which entered at a meagre #10. Both JLS and Pixie launch their respective albums Jukebox and Young Foolish Happy today, so it’ll be interesting to see where they end up next Monday. Right now, JLS‘ album sits at #6 on the UK iTunes charts while Pixie‘s record pulls up at #29.

Watch Pixie Lott‘s sleek ‘What Do You Take Me For’ video:


 
Next week’s British chart battle would also see two pop groups with two stunning winter ballads go head to head. In one corner, there’s One Direction‘s flawless ‘Gotta Be You’ and the other, The Saturdays‘My Heart Takes Over’. Day one on the digital shelves and One Direction‘s currently perched at #2 on the iTunes singles chart while The Saturdays trail behind at #17. Both bands will take up battle again on 21 November when their albums drop on the same day.

Looking ahead, 28 November is gonna be a nerve-wracking day at the UK X Factor camp with Kelly Rowland releasing the international edition of Here I Am and fellow judge Tulisa foisting an N-Dubz greatest hits compilation. Xtra Factor host and former show contestant Olly Murs will also drop his sophomore album In Case You Didn’t Know on the same day, while fellow series winner Joe McElderry launches his third album Classic Christmas.

Parade‘s self-titled debut album isn’t about to snatch any trophies, let’s be real about that. But the struggling girl band isn’t doing too badly right now with their record rising to #88 on the UK iTunes album charts. Can they keep it chugging along for the rest of the week?

Melanie C‘s new bruised ballad ‘Weak’ debuts at #29 on the UK indie singles chart. Despite the barrage of TV and radio promo in the last week – performing on DaybreakThis Morning and other places – the Old Spice couldn’t get the track to crack the Top 100.

Watch Mel deliver a knock out live acoustic performance of ‘Weak’:


 
Nicole Scherzinger‘s ‘Try With Me’ plummets to #29 in its second week on the UK charts. The ex-Pussycat team leader is relaunching her Killer Love album in the UK today with three new tracks, plus the 50 Cent remix of ‘Right There’, which was used to launch her career in the States.

Here’s what you need to know about the new recordings: ‘Try With Me’ – the Nervo co-write – is acceptable but not really on the level of immediate pop excellence like say ‘Killer Love’, ‘Trust Me I Lie’ is an unnecessarily dramatic ballad written by Diane Warren, and ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’ is a mid-tempo with a wistful Teenage Dream flavour, probably because it’s a Bonnie McKee co-write.

Little Boots‘ new single ‘Shake’ is currently placed at #105 on the UK iTunes charts after just day on the digital shelves. A feat she said she wasn’t expecting for a “six minute song with no video”. This really is a good Litmus test for Victoria’s fan base because there’s really been no promo prior to this.

Justin Bieber has the #1 album in America with Under The Mistletoe, nabbing first-week sales of 210,000 copies. The teen megastar also made history as the first Christmas album by a male artist to debut at #1 in Billboard’s 55-year chart history. Susan Boyle‘s 2010 The Gift was the only other Christmas album to ever open on top of the US charts.

Coldplay‘s Mylo Xyloto (last week’s big #1 entry) and Kelly Clarkson‘s Stronger (last week’s #2 hot shot debut) falls to #7 and #10 respectively on the US Billboard 200. Mylo Xyloto registered a 76% drop in sales (selling 104,000 copies in its second week) while Stronger slumped with 69% sales drop (selling 51,000 copies in its second week).

Listen to Coldplay‘s ‘Paradise (Fedde Le Grand Remix)’:


 
Rihanna‘s ‘We Found Love’ clocks its second week on top of the US Billboard Hot 100 and picks up even more airplay to support it. The single is still the most downloaded song in America, racking in 236,000 digital sales in the last week. ‘We Found Love’ also managed to top the US Billboard Dance/Club play charts.

Meanwhile, the Rihanna Navy is already going to work stanning for her next single ‘You Da One’. The album Talk That Talk leaked over the weekend and while I have no interest (at the moment) to hear it in web quality, everyone’s already saying that it’s better than Loud.

Katy Perry‘s ‘The One That Got Away’ finally leaps into the US Top 20, placing itself at #18. This chart upgrade was supported by growing radio rotation, which saw the song rise from #33 to #26 on the US airplay charts. ‘The One That Got Away’ dips to #41 in Australia this week and #62 in the UK. Now that the video’s dropped, expect for the single to really pick up pace.

Listen to ‘The One That Got Away (JRMX Remix)’:


 
Beyoncé‘s ‘Party’ rises to #3 on the US R&B/Hip Hop song chart while her hubby Jay-Z reigns on top with ‘Niggas in Paris’. Looking on the overall Billboard Hot 100, ‘Party’ rises to #54 and continues to lead the pack of 4 tracks currently littered all over the charts. Further down, we have ‘Countdown’ picking up pace to #71. While ‘Party’ is the stronger performer on the American radio airplay charts, ‘Countdown’ is making waves over on the US dance/club play charts – rising to a new peak of #9 this week.

Britney Spears‘Criminal’ is still slowly happening in the States, rising to a new peak of #55 on the Billboard Hot 100. I honestly can’t see this song scaling the Top 20 unless radio comes around to playing it more. The song tumbles from #67 to #74 on the American airplay chart – not at all promising. ‘Criminal’ has yet to crack the ARIA Top 100 and as for its fate in the UK, we’ll have to see after it’s formally released on 21 November.

Wynter Gordon‘s ‘Buy My Love’ moves up to #21 on the US Billboard Dance/Club play charts. Almost in the Top 20 league, boo boo. Elsewhere, other exciting new movers in the club sphere include Anjulie‘s ‘Brand New Bitch’ (#18), Eddie Amador and Kimberly Cole‘s ‘Arrow Through My Heart’ (#32) and Chris Willis‘ new piece ‘Too Much In Love’ (debuting at #40).

Little Boots returns with ‘Shake’

Tastemakers everywhere are already nodding and swaying their shoulders to the new sounds of Little Boots. Shouldn’t you get with the program too?

After breaking through in 2009 such electro pop gems like ‘New In Town’, ‘Remedy’ and ‘Earthquake’ – your girl Victoria is back with a brand new single that’s very much the thinking person’s dance track.

‘Shake’ is the British pop siren’s first release from her forthcoming sophomore album and it’s refreshingly subtle for a dance/pop record. Sonically, it veers closer to the underground and effortlessly cool nature of her Hands album tracks ‘Stuck on Repeat’ and ‘Symmetry’.

The 80s-style reverb over the vocals, nouveau disco beats, and stunningly bittersweet lyrics – “everybody shake ’til your heart breaks” – could not be more on point. If it’s wistful, stripped-back electronica she’s got lined up for her next album then, folks, there is every reason to be excited for Little Boots‘ return.

Take a listen to the radio edit of ‘Shake’, which got its first spin on Radio One yesterday:


 
There’s also the original extended mix here, if you fancy the full experience:


 
Victoria is set to play a series of international DJ gigs over the next few weeks that include jaunts in Paris, Berlin, New York, L.A. and Tokyo.

Footnotes:

Little Boots will release ‘Shake’ in both digital and limited edition vinyl formats on 14 November. Fingers crossed it’ll also show up on our Aussie digital store fronts.

Download Little Boots‘ free Shake Until Your Heart Breaks mixtape.

Chart Feed – 15.03.10

Adam Lambert has officially made his mark on the Australian charts.

After a flash promo tour here last week, which conveniently coincided with Sydney’s Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, Lambert’s single ‘Whataya Want From Me’ debuts at #26 and the album, For Your Entertainment, enters at #18.

Loved it when Mel and Kochie introduced him as “the controversial American Idol star”. Is it still a big deal to see two people of the same sex kiss on stage?

Simon Cowell‘s Helping Haiti charity single may be the #1 selling single in stores this week, but it’s no where to be found in the overall ARIA singles charts.

The cover of ‘Everybody Hurts’ – featuring the likes of Leona Lewis, Susan Boyle and Robbie Williams – is the fastest selling charity single in the UK, shifting 453,000 copies in its first week.

Young Justin Bieber makes the biggest leap into the UK Top 40 this week with ‘Baby’. The single, featuring Ludacris, went from #188 to #3, outselling new entries by Gabriella Cilmi, Goldfrapp and the Glee Cast.

Gabriella Cilmi‘s ferocious ‘On A Mission’ enters the UK charts at #9 this week. Her retro glam album Ten is due next week and the rumoured second single, ‘Hearts Don’t Lie’, is already garnering some radio rotation here – charting at #81 on our airplay charts.

UK R&B star Taio Cruz made a record-breaking leap from #53 to #1 on the US Billboard charts this week with ‘Break Your Heart’. The song, drafted as the single to launch Taio across the Atlantic, was originally offered to Cheryl Cole. Girlfriend should’ve returned his call.

Kelis has claimed the #1 spot on the US Dance/Club charts with ‘Acapella’. The David Guetta-produced track is the lead single from her forthcoming album Fleshtones. Expect the ‘Acapella’ video to be out any week now.

Utada‘s ‘Dirty Desire’ looks like it’s exiting the Dance/Club Top 25 this week after peaking at #16 a couple of weeks ago.

LaRoux‘s ‘Bulletproof’ has cracked the US Billboard charts at #92 this week. Meanwhile, their oft-rival synth pop artist Little Boots sees her album Hands debut at #7 on the Heatseekers’ chart.

Feed Limmy’s Top 20 Most Played:

#1 Che’Nelle – Tear Jerker*
#2 Kimberly Wyatt – Candy (feat. Aggros Santos)
#3 Michael Jackson – I Wanna Be Where You Are*
#4 Sugababes – Get Sexy (Album Version)*
#5 Sugababes – She’s A Mess*
#6 Sugababes – Sweet & Amazing*
#7 Sugababes – Little Miss Perfect*
#8 BoA – Touched
#9 Sugababes – No More You*
#10 Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Bittersweet (Freemasons Edit)*
#11 Lady Gaga & Beyonce – Telephone
#12 Sugababes – Thank You For The Heartbreak*
#13 Sugababes – Wait For You*
#14 Sugababes – Miss Everything (feat. Sean Kingston)*
#15 Robyn – No Hassle
#16 Kelis – Acapella
#17 Guy Sebastian – Never Be You
#18 Gabriella Cilmi – Love Me Cos You Want To*
#19 John Legend – Quickly (feat. Brandy)
#20 Kylie Minogue – Cruise Control
* = Added to playlist this week