Halfway point: Best songs of 2017 so far (#5 – #1)

1.) Everything Now by Arcade Fire
Nothing I’ve heard this year is as epic as that piano kicking in at 0.45. For me, 2017’s song of the summer, geared towards big stadiums and crowds singing along. The lyric is about our generation’s opportunity to consume everything)

2.)  We Got The Power (feat. Jehnny Beth) by Gorillaz
(While the album is uneven, the best track is an empowering, catchy pop anthem. Anyone could relate to the lyrics)

3.) Ran by Future Islands
(Doesn’t quite top 2014’s synthpop classic Seasons Waiting on You, but it’s close. Ran has motion as its theme and would be ideal for an exercise playlist. The video fits well with the music, and I love the bass)

4.) Ballad of the Dying Man by Father John Misty
(A beautiful retro melody, and an amusing yet telling commentary on the absurd self-importance of man in the internet age when everyone has an opinion. You could say singer-songwriter Josh Tillman is preachy about the many failings of humanity, but his sense of proportion stood out for me on the album, how we are minor in the grand scheme of things. He has a point that contemporary news is becoming like entertainment with the likes of The Daily Show etc, and I think he’s right to question that)

5.) Fear by Kendrick Lamar
(Album highlight, a smooth beat, sampling 1973’s Poverty’s Paradise by The 24-Carat Black. A Lamar track that I’m pleased to say keeps it relatively simple, on an album I’ve otherwise struggled to connect with. For further reading, Noisey dedicated an entire article to Fear)

What do you think? As always comments are welcome

Halfway point: Best songs of 2017 so far (#10- #6)

6.) Real Death by Mount Eerie 
(Perhaps we don’t need another album about death/mortality, in the last 18-20 months David Bowie, Leonard Cohen and Nick Cave gave us their take on the matter. Yet I still consider Real Death to be the most heartbreaking song of the year so far. In 2016, songwriter Phil Elverum tragically lost his wife, illustrator and musician Geneviève Castrée, to cancer, and put into words his emotional turmoil)

7.) Next Time by Laura Marling
(I find her albums a struggle, but I can usually bank on Laura Marling to deliver a great song on each new release. Has a timeless quality)

8.) Sweet Arcadia by Saint Etienne
I’d probably enjoy Sarah Cracknell narrating audiobooks. A proggy-electronic spoken-word train journey through southern England, referencing the sweet shop of the same name. The flute-assisted section starting at 3.14 might be the most beautiful moment on the album)

9.) A Trick of the Light by Chilly Gonzales & Jarvis Cocker
(Addresses television and what it does to us. The album’s longest and for me best)

10.) Friend Zone by Thundercat
(I may have been too harsh on Thundercat’s Drunk earlier in the year, this track has grown on me. The lyrics are about being stuck in the friend zone)




What do you think? As always, comments are welcome. Check back for my top 5 in a few days!

Halfway point: Best songs of 2017 so far (#15 – #11)

11.) Evening Prayer by Jens Lekman
(A strangely upbeat song about a tumor. The lyrics are also about friendship and not knowing if you are close enough to care)

12.) You Can Never Go Back to New York by The Magnetic Fields
(Very catchy. I’m on the fence if I enjoy the vocal performance on 50 Song Memoir, reminds me of the goofy voice in the ukulele scene in Blue Valentine. Although clearly Stephin Merritt is a better singer than Gosling. Stupid Tears is a memorable song too even if the melody seems so familiar?)

13.) Shotgun Mouthwash by High Contrast
(T2 Trainspotting soundtrack. Works well in the treadmill intro scene. The lyrics are objectionable, deliberately so I’m guessing)

14.) Sugar for the Pill by Slowdive
(Got stuck in my head)

15.) The Flame by Johnny Jewel 
(Soothing instrumental which features in new Twin Peaks as score music. My favorite part is at 2.20 when the saxophone kicks in)

Honorable mention:
Amar Pelos Dois by Salvador Sobral
(Portugese winner of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. Sometimes less is more)

What do you think? As always, comments are welcome.  #10 – #6 coming soon!