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Startle Music: December Top 10 Songs

Startle Music: December Top 10 Songs

Written by

James Picken


December 8, 2020



Baby, it is cold outside! Christmas is fast approaching, but we promise, there's no Slade in this Top 10!

Yes, it's December. Christmas is coming. But that doesn't mean we can't expand our musical horizons, does it? This month's Top 10 is a delightful bounty of both festive and non-festive tunes to lift the spirits.

1. Lil Nas X - Holiday

You better believe that if this cracker came on in a retail store, there would be a sudden and subtle swing to my Shakira hips! Lil Nas X’s deep, rich rap paired with a thumping, slapping bass hits all the right frequencies, and even though lyrically he’s “flexing” like a lot of rap stars do, he does so in a humorous, tongue-in-cheek sort of way that’s both charming and entertaining.

The video is epic too, think 90s Missy Elliot meets the North Pole. “Holiday” is fun, cool as ice, and a classic in the making.

2. Johnny Orland - Adelaide

The name Johnny Orlando is pretty slick, don't you think?

Mr Orlando's recent release “Adelaide” is a perfectly polished pop track that hits you with a mid-tempo RnB beat and minimal synths, framing that Justin Bieber-esque vocal - who he cites as one of his biggest influences. “Adelaide” is the kind of song that yes, will be popular with teenagers, but it's paired back, quiet cool is something that even us older (but equally hip...) listeners will like. Don't believe me? Stick it on and see!

3. Biig Piig - Feels Right

Biig Piig now goes head to head with H.E.R as the only artists who have appeared twice on Startle Music’s song of the day! And you know what, it just “Feels Right”...

“Feels Right” starts with her usual zephyr-like vocal accompanied by a gentle guitar sequence. The tracks hazy, summery, makes me feel like I’m in a field of tall grass wearing a daisy chain round my head and slow motion running from something. Then the chorus washes in and it's a full on dance-beat with electric bass slides. We’ve moved from frolic to funk. Synth pads, a tambourine and background vocals take us to new heights, filling in the space with pure energy. This is a song you’ll want to turn up LOUD.

4. SG Lewis, Lucky Daye - Feed The Fire

Every so often, elements of past music decades begin to surface within contemporary songs, and having scrupulously surveyed the past few months of releases, it’s definitely time to bring back the 70s!

“Feed The Fire” is a disco-tinged mashup of old and new. British producer SG Lewis has weaved a funk bass, drop strings and the silky voice of US singer Lucky Daye into an effortlessly cool, feel-good dance track. Think Daft Punk meets Saturday Night Fever. Can the word “groovy” make a comeback too...?

5. Rina Sawayama - LUCID

“LUCID” is the perfect track to take you from bleak, grey misery into showering neon confetti!

Japanese-British songstress Rina Sawayama has teamed up with producer Bloodpop for “LUCID”, which is a textbook example of a perfect dance song. A classic synth-bass sequence, filters, sweeps, and uplifting vocals from Sawayama help create a track that builds and maintains momentum throughout, energising the listener and leaving you positively upbeat and feeling frivolous.

If this doesn’t perk you up, check your pulse.

6. Daði Freyr - Every Moment Is Christmas With You

Daði Freyr, the unofficial winners of the cancelled Eurovision Song Contest 2020, have released a sumptuous, quirky electronic Christmas song. If you’re sick of the big band festive numbers, then look no further, as “Every Moment Is Christmas With You” still encapsulates the warmth, festivity and joy that Christmas brings...without a blaring trumpet in your ear. Shout out to the background vocals, they are sublime!

We’d like to dedicate this song to one of our software developers Anthony. He loves Daði Freyr and we love him!

7. YUNGBLUD - Cotton Candy

“I wanna get stuck between your teeth like cotton candy” sings YUNGBLUD, in what is definitely, an anthem you won’t mind sticking in your head.

“Cotton Candy”, the second single from YUNGBLUD’s new album “Weird!”, is a feel-good Pop/Rock track that is cool enough for the kids, but still perfectly listenable if you’re cautiously watching a receding hairline. A slick guitar riff, YUNGBLUD’s raw vocals, and a nice laid-back yet energetic mid-tempo beat pack this track with energy. Must be all that sugar!

8. Glass Animals - Tangerine

“Tangerine” is much like the fruit - sweet, sharp and kinda cute. Tonally, the track is quite playful. There’s a plucked synth/chime motif that reminds me of Dan Crolls “From Nowhere”, lighthearted and pleasant and perfectly contrasted with an edgy, bumpy hip hop beat. Vocally, Dave from Glass Animals makes swift moves, tap dancing over the production with smart, witty lyrics about a relationship. Unpeel this one and relish in all its segments.

9. Christy - This Road

Harmonies! “This Road” by Scottish singer, Christy, perfectly illustrates the how to-. Harmonies should fill missing space around the main melodic line with soft, sumptuous, buttery richness. It should encase the main tune like you’re clasping a precious little butterfly in your hands: with warmth, support.

When the chorus of “This Road” hits, you’ll know exactly what I mean. A clash of indie, pop, and electronic influences, Christy feels like Scotland's answer to Jack Garratt, so big success is imminent. I’d like an album and a tour please!

10. Mariah Carey, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson - Oh Santa!

Just. No words...

That's it for both December and 2020 Top 10s...

What a ride it's been. Thank you for sharing in the thrill of discovering new tracks and we wish you the very best going into the New Year!

As always, you can listen to this playlist here, or, why not listen to the entire year of Top 10s all together in one, mega playlist.

Startle Music: December Top 10 Songs

James Picken

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.

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