Startle’s Head of Content shares his August Top 10 - the best tracks to be listening to this month.
As Head of Content for Startle Music, part of my job is to find the best new music for our customers' playlists. Coming across loads of great new tunes every day, I’ve decided to share my Top 10 tracks for the month ahead. So this article will showcase some of the best artists and songs you should be listening to in August. Without further ado...
1. Joel Corry & MNEK - Head & Heart
Joel Corry + MNEK = an insanely catchy dance track!
House-style piano chords, a bouncy bass-line and smooth vocals from MNEK make this the perfect feel-good summer song. Pubs/Bars/Retail - add this to your weekend playlist to keep the atmosphere upbeat and positive!
2. H.E.R. - Do To Me
“She’s a bloody queen”, says our Head of Growth. “Five Stars”, I say! Shall we just leave it there?
“Do To Me” is soft, smooth and sunshine-soaked. H.E.R. vocally sails over a reggae-infused beat like a boat out on shimmering water, singing about pure “infatuation”. Well guess what, H.E.R… we’re infatuated too!
3. Baby Queen - Buzzkill
If you’re looking for an uplifting, motivational, get-out-of-bed anthem... then this song probably isn’t for you. But! If you’re looking to process your lingering teen angst through a slick, edgy, slightly sad but kinda fun indie-pop track... whack in your headphones!
Baby Queen found the inspiration for this song when she broke down at an after-party in East London (we’ve all been there, eh?). However, thank goodness she did! "Buzzkill" is cool, dark and definitely "buzz" worthy.
4. Kygo Feat. Kim Petras - Broken Glass
Kygo released his 7th single from “Golden Hour” and it features one of my absolute favourites - Kim Petras!
“Broken Glass” is a mid-tempo dance number that lyrically takes a more celebratory stance on the pain of a failed relationship: “Cheers to us, and what he had, let’s keep dancing on the broken glass”. Kygo’s distinct “tropical house” production and Kim’s stellar pop vocals are like strawberries and champagne -excellent on their own, but OMG amazing together.
For me, the video pretty much sums up what lockdown was like...
5. Joan - Brokenhearted
If you’re titillated by the news that cassette tapes have doubled in sales in 2020, then you’re probably a huge fan of music from past eras. Joan are a band that have a distinct alternative style with 80s and 90s influences at the heart of their aesthetic. Retro synths, tender lyrics and sugary sweet harmonies make them a sparkling beacon of hope in today's pop culture, which can feel a tad gloomy at times.
“Brokenhearted” sounds like Richard Marx meets NSYNC* and will transport you to a poster-clad bedroom with issues of Smash Hits strewn across the floor. If it’s raining, you can also listen to this and gaze wistfully out the window.
6. Biig Piig - Don’t Turn Around
Can you guess the sample in this next one?
Irish singer and rapper Biig Piig has extracted an iconic bassline and mixed in her cool-as-hell smoky vocals to create what she calls her “post-breakup, pre-glowup anthem”. And believe me, it glows! If you’re invited to any socially distant soiree’s this weekend, drop this on the bluetooth speaker, then slink away from the sonic sumptuousness you’ve just set off. It's upbeat, nostalgic and pop perfection.
7. Sylvan Esso - Ferris Wheel
Grammy-nominated duo Sylvan Esso are back with a very slick little electronic number. The sparkly neon video displays Amelia Meath cavorting around a carnival, throwing some impressive shapes, and there’s even an appearance from a mysterious llama (or alpaca). My eyes are stimulated, my brain is confused, but I like it.
Also, if anyone works in fashion, can you let me know where I can purchase the outfit at 2:22 in the video? I think it should be the new Startle Music uniform.
8. Brandy - Saving All My Love
Listening to Brandy’s voice is like putting on a cashmere jumper and sitting by a crackling fire when it’s snowing outside. She’s formed a unique sound: smoky tone, complex vocal arrangements, atypical chord sequences and soft synths paired with thumping beats.
“Saving All My Love” is a refreshed continuation of Brandy’s distinct musical style and a further peek into the life of a singer who has lived through ups and downs, yet still maintained a beautiful and extraordinary voice.
9. Chloe x Halle -Do It
I am going rogue. I am going rogue!
Yes, technically this song was released a few months ago. However, technically it’s also been one of those slow-burning hits that seems to gain more and more momentum by the second. To top it all off, Chloe x Halle have recorded a special performance for the GLAAD awards dressed as the Spice Girls, and with appearances by none other than Miss Vanjie, Naomi Smalls and Mayhem Miller from RuPaul’s Drag Race.
“Do It” is an uptempo feel-good track, splashed with velvety vocals from the sister duo and embellished with hypnotic synth pads and deep bass-lines. Sometimes I go searching for Startle Music’s song of the day, and sometimes it slaps me right in the face. This is definitely the latter.
10. Sam Smith Feat. Burna Boy - My Oasis
“My Oasis” is the latest installment in Sam Smith’s arsenal of new music and I must say, he is knocking it out of the park!
Listen to “How Do You Sleep?” and then “My Oasis” and you’ll hear a consistent sound from Mr.Smith that incorporates his emotive distinctive voice with plucked music-box-like motifs and big beats. The result is a light, airy, almost supernal quality to his pop sound. The addition of Burna Boy’s unmistakable voice gives the song a more contemporary feel as he lyrically continues the theme of infatuation, obsession and the all-consuming nature of love.
That's all, folks
I hope you enjoyed our August Top 10! If you fancy popping the playlist on for 30 minutes of pure musical perfection, you can enjoy it here from our Spotify account. Until next time!
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Creative Director at Startle. It's my job to produce and execute our music output, making sure everything is sounding, feeling and performing just right for our customers. When I'm not doing this, you can find me either walking my dog, remixing 90s divas on Logic Pro X, returning overdue library books or throwing weights about in the gym.