Peggy Gou It Makes You Forget (Itgehane)
Korean lyrics, slowly enveloping melodies and the most perfectly languid groove this side of Sade. It all adds up to a super-subtle anthem for the star DJ and producer.
Iggy Pop & Underworld Get Your Shirt
Two pillars of the original Trainspotting soundtrack randomly combine to make a deliciously driving and discursive bit of tuneage. Odd but brilliant.
Songs featuring men talking about being men are sorely needed right now, so major respect to Brit punks Idles for attempting to grapple with the toxic aspects of masculinity.
A$AP Rocky A$AP Forever
Only a madman in the midst of a fever dream would have predicted that the Rocksta would ever sample Moby. And yet, it works all too deliciously well.
Hen Ogledd Problem Child
We mean, talk about ambitious: a psychedelic electro-rock band based around Newcastle folkie Richard Dawson and named after an ancient northern kingdom. Somehow, it all works really rather nicely.
Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa One Kiss
Propelled by pop’s latest superstar Lipa’s smoky vocals, this deep-house banger became one of the songs of the summer.
Khruangbin Friday Morning
A sublime, blissed-out guitar tune from the Texan band who do a lovely line in Thailand-inspired funk.
DJ Koze Pick Up’
Almost comically summery, this disco-loopin’ house wonder (laden with pathos, thanks to its Gladys Knight-sampled vocals) will forever be etched onto our brain cells.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra Hunnybee
The cult band go full-on yacht rock and the results are full-on gorgeous.
Robyn Missing U
The super Swede’s comeback single was a glistening tribute to a friend who passed away. No, you’re bawling on the dance floor.
Kacey Musgraves High Horse
A highlight from the country-pop singer’s Golden Hour album, this shimmering disco-flecked gem is kind of a You’re So Vain for 2018, which is great, obviously.
The 1975 Love It If We Made It
Who says pop stars shouldn’t get political? Matty Healy’s state-of-the-world lament is anthemic, affecting and very heartfelt.
Róisín Murphy The Rumble
One of four collabs between former Moloko singer Murphy and house pioneer Maurice Fulton, The Rumble is the year’s most dazzlingly expansive dance banger.
Cher Dancing Queen
Cher’s album of Abba covers offers pure pop joy, and her take on Dancing Queen is possibly even spanglier than the original. A welcome reminder she’s not just the queen of Twitter.
Angélique Kidjo Crosseyed and Painless
A highlight from African star Kidjo’s brassy cover of the whole of Talking Heads’ Remain in Light album.
THE SONG OF THE YEAR
Childish Gambino This is America
It’s hard to briefly encapsulate the brilliance of This is America, but remembering the weekend it was released helps. First there was surprise: that Donald Glover’s hitherto slightly jokey hip hop alias had birthed a profound statement on America’s institutionalised problem. Then there was the video, so carefully layered in references, symbolism, message and nuance that it sparked days and weeks of genuinely edifying social media discussion – a wave of insightful intellectualism that reminded people what they thought the internet would actually be like. Music fans studiously decoded the myriad allusions – from the panoply of underground dances, to depictions of the Jim Crow south, to gun crime and through to the final sequence of Glover running. Together, we listened and we learned. This is America is not just the song of the year, it really is the cultural event of the year, bar none.