Thursday, 7 December 2017

Top 117 Songs of 2017 - #117 to #101

Surprise! Bet you thought you saw the last of us, given that we haven't been around much in 2017 to chitty chat about the music we all love. Just because we haven't been doing reviews and hilarious, award winning and insightful articles (of which possibly none of those points are true), it doesn't mean we haven't been paying attention to our favourite artists, old and new. So here we are with the Top 117 Songs of 2017. Don't even act like you're not totally excited about this. You are. Go with it. And enjoy the music...

TOP 117 SONGS OF 2017:

#117. WASTE
by Oh Wonder

I said I would never come back
Screaming at the walls in jet black.

We've got 117 songs to talk about, and what a place to start, because we really need to talk about Oh Wonder. Every single track of theirs is either a track to fall into love to and/or a track to fall out of love to, and after the hypnotic "what a waste to be so alone (repeat)" lyrics at the end of this track, I'm not even sure whether I've fallen in or out of love, or maybe both and back again, but one thing is for sure, Oh Wonder always make me happy to be heartbroken and heart mended over and over again. (Jo Michelmore

by Oh Mercy

How do those eyes inspire such devotion?

You can tell Oh Mercy are led by a man who is respected for his songwriting skills, because this one grips you word by word, string by string. What you can't tell when you listen to Oh Mercy is why that name isn't a household one. While they're admired by peers and been nominated and won a bunch of different awards, I feel like more people should know who they are. Hello industry, hello radio. People should talk more about music like this; they make a wonderfully Australian sound, one that should be heard by many more Australians, and everyone else too. (Jo Michelmore


Don't be mean if you wanna go
You can leave and leave my heart alone.

I can’t say I know much about LANY. Is LANY a band? A solo artist? a robot with a soul made in Europe, bound to one day turn on its human masters? Who can say? Certainly not me, what do you think I am... okay Google or something? You can ask Google about LANY later. For now, just listen to the surprisingly heartbreaking synthy vibes of ‘Super Far’. These robots with souls sure have come a long way.  (Matt Bond)

by Sharon Van Etten

The time is passing right before our eyes
The stars are dead, but they still shed light.

From one surprisingly heartbreaking song to one that was never going to be anything but devastating. It comes with the territory when the music of Sharon Van Etten is involved. Released as a special bonus alongside the anniversary reissue of SVE’s “Because I Was In Love”, ‘You Didn’t Really Do That’ both warms the heart and crushes it. It’s in the vacant acceptance held within the vocal delivery of the song’s title you might just find yourself reflecting on those moments in your own life that you could and couldn’t believe someone supposedly special could do something so fucked up. Why do you do this to us Sharon? And please never stop.  (Matt Bond)

by Empire of the Sun

Say what you mean, do what you will.

I’m putting ‘On Our Way Home’ into the category of songs that have verses I love far more than their choruses. More specifically the pre-chorus segment of this one that I could put on a loop and listen to forever and ever. “Say what you mean, do what you will.” Katy Steele’s brother and that guy from Pnau still do things very well.  (Matt Bond)

by Dua Lipa

And if you're under him
You ain't gettin' over him.

I had a conversation with Matt recently, explaining that I actually have no idea who Rita Ora is, which I've since found out isn't an uncommon thought. This actually has nothing to do with Dua Lipa, as far as I know, except in my own mind, because while I know this song inside out I actually have no idea who Dua Lipa is. One person? Group? Dua duo two? Apparently she's one, and English. Rita Ora is as well. Are they the same person? Have they collaborated? I can't answer any of these questions without google, but I know Dua Lipa spent 2017 singing incredibly catchy pop tunes. (Jo Michelmore

2017 was a great year for the pop musics, which you’ll see reflected in this year’s countdown and which you’ll already likely know because you have ears and a brain and stuff. Dua Lipa was one of the new faces to make a huge impact all over the world with the single ‘New Rules’. It’s catchy, equal parts sass and educational words to live by and a whole lot of fun.  And seriously, you know he’s only calling you because he’s drunk and alone. Catch flights, not feelings. #draghim2017 (Matt Bond)

#111. BETTER
by Mallrat

Things I couldn't ask for anything
You're always on my side.

The evolution of Mallrat is coming along swimmingly. ‘Better’ is a beautiful little slice of dreamy pop that will leave you feeling just as the title suggests.  It’s amazing how much an artist can grown in such a short amount of time, even since last year in this case, but grow Mallrat has as she takes steps to becoming one of Australia’s best emerging songwriters and artists in general. This sounds like the start of even bigger and, for lack of a better word, better things for her.  (Matt Bond)

#110. BOM BOM
by Tkay Maidza and Danny L Harle

And I dance on chicken looking glances
People from the west to the south and I lead it.

Here I am, just casually going through the list of songs and there's Tkay, just casually popping up, yet again, as she does every year in our music loving ears and year loving lists. It's Tkay with Danny L Harle being just casually Tkay, always taking the lyrics in her stride, the rhythm along for the ride and the best part? No matter who she collaborates with, she always makes you feel like you're part of the process too. Don't know the words? Don't care, you got all you need to know in a pair of hips and the title. Bom bom. (Jo Michelmore

Ladies. Gentlemen. Your yearly reminder that Tkay continues to slay all in the rap game is here. It came late in the year, a day before we locked in this countdown, but it’s here. And it is the bom-bomb. See what I did there? Come for the jokes, stay for the Tkay and Danny L Harle show. Stick around, this isn’t the last you’ve seen of Ms Maidza in this year’s list. (Matt Bond)

#109. ...READY FOR IT?
by Taylor Swift

But if he's a ghost then I can be a phantom
Holdin' him for ransom.

I’ve always had a soft spot for Taylor Swift’s goofiness. Well, that and her total boss-ness when it comes to business and her brand. But I’ve always enjoyed that genuine goofiness to Swift that shines through in the videos for songs like ‘Blank Space’ and ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’. It  was even there in the video for ‘Look What You Made Me Do’, but when it comes to ‘Ready For It?’ that Taylor can’t come to the phone, FaceTime or send a text. She dead! For the first time, T-Sweezy is committing to just being the coolest of the cool. More importantly, she’s pulling it off.  (Matt Bond)

When Ms Swift released her new tracks this year, after her tiny hiatus, I'm gonna admit I was like "What? Isn't she taking a break?" because the general media and commercial radio world certainly haven't stopped playing her tracks during her 'break', so did she ever go anywhere? No, she really didn't, but I guess that just means we keep getting to enjoy her brand of pop for another few years yet. I'm ready for that. (Jo Michelmore)

by Airling ft. Tom Iansek

Only accept the love you think you deserve
Drink it from a cup.

Airling released her hugely anticipated debut album, Hard to Sleep, Easy to Dream earlier in the year and what a debut it was. Full of ethereal pop gems like those we've come to expect, but with a couple of surprises to boot. One of them was 'A Day In The Park', a stripped back piano led duet with frequent collaborator and producer Tom Iansek of Big Scary. The use of minimal instrumentation and effects puts the focus on the vocal work and the lyrics and when it comes to a team like this, you know they're going to deliver the goods when it comes to the singing and the songwriting. These guys should team up more often, yes? (Matt Bond)

#107. THE JOKE
by Brandi Carlile

I have been to the movies, I've seen how it ends
And the joke's on them.

There are songs that are just made for soundtracks, or TV drama. Made for emotional scenes in stories filled with faces staring out windows, or staring blankly at walls with subtle tears running down cheeks. It wouldn't have surprised me if Matt found this track on a TV soundtrack he loves, because that emotional filled drama description describes this song and let's face it, that's where a lot of (amazing) music lands. I can't comment on whether or not he plans on using 'The Joke' in an upcoming production, should he start producing television programs. If he did, they'd be full of piano and voice like Brandi's and they'd probably mostly be gloriously amazing like this one. (Jo Michelmore

One of the great storytellers of her generation, Brandi Carlile triumphantly returned in the latter days of 2017 with ‘The Joke’. If it’s an indication of the quality of the forthcoming album “By The Way, I Forgive You”, this will be another 5 star addition to a catalogue full of them. That raw power and emotion in Carlile’s voice and the imagery it paints solidifies her standing as one of the greats.  (Matt Bond)

#106. THE MAN
by The Killers

When it comes to Friday, I always earn
But don't try to teach me, I got nothing to learn.

The Killers enjoyed a revival of sorts this year, particularly in Australia after they played the non-Macklemore footy ball final. Maybe a couple of bland Brandon Flowers solo albums was all that The Killers needed to remind us that they’re better together. No, they’re never going to recapture the glory days of their debut, but they’ve still got it. Whatever ‘it’ is. In this case it’s a funkified testament to Flowers being not a man but The Man. Suddenly I’m not sure about The Killers again, but the track is undeniably appealing. (Matt Bond)

It's funny how some bands write songs  that make their way into the general public's consciousness until everyone, fans or not, seem to know the words. This can be witnessed when one chooses a Killers song at karaoke. Meanwhile, those musicians keep getting paid royalties every time someone sings along, which means they keep getting to write other killer (boom) rock songs, like this one. (Jo Michelmore)

by Jeremy Neale ft. Pool Shop

Feeling unstoppable, I was a party animal
But the next day I felt so low.

Honestly, small talk is something I'm not the best at, it's generally awkward silences and me kind of humming some elevator music in my mind so hearing Jeremy Neale had a song of that title made me slightly apprehensive, but he can't do much wrong in my eyes, so I was happy to give this a go. It's no wonder I wasn't surprised at the handclaps at the beginning and I wasn't still in my seat by the "do do do" repetition  at the end. Jeremy's small talk, with it's perfectly dreamy way of moving in ways inspired by sounds from other decades is the only small talk I'm willing to participate in. (Jo Michelmore

by Little Earthquake ft. Rosa Morgan

I wanted to call on you
But you're so far away, so far away.

Little Earthquake moved into producer territory towards the end of the year with the release of ‘Human Connection’. The fellas have traded in vocal duties to focus on the electronic music making things I’m not going to pretend I know the names of and brought in ‘Rosa Morgan’, who absolutely kills it on the track. There’s a world-class electronic feel to this, which should come as no surprise since we already thought Little Earthquake are a world-class act, but you can totally imagine ‘Human Connection’ getting some club play around the world. If this is the direction the Hyland brothers are taking going forward, I’m all for it. But I hope they don’t give up the vocals completely.  (Matt Bond)

by The xx

Since you stopped believing
I've had to put on my own show.

It shouldn’t be a shock to anyone how much love Jo and I have for The xx. Or maybe it is these days since we haven’t written anything for 84 years. But a quick refresher for everyone - we love The xx. Big fans. So there’s nothing I can really say critically of them. If I was pushing for something, it would be that their songwriting, while good, can be a little too abstract for its own good sometimes. Which doesn’t really matter when the British three-piece is so good at storytelling through atmosphere and the gorgeous tones in Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim’s voices. Still, it’s something critical and I’m only bringing it up because it’s not something you can say about ‘Performance’, which is songwriting perfection. The Romy-led number might not be The xx’s flashiest track, but it’s just as commanding and emotive as everything that’s come before. Your heart will break just as Romy’s does. And you’ll love her for it. (Matt Bond)

by Confidence Man

Let me teach you something 'bout love
Okay repeat.

A couple of friends and I were reminiscing recently about Machine Gun Fellatio from back in the day (whatever happened to them?) and how much we liked them because they were so fun. Then I jumped upon this song in our list and realised it gave me the exact same feeling all those MGF songs did way back when. Guess that means I'll be doing the same thing about Confidence Man in a few years, except in a few years I'll be old and taking their songs as advice. Better sit down. Cycle of life and things. (Jo Michelmore

by Holy Holy

You said, "I used to care," well I used to do a lot of things.

Like Tkay earlier on, here's Holy Holy yet again hanging about in our countdown like a bad...wait a minute, there's no bad smells here, just the rocking sounds of a band that started simply, and have managed to keep their sounds humble with their simple rock roots, but also manage to keep growing their sound, by nurturing their talent with the old school ways of touring, playing, touring and playing. I hope they keep doing these things for a long time. (Jo Michelmore)                      

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