I'm going to be honest and tell you there are 5-plus songs that deserve to be on this list that aren't, because February is was completely stacked. Here it is, the top songs for the month, filled to the brim with the creme de la creme, such as The Chemical Brothers, FM-84, Tiger & Woods, and Ladytron. It also includes remixes from bands like The Midnight and Highway Superstar. Enjoy!
1. The Chemical Brothers - Got To Keep On
The masters have returned, and I am mesmerized. "Got To Keep On" is a song that successfully utilizes rhythmic synth, minimalistic percussion, chants, chimes, and perfectly placed samples. This is one of those tracks that I've been playing on repeat, which is easy to do with the way the music rises and falls in volume and complexity, yet maintains intensity throughout. By the time the "rain falls like tears," you'll have your hands in the air in a frenzy.
2. 0171 - 1000 Words
I didn't make a word count of the lyrics, but I'll take 0171's title and accept it, this track has a lot of words. It's a slower tempo, Daft Punk influenced monotone mind dump that keeps the words going the entire four minutes of runtime, with only a couple of breaks above the lyrical ocean.
3. SYML - Clean Eyes (The Midnight Remix)
It's already an amazing indie dance track, one of my picks from October. The Midnight has completely made it their own. This is now a song by The Midnight as far as I'm concerned, reinventing it into a song even better than the original, from the vocal processing to the synth work, it's masterful.
4. FM-84 - Bend & Break
This is a style of synth ballad that, for me, never grows tiresome. The combination of vocal and synth in this track is breathtaking. FM-84 are the masters of taking a classic song style or structure and finding a way to blow off the dust, freshen it up and make it not just modern, but their own.
5. Broods - Sucker
Staccato, rhythmic synth patterns open this track with a lyrical introduction that brings is to the main point, being a sucker for everything. The track is beautifully produced. It's a simple, well arranged piece of synth pop, with clean percussion textures and warm harmonic chords.
6. Jordan F - Final Flash
Jordan F isn't breaking new ground with his latest production, but there's something special about "Final Flash." It's an instrumental synth journey with distinct song segments that keep your interest across the piece. The arpeggiation in the track is the ear-grabbing constant, tying it all together.
7. Tiger & Woods - 1.00AM
The guys are back with a new album and included in it is this amazing surprise, this single, an original production track among a buffet of edits. It's low key, with layers of synth and a robotic vocal, simple arpeggiations keeping my attention, and piano work adding an extra level of musicality.
8. Jessie Frye - Fantasy
It's her voice. I'm completely obsessed. Every time Jessie Frye is featured, whether it be her own work or on the work of others, I seem to hit that re-post button and the track winds up in one of my best-of lists. Her voice on "Fantasy" is simple and beautiful, and I close my eyes and dream along.
9. Brothertiger - Shallow
Turn off the lights, fall down between the speakers, and let this one play at high volume. The synth textures, chords, and vocal processing in this ballad are absolutely gorgeous, surrounding you. And with a few plays on repeat, you'll find yourself singing along at the top of your lungs, right on target.
10. Armors - Human Touch
The details in the arrangement of this track are what make the song. There is an ascending background synth texture that finds its way into the track that I find myself focusing on, and throughout there is a void-like clicking that makes its way in my left ear. It's a perfect example of "Human Touch."
11. Morgan Willis - Hide
I was listening to this track on the bus and I had to fight the urge to belt out in song. "We don't have to" might be my lyric of the month because it's so awesome to sing along to. The music accompaniment is light, a twinkling air in the synth, with steady, grounding tones of bass that ooze Kavinsky.
12. Geographer - Summer of My Discontentment
I'd love to hear Geographer sing this acoustic with his piano, but the synth textures add so much to this beautiful ballad. The layering of the vocal is perfect, immersing you in an aural bliss I find hard to describe. I'm really happy to have new music from Geographer and I'm excited for what's next.
13. Ionnalee - Open Sea
Keeping with the theme of vocals that have me mesmerized every time I hear them, "Open Sea" by Ionnalee is included. This is a track that opens out in the sea, tones of sonar, and lyrics declaring "the ship has sailed." I find myself comparing this track with Enya, as its style is very new age.
14. St. Lucia - Bigger (Highway Superstar Remix)
Here's a collaboration I never expected, but will never complain about. What this remix shows me is the potential Highway Superstar has creating modern synthpop masterpieces -- they are not just a retro-kitsch talent anymore. It's time to take this exercise and apply it to originals.
15. Ladytron - Deadzone
Yes, you're right. Ladytron as number 15? I know. The new album from Ladytron is great, and I enjoy listening to it, but there was so much new music in February that I believed were mandatory to include, including "Deadzone." This track has a bit of "Smooth Criminal" feel, which I love.