Ivan from Noteworthy here again (Mondays 6PM-8PM). I refuse to believe it, but the calendar doesn’t lie: we’re already 1/4 of the way in to 2018. My internal musical clock is usually stuck on trying to discover stuff that slipped through the cracks from the previous year for the first few months and it really isn’t until spring that I turn my mind on for the current year. While past 1st quarters might have been the dead zone between the holiday rush to get music to consumers and the spring, where the seeds for summer dominance are planted, we’re now in a year-round culture our need for quality content never goes on hiatus.
As we leave March, I feel great about what 2018 has offered us so far, so I’ve decided to count down my ten favorite singles from the 1st quarter. If you’ve been listening to Noteworthy, some of these songs here won’t surprise you. Side note: I included some December 2017 tracks here since songs and albums released that late in the year can only have so much impact if they’re limited to a time frame of just a few weeks.
#10. N*E*R*D feat. Kendrick Lamar – “Don’t Don’t Do It”
The melody here is one of those classic, gliding Neptunes chord progressions that have made me a stan for nearly two decades. Not sure if it’s because it feels so familiar, the topicality of it, the addition of Kendrick Lamar or a combo of all three that’s kept me coming back.
#9. Years & Years – “Sanctify”
They’re easily my vote for “Next Potential Overlords of the Pop Universe.”
#8. Valee feat. Pusha T – “Miami”
Valee sets a perfectly hazy mood in the beginning, and then Push adapts to it all ferociously without upsetting the vibe. That’s what you call chemistry.
#7. Gender Roles – “Plastic”
All of their songs have been pretty crunchy so far, but this one has stayed in rotation for the longest.
#6. Sunflower Bean – “Twentytwo”
Just the slightest bit of jangle makes this wistful track a delight.
#5. MorMor – Heaven’s Only Wishful
Early contender for best late night driving song of 2018.
#4. Kacey Musgraves – “High Horse”
One of country music’s modern mavericks continues to keep us guessing by playing around with pop and disco.
#3. Madison McFerrin – “Insane”
If you ever keep yourself up awake at night wondering where has all the good acapella music gone, then you should investigate in the soulful Madison McFerrin.
#2. Jonny Greenwood – “House Of Woodcock”
Some folks may be upset that Get Out didn’t win Best Picture at the Oscars, but they’ll get over it. I will be furious for years that Best Original Score didn’t go to Phantom Thread. Years.
#1. Janelle Monae – “Make Me Feel”
As a huge Prince and Janelle Monae fan, on paper, I should be predestined to love this song. Objectively speaking, I’m just excited to see one of our most adventurous artists showing another shade of her personality in such a catchy and funky way.