Our musical mastermind and Head of Content, James, shares his Top 10 tracks you should check out this September.
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 September.
What is cool? Is it Sandy in Grease wearing a leather jacket? Is it donning sunglasses even when the sun do not shineth? Or is it the sound of a deep voice talking over a dance beat?
I’m not an expert on cool by any means, but listening to SG Lewis, Robyn and Channel Tres on the track “Impact” reminds me of the slick club scenes in movies - luminous lights, a packed dance floor and powerful speakers.
Channel Tres’ bass-rich vocal over SG Lewis’ euphoric dance beat, plus a cascading vocal chorus from Robyn that dissipates into a mass of lustrous reverberation, is everything you need for a weekend.
2. JoJo - What U Need
Get out! Right now! It’s the end of you and me.
Wait… come back actually, I need to let you know about Startle’s no.2 September song from JoJo.
Fresh from releasing the album “good to know” a few months ago, JoJo has blessed us again with a nice, moderately-paced stomper titled “What U Need”. It’s catchy, it’s care-free and features a slick, glitchy vocal hook that, yes, you will attempt to sing in the mirror. “What U Need” wasn’t on the aforementioned album, so yeah, I definitely smell a special edition coming…
3. Biffy Clyro - Space
This song is big, it’s emotional, it’s the kinda thing you would hear at the end of a gut-wrenching tear-jerker of a movie. Proceed with caution. Don’t cry at your desk.
After delays due to the current pandemic, Biffy Clyro’s ninth studio album “A Celebration of Endings” has finally been released! The track “Space” is distinguishable for many reasons: it’s slower, it’s sweeter, it’s more simple.
At first the instrumentation is minimal, but it develops into a dazzling string crescendo over which Simon Neil’s vocal soars. It’s one of those perfectly written, less-is-more songs that seem to bloom over their 3 to 4 minute span, and will certainly make even the driest eye a little dewy. Have a listen below. Weeping optional.
4. Adelphi Music Factory - Area 39
This one is straight outta the 90s!
Adelphi Music Factory released the EP “Joy & Fantasy” recently and track “Area 39” is the embodiment of a sweat-soaked illegal warehouse rave.
The production is so authentic - piano chord stabs, a pitched up vocal (that sounds eerily like it could be Whitney’s “So Emotional”) and breakbeat style drums, all of which are fused together in nostalgic harmony. For full effect, listen to this whilst wearing Ellesse and drinking Hooch. Please enjoy responsibly.
5. Mariah Carey Feat. Lauryn Hill - Save The Day
All hail our queen and saviour, Mariah Carey. The celestial songbird has blessed us with a new track, featuring a sample from The Fugees’ “Killing Me Softly”, and it does not disappoint.
One of the million things Mariah Carey can do is write an uplifting song, and “Save The Day” will bathe you in a warm nostalgic glow, leaving you charged and ready for life’s little battles. Later this year, she will release a memoir and an album titled “Rarities”. As the kids say - Wig. Snatched.
Alert! Alert! Collection of killer artists: Clean Bandit, Mabel and 24kGoldn.
“Tick Tock” has that distinct Clean Bandit sound - perfectly phrased violin lines, plucked marimba-like synths, a bouncy beat and an infectious chorus. Pair this song with cocktails, leftover summer sunshine (if you can find any), and turn the volume way up!
7. Dominic Fike - Vampire
What could possibly go wrong…
...is a question I ask myself frequently, and also the name of Dominic Fike’s debut album.
Since “3 Nights”, Mr.Fike’s popularity and success has been a solid, upward trajectory. And, yah, of course it is! Exceptional talent + unique voice + the ability to seamlessly blend Hip Hop, Pop and Rock has ensured his first album is packed with interesting, edgy and hella catchy songs.
“Vampire” opens with that late 90s/early ‘00s RnB-style riff (think “No Scrubs”), which sets up a nice little melody for multiple vocal layers and a simple beat. Listen to this song, actually listen to the whole album… what could possibly go wrong?!
8. Nao Feat. Lianne La Havas - Woman
“For the first time in history there’s a global movement for equality, fairness and systematic change that seems to be delivering real results, both personally and politically. Me and Lianne really wanted to sing about that, support it and celebrate it.” - Nao
Firstly, what an excellent reason to create a song. “Woman” showcases Nao’s sweet, distinctive voice, Lianne’s buttery tone, warped guitar riffs and sparkling orchestral bells. I poured a cup of hot coffee avec oat milk, and I’m listening for the 4th time.
9. Beyoncé, Blue Ivy, SAINt JHN, WizKid - Brown Skin Girl
There’s really no need to announce this artist with some sub-par sermon from a lowly writer like myself. She needs no introduction.
Last year, along with some exciting feature artists, Queen B curated, produced and practically recorded the entire Lion King reboot soundtrack - and here’s me struggling to change all my correspondence addresses after moving house.
Even though 2019 is but a distant sweet memory, B dropped the video to “Brown Skin Girl” from the album in recent weeks. Beyonce's voice flutters over a simple piano chord and drum pairing, like a hummingbird, weaving in and out of melodic lines. The song is beautifully poetic and the video is an absolute must-see! Beauty, style and fashion, shot in the most mesmerising natural settings with appearances from a lot, A LOT of famous faces.
10. Kito, ZHU, Jeremih - Follow
Some songs are just tinged with summer haze, like floating dandelion seeds carrying melodic pieces of warmth into your ears.
Australian producer Kito has released a collection of said dandelions in the form of “Follow” with help from ZHU and US singer Jeremih. It’s a positive, gentle dance track that utilises classic piano riffs and lots of reverb & delay. The result is a track awash with sunshine.
That’s all, folks
Thanks for checking out our September Top 10! For 30 minutes of pure musical perfection, you can enjoy it here from our Spotify account. Until next time!
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.