Songwriting UK — Winter 2017

(Axel Boer) #1
Though less prolific than Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift
is another artist who is equally adept at penning
songs for other artists as well as creating chart-
busting records for herself. This year she has not
only found time to record and promote her own
album, Reputation, complete with the Right Said
Fred ‘interpolating’ single Look What You Made
Me Do, she also wrote country music’s song of
the year - Little Big Town’s Better Man.


The return to form of Crow should have been one of this year’s biggest
success stories. Her reunion with Jeff Trott, the producer and songwrit-
ing partner behind some of her earliest hits, spawned the uplifting album
Be Myself and revisited the sound which proved so popular in the late 90s.
With the rest of country music having headed in that same direction, it’s
strange that this rejuvenated icon didn’t make a bigger splash.

Ever since their formation back in 1999, Alison Goldfrapp and Will
Gregory have made the type of sophisticated pop that tends to drive
critics wild. Even though the singles charts have long deserted them, the
pair’s adventures in electropop continued on their latest album Silver Eye.
Had it come from Katy Perry it would have been hailed as The Second
Coming, as it stands, it’s left to those of us in the know to enjoy.

With the release of his fourth album, Across The Multiverse, American
singer-songwriter Dent May quite rightly earned comparisons with
Harry Nilsson and Randy Newman. This is a classic artist who sprinkles
equal doses of humour and vulnerability over his compositions. That
he feels like he’s from a different age might explain why his audience
remains so frustratingly limited, it’s about time that changed.

The music of Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad deserves to be heard, in
fact it demands to be heard. Their debut Before the World Was Big was as
intense as it was assured and they have built on that devastating formula
with this year’s Powerplant. They’ve the songs and the message to be the
heroes that the world of punk and indie currently require, which is why
we’ll contine to spread the word far and wide.

This West Palm Beach songwriter is slowly rack-
ing up enough credits to suggest that she might
soon join Max Martin at pop’s top table. Lending
a helping hand in some of 2017’s freshest cuts,
in particular Camila Cabello’s Havana and Rita
Ora’s Anywhere, this really has been a break-
through year for Tamposi - so much so that a
recent X Factor prize was the opportunity for a
winning contestant to write with her.

What a year it has been
for Michael Ebenazer
Kwadjo Omari Owuo, Jr.
With a debut No 1 album
and a handful of top 40
singles, Stormzy truly
brought grime back
to the mainstream.
Gang Signs &
Prayer presented
songs about
depression and
religion along-
side relationship
struggles and diss
tracks. There’s a ver-
satility and univer-
sality to his writing
which tells us all we
need to know, Stormzy
is here to stay.

BEST OF 2017




We were banking on this self-styled industrial spiritual quartet to make
the leap from spoken-in-hushed-tones darlings, to genre-bending
global stars. A fire was lit under this expectation when they released
their sublime debut LP, The Witch, and the excitement surrounding
them became electric. But perhaps we wanted everything a little too
quickly. Pumarosa have been quietly making waves in the US and
began their European tour in late November. They’ve also had starring
festival turns and received widescale media coverage. So why are they
our most overlooked artist? Because for all of their success they aren’t
yet the band on everyone's lips and we think that’s criminal.



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