Tracks of the Year 2017 10 – 1

20-11 here.

10 ‘Hard Times’, Paramore


9 ‘Liability’, Lorde


8 ‘Mystery Of Love’, Sufjan Stevens


7 ‘Holy Mountain’, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds


6 ‘Tonya Harding’, Sufjan Stevens


5 ‘Something For Your M.I.N.D.’, Superorganism


4 ‘Bad Liar’, Selena Gomez


3 ‘Chained To The Rhythm’, Katy Perry featuring Skip Marley


2 ‘Dum Surfer’, King Krule


1 ‘Feels’, Calvin Harris featuring Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry, and Big Sean


Previous winners:

2016 Radiohead, ‘Burn The Witch’
2015 Beach House, ‘Elegy To The Void’
2014 Taylor Swift, ‘Shake It Off’
2013 Daft Punk, Get Lucky’
2012 Tame Impala, ‘Feels Like We Only Go Backwards’
2011 Metronomy, ‘The Bay’
2010 Janelle Monáe, ‘Cold War’
2009 Yeah Yeah Yeahs, ‘Heads Will Roll’
2008 Fleet Foxes, ‘White Winter Hymnal’


Tracks of the Year 2017 20-11

My top 10 tomorrow to conclude my business for 2017. Near misses this year for ‘The Architect’ by Jane Weaver, ‘New Rules’ by Dua Lipa, ‘Star Roving’ by Slowdive, ‘disco tits’ by Tove Lo, ‘The Arrow And The Aim’ and ‘I Come Home To You’ by Nadia Reid, ‘Czech One’ by King Krule, ‘Put Your Money On Me’ by Arcade Fire, ‘Finders Keepers’ by Mabel featuring Kojo Funds, ‘Motion Sickness’ by Phoebe Bridgers, ‘Gorgeous’ by Taylor Swift, ‘Capacity’ and ‘Mary’ by Big Thief, ‘DNA’ by Kendrick Lamar, ‘Bodak Yellow’ by Cardi B, ‘Bike Dream’ by Rostam, ‘Hurtin’ Me’ by Stefflon Don featuring French Montana, ‘Perfect Places’ by Lorde, ‘Appointments’ by Julien Baker, ‘Apocalypse’ by Cigarettes After Sex, ‘(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano’ by Sampha, ‘Despacito’ by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber, and many others.

CJ’s top 5 is ‘Despacito’ (see above), ‘Slide’ (see below), ‘September Song’ by JB Cooper, ‘Something Just Like This’, by The Chainsmokers and Coldplay, and ‘It Ain’t Me’ by Kygo and Selena Gomez.

20 ‘Boys’, Charli XCX


19 ‘Third Of May’, Fleet Foxes


18 ‘The Louvre’, Lorde


17 ‘Slide’, Calvin Harris featuring Frank Ocean and Migos


16 ‘Deadly Valentine’, Charlotte Gainsbourg


15 ‘Permanating’, Steven Wilson


14 ‘Cut To The Feeling’, Carly Rae Jepsen


13 ‘Mythological Beauty’, Big Thief


12 ‘Everything Now’, Arcade Fire


11 ‘Baby Luv’, Nilüfer Yanya

Album of the Year 2017

Once again this year I listened to a ton of stuff, thanks to Apple Music. A lot of it was good, and some of it was very good. I’m not convinced, though, that there were any truly exceptional albums this year: generally when I start doing my end-of-year sifting I have a reasonable idea what my favourite 2 or 3 will be, but not this time. In fact, I’m a little surprised by what’s turned out to be top of my list. But top it definitely is.

Near misses this year from Calvin Harris, Slowdive, Jane Weaver, Thundercat, Julie Byrne, Sampha, Cigarettes After Sex, Kelela, Lana Del Rey, Joan Shelley, Queens Of The Stone Age, St. Vincent, Kendrick Lamar, The National, Anna Ternheim, Marika Hackman, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Broken Social Scene, and Baxter Dury,

10 Perfume Genius, ‘No Shape’
9 Arcade Fire, ‘Everything Now’
8 Dan Auerbach, ‘Waiting On A Song’
7 Phoebe Bridgers, ‘Stranger In The Alps’
6 Fleet Foxes, ‘Crack-Up’
5 Charlotte Gainsbourg, ‘Rest’
4 Julien Baker, ‘Turn Out The Lights’
3 Nadia Reid, ‘Preservation’
2 Big Thief, ‘Capacity’
1 Lorde, ‘Melodrama’

Previous winners:

2016 Radiohead, ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’
2015 Sufjan Stevens, ‘Carrie & Lowell’
2014 La Roux, ‘Trouble In Paradise’
2013 Vampire Weekend, ‘Modern Vampires of the City’
2012 Tame Impala, ‘Lonerism’
2011 Bon Iver, ‘Bon Iver’
2010 Beach House, ‘Teen Dream’
2009 Animal Collective, ‘Merriweather Post Pavilion
2008 TV On The Radio, ‘Dear Science’

Tracks of the Year 2016 10 – 1

30-11 here.

10 Radiohead, ‘Present Tense’

9 Kitten, ‘Fall On Me’

8 Radiohead, ‘The Numbers’

7 Sturgill Simpson, ‘Breakers Roar’

6 The Monkees, ‘Me And Magdalena’

5 Beyoncé, ‘Hold Up’

4 Frank Ocean, ‘Ivy’

3 Radiohead, ‘True Love Waits’

2 Radiohead, ‘Daydreaming’

1 Radiohead, ‘Burn The Witch’

(Previous winners: 2008 Fleet Foxes, ‘White Winter Hymnal’; 2009 Yeah Yeah Yeahs, ‘Heads Will Roll’; 2010 Janelle Monáe, ‘Cold War’; 2011 Metronomy, ‘The Bay’; 2012 Tame Impala, ‘Feels Like We Only Go Backwards’; 2013 Daft Punk, Get Lucky’; 2014 Taylor Swift, ‘Shake It Off’; 2015 Beach House, ‘Elegy To The Void’.)

Tracks of the Year 2016 30-11

Well, this is awkward. The release of a properly great Radiohead album in 2016 has, inevitably, clogged up my list of best tracks of the year, to the point where other music was in danger of getting sidelined. I seriously toyed with doing two charts – Radiohead and The Rest – but instead decided to expand my usual top 20 into a top 30, to give me a little room to breathe.

First, the nearly-but-not-quite list: ‘No Woman’ by Whitney; ‘Pool Party’ by Julia Jacklin; ‘Hands Up’ by Blood Orange; ‘Your Best American Girl’ by Mitski; ‘Really Doe’ by Danny Brown; ‘Black Beatles’ by Rae Sremmurd; ‘Two Kids’ by Laura Gibson’; ‘Subways’ by The Avalanches; ‘On Hold’ by The xx; ‘Formation’ and ‘Sorry’ by Beyoncé; ‘Starving’ by Hailee Steinfeld and Grey featuring Zedd; ‘Ultralight Beam’ by Kanye West; ‘Düsseldorf’ by Teleman; ‘Higher’ and ‘Work’ by Rihanna; ‘Fill In The Blank’ by Car Seat Headrest; ‘Boyfriend’ by Tegan & Sarah; ‘Cranes In The Sky’ by Solange; ‘Shut Up Kiss Me’ by Angel Olsen; ‘If I Knew’ by Bat For Lashes; ‘The Pop Kids’ by Pet Shop Boys; and a load of others, including all of the tracks on ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’ that haven’t made it into the final 30.

CJ’s top 5 is ‘Cheap Thrills’ by Sia featuring Sean Paul; ‘Cake By The Ocean’ by DNCE; ‘I Took A Pill In Ibiza’ by Mike Posner; ‘Say You Won’t Let Go’ by James Arthur; and ‘Shout Out To My Ex’ by Little Mix. This year there’s no overlap between our lists, about which we’re both probably quite pleased.

30 Drive-By Truckers, ‘Ramon Casiano’
29 Miranda Lambert, ‘Vice’
28 Heron Oblivion, ‘Oriar’
27 Christine and The Queens, ‘Tilted’
26 Agnes Obel, ‘Familiar’
25 Margo Price, ‘Hands of Time’
24 Leonard Cohen, ‘You Want It Darker’
23 Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, ‘I Need You’
22 D.R.A.M. feat. Lil Yachty, ‘Broccoli’
21 Ariana Grande feat. Nicki Minaj, ‘Side To Side’

20 Bon Iver, ’33 “GOD”‘
19 Radiohead, ‘Decks Dark’
18 M83 feat. Man Lan, ‘Go!’
17 Neiked feat. Dyo, ‘Sexual’
16 Dua Lipa, ‘Blow Your Mind (Mwah)’
15 Chance the Rapper feat. 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne, ‘No Problem’
14 Weyes Blood, ‘Do You Need My Love’
13 Radiohead, ‘Identikit’
12 Fifth Harmony feat. Ty Dolla $ign, ‘Work From Home’
11 The Last Shadow Puppets, ‘Miracle Aligner’

Albums of the Year 2016

In my Albums of the Year post at the end of 2015 I identified that the availability of streaming services was making a significant difference to the way in which I consumed music. One year later I’m still with Apple Music, and listening to more albums than ever before. The time available to listen to them hasn’t expanded, though, so in consequence there’s something of a long tail: for a civilian I’ve listened to a lot of new albums this year, but in many cases no more than once. I still haven’t decided whether this is a good or bad thing for the music industry, or for me.

Anyway, my top tracks of the year will be along shortly, but I’ll cover the albums first. Near misses this year from Christine and the Queens, Drive-By Truckers, Kanye West, Thee Oh Sees, The Avalanches, Sturgill Simpson, David Bowie, Frank Ocean, Margo Price, Modern Studies, Rihanna, Heron Oblivion, Margo Price, Steve Mason, Blood Orange, M83, Agnes Obel, Ben Watt, Suede, Whitney, and Laura Gibson.

10 Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop, ‘Love Letter for Fire’

9 case/lang/veirs, ‘case/lang/veirs’

8 Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, ‘Skeleton Tree’

7 King Creosote, ‘Astronaut Meets Appleman’

6 Anderson .Paak, ‘Malibu’

5 Bon Iver, ’22, A Million’

4 Teenage Fanclub, ‘Here’

3 Leonard Cohen, ‘You Want It Darker’

2 Beyoncé, ‘Lemonade’

1 Radiohead, ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’

(Previous winners: 2008 TV On The Radio, ‘Dear Science’; 2009 Animal Collective, ‘Merriweather Post Pavilion’; 2010 Beach House, ‘Teen Dream’; 2011 Bon Iver, ‘Bon Iver’; 2012 Tame Impala, ‘Lonerism’; 2013 Vampire Weekend, ‘Modern Vampires of the City’; 2014 La Roux, ‘Trouble In Paradise’; 2015 Sufjan Stevens, ‘Carrie & Lowell’.)