Brooke Pawling Stennet’s pick
American Authors – “Pride”
The catchiest new tune from American Authors has to be “Pride.” The heavy drum and simplistic chorus is a given for an American Authors track, but “Pride” is easily their best release since “Best Day of My Life.” A perfect pop rock song with an a cappella outro that triumphs the chorus and verses. It’s a pristine feel good track that embodies the feeling of happiness and the heat of the sun. The ultimate go-to for the cold winter months that will leave you looking forward to the summer.
Ryan Gibbs’ pick
Gwenno – “Patriarchaeth”
Former Pipettes singer Gwenno Saunders delivers one of the year’s best left-field surprises with her all-Welsh language pop record Y Dydd Olaf. “Patriarchaeth” brilliantly channels Stereolab with its. motorik drums and a swirling synths with Gwenno’s airy, dreamy vocals being the glue that holds it all together. It’s a subdued but catchy electronic song that works even if you have little knowledge of the Welsh language.
Matt Conway’s pick
Coldplay – “A Head Full of Dreams”
Throughout the year’s Coldplay has become a fixture in mainstream music, but that has not stopped them from taking chances. Last year’s record Ghost Stories was a bit of a mixed bag, which had me somewhat hesitant going into this album.
Thankfully, A Head Full of Dreams is a rather winning pop record. Spotlighted by its titular opening track, Coldplay delivers their most pop-oriented album yet, which is certainly not a bad quality. The song is incredibly catchy, with singer Chris Martin’s booming voice meshing perfectly with the balanced harmonies.
Alana Chase’s pick
Panic! at the Disco – “Death of a Bachelor”
Panic!’s title track from their upcoming album Death of a Bachelor (set for release on January 15th, 2016) weds Sinatra-style jazz instrumentation with contemporary beats and basslines in a matrimony so beautiful, it feels slightly sinful. Frontman Brendon Urie’s voice is honey butter: smooth, sweet, and irresistible when paired with something equally tempting, like the swelling of the chorus and the buoyant swing of each verse. “Death of Bachelor” is a lyrical delight, symbolizing Urie’s journey from a life spent popping champagne bottles to life after popping the question. The two lines you’ll leave with are the most charming of the chorus’s bunch: “Happily ever after, how could I ask for more? A lifetime of laughter at the expense of the death of a bachelor.” Go ahead and indulge on this.
Amber Mack’s pick
Troye Sivan feat. Alex Hope: “Blue”
20-year-old Troye Sivan recently released his debut album, Blue Neighbourhood, and “Blue” featuring Alex Hope, is pure perfection. Written by both Sivan and Hope, Blue is a ballad that starts off with airy vocals from Sivan that are full of raw emotion. Hope’s vocals wrap perfectly around his as they sing the chorus together, and they stand amazingly on their own in the 2nd verse. The production of the song, is superb and also something beyond exquisite and unique. All in all, “Blue” is my favorite song off the album and it’s relatable to anyone who has ever cared deeply about someone. The vocals gives me major chills and I know it’ll do the same for you.