Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Top 117 Songs of 2017 - #20 to #11

#20. GO BANG

We in love, we in love
We in love, are we in love?

I heard someone call PNAU pee-nay-ooh the other day, which made me laugh. That's a complete side note to this track, which being called 'Go Bang' might be considered a 'banger' but who am I kidding, I've got no idea what that really means. Anyway, the fact their name was pronounced so poorly was a little surprising, considering the amount of commercial radio airplay they've received for this track and I wouldn't at all be surprised if I saw it on an ad for something in the near future, if it hasn't been used already. Has it? I don't watch enough TV to know, but I do know p-now have made a killer of a song. (Jo Michelmore)

by Jack Colwell

The Berlin wall fell the year I was born
Two halves and now a whole.

Oh, Jack. Jack, Jack, Jacky. I can't get you off my mind. Because you keep putting out these exceptionally orchestrated gems that take my breath away. 'Pigeons and Peacocks' only further confirms what we already knew... Jack Colwell is a rare gemstone in the rocky landscape that makes up the Australian music scene. He puts so much into his art and we as listeners get to reap the rewards. Along with those deep, unique vocal tones we've come to know and love, it's the piano that shares the spotlight throughout, particularly during a highly memorable little solo towards the middle o the song. As a classically trained musician (Colwell, not me, never me), it's nice to see Jack getting to show off just how talented he is. 90s Tori Amos would certainly be proud. If anyone's a peacock, it's Jack Colwell (you filthy pigeon readers, jokes, love you) and we could certainly handle hearing a whole lot more from him. (Matt Bond)

I may have taken a year off writing all the words about all the music, but if there's one artist I've kept my ears and eyes on over the past twelve months in the hope for more musical magic, it's Jack Colwell. When Jack Colwell plays, one listens. When Jack Colwell writes, one hears. When Jack Colwell sings, one stops. 'Pigeons And Peacocks' is just another indication that J Colwell is full of indescribable talent, and heart. With piano, with strings and with that distinctly Jack Colwell voice he makes music that fills my mind like an orchestra and fills my heart with happiness. And sadness. And happiness. Perhaps I'm selfish, but I wish so much for Jack Colwell and the success that is destined to be his, because he will undoubtedly keep impressing with his unending talent for the right words and the right notes, always at just the right time. (Jo Michelmore)   

by Waax


What's the hardest part of being alone?

Shaking fists and plot twists. That's the name of the game when it comes to Waax's 'Wild and Weak', their best track yet. And that really is saying something, because the Brisbane rockers have built up a very solid catalogue of banging hits over the past couple of years. There's just something about this one though that shoots Waax into the stratosphere and into best band in all the land contention. It's something of a perfect storm. The stop/start guitar lines, Marie DeVita's impassioned and determined performance that unleashes into something spectacular with her final howls, the lyrics that are so good you want to high five someone/anyone in your vicinity and will settle for a self high-five if no one else is available. And then there's the video, one of my favourites of the year. Even that involves some shaking of fists and plotting of twists. It goes so well with with song and it shows off some excellent Brisbane locales too, so that's always a bit of fun. If we're gearing up for some Waax debut album action in 2018, I'll be one very happy camper. (Matt Bond

by Tkay Maidza

We're made of gold, with aligning souls
Watch us glow, in screaming colour.

Glorious. Oh exactly Tkay, exactly! I've heard people refer to this one as an absolute banger, but as we discussed back at number 19, I'm still not really sure what that is, and apparently it was featured on the soundtrack of 'Girls' which I'm not actually sure is a TV thing or a movie thing, because as we discussed back at number 19, I don't watch much, but I don't actually care. It's a song made for summer, made for parties and other social things, and if it's this good and it was one of the songs that didn't make the cut for Tkay's debut album, can you imagine how good her next album is going to be? (Jo Michelmore

Slaaaaaaaaaaay. Tkay. Sometimes we like to mix up the things we always say about artists we’ve written about over the years. Keepin’ it fresh, you know? Someone who has no trouble keeping it fresh is Tkay Maidza, who kills it again and again, exploring new styles and sounds. ‘Glorious’ finds her firmly in the modern pop realm, blending electronic influences with hip hop beats and lighting a fire throughout the verses that explodes for the choruses. How this one found itself a little lost in the shuffle is totally baffling to me, because this has full crossover potential. Triple J and Nova style radio live for genre bending tracks like this. Seriously, if there’s one song that lives up to its title in 2017, it’s this one.  (Matt Bond)

by Arcade Fire

And every film that you've ever seen
Fills the spaces up in your dreams...

There seemed to be a bit of an undercurrent of negativity when Arcade Fire released their fifth album, Everything Now, but was that just the generic backlash that all bands come across eventually or was it the wankers that get paid to write about music getting all wanky about things?  Well I don't know about the technicality of things, but I know what I like. I like the 70s disco that I wish I could be heading to at the beginning and I like the 80s aerobics oz style beats that drive it and I especially like the handclaps and the fade-out-fade-in in the middle. There's a lot to like about this song. Just as much as there is to like about Arcade Fire. Which I do like. A lot. (Jo Michelmore

by Kira Puru

I like this feel, that moment just before the big reveal
Before we talk about it make it real.

Everything is better with Kira Puru. We’ve been saying it for a while now and it’s pretty much our mantra. And yes, I say mantra in a totally obnoxious way with a valley girl accent. 2017 was certainly made all the better when Puru delivered unto us ‘Tension’. The evolution of her sound since the days of Kira Puru and The Bruise is kinda crazy. That she can be a soulful powerhouse one moment and a party starting indie chanteuse the next is more than kinda awesome. ‘Tension’ will have you shook, hooked and and begging for more. Right from the opening guitar, you know this is going to be sexxxxy. And it is. Like, damn Kira Puru. I can feel the tension. We can all feel the tension. As catchy as it is dance-y, there’s no surprise how quickly it’s caught on at radio. And we couldn’t be happier for one of our all time faves. The more people chanting along to ‘everything is better with Kira Puru’ the better. And yes, fine, I had to look up what ‘shook’ meant.  (Matt Bond)

YES. This is the reaction I had when I heard 'Tension' for the first time. And YES was the word I used when I saw the awkward clip. And fuck YES is definitely the word I uttered when I heard 'Tension' being played on the actual radio. A soulful groove with a healthy dose of funk makes for a simply addictive pop track and more widespread commercial success for Ms Puru has been a long time coming and is so very well deserved. We've been enamoured with her for years, her time with The Bruise, her countless collaborations and her words about the beast the music industry can be has been so needed. Her voice is incomparable, her style is inspirational and her talent is incredible. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yessssssss to all the versions of Kira I've loved so far, and a giant YES to hearing more and more of her in 2018. (Jo Michelmore)

by Amy Shark

Make me believe one day I'll be great
Keep me in your heart for old time's sake.

My favourite Amy Shark moments are when she’s being a little petty when it comes to her relationships, which makes her super relatable. Take ‘Weekends’ for instance, where she’s totally fine with saying out loud that she hates every girl that’s ever known her fella. Or ‘Adore’, when she wishes everyone on her street would GTFO outta there and give her some alone time with her man. But my favourite is on ‘Drive You Mad’ when she’s talking with her fella/man/dude/whatever and says, “you said you feel like there’s nothing you can’t say,” followed by an almost venomous, “and I felt that yesterday.” Come on, we’ve all been there. That moment where you’re like, yeah I’m already fucking there buddy ole pal. But you’re trying to smile and stop your eyes from doing an epic roll. So yeah, that’s why I love ‘Drive You Mad’. Because of one passive aggressive or maybe just full blown aggresive line. Okay, I also love it because Amy Shark can do no wrong and makes music that speaks to the romantic in all of us. Those honest moments just make it all feel more real. And Amy Shark is nothing if not a genuine, real artist.  (Matt Bond)

by Lorde

'Cause in my head, in my head I do everything right
When you call, when you call I forgive and not fight.

It could have been those first lines, or it could have been 15 second mark when the subtle beat kicks in or it could have been a minute later when that minor melody hits, or maybe it was the realisation that it could mean a million things, but all of it is just what was. It could be the fact that this one didn't feel like it was just for the young hipsters, or the music wankery, or the elite gang I'll never be a part of, but there was never a question in my mind that this is my absolute favourite Lorde track, ever. Or maybe the honest truth is that it was just the musical reminder that all the times, all the minutes, all the days are only ever supercuts, because in my mind, I do everything right. Repeat and fade. (Jo Michelmore

If I’m being honest, I’d say ‘Supercut’ is the song I’ve listened to the most throughout the year. Not only is it the very best in pop, with huge hooks, music to make you dance and shout along to. Not only does it demonstrate a young writer already at the top of her game with words that speak to shared human experiences by far too many. But when you find yourself in those quiet, low moments wondering if you’ve made the right decisions regarding someone that comes and goes from your life, you might find yourself editing history a little bit. And you might need a reminder by doing this you’re doing what the kids are calling a ‘Supercut’. So you put on a song with huge hooks that makes you dance and shout along to it, that makes you think of everyone else dealing with their own junk. You don’t feel alone. You feel a whole lot better. And you get on with your day. Praise the Lorde.  (Matt Bond)

#12. HUMBLE.
by Kendrick Lamar

Soprano C, we like to keep it on a high note
It's levels to it, you and I know, bitch be humble.

I'm just a teeny (not literally) girl sitting in my car, listening to songs and writing words about them, and while I love my piano ballads and my pop and I really love my guitars and rock, there's also a giant part of my heart that has a big space for all things hip hop. This year, that space has been pretty much filled with Kendrick. While you can't help but hear his opinions and his brand of life and his thoughts on his world in his work, sometimes you just want a big beat. I could delve into his history and world history and comment on hip hop, women in hip hop, the good the bad and the hip hop in hip hop, but right now, I just want to move my head, and pretend I'm cool. Or something. HUMBLE certainly guarantees that. (Jo Michelmore)

by Sarah Blasko

I feel my destiny, without a sound
Constant force of energy, floating around.

I still haven’t watched the Blasko documentary that aired in November. I’m hoping I’ll be able to iView it or something after Sarah Blasko’s sixth album, Depth of Field, is released in February next year. From all reports it was an amazing look at this insanely talented songstress, but I want to appreciate the album for myself before looking at what it really means. It’s kind of like avoiding spoilers for your favourite tv show, but it’s also not like that, but a little bit like that. ‘Phantom’ draws you back into the world of Blasko in the best possible way. It’s familiar, with those striking vocals and haunting lyrics. But it’s also shows an artist who refuses to stick to the script, as the electronic influences have evolved from those on 2015’s Eternal Return. I tend to find it really hard to sum up how Sarah Blasko’s music makes me feel and ‘Phantom’ is no exception to that. I can tell you that hearing songs like this make me really happy and when anything can do that it’s doing something right. Right? (Matt Bond)


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