Thursday, 14 December 2017

Top 117 Songs of 2017 - #60 to #51

by Ainslie Wills

Running on empty, should pull over
But there's no time for that. 

Does any song sum up the feeling that comes with all of the realities of adulthood more than Ainslie Wills' 'Running Second'? The pressure you find yourself under that's largely self-imposed, the belief that you're losing a race you didn't even know you're in... but there's also that little voice in your head telling you to calm your farm, it's not so bad. "There's nothing to be scared of," sings Wills as she tells you to enjoy the view. That voice might not pop up as often as you like, but in the moments where it might be quiet or gone altogether, just pop on some Ainslie Wills and that's guaranteed to put a smile on your face. (Matt Bond) 

by Babaganouj

What are you like when you're not with me?
How does it feel to not be lonely? 

So technically 'Would You Like Me' was released in 2016, but it was released as the lead single of a vinyl collection that combined all three of Babaganouj's EP's from last year. So if it was released in 2017 as the lead single for something then it counts as a 2017 release. Logic. The 'Nouj (Nouj, Nouj, Nouj) deserve all the attention in the world for their brilliant garage pop, that gets better and better with each release. The Brisbane based three-piece have a knack for creating music that asks some big questions against angsty pop and 'Would You Like Me' is no exception. Like the Harriette Pilbeam led single 'Bluff', this track (also Pilbeam led) brings up some questions that have been on anyone's mind that's tried out that crazy little thing called love. The repeated lines asking a certain someone to promise never to leave are a little hopeful, a little desperate and more than a little heartbreaking. (Matt Bond)  

by Ecca Vandal

Are you happy with your status, status
But what's your return? 

Yes. This is a song title I relate to. Ecca V gives us all the ferocity she can muster, all the manic beats she can create and then she throws some vicious vocals in and suddenly we have a song made to be played on stage, made to be heard with flashing lights and lots of uncontrollable thrashing. It's fun but it's angsty, it's unapologetic and it includes possibly the greatest scream of the year. There's absolutely nothing subtle about it and that's what makes it another perfectly Ecca Vandal track. (Jo Michelmore)  

by Avicii ft. Rita Ora

And I know and I know and I know and I know
That I can't be your friend. 

Like Little Mix before her, I did a complete 180 on Rita Ora. Well, not 180, because that would imply I disliked her when honestly I didn't have an opinion of her one way or another. She existed, but could I name you one of her songs? Probs not. But this year I was screaming along to 'Your Songs' because I didn't wanna hear sad songs anymore etc. etc. and then this little team up with Avicii came along and I knew. I had become a fan. I had an opinion of Rita Ora. A highly favourable one even. 'Lonely Together' is what you might call a banger. A song that if I had possibly consumed a beverage or seven at the local discotheque with all the other young thangs (I can't keep this up, I'm old), I might be so inclined to head on out to the d-floor and bust a move. Okay I'll stop. But I would totally dance to this on a table at 2am. Slay, Rita. Slay. Oh yeah, Avicii is a thing too. Yay? (Matt Bond)

Ohmygod it's like Inception, or something; two people who I'm not sure actually exist, together, in one song! While it's become apparent and well documented that no one (being me) really knows who Rita Ora is, has anyone anywhere actually ever seen Avicii? Is he a he? Why do I assume that? Is he that guy in the white suit bouncing around on a boat in the Mediterranean in some random clip? Or is she one of those people in the helmets that used to appear at the award shows? No one (being me) knows who he or she is, even though we all know the name. So are they actually featuring Rita, or are Rita and Avicii the same person? No one (being me) knows, but it seems apt that he/she/they perform a song 'Lonely Together', because it must be hard being so un-famously famous. Good song but. Excellent clip too, featuring someone no one (being me) knows. (Jo Michelmore)  

#56. J-BOY
by Phoenix

Do you remember the last time you laughed
And I laughed and you left and I left? 

I read a review of Phoenix's sixth album 'Ti Amo' which described it as "summer and Italian discos" which pretty much sounds like almost the perfect thing to me, so it's no wonder 'J-Boy' is such an awesome little summer song to dance to, preferably in a Italian disco. I'd take any European disco at this point, but that's a whole other story about my lack of overseas holiday right now. Until I'm exactly there, I just have to settle for the irresistible synths and the feel good feel of 'J-Boy'. (Jo Michelmore

Hey, Phoenix are still kicking about. Would you look at that. I'm joking but I'm not, because Phoenix were kind of a big deal back in 2009 when Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix came out. They were big on the Hottest 100 at least and every frat boy's fave band. Like the mythical creature they take their name from, the French indie music makers have risen triumphantly from the ashes with 'J-Boy', which is really quite good. It's very good. Lyrically their best work and as shiny and vaguely dreamy as anything that's come before. Hopefully they'll stick around in the public consciousness for a bit longer this go around and not take a four year break between albums. (Matt Bond)

#55. EVEN
by Julien Baker

It's not that I think I'm good, I know that I'm evil
I guess I was trying to even it out. 

Julien Baker takes you down a dark road on 'Even', a track that is right up there with her best work like 'Go Home' and 'Something'. How someone can do so much with so little will always blow my mind and have me coming back for more and here we have Baker accompanied by only a guitar as she details the shitty situation she's found herself in. This is where love can take you, kids. Take a good listen and learn! I'm kidding, I'm kidding. I'm not. 'Even' is musical storytelling at its best. Just a very talented singer pouring her heart out and inviting you to take a look at something most people will never share with another. It's intimate, devastating and worthy of more repeated listens than you can count. (Matt Bond)   

by The Jungle Giants

You could be my nightmare
And you'd still be my love. 

Well look here, the way kids talk about things these days I can't keep up with what's good, bad or indifferent. One minute things are cool and the next they're talking in letters, codes and eggplant emoji. So if someone says "you could be my bad dream" are they terrified of you or are they declaring their undying love for you? The pulsating beats don't give me any clearer indication and I can't work out whether the eerie sounding chorus or the clip are more terrifying, in a really good way. I guess that means being a bad dream is a good thing? The song certainly is a good thing. (Jo Michelmore)  

by Gordi

How do you give yourself to me?
I send you my words silently. 

Songs like this, that bring the questions and the thoughts, they are the ones I love. How do you do the days? How do you stand up with the desperation standing right beside? How do you walk with the clouds, how do you talk without screaming, how do you smile without crying and how do you know who knows about it all? You do it with knowing glances and hugs, you do it with coffee and wine, you do it with chats about nothing and laughs about everything. You find the ones who let you say everything when you don't need to say a thing. You find the ones who let you sit in silence when all the other sounds are creeping in. "I can't, I won't, I tell you that I don't, but I need you on my side..." You do it with the ones you trust, the ones who know you know, and you do it all with songs like this, the ones that bring the questions and the thoughts and the answers, and they are the ones I love. (Jo Michelmore)  

I have a secret playlist of songs that sometimes I need to listen to for a pick-me-up. Not so secret anymore, but the songs that make up that list will be a secret. Now, to make your own Pick-Me-Up Playlist it can't be comprised of sugary pop or songs that come from a place that isn't genuine. You want songs that make you happy because they remind you of what's important, they put things in perspective. They remind you of the important people that have come and gone, the ones that stayed when it really counted. You want songs that make you want to sing along just as much as they make you want to listen and appreciate every word you're taking in. If I can recommend one song to put on your own list, how about this one. 'On My Side' by Gordi. What a song and what a talent. (Matt Bond 

#52. RENEW

Always so soon
I'm calling out for you. 

Just on a side note, there's an awful lot of artists featuring in our list this year who like to declare themselves in all CAPS. I tend to yell their names in my mind as I'm typing, just to provide you with a peek into my slightly odd psyche. On another note, BANFF has created a sweet song with 'Renew'; facing his own insecurities as an artist and working with them through his dreamy, electro sounds. So let me describe how I feel about his work in a way I know he'll understand. LOVE (all caps). (Jo Michelmore)  

It wouldn't be a year in music anymore without a release from BANFF, another Brisbane favourite of ours that never fails to brighten up our day. Even if it's a released that's tinged in just the right amount of confusion and longing, it's still brightening our day. Because BANFF has become very, very good at making songs that you can't get out of your head and leave a lot of room for interpretation. Which is a good thing, because songs like 'Renew' get stuck in your head and you get to listen to them over and over again and debate in your mind what he really means, you know. I am not crazy. I just like music and I like BANFF. (Matt Bond)  

#51. FIRE
by Beth Ditto

Ain't got an honest feeling in my bones.

There was a period of time earlier this year when I listened to literally nothing but Beth Ditto for 48 hours. Considering there is rarely a moment I'm not listening to something, this is an achievement for any artist. One hit of play on 'Fire' and I'm pretty sure if I didn't have to write about another 50 or so songs, then Beth would be back on high rotation in my world. On the first single from her first solo album Fake Sugar, she managed to capture some rock, some soul, her magnificent vocal and and a whole lot of retro into three minutes of magic. It ignited a fire of obsession for Ms Ditto that I'm still not quite over, and once these 117 songs are written about, I'm pretty sure hers will be one of the albums I return to experience all through next year as well. (Jo Michelmore)


No comments:

Post a Comment

Love it or hate it? Agree or disagree? Let me know what you think!