Top 100 Songs of 2017

top 100 songs of 2017

best songs of 2017 Feist90. Feist
“Pleasure”

from Pleasure (Interscope)

Leslie Feist’s versatile voice has made her a sort of Jane of all trades—switching between styles, consistently creating powerful lyrics and vocals all around. “Pleasure” explores a darker, more hard-rock style than usual for her, and though it’s a change, it fits her well. Her vocals are raw and boisterous, letting everything else go and throwing herself into the joy of it all. The track builds up until it oozes with a higher understanding, and fresh appreciation for what’s next. – Virginia Croft


Turnover Good Nature review89. Turnover
“Sunshine Type”

from Good Nature (Run for Cover)

Radiant, dreamy, a meditative and functional track derived from pure bliss. There’s no hyperbole relevant enough to describe its serenity. Its true strength lies in its engaging and fruitful composition, which thrives off of ethereal chord progressions and beautifully warm tonalities. Its lyrics stand apart from the implied direction of the track, and warrant their own attention, no matter how sweet the melodic backing. – Brian Roesler


best songs of 2017 Charly Bliss88. Charly Bliss
“DQ”

from Guppy (Barsuk)

Charly Bliss’ most appealing characteristic is Eva Hendricks’ whip smart and self-deprecating lyrics. There’s not a more honest or cringe-inducing moment on Guppy than the opening lines on “DQ”: “I laughed when your dog died/it is cruel but it’s true.” On an album that possesses ten songs that could qualify among the best tracks of the year, none is more fun than this track. Who couldn’t relate to still feeling like they’re “gonna end up working at Dairy Queen”? – Chris Willis


best songs of 2017 Palm87. Palm
“Two Toes”

from Shadow Expert (Carpark)

When I first heard Palm, I thought no one sounded quite like them. Now everybody sounds like Palm. Mark of an inventive group of musicians, no? Palm said they intended to immerse themselves even further into the noise-rock aspect of their sound for this EP, Shadow Expert, the follow-up to 2015’s Trading Basics, but “Two Toes” is arguably less abrasive than anything on that debut. But don’t call it accessible, per se—this shit is still fucking weird. – Ben Braunstein


LCD Soundsystem new songs Call the Police86. LCD Soundsystem
“Call the Police”

from American Dream (DFA)

It seems strange now that people were so pissed that the famously broken up LCD Soundsystem would dare get back together for reunion shows and a new album. Perhaps if those people knew they’d be treated to a banger like “Call the Police” they wouldn’t have complained. The song doesn’t speak to any specific political issue, but it still captures the mood in the air: We’re fucked. Let’s dance anyway. – Adam Ellsworth


KMFDM Hell Yeah review Album of the Week85. KMFDM
“RX for the Damned”

from Hell Yeah! (earMUSIC)

Most of Hell Yeah! aims to bring latex- and fishnet-clad sexbots to the dance floor, but we also found shocking impact in this digitized funk-metal stormer. Sure, we’re used to Lucia Cifarelli screaming out anti-establishment nonsense and Sascha Konietzko’s crashing, clattering programming. This song’s secret weapon is guest bassist Doug Wimbish, whose pedigree (Sugar Hill, On-U Sound, Living Colour) and rubber-band production infuse this prescription with more bounce to the ounce. – Adam Blyweiss


best songs of 2017 Sampha84. Sampha
“Blood on Me”

from Process (Young Turks)

Amid the 10 tracks on Sampha’s debut Process, “Blood On Me” is immediately jarring. On an album of soulful, sumptuously produced pop tracks, “Blood on Me” is tense and turbulent. Sampha breathes heavily in its first lines, imitating the exhaustion in his own narration of escaping some unseen, unknown danger—other than that “grey hoodies…cover their heads.” It’s an unexpected moment of terror on an album mostly divorced from similar tensions, but Sampha catalyzes it into something bigger and ultimately more cathartic—it’s rare thing to hear a nightmare so funky. – Jeff Terich


Jay Som Everybody Works review83. Jay Som
“Take It”

from Everybody Works (Polyvinyl)

Melina Duterte bears the weight of the world in “Take It,” the late-album highlight from her Polyvinyl debut. The walls are closing in, others are quick to point out her flaws, the sky above could begin to start pouring down at any moment. Sure, it seems frustrating—even enough to push someone over the edge (“If memory serves right/You were easy to break“)—but then this glorious shoegaze track swells into its swirling, fuzzed-out chorus and Duterte shrugs it off: “Is that all you got?” That which doesn’t kill you only makes you turn up louder. – Jeff Terich


best songs of 2017 Cardi B82. Cardi B
“Bodak Yellow”

(Atlantic)

The devious glee in Cardi B’s cadence early in “Bodak Yellow” as she says “I don’t gotta dance, I make money moves” is a sound of great joy. She’s exploring well-worn tropes, of course, but she takes them on with a snarling bravado that’s pure Trina—Cardi seems to have little interest in the crossover moves that have largely been such a stumbling point for Nicki Minaj. Time will tell if she has staying power, but with this and her two-volume Gangsta Bitch Music mixtape series, she’s sure got star quality right now. – Liam Green


best songs of 2017 Shabazz Palaces81. Shabazz Palaces
“Shine a Light”

from Quazarz: Born on a Gangster Star (Sub Pop)

A hip-hop descendent of Sun Ra’s Afrofuturist utopia and Pharoah Sanders’ spiritualism, “Shine a Light” is Shabazz Palaces at their most soulful. Palaceer Lazaro (Ishmael Butler) makes excellent use of Auto-Tune (a Shabazz rarity) on this psychedelic R&B jam, crooning “Shine a light on the fake/That way my peeps can have it all.” It’s like the word of a benevolent deity spreading a message of love, albeit through some spacey technological means. Yet that deity also happens to have a knack for turning out a feelgood summer jam, something that Shabazz Palaces went out of their way to avoid in the past, but apparently had in them all along. – Jeff Terich

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