2017, what a concept. Remember in 2016 when the biggest issue was that all our favorite people were dying? Good times...Now my father's a feminist, the president is a child, and apparently whipping your dick out at work is a thing. It was NOT a good year for straight white males. Our time is up, fellas. You can take it from here, ladies.
Anyways, this year's list has a new high of 86 songs on it. What does that mean? Could it be that I'm listening to more music than ever before? Well, to be honest, I don't know but desire to search for all things non club/DJ related is at an all time high. So should I retire from DJing? Do DJs retire or do we just slowly slip into irrelevance? If so, I've been cruising into obscurity for the last 15 years. Let's not talk about DJing, it's so boring. Let's talk about this list!
This year we have a potpourri of sounds. A ton of emo rap, as I like to call it, along with the usual shoegaze, indie, experimental napcore, chillout and other weirdo bits. Not everything is obscure and cutting edge (I'm getting old and my edges are more smooth and round these days). All in all, I would say it was a stellar year for music. I hope you find something new, undiscovered (same as new) and emotionally soothing. So with all that, I present to you my top songs of 2017. Merry days.
86. young thug - tomorrow til infinity
85. nav feat metro boomin - perfect timing
84. ryuichi sakamoto - m4 - darkroom
83. ross from friends - boatman
82. kelly lee owens - 8
81. locust toybox - you’ll never look
80. umfang - weight
79. shinichi atobe - regret
78. foreign fields - i - dark version
77. carla dal forno - clusters
76. oneohtrix point never - the acid hits
75. barry lynn - rv tauri
74. playboi carti - magnolia
73. galaxian - forget about it
72. radiohead - i promise
71. abra - sick girl
70. tee grizzly - from the d to the a (feat. lil yachty)
69. vermont - dschuna
68. dungen - peri banu vid sjön (prince thomas version)
67. carla dal forno - we shouldn’t have to wait
66. sega bodega feat shygirl - requiem
65. future - solo
64. neil young - hitchhiker
63. Bjørn torske & prince thomas - kappe tre
62. max richter - wadjda's journey
61. kevin morby - dry your eyes
60. king krule - czech one
59. grouper - headache
58. sufjan stevens - mystery of love
57. actress - runner
56. nathan fake - degreelessness
55. mount kimbie - delta
54. clark - peak magnetic
53. biosphere - black mesa
52. patricia - the words are just sounds
51. bing & ruth - as much as possible
50. drake - do not disturb
49. four tet - daughter
48. forest swords - war it
47. gucci mane - helpless
46. kendrick lamar - feel.
45. biosphere - just one kiss
44. kodak black - up in here
43. abra - bounty
42. eod - evenhark
41. king krule - dum surfer
40. future - mask off
39. Lanark Artefax - Touch Absence
38. mount kimbie - blue train lines (feat. king krule)
37. do make say think - bound
36. patricia - upper peninsula feat terekke
35. equiknoxx - sent for ducklings, got ducks
34. lil uzi vert - xo tour llif3
33. microlith - backwards
32. yves tumor - love is the law
31. arca - castration
30. lcd soundsystem - oh baby
29. floating points - lucerne valley
28. future - hallucinating
27. john maus - over phantom
26. locust toybox - unborn
25. frank ocean - chanel
24. daphni - vikram
23. john beltran - moth
22. hector plimmer - bossa b
21. ryuichi sakamoto - solari
20. kendrick lamar - lust.
19. vince staples - alyssa interlude
18. ariel pink - another weekend
17. nathan fake - degreelessness - huerco s. backyard interpretation
16. foreign fields - when you wake up - dark version
15. drake - blem
14. f ingers - all rolled up
13. burnt friedman & mohammad reza mortazavi - yek 132-11
12. lil uzi vert - sauce it up
11. bjork - the gate
10. sky h1 - huit
As I sit here at 4:39am in Brooklyn, ripe with jet lag, I struggle to find the words to describe this song. I haven't had any coffee, so the creative witty part of my brain is not open for business yet. If you're new to my lists, let me fill you in right away...this is not Pitchfork or RA and my writing skills amount to a few quips here and there that may or may not even describe the song I'm talking about. Case in point.
So I love PAN and I love ambient music. They put out a compilation full of this stuff. This was my favorite song on said compilation. How am I not writing for the New York Times.
9. bing & ruth - starwood choker
One of the most cringe worthy things in this god forsaken world is when someone tries to describe what flavors they taste when drinking wine. "I'm getting hints of juniper berries and 70% cacao." Go fuck yourself, I'm getting hints of red wine. Having said that, I'm getting hints of Lubomyr Melnyk on this song and I love it.
Side note: I was showing my friend this list, asking her how many of the artist she knew and she goes "Oh Bing & Ruth! Everyone knows them. Cute couple from Nashville. They're on RVNG Intl.."
Yeah, not quite. It's one guy from Brooklyn. But she got the label right.
8. jonwayne - afraid of us
Funny Story: When I was 3 years old my brother had his first birthday. We had a big party at the house, all the family and friends were there showering him with gifts and attention. This confused me and made me extremely jealous. For three years I was the one who got all the gifts and attention but now I had competition and I was not having it. So after the day had ended and we were all tucked into bed, I woke up in the middle of the night, went into his room with my Donald Duck scissors and started cutting his hair off. I was gonna show this punk who was in charge and teach him a lesson (apparently that he shouldn't have birthdays). Well, he woke up crying and my mom came running into the room and caught me red handed. She yelled at me and I pleaded my case, trying to explain how he got all the gifts and I was the one who got gifts in this household. I may have gotten a spanking (that's what you did in the 80's) and was sent back to my room. Fast forward a year later, my brother's birthday, guess who ALSO got gifts? That's right. Moral of the story: I'm a bitch.
7. eod - swurlk (snarlfingercroak mix)
I was on mushrooms driving through Joshua Tree with my friend Randall and this song came on and proceeded to blow our feeble little minds. I had heard it before, but not like this. As someone who has no idea about production or what machines are used for or do, I immediately started throwing out words like "analog!" "synths!" "modular(?)!". It was the mushrooms talking, I have no fucking clue what he used here but I do know this Scandinavian prince is insanely talented. Bless.
6. nathan fake - hoursdaymonthsseasons - olga wojciechowska rework
This whole remix package was a stunning and surprising release. I don't know who Olga Wojciechowska is and I don't dare try to pronounce her name but I do know she makes beautiful music.
We had Nathan Fake play at Pacha Ibiza once for Guy Gerber's party and he promptly cleared the floor within minutes. It was actually impressive. The manager (who was a complete dick) was panicking, running around screaming "the VIP tables are leaving!" It was pure chaos and it was glorious. I felt bad for Nathan but I told him afterwards that he should take it as a compliment. No one wants to be put in that position and it does suck but he understood and took it well. We tried something different and it didn't work. That's life.
"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." - The Olsen Twins
5. metro boomin - 6 love
There was this FADER interview with Metro Boomin last year and it had this 20 second clip of him in the studio working on some beats. What proceeded to come out of the speakers in that 20 seconds gave me goosebumps and a sense of immediate frustration as I knew I had very little chance of ever hearing the finished version. But like any obsessed music lover, I searched and searched, checking other youtube interviews, reading the comments, listening to awful soundcloud clips, hunting this coveted beat like Donald Trump Jr. big-game hunting an elephant. All tasteless comparisons aside, I found the track. It's not released. It may have even "come out" last year. I don't care, I found it this year. It's my list and I can bend the rules to my liking.
4. frank ocean - provider
I saw someone refer to Frank Ocean fans as "frankbois" (instead of fuckbois). I'm still not 100% sure I know what a fuckboi is but I'm certain I am a "frankboi". Take that for what it's worth. Another year, another high entry for Frank Ocean. Word on the strasse is that he's got a new album ready to drop and I for one can't wait.
This song was funny though cus he mentions Aphex Twin in the lyrics and the dance music world and it's journalists collectively climaxed like 15x when they heard it. I think there was even a headline that read "Frank Ocean mentions Aphex Twin in new song!" STOP THE FUCKING PRESSES you nerds.
3. future & young thug - patek water
"OUTRAGE! How can he put a (t)rap song in the top 3?!" screamed nobody in the music industry cus who the fuck is reading this list, really.
1. grizzly bear - three rings
It's been around 15 years (not quite) since the last Grizzly Bear album so when they dropped this as the first single I was ecstatic. This could easily be #1 and I'm still not sure why it's not. I think I may have just overplayed it. But it's worthy of the #1 spot. I'm gonna have co-winners this year, fuck it. I just decided this...so this is now #1. Congrats GB! I was chatting with Ed on Instagram DM for a bit cus his stories are a riot and his friend Aunt Freckle is a fucking star, so I needed to voice my approval and support. Well he wrote back and we discussed a few things, none of which are any of your business and .......This story is going nowhere, it's just a chance for me to tell you I was chatting with the lead singer. Pathetic.
also 1. john maus - bombs away
My dear friend Camille Blake will have you believe that she was playing me John Maus for years and I wrote it off saying it sounded like "haunted house music". Well first off all, that is totally something I would say. Second, we lived together and it was always coming from her room so I couldn't necessarily hear it that clearly. Regardless, I love making excuses and I love John Maus and his haunted house.