Flume – Holdin’ On

Fusing futuristic hip hop beats with what seems to be this year’s secret weapon, Flume adds a dimension of depth to his music with the addition of cleverly stitched together soul samples. In this case the iconic vocals being borrowed from Otis Redding. Flume then intravenously drops these echoes of the past into pockets of synth-crusted beats, at just the right angle, ensuring they truly sparkle.

Even after just one listen it’s not hard to tell why ‘Holdin On’ is one of the very best tracks to grace 2012.
- Andriana Albert

Syron – Breaking

The return of Katy B, the rise of Jessie Ware and AlunaGeorge, and the arrival of Syron: 2012 certainly seemed to be the year where genuinely enthralling female led talent was at the forefront of London’s underground nu-garage scene that remains ever teetering on the edge of mainstream acceptance.

Stylistically on-trend with the current flock of nu-Garage acts flooding the internets, Daisy Syron Russell arrived late in the Summer months with ‘Breaking’ – a song that pitched Lowe head and shoulders above her peers with one of the most original and infectious songs around.

A shameless nod to the golden era of commercial dance music, Syron has rapidly blossomed into a ready made pop star for the Rinse FM generation, and there’s no doubt Syron is destined for great things over the next twelve months.

For now, indulge in the ever wonderful ‘Breaking’. Easy on the ear, Syron’s easy-breezy vocal dexterity is at the fore with the hook “I keep forgetting that I’m not allowed to love you” a guaranteed ear worm for the foreseeable.
- Rich Thane

S O H N – The Wheel

Described by the man himself when speaking to Dummy as being about “the end of something, the beginning of something, and the over-thinking of that time in between”, S O H N’s words most accurately some up ‘The Wheel’ as “like a big sigh.” Combining intricately woven layers of electronics, delicate vocals and inexplicably catchy hooks, the Vienna-based artist seemingly came out of nowhere to dominate the internet’s airwaves for days. As with all flash in the pan stories though, there are years of hard work and craft behind them. S O H N has been making music for years, pursuing his sound and well, it feels like he might have finally stumbled onto it.

Pushing play is like sinking into a familiar, hypnagogic state: everything is dreamy, comforting and somehow surreal – those flickering images and fleeting, intangible trails of thought represented by the clattering percussion and auto-tuned heart beats. Cyclic rhythms drive the song relentlessly forward whilst keeping it somehow stationary as his vocals add an honest warmth to the minimal proceedings. We don’t throw the word perfect around lightly, but boy is this close.
- Lauren Down

Solange – Losing You

Taken from Solange’s brand new, Dev Hynes-produced EP True, this track is just about as perfect as any piece of pop music you’re likely to hear this year, or any year for that matter. Coming complete with funky guitar licks, buoyant snapping drum beats, smooth romantic vocals and jubilant samples, ‘Losing You’ is built around the simple, forlorn, repeated refrain “Tell me the truth, boy, am I losing you for good?”

Not that the song is by any means simple, it’s glitchy, trip-hop beats are textured layer upon dance-inspiring layer. It’s addictive, moorish and it has taken us just about everything we have to not rinse it to within an inch of its life.
- Lauren Down

Caitlin Rose – No One To Call

Caitlin Rose’s music is the equivalent of a smoke-filled whiskey-soaked back street bar when compared to the ultra slick, over-styled and over-produced country superstars that clog up the Nashville airwaves and give country music – as a whole – a bad (or at least misunderstood) reputation.

The epitome of modern day Americana; all aching telecaster twangs and weeping pedal steel – shot through with unapologetic hooks and melodies sweet like honey nectar.

‘No One To Call’ is the lead track from The Stand-In, Rose’s second album and the follow up to the universally acclaimed Own Side Now from 2010. Flanked by band mates Jeremy Fetzer and Spencer Cullum, alongside a whole host of key Nashville players – ‘No One To Call’ sounds instantly timeless. Bursting out of the gates with a bar room honky-tonk swagger, Roses’ undeniable croon instantly disarming. Like all truly great country songs, it’s simultaneously heartbreaking and uplifting – life affirming even.
- Rich Thane