Sunday, 10 December 2017

Top 117 Songs of 2017 - #90 to #81

by Taylor Swift

I don't like your perfect crime
How you laugh when you lie.

The big wheel that is Taylor Swift's mission to become the most polarising figure in all of the music lands kept on turning in 2017, and I don't know about you, but I found it fascinating. Whether you believe the "feuds" are real or manufactured, they certainly lead to some expert manipulation of the masses by Swift's camp. Every line in 'Look What You Made Me Do' is designed to be critically analysed. Is this line about Kanye Kardashian? Is this one about Calvin Harris? Surely that one isn't about that dude that plays Loki in the Marvel movies. Or is it? They spark debates between rabid fans of Kimmy K, apparently in emoji form where Team Swift uses the rat emoji because rats eat snakes and the Kardashian clan think Tay Tay is a snake and I can't keep up. Or care. But I do like my catchy pop tunes and this right here is catchy. And made for those moments when you're at the fridge getting your midnight snack on and as you put that fourth row of chocolate into your mouth you start singing to the darkness, "look what you made me do, look what you made me do, look what you just made me do." (Matt Bond)  

by DZ Deathrays 

You know that when you are feeling down
Someone else is always feeling more.

When you read words about DZ Deathrays, the description that pops up over and over again is 'party-thrashers', which suggests they are the words used in their press releases, or they are actual thrashers of parties, which could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on said party. 'Total Meltdown', released late this year, is probably more a raw rock gathering than a thrashed party; its smashing drums and dirty guitars drive it straight into a summer rock sweaty mess. Also, how can you not love a band that name their album exactly as it will be described when it's released in February next year? 'Bloody Lovely' mate! Bloody lovely. (Jo Michelmore)  

by Vance Joy

Everything we've done, is there on our faces for anyone willing to
Read between the lines.

So this is pretty much a wet dream for whoever the people are that pick songs for TV shows (side note, that is my dream job and if anyone in the "biz" wants to offer me one of these positions I'll take it right now thanks) and Vance Joy knows it. He's got a knack for making these types of songs that are made for those moments when Drama with a capital d is unfolding for all of your favourite characters and in the final three to four minutes of an episode you get to check in like the five main characters as they look all reflective and a couple breaks up or something. Anyway, I look forward to hearing this on Grey's Anatomy. Let's not get me started on Grey's Anatomy... (Matt Bond)

Is Vance Joy Australia's Ed Sheeran? Quietly charming, a master of eloquently humble lyrics and delightful folky pop melodies, as well as being king of the awkwardly cute curly haired market, Vance Joy can do no wrong. This makes me like him as much as I dislike him, much like Ed. That's a compliment though, so fans of mild mannered catchy pop can settle down. 'Like Gold' is the perfect summertime singalong song, it's designed for reminiscing and reliving long days and old times over summer sunsets, and it's just another reason he will be revered as one of Australia's greatest, now and for years to come. (Jo Michelmore

by Eves Karydas

It could be, it could be a waste of time
But it's gonna be, gonna be worth the fight. 

Hannah Karydas may be Hannah Karydas one minute and then Eves The Behaviour the next and then reappear a couple of years later under supposedly her real name Eves Karydas, but we're going to forgo asking any questions about this and just focus on the fact that no matter what name this young music maker is going by, that music is always of a consistently excellent quality. That was quite the sentence. 'There For You' keeps Karydas on the electronic indie path that brought her a whole lot of attention as Eves The Behaviour and keeps her in standing with contemporaries like Vera Blue and Wafia. Romantic in an almost naive, youthful way, 'There For You' will work its way into your head and have you singing along before you're even through the first listen. It will be the first of many listens. (Matt Bond

by British India

If everything could stay the same as it is right now.

Six albums in and British India continue to be one of the hardest working and most reliable acts in Australian music. Now, some might think 'reliable' is a lame compliment. I happen to think being reliable is a huge compliment. You don't get disappointed by someone that's reliable. Someone reliable will put in effort. And British India are yet to disappoint and always deliver the goods. One might say they're precious but that would just be ridiculous given the name of the song, right? Right? Doesn't mean it's not true though. Stellar rock from a band that remains very, very good at doing their thing. (Matt Bond

#85. HOTEL
by Kita Alexander

One day you'l meet me and you'll know it's not a dream
It won't be hell or heaven, we'll be somewhere in-between.

Let's just get straight to the point. This is a stunning piece of music. Kita Alexander has created a dreamy piece of desperation, a subtly strong but sombre sound, that gently swings from synth pop glory to total introspection, and all of this while having her first baby, travelling and she's only in her early 20s. I'm going to sound like an old person now, but I don't care. 20s? In most of my early 20s I was busy eating junk food and attempting not to be hungover. My gosh I'm glad for people more productive than me. (Jo Michelmore)    

This should have been a big hit for Kita Alexander. It's genuinely pop perfection. Gorgeous vocals, dreamy musical soundscapes and lyrics that send your imagination into overdrive. What more do you want? The answer should be nothing. You want nothing more than what Kita Alexander is giving you right here. "Someday you'll find me where the champagne's always free, when you check into the hotel where the skyline meets the sea." Lana Del Rey, eat your heart out. Kita Alexander might just have you beat on the Americana (or in this case I guess Australiana) dreaming lyrical front. I see that Apple Music are loving 'Hotel' on their new music lists, so there's still time for this to hit it big on the charts. If not, it's only a matter of time before Alexander takes off. She's far too talented not to. (Matt Bond)

by Justin Bieber

Know you wondering why I been calling
Like I got ulterior motives.

It's finally happened. There's a Justin Bieber song that I like and the world hasn't ended and everything is how it should be (except for like so many things). So that's something. I guess. Maintaining my immense dislike of all things Bieber has been a thing since the 'Baby' days. Yeah, I didn't like 'Sorry' and I'm not even sorry about it. But then 'Friends' came along and maybe I'm just tired these days and I can't resist the pull of a damn good dance track. I don't know what it is, but I don't hate this and maybe I hate myself a little bit for that instead? Okay, I'm being over the top (or OTT as the kids would say lolz), but this is for real the first Bieber track I'm able to get through from start to finish and enjoy. Is it because he's being the ultimate fuck boy on this track? Probably. You don't agree? You don't think he's got ulterior motives? Enjoy fantasy land you sweet, sweet fool. (Matt Bond)     

Don't worry, we've got 80 odd songs to go, there's still time for 'Despacito'. I was joking about hell freezing over back at number 95, but I'm pretty sure that's exactly what's happened now at number 83, because a few years ago I'm sure the ice would have had to have started forming for Bieber to have been included in one of our end of year lists. I guess that's one of the things Matt and I love about music though, you can just never tell which beat is going to get you, which voice is going to get stuck and which song is going to become a favourite. Sometimes it takes one listen, sometimes it takes a hundred. However many Justin had to release, it's nice to finally have him here. Yes JB, we can still be friends. (Jo Michelmore)  

by Kimbra

I was young and gullible, but baby I grew
Now the whole world's watching you.

It's so nice to have lil Kimbra here in our list, as she's appeared on and off for years now. What a wild ride it's been for her, a super pop start turning into a couple of minutes of real life superstardom and then an artist of super talent who I think is sometimes now a little overlooked and misunderstood, but I'm using those words in an incredibly complimentary manner, because they so often describe an artist dedicated to their craft and a sound dedicated to its listener. 'Everybody Knows' is a gloriously slow burn and just another piece of Kimbra's story, which is nothing less than super. (Jo Michelmore

by Amanda Palmer

South by south west, two miles from town
I can't get out, I can't look down.

"You worship the sun...but you keep feeding the dark" I write all these words about all of this music, and in one song, in one lyric, Amanda Palmer describes how I came to start writing all these words on the internets all those years ago, why I came back to writing about another 117 songs this year, and why I have spent all my life listening to, loving and needing all the music. (Jo Michelmore)   

Sometimes it's hard to listen to a song and not take it for what it is. Usually there's a lot of bullshit and metaphors and delusional lines of what love is and you can critique it, love it or hate it. But then sometimes one of your favourite artists is singing lines about watching everyone she loves drowning in the sound and that just makes you sadder than you expected. And then you remember this is Amanda Palmer and she has this way with words that can sometimes make you feel like you've actually been punched in the face. Take it as a metaphor for the insanity in the world around us or as a reflection for the victims of Hurricane Harvey (which profits of the track went to) or take it however you want. That's the fun thing you get to do with music. Take from it what you will. And Amanda Palmer always gives so much. Here's hoping there's much more to come in 2018. (Matt Bond)

by Gin Wigmore

Do I pretend to play your ways
That I always stay inside the lane.

Ms Wigmore has had a big year. She created a much needed female focussed art and music collaboration project called GIRLGANG, she worked on creating her fourth album and she created a new human, her first baby Ivory, which is a person as well as the title of her next album. Amongst all of that, she released this haunting little track 'Hallow Fate', her super sweet gravelly vocal as strong as ever, her sense of soul as important as ever and her general fabulousness is as fabulous as ever. It will never feel good to be without you Ms Wigmore. (Jo Michelmore) 


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