Having just finished our 2017 Albums list, we can decisively say that in comparison, songs are the more fun of the pair; they are freewheeling tarts, floating amongst a single subject, sometimes two even, then wafting on its way to find another ear to dance in. It can become a manic joy to go through them again at a year’s end, almost enough to get lost in, which is what we absolutely did.
So, in what could be called an unorthodox practice, we are jumping into this list without a ranking in place yet, discovering the order along with you, as we pour over a playlist cultivated throughout 2017. We have no idea where we’ll end, or how many there will be, but that’s what makes this so gosh darn exciting.
These are The Best Songs of 2017:
61. Jenny O. – “People”
Because: We’ve always been fond of Jenny O’s child-like croon. When she spouts the life lessons on “People” it’s both adorable and fascinating.
60. Son Little – “Blue Magic (Waikiki)”
Because: If “Blue Magic” is a euphemism then this song is plenty naughty as Son Little claims he’s got a whole bunch of it, but it’s catchy and fun enough that you’ll forget all about such things, and dip into what he’s got.
59. Alvvays – “Plimsoll Punks”
Because: It sounds just like a song that would be played by a rambunctious group of tweens in a Catholic private high during a rare and controversial talent contest that was already frowned upon by the headmaster.
58. Hippo Campus – “Epitaph”
Because: These young upstarts from Minnesota have the gumption to sound both aloof and calculated at the same time in their music. Landmark‘s “Epitaph” is the bounciest and laziest part of their debut album.
57. SZA – “Go Gina”
Because: SZA’s vocals are certifiably golden harp-laden, and “Go Gina” is vintage and 90’s in all the very best kind of R&B way.
56. Perfume Genius – “Alan”
Because: A quiet masterpiece, “Alan” is song about the whispering kind of love that exists when you finally become content in yourself, and the person beside you loves every bit of it.
55. Tierra Whack – “Mumbo Jumbo”
Because: Who says lyrics have to be discernible? Ms. Whack makes the strange, beautiful. After a few listens of “Mumbo Jumbo” it’ll make sense.
54. Sylvan Esso – “The Glow”
Because: “The Glow” is really just that fractional second that occurs between actual thought; it’s the sound of the remembering.
53. Dr. Dog – “Survive”
Because: Dr. Dog has become downright happy at exceptional times on their recent material, and it’s really quite fetching. Some would even say it even suits the Philly band that’s made their name kicking up the dirt around train tracks. “Survive” meets the acceptable standards of a positive song; the rarity and slow dance-ability make it a must listen.
52. Novo Amor – “Anchor”
Because: It’s one of the slowest burning songs we’ve heard all year, but Ali John Meredith-Lacey’s tunes as Novo Amor are always that way. “Anchor” however has a wonderful bombastic auroral borealis of a pay off.
51. Her – “Swim” (feat. Zefire)
Because: Every grandmother and grandfather we played this song for nodded in agreement that this song would be a great addition to the Silver Sneakers playlist. The French duo Her knows their Pop and make songs that can make any body, able or otherwise, get up and boogie. “Swim” is the best example.
50. Anna of the North – “Someone”
Because: Digital drum round-outs are one of the quintessential specialties to come out of the 80’s; like a synth version of Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight”. Oslo’s Anna of the North reaches back and selects the very best of the neon percussion and places it in her starry-eyed call for dark and mysterious stranger.
49. The Shout Out Louds – “Oh Oh”
Because: We were so gosh darn excited when the Shout Out Louds released their first new single (in four years) that we kicked the sheets off the bed at 3 a.m. just so we could listen to “Oh Oh” on the big speakers. We reveled in the strings, swang to the piano, and then kookookachewed at the Swedish sing-along ease of the lyrics. Then we received noise complaints. Worth it for this tune.
48. Frank Ocean – “Chanel”
Because: Frank Ocean’s flow can literally flow if made material. Take the sound waves from “Chanel” and you could slide down the slopes giggling.