Here is our top 100 songs pt3 nos. 60-41 by EJ Scanlan
60 – “no body, no crime” by Taylor Swift feat. HAIM (from Evermore)
“I think he did it, but I just can’t prove it. No, no body, no crime, but I ain’t lettin’ up until the day I die.”
Ever wondered what a Taylor Swift and HAIM collaboration would sound like? Well look no further! “no body no crime” is a fun yet brooding track that provokes anyone who listens to move their body and sing along, even if they don’t know the words. Its lyrics tell a gorgeous story proving that Swift is still one of the greatest songwriters out there.
59 – “Who’s In Your Head” by Jonas Brothers
“I wanna know who’s in your head? Stealing your heart while I’m still bleeding. Who’s in your bed? Wrapped in your arms while I ain’t sleeping.”
The fact that Jonas Brothers are on any of my year-end lists is a shock to me, but it’s hard to not include their latest single, “Who’s In Your Head”, which is sheer pop perfection. Its production is solid and shows off the very best of what Jonas Brothers can do. It’s fantastic in every single way.
58 – “She Knows It” by Maggie Lindemann
“Yeah, it’s like ecstasy when you’re next to me. Think that you should leave him and stay with me”
The first time I heard of Maggie Lindemann was when she very spontaneously joined The Vamps on tour at Nottingham’s Motorpoint Arena as she randomly performed her then-new single, “Pretty Girl”… it’s pretty clear that she’s come a long way since then. “She Knows It” is a cheesy nostalgia-filled pop-rock song that hits right on so many levels. It works on many levels, both within the pop and teen-rock genres. It’s fantastic all the way through.
57 – “Lose Your Head” by London Grammar (from Californian Soil)
“When it comes like my oldest friend, have you got a friend in the night? You say you miss me now, what a way to lose your head.”
The fourth track from London Grammar’s third studio album, “Californian Soil”, “Lose Your Head” is a fun yet meaningful song with some stunning production and vocals nestled throughout. It’s a sensational track that showcases the new sound that London Grammar have created, while also giving you goosebumps every single time you hear it.
56 – “Bloom” by Matilda Mann (from Sonder)
“Tell me if it’s strange, and I’m maybe deranged and you think it’s a phase but I know that it’s not. I met you too soon for anything to bloom.”
Matilda Mann is an artist I first discovered while supporting Arlo Parks in March 2020 before the pandemic hit being amazed at her mysterious songs such as “The Fucking Best” and “The Loch Ness Monster” being two songs that I adored. This year, she released “Bloom” from her third EP “Sonder” and it’s probably the best song she’s made thus far in her career. Its sombre indie aesthetic to Mann’s gorgeous vocals puts her in contention with some of the bigger British indie artists here, I’m so excited to see what else she comes out with.
55 – “Hannah” by Fred again… (from Actual Life 2 (February 2 – October 15 2021))
“To make those rainbows in my mind, when I think of you sometimes. When the sun comes shining through.”
Fred again.. is an artist I’ve been unsure about for a long time, he can either hit hard or miss catastrophically, and his live shows unfortunately are the latter. But “Hannah (The Sun)” is his best piece of work yet. He’s created a gorgeous summery anthem that would work perfectly at festivals, and with uncredited vocalist Terra Kin giving off some beautiful vocals here too, this track is everything you could ever want in a gorgeous summery dance tune.
54 – “Girls & Boys” by Viagra Boys (from Welfare Jazz)
“This fucked up world keep spinning ’round. One day I will burn it down”
This track from Swedish rock band Viagra Boys was introduced to me by a mutual friend of mine, and I’m eternally grateful to them for it. “Girls & Boys” has by far the best instrumentation of any song this year, hands down. The chemistry of the band is incredibly strong through this track, and live, it’s even better. This is truly is a remarkable song.
53 – “Your Power” by Billie Eilish (from Happier Than Ever)
“She said you were a hero, you played the part. But you ruined her in a year, don’t act like it was hard.”
Billie Eilish is a pop star of a generation. After the success of her debut album “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?”, everyone was excited to see what she had lined up for her sophomore record, and that comes in the form of “Your Power”. A simplistic ballad, Eilish’s lyrics are the most prominent here, and it makes her sound even more versatile, which no one can argue with.
52 – “FOR YOUR LOVE” by Maneskin (from Teatro d’ira – Vol. 1)
“I wanna be a good man and see you smile, and I wanna swim between your thighs. I wanna fuck you ’till you scream and cry. I wanna hold you in my arms tonight.”
As we’ve already discussed, Måneskin are an iconic band, and further evidence of that is a deep cut from their 2021 release, “Teatro d’ira – Vol. 1”, “FOR YOUR LOVE”. Showcasing the very best of what the Italian rock band can do, using the best of modern and classic rock components, the track is a formidable and edgy love song and a real delight to listen to, perfect for horny people in love.
51 – “Loneliness” by Birdy (from Young Heart)
“My mind has been so loud, no way to break out with nowhere to be still. It’s time to cut these ties, and watch our shadows fly, let the dark flood in.”
For 10 years now, Birdy has continuously impressed critics and audiences alike with her music, but “Loneliness”, the second single to be released from the 25-year-old’s fourth studio album “Young Heart” is probably the best she’s ever released. Its simplicity and rawness captured me from the second I pressed play and I’m certain that it will continue to do so for many years to come.
50 – “Valentine” by Snail Mail (from Valentine)
“You won’t believe what just two months do, I’m older now, believe me, I adore you”
The first single released since releasing my joint-favourite album of 2018, “Lust”, (my other was “Your Queen Is A Reptile by Sons of Kemet in case you’re interested), Snail Mail is back with the lead single from her sophomore record of the same title, “Valentine”. This track shows off the very best of what Lindsey Jordan can do, it’s beautiful, it’s rocky, and it’s fantastic in every single way, showcasing the best of Snail Mail’s debut album while it making it fresh and new.
49 – “Telepath” by Conan Gray
“There you are at my door, drunk and asking me for a kiss when yesterday you said that you hate my guts”
Conan Gray is an artist I’ve only heard of until I accidentally came across “Telepath”, and I instantly fell in love. Telepath is the definition of the perfect pop song, from its sensational atmospheric chorus to Gray’s sublime vocals, “Telepath” has it all and it’s fantastic all the way through.
48 – “Lost” by Jake Bugg (from Saturday Night, Sunday Morning)
“I’m losing control, its hell in my soul and I’m only tough when I’m drinking my way to heaven.”
When you think of Nottingham musician, Jake Bugg, you may think of folk music, a Mercury Prize nominated debut album, and a little song called “Lightning Bolt”. Would you ever think of him as a remarkable pop star with stellar million-pound production? Neither did I until I heard “Lost”. Bugg has taken a risk here, and I love that. The whole song works on a variety of levels and it’s a sound that carries through his fantastic fifth studio album, “Saturday Night, Sunday Morning”.
47 – “Portra 400” by Arlo Parks (from Collapsed In Sunbeams)
“Making rainbows out of something painful.”
“Portra 400”, the final track from 2020 Prospect Music Award winner Arlo Parks’ debut Mercury Prize winning album “Collapsed In Sunbeams” rounds off one of the best albums of the year. Parks’ lyrics, the incredible production, everything about it is fantastic. It’s even better live, it works in so many ways and I adore it.
46 – “Your Blood” by Nothing But Thieves (from Moral Panic II)
“I carry your moral disease, I don’t wanna be something I’m not to stay alive.”
Say what you want about Nothing But Thieves’ problematic third album, “Moral Panic”, released last year, but you can’t deny that it has a heart and a passion. That shows in their EP “Moral Panic II”, as well as the original album’s flaws, however, the ending to the EP, “Your Blood” is absolutely bombastic and beautiful all at once. Conor Mason’s gorgeous vocals over acoustic guitar that take over the first half of the song is beautiful and raw, which makes the formidable second act even more powerful. This song is phenomenal, and maybe some of Nothing But Thieves’ best work to date.
45 – “Let Them Know” by Mabel
“Let them know, go ‘head and flip that switch, no, they can’t beat you down ’cause, baby, you’re that bitch”
Pop-star Mabel has also released the best song in her discography so far. Its production throughout is incredible yet Mabel’s distinctive vocals make it so no other artist could make this song any better. This is Mabel at her very best, and I want to see way more of this.
44 – “I WANNA BE YOUR SLAVE” by Maneskin (from Teatro d’ira – Vol. 1)
“I know you scared of me, you said that I’m too eccentric. I’m crying all my tears and that’s fucking pathetic.”
Straight after Italian rock band, Måneskin became the first rock band in 15 years to win the Eurovision Song Contest, I predicted that Måneskin would completely revolutionise the rock music scene and it’s fair to say that I was right. “I WANNA BE YOUR SLAVE” is a catchy fun rock song that the whole world has adopted. Everything about it is utter perfection, and to say that it helped Måneskin become the first Eurovision artist ever to get two UK Top 10 singles in the chart at the same time, makes it even more historic and legendary.
43 – “I Don’t Recognise You” by NewDad (from Waves)
“There’s a madness in your eyes and you’re trying to disguise that you’re really not alright”
NewDad are one of my favourite indie artists of the moment, and there’s certainly something about them, and “I Don’t Recognise You” is that something special. From vocalist Julie Dawson’s melancholy vocals to some of the best band chemistry I’ve ever heard on a track this year, there’s one word to describe this band, and that’s magical. I adore them and I can’t wait to see what else they do.
42 – “Everything I’ve Ever Learned” by BLOXX
“Does everyday feel like it’s falling? Do your mistakes always come crawling?”
BLOXX are a band I fell in love with when I first discovered them in 2017 and it’s fair to say they’ve had a large amount of growth. The first track to be released since their debut album “Lie Out Loud” was released last year, “Everything I’ve Ever Learned”, taken from their awesome EP “Pop Culture Radio”, is a fun indie-pop song that will get everyone moshing when performing at festivals next year.
41 – “New Shapes” by Charli XCX feat. Christine and the Queens & Caroline Polachek
“I don’t know why I got a tendency to run away, don’t know why I’m always pushing for a sweet escape”
Charli XCX never fails to impress me, and “New Shapes” is further evidence of that. The 80’s style synthesisers make for some of the best production of the year, with features Christine and The Queens and Caroline Polachek adding so much to the song, this song really does take you back to 1980 and feels like it was even made in the decade and pulled out of the vault. That is the best thing you can do with any sort of song with a nostalgic feel. This track is gold dust.