Best Song

When they came over the airwaves, which of these six bona fide bangers had you feverishly disrobe, jump out of your moving Uber and roll onto the nature strip yelling “TUUUUUNE”? All of them? Well you can only vote for one so maybe just choose the song that made you roll the furthest yeah?   


The Presets – ‘Martini’

The Presets’ ‘Martini’ off their fourth album HI VIZ serves up a complex soundscape that leaves you shaken and stirred. One-part smooth bassline and two-part tight percussion, with a splash of counter melodies created through echoed vocals and garnished with subtle additions of synth. It’s been a while between drinks for Sydney electro duo Julian Hamilton and Kim Moyes, but we’re so glad they’ve resurfaced to provide us with this banger. Fast, uplifting and pulsating significant groove, ‘Martini’ goes down with a crisp flavour and a zesty finish.

Photo: Ben Sullivan

Julia Jacklin – ‘Body’

Julia Jacklin was named “Next Big Thing” at the 2016 SMAC Awards now two years later her track ‘Body’ delivers her signature craft of dreamy indie pop and confessional alt-country with a deep emotional punch. The track begins with a steady drumbeat and bass melody coated with Jacklin’s beautifully refined vocals. Despite the aching drawl the instrumentation presents, ‘Body’ doesn’t get sunk in the depths of darkness. As the way the piano is incorporated with the heavier rhythms of the bass and percussion strikes a harmonious balance. With Jacklin’s forthcoming album ‘Crushing’ set for release in February we can’t wait to hear more!

Photo courtesy of the artist

Slim Set – ‘Cooked’

Western Sydney duo Slim Set continue to stake their claim as a vital new voice in Australian hip-hop on ‘Cooked’, the second single off their second EP Feed. With a truly insane beat built from some piercing, syncopated percussion, subterranean bass, atmospheric chopped vocal samples, and that tinny, noticeably artificial MIDI brass sound characteristic of grime, it’s the duo’s idiosyncratic blend of influences which really sets them apart. Taking grime’s lyrical focus on documenting day-to-day life in London and applying it to Western Sydney, ‘Cooked’ bursts with lyrics that are as self-deprecating as they are riotous, including a swift jab at Flume and the lack of diversity in Australian electronic music. 

Photo: Jonno Revanche

Shady Nasty – ‘Jewellery’

Following the release of their 2017 EP, Shady Nasty once again have delivered the goods with standalone single, ‘Jewellery’. The lads continue to push boundaries and explore new possibilities via their penchant for minor chords and dank sonic passageways. Self-described as “blurring the lines between contemporary hip-hop and alt punk” their genre-bending style sounds like it shouldn’t work but, like vegemite and cheese, turns out to be surprisingly tasty. Looking forward to Shady Nasty continuing to rattle our bones with their truly unique sound in 2019.

Photo courtesy of the artist

Kwame – ‘WOW’

“WOW” is an apt description for the heat Kwame brings to this, his breakout single. “Wowza,” “woah” and “pshaw” work too. With a year-long gap between the release of his debut EP Lesson Learned, Kwame took time to refine his DIY production and prep this mighty follow up with his latest EP Endless Conversations. The production is playful and unique with eclectic percussion and bass that compels you to move. The track boasts killer line including what is hands down the greatest pop culture reference in Australian rap (“I feel like Taylor, man I’m mortified”). The sharp wordplay and addictive beat keeps you hooked from start to finish.

Photo courtesy of the artist

Kota Banks – ‘Zoom’

Following on from the drop of summer anthem ‘Holiday’, Kota Banks cured all our autumn blues in 2018 with another certified bop, ‘Zoom’. Bursting with bright and vibrant sounds, ‘Zoom’ is carried away by the downright gorgeous vocals of Banks. With pop hooks and a hip-hop beat in a cosy dance shell, it’s an infectiously buoyant track that’s sure to get you moving and grooving. Kota Banks is making an indelible mark on the landscape of Australian pop music and we can’t wait to see what’s in stall for 2019.

Photo: Tiffany Williams