11 December 2017

The ATTIWLTMOWOS Top 50 songs of 2017

Who doesn't like an end of year list?  No-one!  They tell you they don't, but inside they secretly do.  So, as we approach the end of 2017, it is time for the traditional look at the best songs of 2017.  The quality of the tracks this year has been outstanding, any song in this list could have easily topped it, but there can be only one.  So, let's see what is the time 50 songs of 2017:

50 - Foo Fighters - Run

"Run" was the first single to be released from Concrete & Gold, which keeps up the tradition that the Foo's have of releasing the best song from the album first!  It's your standard stadium anthem that has become their forte, it's not a massive shift in style, but it's still as catchy as the common cold!

49 - Erasure - Love You To The Sky

With the sound of pounding drums, Messrs Bell & Clark start this album with a song about being in a solid relationship and love is at the top of the agenda.  It is a powerful, joyous pop song that has every trapping of their old-school sound, mixed in with modern synths and a sense of fun which is lacking in a lot of music at the moment.  Is it a deep song, no; but is that what a pop song should be, a little flippant number that sends your heart racing, digging into your head for hours afterwards and just bring sunshine in the world by just existing!

48 - The Afghan Whigs - To The Floor

Well, they do like to add drama to the proceedings, you have to give them that.  Ending this album with a flourish, The Afghan Whigs ponder the need to crash and burn to grow strong once again.  Starting with a dramatic clash of sound, slowing it down slightly and then building upwards with a pace as slow as a funeral march and as poetic as a Shakespearian sonnet.  It certainly ends In Spades in flames and thunder, the perfect way to end an Afghan Whigs album in my opinion.

47 - Son of Dave - Six Weeks

The start of “Six Weeks” is what I am used to with Son of Dave, just one man, his harmonicas and very basic percussion.  But it doesn't last, and the full band come in, but there is nothing wrong with that.  In fact, it sounds great, this song feels like it is designed for the road, it is a journeyman’s song and it is one of the defining moments of this record.  In fact, it's my favourite song on Music for Cop Shows this album, it's a brilliant number!

46 - Beck - Square One

“Square One” is the penultimate song on Colors, a song which transcendence the overall empty feeling of the album.  It reminds me a lot of Ben Folds at his most outlandish, there is a humour to the song that has sorely been missing from this record.  Everything comes together, production, music, performance and the result is head and shoulders above everything else on the album.  Beck has always been able to do pop, this is proof positive of that.

45 - Biters - Let It Roll

It is another back to basics rock & roll anthem, it has all the right ingredients to be an instant classic in their live set.  A riff that keeps on giving, a solo that will have people wishing they can play the guitar, a song that is designed for the rock dance floor and it will have people hitting the peddle when it comes on it the car.  I love this sort of song, it just gets in your head and it opens The Future Ain't What It Used To Be in style.

44 - Cloakroom - Concrete Gallery

Taken from the album Time Well, "Concrete Gallery" is a slow, sludge-like, indie song that sounds as if My Bloody Valentine managed to get Bob Mould to slow down for a second and jam with them.  Coming in at over six minutes in length, it will sort out the casual fans from the fanatics.  But I have a feeling that this band don't worry about issues like this, they just worry about creating sonic noise and that's exactly what they deliver!

43 - alt-J - Deadcrush

alt-J have always been able to write a  fantastic song or two, their album might sometimes be sketchy, but they always have at least one track that snares my interest.  "Deadcrush" is taken from their third album, RELAXER, which is their finest work so far.  With its art-house/indie hybrid, it really has no right being such an earworm, but it has a hypnotic effect, one which you will want to repeat many times over.

42 - METZ - Drained Lake

"Drained Lake" can only be described as a force of nature, it's a whirlwind of a song that smashes straight out of your speakers and into your heart.  Taken from the album Strange Peace, "Drained Lake" is a song that highlights all the positives of METZ, their power, their passion and their ability to sound incredibly pissed off.

41 - William the Conqueror - In My Dreams

With the wounded howl of a man in pain and drowning in sorrow, ‘In My Dreams’ starts off Proud Disturber of the Peace in fine form. It is an apprehensive and solid country/rock number which has a dark noir tale of self-destruction, the vocals are hypnotic and the relentless pace of the music is stunning as well.  There is a mixture of style here, a little bit of post-grunge, a little country, a lot of rock attitude and a confidence that cannot be measured.  It is unlike anything I have heard from this (or any other) genre in many moons, it is definitely one of the best pieces of music in 2017, what a stunning opener.

40 - wecamefromwolves - The Peak Beneath The Sea

Starting with a fade in, they start "The Peak Beneath The Sea" in strong style as they deal with the subject of wanting to reach safety and trying to access the refuge that all people seek when everything becomes too much.  It is a strong song, the hook in the chorus is catchy, the performance is as good, perhaps a bit better than their previous material and it makes you want to hear further songs from the band.  It still sounds like them, but with improvements on each level that comes from experience and working together.

39 - OTHERKIN - Razorhead

Dublin based OTHERKIN are a band you overlook at your peril, "Razorhead" is taken from the album OK, which was released in September this year.  OTHERKIN sound like the snot-nosed younger brother of The Strokes, with a singer who gives a shit.  They have attitude, a punk rock leaning to their sound and "Razorhead" sees them in full flight.

38 - Benjamin Booker - Believe

Benjamin Booker delivers more gospel-blues infusion with "Believe", exploring the themes of inequality and racism further and sounding both hopeful and defeated in equal measure.  It is a great number, one of the most powerful of the album with its heartbreaking message and timeless sound.  It needs to be played daily, it needs to have its message heard far and wide, as it makes the heart heavy that there are people in the world for who this situation is a daily reality.  One of the most powerful songs on Witness, stunning.

37 - Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - French Press

"French Press" is the title track from the latest EP released by Austrailian indie rockier, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever.  With a repetitive riff that gets under your skin, "French Press" will bring to mind feelings of summer, endless possibilities and the anticipation of things to come.

36 - Deaf Havana - Fever

"Fever" is taken from the album All Those Countless Nights, it chronicles those early days of a relationship when love is new and exciting.  With a modern rock sound, Deaf Havana has been deservingly receiving praise for their work, with this being the highlight of their recent release.

35 - Quicksand - Cosmonauts

It's great to have Quicksand back, it's even better that Interiors is a brilliant album. "Cosmonauts" is a slow-Post-Hardcore number, with an effective riff that latches onto you.  It's not the most instant song on the album, but it's the one that you will keep coming back to.

34 - Goldfinger - A Million Miles

Now that is how to start a Ska Punk album!  An explosive start, straight out of the blocks for Goldfinger with 'A Million Miles' on their album The Knife, as they're in the process of musing the passing of time, without being able to hold back the emotional turmoil that has built up over the years.  It is full of energy, it has a great riff and a chorus that is a true earworm.

33 - Wild Pink - Great Apes

‘Great Apes is the first track proper on Wild Pink and they come across as the love child of Jonah Matranga and the Weakerthans, after one of them had an affair with Sparklehorse.  It is the blend of alternative rock and emo that would have been huge back in the late 1990’s but is still sounding very solid in the here and now.  It has a massive hook which acts as a chorus that sticks in your head, some random lyrics that will mean something to some people, and just sound like nice words to others, all packaged in a stomping song that will ignite a room in unison.

32 - The Mountain Goats - Andrew Eldritch Is Moving Back to Leeds

"Andrew Eldritch Is Moving Back to Leeds" shouldn't work, it has no right to sound as good as it sounds, but The Mountain Goats are a unique band, who somehow manage to take something that sound be either twee or ignored, and make it sound touching, nostalgic, slightly sad but all done in good humour.  Once you hear it, you'll want to listen to it again.

31 - The Flatliners - Nicotine Lips

The theme of self-destruction is brought into the middle of the stage with 'Nicotine Lips', once more with that sense that nothing is going to stop this car crash from happening.  It has one of the best chorus hooks I have heard in 2017, it explodes out of the blocks and makes me want to jump around the room with no cares and a freedom that seems to be in contrast or conflict with the actual content of the song.  I love that, the song has a message and it still gives a totally different reaction - what a tune.

30 - InHeaven - Regeneration

How can one band have two stone-cold classics on one album?  It hardly seems fair in some ways, but that is how the cookie crumbles.  “Regeneration” is a song youthful disenchantment, isolation and the desire to escape reality.  The powerful words of this song would be redundant without the music to back them up, something that InHeaven do not have to worry about.  It is a great song, the highlight of the album as it has the power to make thousands of people losing themselves for a moment, where they will not feel alone because of the unity of this song.

29 - Lucky Malice - Cry Wolf

“Cry Wolf” blasts out of your speakers as a strange hybrid, mixing the frantic nature of Discharge, a hint of Echobelly meets Babes in Toyland to the vocals and then some Wildhearts/Backyard Babies vibes as well, with a large cut of hardcore to the mix as well.  It is a smash ‘n’ grab number, a short, sharp kick to your private parts and it is better than any pop-punk out there.  It’s a brilliant opening, one that grabs your attention from the beginning and there is so much attitude, what is there not to love here?

28 - Kelly Lee Owens - Bird

“Bird” kicks off the second half of Kelly Lee Owens in style, it’s a chill-out anthem in waiting and will be high in my own personal song of the year list.  It has a lovely little repetitive chime running through the song, once again bringing the organic feeling back to the album, the energy pitches and wanes in the right places here, creating one of the best pieces of electronica in 2017, simple and delightful.

27 - Electric Guest - Zero

"Zero" could have been made in the 1980's, it's so retro that it hurts.  You're taken to a world of pain and invisibility, where nothing is going to work and existence is a dull shade of grey.  But those words are performed over a fantastic piece of music, a stirring piece that lifts the spirits as you sing in unison with the band.  It's worth listening to Plural just for this song alone.

26 - The Charlatans - Different Days

"Different Days" is a song that reflects on a failing relationship and how things can change very quickly, all played out on one of those numbers that give a vibe like sunshine coming through a window in a dusty room.  Starting with a foreign accent (apologies, I am useless when it comes to languages that are not English and I would not want to cause offense by stating it was ‘X’ language), this song features backing vocals from Sharon Horgan, it has a beautiful hook in the chorus and it just keeps on give with each spin of the track. This song is a driving song, one that will make miles pass in minutes and journeys will feel shorter whilst it is playing.  It is a stunning song, one that makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end and it sounds glorious!

25 - T.S.O.L. - Sometimes

T.S.O.L. are a band who seem to have been around forever, there is something eternal about them and their style of punk and "Sometimes" is their strongest song on The Trigger Complex.  It's a short, sharp, kick in the balls, with more energy that one song really requires.  But I'm glad they used that energy on this song, so simple and brilliant posed.

24 - Sparks - Edith Piaf (Said It Better Than Me)

The video for “Edith Piaf (Said It Better Than Me)” is a still-animation where the Sparks are chasing a bird through Paris, but the bird ends up capturing them in a cage and flying away.  Musically this is a moody piece, one that is full of drama and a vocal performance that gives the chills that only Russell Mael can provide. This is one of those moments where a song hits all the right spots instantly, it is an instant hit from the hands of Ron and Russell, definitely one of the best songs I have heard so far in the second half of 2017.

23 - Champs - The Garden Is Overgrown

Whilst we await another album from the Isle of Wight natives, Champs decided to release "The Garden Is Overgrown" as a reminder of what we're all missing.  This piece of synth-pop genius is a little gem in the modern world of pop, it also makes you yearn for more new music by the Champs, hopefully, they will release something sooner rather than later.

22 - Danko Jones - My Little R'n'R

“My Little R’n’R” is a typical Rock song, one that compares a lover to the soul of Rock ‘n’ Roll, with this lady having the right attitude for him, one that Mr Jones cannot help but submit to.  It’s a cheeky rock song, but aren’t all rock numbers to a certain degree?  The same could be said about all Pop numbers, Indie numbers, Deep-House numbers, and so on and so forth.  It has that magic factor, the special something that makes it fun and special.  When a song sounds as good as this, all that matters is the passion behind the performance and the fact that it is one of the best songs on this album.   In fact, I would go as far as to say it is one of the best songs of 2017.

21 - A New Nowhere - You and Me

A New Nowhere have been creating some waves in Newcastle, and it all started with this song.  "You and ME is a post-Grunge, melodic alternative rock number with a good vocal delivery, decent lyrics and a great riff (as well as a good little solo as well).  If I had to draw comparisons I would go for a mixture of Blameless, Kerbdog and The Virginmarys; all of whom have released some of my favourite songs over the years.  A New Nowhere are sure to do the same in the years to come.

20 - Laura Marling - Nothing, Not Nearly

'Nothing, Not Nearly' is a stunning song on the below average Semper Femina, my deity, what a tune we have here!  A love song that is full of the pitfalls, traps and endings, the quality of her songwriting comes out on this song.  From the first moment, I heard it, I could hear the talent behind the song, time and effort which went into creating the song.  The lyrics feel as if they were written in a different age, with music that has such soul, it has huge gaps that add to the sound, and it always feels like it is going to crash at any moment.  But it is held together with a talent and passion, something which is not taught, it can only come naturally and it ends the song (and album) with the door being closed, signifying that this period of her life is over.

19 - Marmozets - Play

Taken from their forthcoming album Knowing What You Know Now, "Play" has been a huge success all around the world.  It's been used as a theme song for a WWE:NXT Pay Per View, mainly due to its fantastic energy of the band.  It's a stone-cold beast of a track, one that you will not forget easily, not that you would want to forget it at all.

18 - Ginger Wildheart - Don't Say Goodbye

Oh, my deity, this is a heartbreak and that is in this sea of emotional torrents that we find Ginger!  With a full band in the background, the words are sung with a gentle humanity and grace that reflects the fragile state of the story.  Parting is a hard thing to do and this song is about leaving a loved one behind when you must be elsewhere.  Being a long distant parent must be a hard thing to do, I can only imagine how it must feel, but this song gives some light to how it is for the person who is away.  At first, I preferred ‘My Old Friend The Blues’, but I ended up falling under its gentle charms, this is a real tearjerker.

17 - The War on Drugs - Strange Thing

"Strangest Thing" is a song about how the world is a hard place, how a new direction is required to escape the limbo of existence.  It starts off at a plodding pace and I was in fear that I was going to fall asleep.  But then the chorus hook kicks in around the two minutes forty-second point, at this point, I almost had an accident.  The build from that point is nothing short of dramatic, full of beautiful passages and heart-breaking moments of tender contemplation.  When a song can make that sort of instant connection, it transcends everything else that has come before it and this is one of those moments for TWoD.  It is a beautifully crafted number, one which requires patience and gives some much in return.

16 - Chris Catalyst - Wake Me Up on Monday

“Wake Me Up on Monday” is the nearest that Chris Catalyst comes to having a Big Starr/Teenage Fanclub Power Pop/Rock number on Life Is Often Brilliant.  It just brings a sense of sunshine to my world each time it’s played, even though Monday’s can be the most hated of days to some people.  But Mr Catalyst has created a joyful number here, with a great little solo in the middle and a chorus that should come with a health warning, as it is so catchy!

15 - L.A. Spring - Heart & Soul

With 'Heart And Soul', L.A. Spring wisely decided not made a carbon copy of 'Passerby', a practice of trying to re-create their first single which is a trend that a lot of bands seem to do these days.  However, they have not created a song that is a thousand miles away from that first song.  The music of this melancholy number sounds like it is specifically composed for the dark hours after a night out and you are talking about everything and nothing at the same time.  It is the small conversations of the twilight that come together for me on this sound.  The party has been going on and the party is ending, the club is closing and people are having to move on.  It could have been written about the recent closure of Fabric or any other venue that you can care to think about in the UK and abroad.  It turned out to be their swansong, but what a way to go.

14 - Future Island - Cave

Let’s get this out of the way - "Cave" is a great song, steady beat, mid-paced in style, striking vocals and a very good hook towards the end of the song.  The main difference comes in the chorus which has a slight difference and acts as a passionate call for non-believers, but apart from that it is business as usual with this indictment of God/The Gods/Is anyone out there.  I really, but I have no illusions that I am listening to a song that sounds the exact same as everything on The Far Field, underneath its top layer of synth and demanding, harrowing vocals.

13 - Young Fathers - Only God Knows (Feat. Leith Congregational Choir)

The second song from Young Fathers the T2: Trainspotting OST, it's a brand new piece from this Scottish collective and by deity it is glorious.  It is attacking, it is biting, the choir adds a layer of beauty to the sound, they have not blunted their sound to fit in; what this shows is that the band are already expanding how they sound and it is just as important a song as 'Shame' was on 'White Men Are Black Men Too', it is so frantic and it sounds so important.

12 - Mew - Candy Pieces All Smeared Out

I truly thought this was going to be my top song of the year, right up to the point when I started to get the list together.  Starting with a heavy guitar opening, you are introduced to another song that is heavy on nostalgia and deals with the different aspects of a person's personality, being happy in someone's arms, the burden of love and how everything can be all of this and nothing at the same time.  Mew love to delve into those murky waters and create a song that has so many different things happening, but on 'Candy Pieces All Smeared Out' they have really outdone themselves.  This is one of the best songs I have heard in 2017, it has truly eclipsed anything else out there in terms of instant reaction, sound, passion and the ability to make me smile, no matter what mood I am in.  It is sunshine in musical form, it is summer with notes, it is a fantastic song that will have crowds jumping in unison and should make the world a happier place by just existing.

11 - Maxïmo Park - What Equals Love

"What Equals Love" is a song could be read in many different ways.  This song could be about a failed relationship, it could be a song that contains a political message in the mix, it could just a simple Indie Disco hit.  What I can confirm is that it has an 80’s vibe to the music (don’t let that put you off) and bring the fun along with the message (whatever that may be).  I am really enjoying this song as it works on so many different levels, it is such a fucking joy.

10 - Ghost Signals - Start Families/Avoid Hip Parties

The second single from Ghost Signals is one of those times when you truly hear a band take a leap forward, where they step up a level and move onto something new.  Coming across as a cross between The Cure, New Order and The War of Drugs, Ghost Signals has upped their collective game on "Start Families/Avoid Hip Parties", a song that chronicles the change in people's lives as they start to drift away from the night's out and towards family life.  I look forward to hearing more songs from them, as this song is amazing.

09 - The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets - Archnotopia

Arachnotopia’ is another horror punk number, this time it is all about spiders taking over the planet and making it a web-paradise for all of the arachnoids everywhere!  It is silly, a little childish and I love it so much!  It has a simple riff that goes the song and it is a catchy as a web in the face first thing in the morning.  I love the way it sounds, it is so simple and effective that it is sort of surprising that it has not be created before the Dukes of Alhazred.

08 - Dunes - Love from Below

"Love from Below" is quite possibly one of my favourite songs in the last few years, just because it has that unnatural ability to be stuck in your head for weeks on end.  Once it has started to be played in my house, it must be played to the end – no questions on that one.  Originally released as a single demo, “Love from Below”, the riff is incredibly catchy and sounds absolutely amazing.  It is such a great song, that it will have Josh Homme looking to see if he wrote it himself when he catches wind of it.

07 - Cattle - Fears & Hesitation

To begin with, "Fears & Hesitation" begins with the same sort of music that started "Caring" and "Acrylic", which upon first listen was feeling like a bit of a rut, to be honest.  Nothing wrong with the style, just a tad repetitive.  However, around the one minute, thirty-four mark, everything start to go quiet and reverb; you are awaiting the explosion and when they drop, it feels like you are in the middle of swirling pit of noise.  The riff is so good, I am not sure why it has not been created before, but I am so glad that it exists in this form – without a doubt, the best song on Nature's Champion.

06 - The NX - Swingers & Roundabouts

(Here is my review which was taken from an article published on Bearded Gentlemen Music) The NX are another Newcastle band who are currently making waves when this single was first released, it made number two in the UK iTunes rock charts. That is really good for a band who are doing all the work by themselves, they are truly making an effort with this release. The sound is about alternative sexual lifestyles, so their first version of the video was released on Porntube.  They have released an office-friendly version of the video as well, which is probably just as well as the other video is the sort that might get your fired! Musically, it is a swirling hardcore punk mix that sounds like it will start a fight in an empty room, the hooks are absolutely fantastic and it has a manic personality. If you want to hear your next hardcore punk legends, look no further!

05 - Dropkick Murphys - I Had A Hat

"I Had A Hat" is a song that sounds like a fight is forming from the opening chord and the party is happening as the fists are flying at a wake, a bar and everywhere else until the “hat” is returned to its rightful owner.  When the band are making this sort of song, it showcases their strengths for me; anarchic, mad as a box of frogs, full of energy and it could start a party by itself.  They have other facets, but this is the one which works the best for me.

04 - Idles - Mother

"Mother" is quite possibly the strongest song on their album Brutalism, a song that has some thought-provoking lyrics; work conditions for females, scaring Tories (love those lyrics), knowledge and how to use it.  The bite to the vocals will knock holes in walls, the bass line is pumping, and the guitars sound as if they are coming from the depths of the void.  Its a really towering song, one which you need to hear as soon as possible.

03 - Nadine Shah - Holiday Destination

Oh, my deity, “Holiday Destination” really did make a late bid for being the song of the year (and it almost won it).  It’s a song about how the world is slowly but surely, turning into a fucked-up place with locals being pushed out, holidaymakers taking over the world and refugees being found in the water.  Musically, this is a subtle number with a huge bass sound, Ms Shah’s vocals are enthralling on this number.  It’s one of the best songs of 2017, and we are only two numbers into this album.

02 - Bootsy Collins - Hot Saucer (feat. Musiq Soulchild & Big Daddy Kane)

“Hot Saucer” is taken from the album World Wide Funk, it's one of many songs on that album which is about sex, love and every rude word has been replaced with the word funk.  It’s a song for the dancefloor, one to get the body moving and it’s stupidly catchy. It’s also one of the best songs of the year, it’s that damn good and it has not been off my player since I first heard it, hands down it’s that best song on the album.

01 - Lorde - Homemade Dynamite

"Homemade Dynamite" is one of those songs which would not give me peace, it kept cropping up and I could not avoid it.  It's a song about an explosive friendship/relationship that can start a party in an empty room, where everything is an adventure and the night is full of possibilities, this is the sort of pop song that I love.  It has a lot of swearing, it has a fantastic backing music, the vocals are subtle and it all comes together in a fantastic package of joy.  It is the best song on Melodrama, it's now the top song of the year as well!

So - there you have it!  Below is a link to our Spotify playlist (only missing three songs that were not on that service), till next year - Eddie

The ATTIWLTMOWOS top songs of 2017 on Spotify 

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