Figaro's best of 2018: Best Track
We tapped into the wider Figaro brainfeed and got all our contributors and collaborators to lend their thoughts on the first of our best ofs recaps -best tracks of the year.
Best Song: Nervous Tics - Maribou State ft. Holly Walker
This whole album (Kingdoms in Colour) went really close to taking out the top gong for me, but it’s with the inclusion of Holly Walker’s incredible vocals and lyricism that truly makes the track shine. The beat is kept simple, mixing simple percussion and string instruments together in a way that gets the best out of Walker’s voice. It’s a track about overcoming bad news and “the low-lying panic of modern life” through connecting deeply as humans. It’s beautiful and it’s memorable. - Liam Moss.
DJ Koze’s ‘Pick Up’
An absolute highlight of 2018. It’s equal parts a strong and driving dance track as it is relaxing and easy going poolside jam. Despite clocking in at over 10 minutes in length, it’s impossible to get enough of those sweet droning grooves and absolute killer of a vocal. “It’s sad to think…” - Hamish Williams.
Ain’t Nobody - Natalie Prass
“Natalie Prass can do no wrong. After an impressive debut album in 2015, I had been eagerly awaiting more from her. Her live show is ridiculously skilled (managed to catch her at Melbourne Recital Centre in 2016, praying she’ll return soon), and her voice has a beautifully disarming quality, deceivingly sweet and sharp in equal measure. She has a wonderful way of weaving motifs from tracks into others and her vocal harmonies are unparalleled. This closing track has everything you could want: strings, funk, key changes. A real treasure.” - Jess Hilton.
Chaka Khan - Like Sugar
Chaka Khan’s Like Sugar brought the funk back this year. That fat bass line had my brows moving, the drums had my shoulders grooving and the lyrics just kept me wanting to sing. The queen knew it all and the video clip to it was the cherry on top! - Shaki & Eren.
Yussef Dayes and Alfa Mist - Love is the Message
A handful of times a year you come across a track which you can’t take off for weeks on end. When I heard Yussef Dayes and Alfa Mist were making music together I set high expectations. When the video of the pair (+ Mansur Brown & Rocco Palladino) playing ‘Love is the Message’ in Abbey Road Studio’s my high expectations were exceeded, blown through the roof. An incredible showcase of Dayes’ ability as a drummer and Alfa Mist’s penchant for crafting beautiful compositions which deceive you as being freehand fantasias.
Honourable mentions: ‘Check 4 u’, Bovel (repress). ‘Ngarrukwujenama’, Emily Wurramurra. ‘Do the Astral Plane’, Toshio Matsuura Group. - Nico Faust.
OG Luv Kush pt.2
It’s no question that Kaiit‘s voice is a powerhouse that struck our attention in 2018. This year, Kaiit released her debut single ‘OG Luv Kush pt.2’ that was not only a powerful delivery of her vocal capabilities and writing but was track drenched in rich jazz and neo-soul with effortless flare. Kaiit’s lyrics tell a story of moving on that amplify a fierce nature that her vocals glaze over to pair. OG Luv Kush pt.2 was both a strapping first impressing and tasty entree to Kaiit’s work to follow. - Kristina Mastrokostas.
Quick eternity (Four Tet remix)' Daniel Avery
A track that can only be described as ear-candy. A healthy serving of the classic Four Tet sound of wind chimes, bells and subtle field recordings lay the foundations. It's after the silence at 5 minutes however that bass is introduced with a crunchy low-fi hand clap as the song transforms into a techno jam. Get yourself into a comfortable chair and strap yourself in for the journey. - Quillon Simpson.
Je Vulesse - Nu Guinea
The cosmic, sparkling disco from Naples duo Nu Guinea. Featuring an array of the Neapolitan scene’s best musicians, they pay homage to the rich history of Napoli funk while also giving it new life and a modern spin. Je Vulesse is a particular cut that sends us into complete euphoria every time we hear the shimmering synth lines and deep grooves. The track takes you high and low on a ride through the hills of Naples. A cocktail of perfect, Mediterranean flavours - House of Friends.
Against All Logic – I Never Dream
This tune comes from one of my favourite albums from this year and is continuing to grow on me today after countless listens (something I find myself doing almost daily) it is full of intricate layers and samples making ‘I Never Dream’ a song I can’t top.
Honorable Mentions: ‘Souvenir’ , boygenius, ‘Two Moons Under’, George Fitzgerald, ‘DFIL’, The Gloomies. - Luke Zammit