Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Top 117 Songs of 2017 - #70 to #61






#70. SHRED FOR SUMMER
by DZ Deathrays




I have something simple
To make you feel good.


Oh I love this. I love everything about it. I love that it sounds like if I was in a band in the mid 90s this is what I would have been writing. I love that if I was in my 90s band I'd be wearing the most floral of dresses and the most doctored of Doc Martens. I love the psychedelically lo-fi clip and I love that it's about guitar shredding, not the other type of shredding often performed at this time of year. Is it? I love that it's not even close to the 90s and DZ Deathrays are just doing their thing and I love that I get to love it. (Jo Michelmore


DZ Deathrays take on shredding for the summer is much better than the standard fuck boi's shred for Stereo, yes? Not that Stereosonic is a thing anymore. I don't know Shane Parsons and Simon Ridley personally, so who knows, maybe they enjoy getting ripped for a festival. But on 'Shred For Summer' they're happy to just get a good shred going on the guitar and beat up some drums instead of each other in a steroid-fueled testoster-rage. I'm all for that and I'm all for hearing more from DZ Deathrays in a world where Stereosonic and the Future Music Festival are not a thing. Everyone's a winner. (Matt Bond)  


#69. SELFISH LOVE
by Jessie Ware




Darling, you do it too
You tell me lies and I bend the truth. 


Just when you thought Jessie Ware couldn't get any more musically stylish and intriguing than she already is, she drops the sleek and seductive 'Selfish Love' and takes it one step further by recording the track in Spanish as 'Egoista'. Take your music to the masses while I applaud you, Lady Ware! Given that the song genuinely feels like it belongs in a really smart film where the leading lady takes a trip of self discovery to some beautiful beach-y location in Spain, it should come as no surprise that the beautifully cinematic accompanying video is perfectly suited to the song and pretty much follows that storyline. With the bonus, murderous twist at the end. The lessons we can take away from this are... 1. Don't mess with Jessie Ware. And 2. Jessie Ware can do no wrong and is the musical genius we don't deserve and should be thankful to have. Absolutely stunning in every way. (Matt Bond)  


#68. I DARE YOU
by The xx




I've been a romantic for so long
All I've ever had are love songs. 


So you take a sneaky day off school, you meet up with a boy you like and show up to some random event with a pool and The xx are playing beside it...and you don't completely lose your shit?!?? Like, that's The xx at the end of that pool guys! Seriously! Stop staring at each other please and start looking at The xx!! Clearly my world is not in an xx clip, but regardless, as frustrating as that clip is, the song is equally fabulous. Doing what they do but with every release just that little bit better, The xx prove that you can change and stay the same and still be fabulous and low key as well as totally danceable at the same time. Now stop staring and start dancing you fools! (Jo Michelmore)


#67. NEW YORK
by St. Vincent




New love, wasn't true love
Back to you love. 


Contrast is key to the artistry of St. Vincent. And there's something oh so gorgeous about the stark difference between the brightly coloured music video for 'New York' and the shades of grey that make up the reserved heartbreak in the music. If you have ever felt like you've settled in your life, and I don't mean feeling settled and content, I mean it in the way that you've settled for something when you know it's not right or you deserve better, that's what it feels like listening to 'New York'. Running on back to something familiar that you know isn't going to work. And the lights of the city can't be big or bright enough to make it any different this time around. Even if that city is NYC. (Matt Bond


If you feel like being hopeful and anxious at exactly the same time, and if you want to feel empowered and emotional all at once, then hit play on St Vincent's 'New York' and you'll find a New York not as often represented in song, one that's much less my way and much more anyway, and while it steers a little different from some of her material, there's no doubt with that perfectly placed line in every chorus, this is the razor sharp St Vincent I like and New York is a razor sharp city I'm definitely going to have to visit one day. (Jo Michelmore)


#66. BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE BEAUTIFUL PROBLEMS
by Lana Del Rey ft. Stevie Nicks




Blue is the colour of the planet from the view above
Long live our reign, long live our love. 


Lana Del Rey and Stevie Nicks, together at last, a combination that seems like such a fantasy pairing and sounds just as fantastic when actually paired together. I imagine getting the Stevie Nicks stamp of approval in the form of a duet would be a career highlight for many an artist. I also imagine many artists have tried and failed to make this happen, so it has to be a huge feather in Lana Del Rey's cap that the original sister of the moon would agree to collaborate with her. 'Beautiful People Beautiful Problems' blends the musical stylings of an icon and megastar is such an easy way. It's not flashy, but it doesn't need to be. These are artists that have made their names on the equally romanticized and honest stories they tell. They're also just a little bit crackers, as evidenced by their discussion regarding which letter of the Hollywood sign they'd live in over at V Magazine. I think that makes me love them even more. (Matt Bond)


#65. EXACTLY HOW YOU ARE
by Ball Park Music




You are not a little fish
You don't have to swim upstream to find their praise. 


You know Mr. Sheeran released this really sweet song this year that said something about someone being perfect and I know we're all going to be hearing that one at weddings from now on in, which is nice, it's a lovely song, but should I ever choose to marry someone, something like Ball Park Music will be more likely the ones receiving the royalties from me and I don't care who doesn't like that first line. It's so great. Blunt, beautiful, sweet and straightforward with a melody that feels like summer, this song is perfect. In a Ball Park Music way, not a Sheeran way. (Jo Michelmore)


#64. LIGHTS OUT
by Royal Blood




I can feel it rushing under my skin
You're a cage won't you let me in? 


Ooh yes, here we are. Rock. One listen to those filthy guitars and one could even call this an anthem of sorts. Stop start, drums, pounding, gritty lyrics, guitar guitar guitar, I'm pretty sure that's all one needs to make a rock anthem. Then again, I'm writing about rock songs while sitting in my pjs with a cup of tea, so do I know anything about rock? I know I like it. I know I like the English version of it, therefore, Royal Blood, yes, rock. I know it. I likes it. (Jo Michelmore)


#63. PRAYING
by Kesha




But some things only God can forgive.


What's there to say, really? Kesha's battles over the past couple of years have played out in the public domain so everyone should know her story. Everyone should also be celebrating her musical comeback that saw her leave the party girl days behind her in pursuit of something more raw, something stronger and something undeniably inspirational. This is a young woman that went through the shittest time imaginable in front of the eyes of the world to confront and label her abuser and came out the other side in one piece. Even if you don't like the music of Kesha Rose Sebert, you should have a ton of respect for her. It just so happens that I really do like 'Praying'. The subtle build to the choir's entry, Kesha's moving performance and the reach for that epic high note. Pop music's comeback and reinvention of the year. (Matt Bond


Regardless of your thoughts on Kesha, her previous incarnation and back catalogue, there's something about something you need to know. It's the people like Kesha, with the determination and the perseverance and the strength to stand up for themselves, and stand up for all the others who can't, they are the reason. The people like Kesha who have the ability to have the thoughts and the words and turn those into things like this for the people who can't, they are the reason. The people like Kesha who bring the thunder and bring the burn for the people who are still going through hell; they are the reason music will always be important, they are the reason music has always and will always be part of the human experience and ultimately, they are the reason for all of the music. (Jo Michelmore)


#62. CARIN AT THE LIQUOR STORE
by The National




So blame it on me, I really don't care
It's a foregone conclusion. 


Facts are you got me at the first note, you National people. I'm happy to admit I'm a total sucker for a piano track, but it's even nicer when they're as stunning as this one. It's oh so melancholy, it's oh so bittersweet, a so very dark chorus "blame it on me I really don't care..." with a hopeful guitar layered on top, this is The National in all their emotional glory and I suggest you check your heartbeat should you not feel some feelings with this one. (Jo Michelmore)


Can you feel it right from the start? Your heart slowly breaking into pieces as Matt Berninger takes some more self-deprecating shots at himself. "I was a worm, I was a creature, I get on the ground the second I'd see you." And still the lovely Carin went on to marry him. Yes, that's right. The lovely Carin at the liquor store is the lovely wife of the man calling himself neither a catch or a keeper. Taken at face value, 'Carin at the Liquor Store' is a gloomy piano ballad (an extremely beautiful one at that), but it's really a love song from a man to the love of his life. In all honest, I'd rather a significant other write a song as perfect as this for me, one that expresses how unworthy they are, than something bright and boppy. With extra emphasis on how unworthy they are. (Matt Bond)


#61. EVERYBODY'S HERO
by Sampa the Great ft. Estelle




Straighten up your posture
An imposter, got a cape.

 
Sampa the Great had a huge 2017. It ended with the release of Birds And The Bee9, a hype mixtape of sorts to get us pumped for her debut album which is expected to come out in 2018. One listen and you'll practically be willing it in your mind to be release day for what's already going to be one of the best LPs of next year. Birds And The Bee9 wasn't StG's only 2017 release though. Nahhh, that would be too easy. Why not drop a three track EP teaming up with she who wants you to take her on a trip she wants to see L.A. (Estelle, obviously) that is soul infused hip-hop perfection. That would be the HERoes Act 2 EP, which had this gem right here, 'Everybody's Hero'. It's this track that confirms what we already knew. Sampa The Great is AUS music's next big export, a talent that simply won't be denied many moments on the world stage. And she's totally everybody's hero. (Matt Bond)

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