We at The Saint have an eclectic taste in music, and throughout the coming year you’ll find all sorts of albums and gigs reviewed on these pages, from punk to hip-hop, metal to ambient post-chillwave (probably).
However, over the summer we’ve been listening to the radio a lot and, though it pains our alternative hearts to say it, we’ve been seduced by some of the year’s biggest chart songs. Below is a short selection of the tracks that we, and most likely yourselves, have been listening to on repeat while you’ve been away from St Andrews, along with a light-hearted take on why we like them. Don’t judge us too harshly.
Arctic Monkeys – Do I Wanna Know?
Everything in ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ swaggers. The drums, the guitar, the bass, Alex Turner’s vocals; they all ooze cool in the same way that students in leather jackets with swept back hair the nation over aspire to. The most prominent example of Arctic Monkeys’ newfound love for funk, it’s our choice for rock anthem of the year so far.
Drake – Hold On, We’re Going Home
A luge track slathered in butter. Michael Bublé’s silken underpants. The criminal from that Michael Jackson song. All of these things are marginally less smooth than the latest track from Toronto native Drake. ‘Hold On’ is a perfect exercise in pure, crooning excellence, and as effortlessly seductive a song as you’re likely to hear this year.
Daft Punk – Get Lucky
Given that you’ve probably heard it about one billion times this summer, it can be easy to overlook just how brilliant ‘Get Lucky’ is. It’s a simple pop song of course, but the components are stellar – from Nile Rodgers’ absurdly catchy riff, to Pharrell’s wonderfully campy chorus, to the Robots’ glittering vocoder breakdown. Nothing is superfluous, and everything is perfectly executed – it’s stunningly good.
Disclosure – F For You
Disclosure’s Settle is very much the British dance pop album du jour, and single ‘F For You’ is perhaps the purest distillation of the English brothers’ sound. Skittish percussion punctuated by throbbing, wavering bass, all tied together by a smart, unflappable vocal loop. Expect to be hearing it well into autumn.
2 Chainz – Feds Watching
Of all the responses to this summer’s NSA scandal we’ve seen, Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz has to have the most novel. He doesn’t panic, he doesn’t disconnect his internet, but he does have a pair of snakeskin pants made; because if the authorities really are spying on us all, then you may as well look your damn best. (He also made this stupidly fun song).
Mariah Carey & Miguel – #Beautiful
Ignore the hashtag. We know, it’s hard, but do it and you’ll feel much better about loving this song. Is it as cheesy and clichéd as a Mariah and Miguel song called ‘#Beautiful’ sounds like it should be? Of course. But it also has a certain timeless quality to it, like all the best love songs do. ‘#Beautiful’ could have come out twenty years ago or ten years in the future, but regardless, it would still have the same giddying, euphoric effect that it does now.
Miley Cyrus – We Can’t Stop
Underneath all the drug abuse, the twerking, and the infuriating-tonguepoke-outing, there’s a tragic beauty to ‘We Can’t Stop’. It’s right there in the title, sung by a girl that epitomises the mantra of ‘too much, too young, too fast’ with a voice that sounds tired, resigned, but still defiant. For all its hedonistic posturing, ‘We can’t stop, and we won’t stop’ feels like a candid admission from Cyrus; a moment of salience on the path to an inevitable self-destruction. But we’re probably over-thinking it…
Be sure to keep up with what the Saint staff are listening to on our Spotify: search ‘saintartsculture’.