Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Top 117 Songs of 2017 - #80 to #71

by Jessie Ware

I'm losing sight of you
A stranger simply passing through again, again, again.

Hearts aren't supposed to break like that, Jessie Ware. Sing it loud! Or sing it in an emotionally vulnerable way, infused with soul and passion and heartbreak like you're doing here. Whichever you prefer. Ware's third studio album, Glasshouse, is somehow even better than the high standards she set with what has come before. Seriously though, those standards were hiiiigh. Tracks like 'Hearts' place Ware in a league of her own, unlike anything else that's out there in the music world right now. How many pop artists can you say are offering up mature, sincere and heartfelt tracks like this? Shhhh... Adele's on a break. There's a poetic strength to Ware's words though that make her distinct even from Queen A. FYI, the acoustic take is even better than the album cut. (Matt Bond)

When our list of 117 songs was finalised, I started to listen to a long playlist of them all to give myself a kind of general overview, to see what I would be writing about as I went through. When Jessie Ware appeared, so sublimely singing that line "hearts aren't supposed to feel like that..." repeatedly, I crossed three rooms to see who it was. Some songs grab you by the throat and demand you hear them. This is one of them. That's why it made the list. Simple and stunning. (Jo Michelmore

by Mark Harding

Will you stop saying you're alright...

I didn't want to mention it, but admittedly I thought "No!"'when I first found out that Mark Harding had released a track, because Mark Harding is not just Mark Harding, but Mark Harding of Little May, which meant the possibility of one of my favourite bands from the last couple of years not releasing any new music anytime soon, became a devastating reality. Well, that thought was pretty daunting, but I'll be honest and say it only took one listen of 'Thorn In Your Side' for me to hope Little May had found themselves a new band mate because I wanna keep this one for myself. A shockingly stunning lyric and a beautiful restraint in sound made Mark Harding quickly become one of my favourites of this year, all on his own. (Jo Michelmore

Speaking of talented songwriters, say hello to Mark Harding. Speaking of talented vocalists, say hello to Mark Harding. Speaking of talented multi-instrumentalists, say hello to Mark Harding. I imagine you could actually say hello to Mark Harding on the street and he'd be totally cool about it. 'Thorn In Your Side' is only the second single to be released by the former (current?) Little May member, which might come as a surprise given the many layers, lyrical and musical, that you'd expect from a seasoned artist many years into their career. I don't know a better word to describe this track than beautiful, so we're just going to commit to that and say 'Thorn In Your Side' is a really, really beautiful song. Lines like, "you don't want love but hate to be alone, will you stop saying you're alright," carry a depth you can only appreciate getting to listen to. And we certainly appreciate the music of Mark Harding. (Matt Bond)

#78. TRY
by Hatchie

Yeah I know you want to try
I can feel it in your sigh.

The solo debut from Harriette Pilbeam, she of former Go Violets and (current?) Babaganouj fame, is as dreamy as her starring moment in Jeremy Neale's 'In Stranger Times' would suggest. So dreamy. 'Try' is most excellent and perfectly encapsulates the sunny side of Brisbane's alternative scene. Like a lot of music that comes out of the Sunshine State capital, there's a hefty 90s influence present, but it still manages to be modern and ready made for whatever Looking for Alibrandi style film is out at the movies right now. There's just that liiiittle bit of angst shining through the dreamy (so dreamy) world that's Hatchie has created for us and that's what will have you coming back for more. More Hatchie please! (Matt Bond)  

by Cloud Control

How would I know he's gone?
How would I carry on?

How long have Cloud Control been doing their thing? It seems like they've been hanging about since the beginning of time. It's apparently only been ten years, but I guess that's a lifetime in some band's lives, and even with the departure of their bassist in 2015, the trio managed to find their feet again this year and release one gorgeous sound in 'Rainbow City'. The distorted guitars in combination with their dreamy aesthetic make it a comfortable Cloud Control moment, and an indication that one is hoping Cloud Control hang about until the end of time. (Jo Michelmore

Cloud Control followed up the brilliant 2013 LP Dream Cave with the equally impressive Zone this year, which was led by the rocking and rolling 'Rainbow City'. Expectations were high after the success of tracks like 'Dojo Rising' and 'Scar', which catapulted the group to indie fame around the world. 'Rainbow City' would have appeased many a Cloud Control fan with Alister Wright howling his way through a three minute roller coaster ride, probably to somewhere called Rainbow City that you know you want to go to, even if it sounds like somewhere you'd drive though on a Mario Kart racetrack. (Matt Bond)

by Sigrid

Just had a breakthrough
I'm used to being your number two.

Best opening lines of 2017? Maybe, maybe not. Definitely up there with the best. They're a little kick to the heart courtesy of Norway's Sigrid. But it's not all doom and gloom and being sick of running with fake friends. Sigrid's also here to shut down, maybe emotionally I don't know with these Norwegians, and when she "shuts down" the music explodes as 'Fake Friends' transforms into one of the finest pop songs of the year. How this wasn't released as a single blows my mind. This has chart topping, monster hit written all over it. (Matt Bond)

First up, I knew nothing of Sigrid before I heard this track. I've since found out she's Norwegian (tick), she was going to study law but liked music better (tick), she's only 20 and so talented already (tick), she's a bit Lorde-y but with a super healthy dose of Scandinavian pop influence (tick), she's got a fabulously fiery voice (tick), with a knack for telling it like it is in her lyrics "no use for excuses so bad things come to an end.." (tick) and she's taking no grief from anyone along the way (big big tick). If I was giving things marks, Sigrid would be getting a giant ten out of ten from me. (Jo Michelmore) 

by Lanks

Why didn't you call me when you fell apart?
You know I need you like a light in the dark.

A little bit of googling over this song bought to my attention the fact that LANKS worked with his grandmother, an accomplished artist herself, in a collaborative exhibition to support his EP, Viet Rose. This clearly makes me an ever bigger fan because grandmothers are cool, but also, what a sweet little song, filled with LANKS typical layered sounds and emotion. I bet his Grandmother likes it. I do too. (Jo Michelmore)

by Cub Sport

I only do this with you, you see
You make this mania seem serene.

Cub Sport cracking the Hottest 100 with 'Come On Mess Me Up' in a big way this past 'Straya Day was one of the true highlights of a countdown that could have only been topped by Amy Shark smashing Flume on her way to a number one victory. The Brisbane-based band have been working hard for years now and to see them hit it big at number 24 ahead of acts like The Avalanches, Hilltop Hoods and Beyonce (because, Beyonce) put a big smile on this guy's dial. So what did they do to follow up on such exposure? Release their best album yet, Bats. With shimmering electronic tracks like 'Temporarily', you'd be hard pressed finding someone that won't fall in love with Cub Sport's latest offering. Hottest 100 2017? Here they come. (Matt Bond

#73. HONEY
by Jessie Frye

Boy, never had a lover quite like you
I can feel it in the way we move.

When we first heard Jessie Frye, it was the booming rock of 'Dear' that caught our attention. Circling guitars and beating drums were backing the Denton, Texas singer back then. When next we checked in, Frye was heading down the pop road with 'One in a Million'. Now, almost four years later and with the track 'Honey' we're introduced to a new side of Jessie Frye... the electronic chanteuse. Unsurprisingly, she pulls off her latest incarnation with the same success as what's come before. Maybe even more so. 'Honey' finds Frye at her most confident and polished, ready made for the radio with catchy hooks and a singalong chorus the young ones will eat up like... honey? Nah, candy. Let's say candy. (Matt Bond)    

by Tash Sultana

You don't even know me
Come closer to the knife.

Some of my biggest achievements of 2017 involve getting out of bed on my (first) alarm and getting to work less than five minutes late. Tash Sultana spent 2017 selling over 100,000 tickets to her shows (with a debut album yet to be released) and she is Australia's third most streamed artist on Spotify. So you know; we've both achieved things. 'Mystik', filled with her trademark guitar loops and an epic sax solo is apparently about her ego and it's demise, which I relate to, because you know, we can't all be morning people all the time. Tash Sultana's life on the other hand, only goes from strength to strength and songs like this one are why. (Jo Michelmore)

by Alexander Biggs

The more I try to run and hide
The more you're running through my veins.

I would like to mention the swinging folksy guitars on Alexander Biggs track, but the thing that struck me most was the clip; Alex's lemonade stand is his representation of the music industry itself, and you're going to have to watch this one yourself to see what the music industry can do to it's artists. What a strange beast it is, but that's a whole other conversation. Also, please note, I got no customers when I had my lemonade stand back in my day and I may have reacted in a similar way. You're not alone Mr Biggs. (Jo Michelmore)


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