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Forum - Personal Charts: Your Special Occasion Charts - Effluvium1's Top 100 Tracks of 2017

Hi all!

So tomorrow afternoon at 4:00 AEST my countdown will begin on MRS.

I will start the stream at 3:00 with an hour's worth of music - just to make sure the stream works

Watch this space for a link to the stream.

After a few days, I will post the 101-200 list also.

I anticipate the list finishing at about 10:45pm - at which time there will be a few games of the "name that tune" persuasion - akin to last year.
FULL LIST (TOP 200)

1"Low Blows"MEG MAC
2"Nite Expo"OH SEES
3"Ubu"METHYL ETHEL
4"Love"LANA DEL REY
5"HUMBLE."KENDRICK LAMAR
6"Green Light"LORDE
7"Sweep Me Off My Feet"POND
8"Fire That Burns"CIRCA WAVES
9"Liability"LORDE
10"Want You Back"HAIM
11"Hunter"GALANTIS
12"How??"THE FLAMING LIPS
13"Curve" (ft. The Weeknd)GUCCI MANE
14"Flash"THE BELLIGERENTS
15"Animated Violence"OH SEES
16"Love Galore" (ft. Travis Scott)SZA
17"Passage"IN HEARTS WAKE
18"The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness"THE NATIONAL
19"Perfect Places"LORDE
20"Ran"FUTURE ISLANDS
21"Rattlesnake"KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD
22"Hey, Did I Do You Wrong?"SAN CISCO
23"Lights Out"ROYAL BLOOD
24"Say Something Loving"THE XX
25"Feel The Way I Do"THEJUNGLE GIANTS
26"The Way You Used To Do"QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE
27"Everything Now"ARCADE FIRE
28"(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano"SAMPHA
29"DNA."KENDRICK LAMAR
30"Strange Or Be Forgotten"TEMPLES
31"Them Changes"THUNDERCAT
32"Creature Comfort"ARCADE FIRE
33"Homemade Dynamite"LORDE
34"The Evil Has Landed"QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE
35"Used To Be In Love"THE JUNGLE GIANTS
36"Trying Year"CAPTAIN, WE'RE SINKING
37"Caroline"THE BELLIGERENTS
38"Every Single Thing"HOMESHAKE
39"Slip Away"PERFUME GENIUS
40"Name For You"THE SHINS
41"ELEMENT."KENDRICK LAMAR
42"If You Need To, Keep Time On Me"FLEET FOXES
43"Standing In The Middle Of The Field"CUT COPY
44"Hot Thoughts"SPOON
45"Sit Next To Me"FOSTER THE PEOPLE
46"Burn It Down"DAUGHTER
47"Big Fish"VINCE STAPLES
48"Mended"VERA BLUE
49"Aeroplane"HOLLY THROSBY
50"Sober"LORDE
51"Stuck"CIRCA WAVES
52"YAH."KENDRICK LAMAR
53"New York"ST VINCENT
54"Tinseltown Swimming In Blood"DESTROYER
55"While We're Young"JHENÉ AIKO
56"Feel It Still"PORTUGAL. THE MAN
57"Mourning Sound"GRIZZLY BEAR
58"Dark Water"COLLAPSE UNDER THE EMPIRE
59"Ballad Of The Dying Man"FATHER JOHN MISTY
60"Star Roving"SLOWDIVE
61"Phase Me Out"VÉRITÉ
62"Fruitflies"GABRIEL GARZÓN-MONTANO
63"Elevator"HOLY HOLY
64"Keep Running"TEI SHI
65"Girlhood"THE PREATURES
66"Citizen"NORTHLANE
67"Let Me Down Easy"GANG OF YOUTHS
68"Rainbow City"CLOUD CONTROL
69"All In One Night"STEREOPHONICS
70"Blood" {Like A Version}GANG OF YOUTHS
71"Halfway Home"BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE
72"Lost For Words"BETRAYING THE MARTYRS
73"What Can I Do If The Fire Goes Out?"GANG OF YOUTHS
74"Road Head"JAPANESE BREAKFAST
75"The Static God"OH SEES
76"Amsterdam"NOTHING BUT THIEVES
77"No. 28"METHYL ETHEL
78"J-Boy"PHOENIX
79"Avalon"FOXYGEN
80"That Message"HOLY HOLY
81"American Attraction"ANTI-FLAG
82"The Gold"MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA
83"You're In Love With A Psycho"KASABIAN
84"Drew Barrymore"SZA
85"Do U Want Me"GIRAFFAGE
86"Enter Entirely"CLOUD NOTHINGS
87"Intuition"NORTHLANE
88"Anymore"GOLDFRAPP
89"Every Day's The Weekend"ALEX LAHEY
90"Die 4 You"PERFUME GENIUS
91"Failure Games"FLOBOTS
92"So Young"PORTUGAL. THE MAN
93"Help"PAPA ROACH
94"Dust"THE GOLDEN FILTER
95"Precious"BRITISH INDIA
96"Missing Wires"SOULWAX
97"Boyfriend"MARIKA HACKMAN
98"911 / Mr. Lonely" (ft. Frank Ocean)TYLER, THE CREATOR
99"Maybe It's My First Time"MEG MAC
100"Two Birds"THE BRONX
101"Daisy"WAVVES
102"The Criminals"ANTI-FLAG
103"Told You I'd Be With The Guys"CHERRY GLAZERR
104"Shira"GLASSJAW
105"Ride It"MEG MAC
106"Machine"THE HORRORS
107"To The Moon And Back"FEVER RAY
108"Cigarette"MARIKA HACKMAN
109"Tranquillo" (ft. Rick Ross & Big K.R.I.T.)LUPE FIASCO
110"123"GIRLPOOL
111"Moments" (ft. Gavin James)BLISS N ESO
112"Show Me"VÖK
113"I Get The Bag" (ft. Migos)GUCCI MANE
114"Silver"WAXAHATCHEE
115"So Special"MUNA
116"Explore"SUNDARA KARMA
117"When You're Gone"VÉRITÉ
118"Big Balloon"DUTCH UNCLES
119"On Your Way Down"THE JUNGLE GIANTS
120"Can't Get It Out"BRAND NEW
121"Take Me With You"BRITISH INDIA
122"Blood Under My Belt"THE DRUMS
123"Dum Surfer"KING KRULE
124"In Undertow"ALVVAYS
125"Soothing"LAURA MARLING
126"Lotto In Reverse"ALEX LAHEY
127"Groove Is In The Heart"THE BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE
128"Yanada"THE PREATURES
129"Oh Devil"ELECTRIC GUEST
130"Can't Hold On"BLACK LIPS
131"Quit" (ft. Ariana Grande)CASHMERE CAT
132"June"TIGERS JAW
133"A.D.D."TEN FOOT POLE
134"Golden"KINGSWOOD
135"My Children"PROTOMARTYR
136"I'm Not Who You Think You Are"MILLIONAIRE
137"Vivienne"SUNDARA KARMA
138"Deep Relief"SUNDARA KARMA
139"Silhouette"AQUILO
140"My Lover Cindy"MARIKA HACKMAN
141"The Deepest Sighs, The Frankest Shadows"GANG OF YOUTHS
142"Drinkin' Problem"MIDLAND
143"My Old Man"MAC DEMARCO
144"Hang My Head"THE FLATLINERS
145"Speakerbox"WILEY
146"What Are You On"ROY WOOD$
147"Up To The Surface"CLOUD NOTHINGS
148"It Gets More Blue"GIRLPOOL
149"Confetti"BIG K.R.I.T.
150"Jet"CITIZEN
151"Shine On Me"DAN AUERBACH
152"To Say"JACQUES GREENE
153"Victory Lap"PROPAGANDHI
154"The Night"SUNDARA KARMA
155"U'Huh"SINKANE
156"Turf"AMINE
157"Blue"BLISS N ESO
158"The Lost Sky"JESCA HOOP
159"Darling"REAL ESTATE
160"Petals"TOPS
161"Hug Of Thunder"BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE
162"Isn't It A Pity"BERNARD FANNING
163"Had Enough"LOWER THAN ATLANTIS
164"Wolves"THUNDAMENTALS
165"Witness"BENJAMIN BOOKER
166"Speakerbox"WILEY
167"Die Young"SYLVAN ESSO
168"Flood Gates"SINJIN HAWKE
169"Grim Business"IRON REAGAN
170"Back With A Banger"WILEY
171"Keys To The Castle"OH SEES
172"The Bar Is Low"PISSED JEANS
173"U G"NOSAJ THING
174"Different Now"CHASTITY BELT
175"Big Sur"PORCELAIN RAFT
176"Kaleidoscope"FENECH-SOLER
177"4 am" (ft. Travis Scott)2 CHAINZ
178"Conversation"FENECH-SOLER
179"The Distance"SAN CISCO
180"I Will Spite Survive"DEERHOOF
181"Don'tPush Me"ALLAN KINGDOM
182"Californian Light"CHILDHOOD
183"Faded"P.O.S.
184"Hurricanes (Wild Love)"FRED V. & GARRIX
185"Scene Girl"KAMI
186"3WW"ALT-J
187"My Bark Is Your Bite"BLAENAVON
188"The Glow"SYLVAN ESSO
189"Tummy Ache"DIET CIG
190"Never Going Back"HOT WATER MUSIC
191"Orthodox Man"BLAENAVON
192"Aux Cord"BIG K.R.I.T.
193"Ignorecam"PISSED JEANS
194"Magazine"SLOTFACE
195"I Love You Like A Brother"ALEX LAHEY
196"Two High"MOON TAXI
197"Violet"MARIKA HACKMAN
198"Colourwave"NORTHLANE
199"Until Tomorrow" (ft. Jake Weary)GROUNDISLAVA
200"Can't Go Back"TED LEO & THE PHARMACISTS

Last edited:
Hey Effie, I don't think anyone will be able to connect to your stream using that particular URL, but they should be able to with this one...

http://myradiostream.com/station/flashplayer.php?s=s36&p=14784

Another thing, I don't think mobile users can access the stream unless you embed the player into a web page with the following HTML code:

<script src="//myradiostream.com/embed/Effluvium1"></script> (Assuming that's your MRS username)

I've just tested my own stream in preparation for my EOY broadcast and created a really basic page on my web server if you wanna see an example (link is http://top100singles.net/radio/ ). If you need any help, let me know. I'll be online for a few hours tomorrow before your broadcast.
Have you tested yours on mobile savage? I'd be interested to know if it works since mobile listening is supposed to be a premium feature.
Yep Jinxie.
Hi All

If anyone can join me on the stream from 2:30 onwards we can iron out all the bugs then. I'll try all the URLs I can find.

Cy'all!
I'll be here Effie, though only for about half an hour then I've gotta get ready for work.
OK folks my stream is up if anyone wants some pre-countdown tunes

https://myradiostream.com/station/flashplayer.php?s=s36&p=14784
And mobile users can stream it from here: http://top100singles.net/effie/
#100 - "Two Birds" - THE BRONX

Five albums deep and billing themselves as The Greatest Punk Rock Band In The World, who are we to argue with a statement like that? It’s bands like The Bronx that still breathe life into a good old-fashioned 'three chords and the truth' full-pelt-brawler of a record, the sort of bands who resurface in timely fashion, just as guitar music begins to feel stale, delivering a fistful of rabble-rousing bangers that inexplicably still set the heart racing and the adrenaline pumping every time. Die-hard punk heads might be a little disappointed by the move towards melody and classic rock influences, but it’s actually something that the band wear comfortably and coolly, avoiding the contrivances of pastiche and landing in a the sweet spot of a mature, commercial rock’n’roll sound that shines brightly on this storming track. (Drowned In Sound)
#99 - "Maybe It's My First Time" - MEG MAC

"'Maybe it's My First Time' is about trying to get through a bad time. When you're hurt, you can keep going over and over the pain in your head and drive yourself crazy. I wanted to stop all that and only look back once and be done with it. To cruise past my pain instead of living in it." (Meg Mac, for ABC
As always, Meg's voice is the main event here, and it shows off some real vulnerability in a track about pushing through difficult times.
#98 - "911 / Mr. Lonely" (ft. Frank Ocean) - TYLER, THE CREATOR

For one of his first songs in two years, “911/Mr. Lonely,” the Odd Future stalwart brings this reality into sharp focus, calling on Frank Ocean for some moral support.
Technically a two-parter, “911/Mr. Lonely” looks at the overarching theme of loneliness, on two contrasting, but equally intriguing beats. “911” is sunny and joyful on the surface, as synths and a soulful bass rhythm skip along in a sample of the Gap Band’s “Outstanding”—a song that Tyler has expressed some love for in the past—until the lyrics reveal a heartsick Tyler, unable to take pleasure in much of anything with his special someone out of the picture (“Yeah I got a sold out show/Crowd wild out, but it don’t matter ’cause you not front row”). Singers Steve Lacy and Anna of the North sweeten the chorus and bridge, urging Tyler’s ex-lover to pick up the phone, seemingly to no avail. In a smooth drawl, Frank Ocean laments a similar sense of abandonment, as he remembers a significant other that used to pick him up from the suburbs when things were going well.
After the transition to “Mr. Lonely,” the song takes on more bluster. Over a thunderous drum pattern and stuttering hi-hats, Tyler delivers an almost breathless deluge of bars that pathologize his condition (“I say the loudest in the room/Is prolly the loneliest in the room/It’s me”). Indeed, both parts display his quick wit and capacity for self-reflection, with a good dose of self-deprecation, which were evident on his earlier work, if often hidden behind distracting shock tactics. Put together, the song is a reminder not only of his dexterity and broad musical influences, but also of the clarity of thought that led to his most interesting lyrics. “911/Mr. Lonely” represents a further maturation in sound, and apparently his problems too. (Pitchfork)

Other EOY Positions (Tyler, The Creator):
2011"Yonkers"#13
2011"Goblin"#30

Other EOY Positions (Frank Ocean):
2012"Thinkin' 'Bout You"#3
2016"Pink + White"#49
#97 - "Boyfriend" - MARIKA HACKMAN

English songwriter Marika Hackman was once a craftsperson of mannered, progressive indie-folk. However, her single, “Boyfriend,” is a swift left-turn—it loudly announces that she’s done playing nice. “I’ve got your boyfriend on my mind/I think you know she stayed with me last night,” she sighs, before twisting the knife: “I held his world in my hands/I threw it out to see where it would land.” Backed by London band the Big Moon, she’s found a muscular sound that feels a world away from the quiet of 2015’s We Slept At Last. All rounded, chiming guitars, squealing string-bends and crunchy choruses, “Boyfriend” recalls Radiohead’s pained transition from mopey grunge wannabes to spacey alt-rock saviors (this track recalls “My Iron Lung” and Bends-era B-sides like “Maquiladora”). But Hackman is no self-loathing creep—she’s witty, sardonic and coming to steal your lover just because she can. “Boyfriend” is full of little taunts, sarcastic retorts, and audible eye rolls. Despite her deadpan delivery, Hackman makes it clear that’s she’s having a laugh: the song opens with the sound of her chuckling into the mic and toward the end, she screeches for no good reason. Firing back at clueless men has rarely sounded so fun.
#96 - "Missing Wires" - SOULWAX

From their first LP in over a decade, comes a whirlwind dance number that’s laced with belching synths, frenetic percussion, and even a touch of grooviness.
#95 - "Precious - BRITISH INDIA

Produced by Holy Holy’s Oscar Dawson and featuring backing vocals from fellow indie rocker Ali Barter, the track vaunts distorted guitars ready to knock your walls down, its full bodied noise accelerated through wild, tight drumming. Declan’s definitive vocal echoes with strength amongst the chaos, as he expresses the tragic beauty of momentary bliss. (IndieCentralMusic)

Other EOY Positions:
2015"Suddenly"#5
#94 - "Dust" - THE GOLDEN FILTER

Brooding electronic duo The Golden Filter created their second album after relocating from New York to London in 2015. Written on mostly analog instruments and machines from the 1980s in old studio spaces around the U.K., the LP celebrates the feeling of space: it's there in the wide-open melodies, the succint and open-ended lyricism, and the vibrations that ring out between stabs of synth. Moving from an uptempo first half to a darker, harder second, it's a record that looks at loneliness from every angle, and creates a sanctuary for it. (The Fader)
#93 - "Help" - PAPA ROACH

The hard rock heavyweights set the bar high with this, their first single from the new release, and the latest manages to be on par with it, further fueling excitement for what is shaping up to be an aggressive, in-your-face record.
That’s certainly what “Help" is, even with some brief acoustic moments thrown in. Said lull that comes at the intro and bridge just makes it more emotional and desperate as Jacoby Shaddix sings about realizing the need to reach out to someone and have a helping hand in getting out of the “abyss”. That could be a wide range of things, the song being left open to interpretation, be it struggling with inner demons such as mental illness, addiction, or other such personal affliction, to any other hardship. Say, a hellish relationship for example.
That allows the listener to derive their own meaning from it and make “Help” their own personal anthem if they can relate. And there’s no mistaken it, “Help” is an anthem in a sense. “…I think I need help. I’m drowning in myself.” While somewhat simple in a way, that part of the refrain paints a vivid picture of a person coming to terms with the fact that no matter how strong they are, they’ve realized they can’t nor should they handle every battle privately, the entire song being about accepting that that’s fine and not a sign of weakness, feeling like a plea to anyone who will listen and give their time to help navigate the circumstance.
Some blazing riffs and explosive percussion ensure “Help” is an all-out assault of the senses, immediately engaging the listener and sending one’s adrenaline level skyrocketing. It’s a well-crafted song with a sincere meaning behind it, Jerry Horton, Tobin Esperance, Tony Palermo, and Shaddix giving the song everything they have in order to make it as impassioned as possible, that degree of dedication shining through every second of the track. (The Music Enthusiast)
#92 - "So Young" - PORTUGAL. THE MAN

Horns and light guitar arpeggios are put to subtle yet effective use on this dreamy track, with thick rhythms that finds Gourley working with ongoing collaborator Zoe Manville for additional vocal variety. (PopMatters)
#91 - "Failure Games" - FLOBOTS

Members of the Flobots have been spreading reform love for more than a decade by way of marching, community outreach, campaigning, social change, anti-war anthems and a nonprofit for at-risk youth.
And though they've been peaceful activists since before the Trump regime, before #Occupy and before #BlackLivesMatter, it's the forward momentum of these movements that has kept the Denver group singing strong. (Daily Camera)
#90 - "Die 4 You" - PERFUME GENIUS

You could imagine Drake or the Weeknd blithely calling this track a straightforward R&B-influenced slow jam. But Hadreas literally seems to be singing about his willingness to let his partner strangle him.
#89 - Every Day's The Weekend - ALEX LAHEY

This track starts out simple— a four-note guitar riff and a drum beat. As with B-Grade University, Lahey doesn’t show any desire to overcomplicate things. The track doesn’t pull in appeal by its virtuosity, rather its infectious honesty— both musically and lyrically. Lahey sings about balancing play (her relationship) with work, self-confessedly “not so good with in-between”. As in B-Grade University, Lahey remains in touch with her audience’s growing financial struggle, as well as the existing relational struggles that accompany young adult life. If you listen closely, the lyrics are somewhat heartbreaking— Lahey’s lover has “things like [their] family/they’re a bigger deal than I’ll ever be”. It’s clear that the “every day’s a weekend” mantra is disillusioned— not that you’d know, by song’s upbeat pace and catchy chorus. Endearingly, Lahey never sacrifices her Aussie accent for any socially acceptable musical tone. Coupled with a slightly off-the-rails synth and unceasing drums, bass, and Lahey’s signature fuzz-pedal driven guitar, it’s hard to listen without echoing the track’s “whoa-ohs” and head banging along to the whole shebang. The mix is as impressive as Lahey’s live offering, too. If Every Day’s The Weekend says anything about Alex Lahey’s new album, it’s that the whole thing’s bound to be Triple J radio fodder for a long, long time. (Amnplify)
#88 - "Anymore" - GOLDFRAPP

This track opens with heavy synths and deep beats over which Alison sensually sings how she ‘can’t wait anymore’. The build up here is flawless and there is so much detail in the production that unfolds with every listen. The last chorus gets elevated by some glorious ad libs, which gives the track a little disco twist. Goldfrapp is back and they mean business! (ABitOfPopMusic)
#87 - "Intuition" - NORTHLANE

“The song is about shutting out all the external noise that influences your decision-making as a human, and all the things that you’re taught to accept, and just focusing on what your inner voice is telling you to do. There’s a lot of people who might feel like they’re not good enough for the expectations that are drawn upon them, and this song addresses that from the perspective of social conditioning and what we’re taught we’re supposed to think and be.” (Josh Smith for TeamRock)
#86 - "Enter Entirely" - CLOUD NOTHINGS

Leading up to their fourth LP, Life Without Sound, Cloud Nothings find themselves in more polished territory, with the help of producer John Goodmanson (Sleater-Kinney, Death Cab for Cutie). This is not to say the Ohio band doesn’t still love harsh guitar riffs and introspective lyrics, and on their latest single, “Enter Entirely,” Dylan Baldi reflects on what it’s like to watch your life pass you by. Instead of moving forward, Baldi finds himself frozen in time, isolated and contemplating what steps he can take to be the person he wants to be: “There’s someone I would like to be if I could be, but the path is frightening,” Baldi raspily sings. But he also admits to self-sabotaging along the way with “a bottle of wine,” and as the chorus hits, you can feel Baldi settle back into himself (“Moving on but I still feel it, you’re just a light in me now”). He surrounds his rumination with crashing guitars that confidently pay homage to Pavement. While maintaining their grittiness, Cloud Nothings are on the road to the anthemic rebirth they’ve been searching for. (Pitchfork)

Other EOY Positions:
2014"I'm Not Part Of Me"#40
#85 - "Do U Want Me" - GIRAFFAGE

This track opens the album "Too Real", and is sprinkled with a “Quiet Storm” flavor throughout its entirety, along with smokey vocals that strongly sets the course of the musical direction for the rest of this amazing LP. (BeatSelector)
#84 - "Drew Barrymore" - SZA

After a rocky period where the singer announced a follow-up to her critically-acclaimed Z, didn’t deliver due to miscommunications with the label, announcing she was going to retire, and then backing down from that, we finally get the first new solo track from the singer in almost three years.
While we can only speculate why the song is called Drew Barrymore, the meaning is clear; SZA is apologizing for not being the type of woman that the man she’s having a physical relationship would want to settle down with while still offering herself to him on those nights when he’s alone. She is also beating herself up for not leaving a relationship that she knows isn’t good for her. The lyrics are not as dense as they were on Z, but they are still packed with meaning. She says a lot about the situation in few words and gives her emotional response through only context clues (instead of stating it outright). We are thrilled that her songwriting is still as strong as ever.
The biggest thing we notice, though? SZA’s vocal performance is vastly improved over what she gave us on Z. She didn’t sound bad there, but her delivery was flat and somewhat emotionless at times. Now, we get energy from her tone and it is beautiful offset to the somewhat turned-down production. Not that production is dull, but it’s not like the more complex and layer sounds of her first album. This is a real treat for those who like the singer’s style and a new introduction for those who may just be discovering her now. (Mel&Kel)
#83 - "You're In Love With A Psycho" - KASABIAN

Kasabian are mouthy so-and-sos. Depending on your perspective, this is either their greatest attribute (affording the Leicester lads a lack of shame that allows them to make balls out guitar music) or a crippling weakness (inducing delusions of grandeur and blinding the band to their limitations). Unsurprisingly, the truth lies somewhere in between. When they are firing out arena unifying anthems the bravado is well earned, but some self-awareness and humility wouldn’t go amiss when they are indulging cringe worthy experiments or unleashing tedious lad rock on their hit and miss LPs.
Still, for better or worse, they aren’t going to change any time soon and the world certainly needs more honest-to-goodness rockstars and less apologetic indie darlings. So it should come as no surprise that the band’s return comes with a host of preposterous proclamations: their new album is about “saving guitar music from the abyss. Because it’s gone”. It goes without saying, of course, that they are the men destined to step in and save it.

Other EOY Positions:
2014"Eez-Eh"#70
#82 - "The Gold" - MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA

This track tumbles along with an intricate, syncopated beat, occasionally stopping dead in its tracks as Hull emotes the hook: “I believed you were crazy / You believe that you loved me.” (PopMatters)

Other EOY Positions:
2011"Simple Math"#50
#81 - "American Attraction" - ANTI-FLAG

American Fall blasts off with its first single/video “American Attraction,” where the band perform in-front of an upside-down flag. This infectious rocker discusses the beauty and the beast behind our nation, especially the rabid, truly American obsession with violence, disaster, and downfall; America’s taken on the German Schadenfreude, if you will. If you fear the sociopolitical ramifications here, well, “American Attraction” is superbly catchy. Just dance! (Cryptic Rock)
#80 - "That Message" - HOLY HOLY

This single is layered, textured, rich with synth and guitar. Carroll‘s ethereal vocals repeat the mantra of, ‘Let it go, let it go, let it go…‘, creating a sound that delivers the HOLY HOLY sound we know, but shows their progressions as musicians. Carroll says, “The only guiding principle we stuck with was that we wanted to push ourselves and take some risks. It was a challenging process and as is often the case, I think the restrictions pushed us into new and interesting territories.”
#79 - "Avalon" - FOXYGEN

This song is pure fun. From great opening piano to equally great trumpets this song has pretty good intro and promises a lot. It is very clear that Foxygen was listening a lot of ABBA because chorus of this song sounds a lot like Waterloo by ABBA and that is good thing for me. This may sound weird but I can see this song being in soundtrack of Sonic 2 in Casino Night Zone. Both songs share similar sound. (...And Justice For Reviews)

Other EOY Positions:
2013"San Francsico"#20
#78 - "J-Boy" - PHOENIX

As Phoenix grew more popular, their music felt more populated, frantic and frenzied, like a time-lapse video of a busy downtown intersection. You could feel their blood pressure increase on the singles they released over the years—the causal Strokes-y strut of 2006’s “Consolation Prizes” gave way to the clock-ticking synth-pop of 2009’s “1901,” which begat the white-light synapse overload of 2013’s “Entertainment.” Indeed, the entirety of their last album Bankrupt! felt like the band was hitting a breaking point where exhilaration turned to agitation. So it’s nice to hear that, on the first single from the upcoming, Ti Amo, Phoenix have given themselves—and us—a much-deserved chance to exhale.
At first, you could be forgiven for thinking Phoenix had swung too far in the opposite direction—“J-Boy” begins as a sputtering electro dirge that sounds like it’s running out of batteries. But that’s merely the dingy, back-alley entrance to a dazzling, neon-lit discotheque whose doors swing open and whisk you in at the 10-second mark. The radiant synth sheen of the band’s recent records remains, but here it’s slathered onto a steady bass bounce that more readily recalls the soft-focus fantasias of M83 than anything in their own catalog.
Of course, the song’s laissez-faire pace brings us no closer to understanding Thomas Mars’ notoriously cryptic, tongue-twisting lyrics. “J-Boy” is ostensibly a love song, though, as the singer recently explained to the New York Times, it’s one set against a dystopian, science fiction backdrop—which would explain why its starry-eyed sentiments are polluted by references to “radium,” “[stealing] money from a homeless girl,” and “kamikazes in a hopeless world.” But while we may never look to Phoenix to help us understand the state of our planet, you can still rely on them to provide a euphoric momentary escape from it. (Pitchfork)

Other EOY Positions:
2013"Entertainment"#11
#77 - "No. 28" - METHYL ETHEL
#76 - "Amsterdam" - NOTHING BUT THIEVES

This track slows things down momentarily with twinkling synths supporting simple power chords and driving drums. Before long the song launches into a colossal, anthemic chorus -- the kind of chorus that makes you do things that little bit faster and probably not quite as well. It leaps and lurches in the right places, but there’s something more substantial going on here as the band leaves plenty of space for emotional engagement. (PopMatters)

Other EOY Positions:
2015"Trip Switch"#92
#75 - "The Static God" - OH SEES

This shred-ready track isn’t just another case of Oh Sees doing their motorik-maniac act, but rather a last-blast rocket ride to parts unknown, its stratosphere-breaching velocity eventually cooled by a cloud-parting organ drone that hints at the more patiently paced music to come. Pitchfork)

Other EOY Positions (as Thee Oh Sees):
2011"I Need Seed"#80
2015"Web"#67
2016"Dead Man's Gun"#10
2016"Fortress"#77
#74 - "Road Head" - JAPANESE BREAKFAST

Michelle Zauner’s new Japanese Breakfast album, Soft Sounds From Another Planet, is a costume party of new personas. It continues Zauner’s interest in magical thinking and fantasy as heard on her last two singles, “Boyish” and “Machinist,” when she was a Roy Orbison-style balladeer and a Ziggy Stardust-like synth-pop alien, respectively. On the new single “Road Head,” though, she comes back to Earth for a bit.
On “Road Head,” Zauner does a great job of sifting through mortal concerns—specifically desire, shitty romances, and hooking up in cars. Lyrically, it is both blunt and abstract: She paints scenes of big rigs barreling down “corkscrewed highways” and lovers cavorting on a turnpike exit. There’s a dirty realism in her songwriting; the pallor of her words is grey and downcast. But her groovy instrumentation runs counter to that, as the pirouetting synth and soulful bassline shuffle alongside smooth guitar riffs. The melody makes her tale brighter as the stark images make the instrumentation more sedate and much darker. In this contradiction, Zauner finds the right balance between winsome and downtrodden and makes a song that’s not just catchy but also a true-blue tearjerker. (Pitchfork)
#73 - "What Can I Do If The Fire Goes Out?" - GANG OF YOUTHS

This track is an epic five minutes of festival-ready rock’n’roll, complete with some Arcade Fire, Bruce Springsteen and, well, Gang Of Youths vibes. (MusicFeeds)
#72 - "Lost For Words" - BETRAYING THE MARTYRS

This track features some partially-rapped vocals that briefly brought to mind Jonathan Davis of Korn, and said legends’ penchant for relatively simple but equally fierce riffs is present and correct on The Resilient too. But whereas nu-metal has often been maligned for being too self-pitying and negative, Betraying The Martyrs take a far more positive yet vulnerable tack this time around. (Leon TK)
#71 - "Halfway Home" - BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE

The first Broken Social Scene song in seven years—from their as-yet-untitled fifth LP—falls squarely in line with the Broken Social Scene of old. Sweeping chorus? Instrumental pile-ons? Stoned philosophizing from sorta-frontman Kevin Drew? The gang’s all here. “Halfway Home” is a solid Broken Social Scene song, rousing and multivalent in the manner to which we've become accustomed. (Pitchfork)

Other EOY Positions:
2010"World Sick"#31
2010"Sweetest Kill"#35
#70 - "Blood {triple J Like a Version}" - GANG OF YOUTHS

After dropping a cryptic clue as to what song the band would cover — “Everybody’s got it. Everybody has it” — Gang Of Youths frontman Dave Le’aupepe joined his bandmates for their multi-layered take on ‘Blood’, which came complete with keys, strings and the usual Gang Of Youths epicness. (MusicFeeds)

Other EOY Positions:
2017"What Can I Do If The Fire Goes Out?"#73

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#69 - "All In One Night" - STEREOPHONICS

The track was the lead single to launch the Welsh veterans’ 10th album, ‘Scream Above The Sounds’. However while talking to NME about the song’s creation, frontman Kelly Jones said that at first he “thought it was a bit daft because it kept telling people the time all the fucking time” through the lyrics in each verse. It first came to be while the band were touring Shanghai when a flight was delayed, before inspiration hit them while laying over in a hotel. What followed was a ‘simple’ and ‘filmic’ anthem, inspired by the ‘Drive’ soundtrack.
“I was in this hotel and it was basically an idea I had after watching this German film called ‘Victoria’, which is about this girl who goes into a nightclub and ends up hooking up with these three guys,” Jones told NME. “Her life completely changes over the course of one night. It ends up like a heist movie, and it’s all in one shot.”
He continued: “I thought the idea of two people meeting and their life completely changing over the course of one night was quite an interesting idea.” (NME)
#68 - "Rainbow City" - CLOUD CONTROL

Australian indie heroes Cloud Control maintained a radio silence in 2015 when the band parted ways with bassist Jeremy Kelshaw. Since then the band’s movements have been quiet, but 2017 is seeing a wellspring of new material. “Rainbow City” comes out with a gorgeously produced video, a surreal color-fest that meets the expectation of a song about rainbow anything. The song sees riffs float through a gossamer miasma of synths and powerful vocal harmonies. The video sees frontman Alister Wright’s body and Frank Oceanesque fade contorting with the same emotion as his words as he howls “Lost, lost, lost lost.” (KEXP)

Other EOY Positions:
2010"There's Nothing In The Water We Can't Fight"#7
#67 - "Let Me Down Easy" - GANG OF YOUTHS

The song is like a letter to every 20-something-year-old avocado-enthusiast trying to discover themselves. With lyrics like: ‘Don’t’ stop believing/ You want someone to want you for who you are’ it’s a song that reminds us of our own humanity, and our hidden vulnerabilities. The singer’s got experience with, and a general acceptance of, life being sucky. And even though it seems the singer is singing about themselves, there’s still something to take away from the song, or rather, relate to.
Steady drum beats accompany the song from beginning to end with a sweet meditative, zen-like, tune interspersed here and there to really drive an avant-garde-esque feel to the song. The singer’s voice itself flows effortlessly when the music, with its deep, bass timbre. (Wickedd Childd)

Other EOY Positions:
2017"Blood" {triple J Like a Version}#70
2017"What Can I Do If The Fire Goes Out?"#73
#66 - "Citizen" - NORTHLANE

“It was inspired by [ex-CIA agent and whistleblower] Edward Snowden. I think what he’s done is a gift to the world and we should all be grateful for the transparency he’s introduced, especially with digital surveillance, which is something that nobody knows about and nobody was ever asked about, and it’s not democratic in the slightest. It scares me for what it may be used for in the future. That’s the topic that Citizen addresses.” (Josh Smith for Team Rock)

Other EOY Positions:
2017"Intuition"#87
#65 - "Girlhood" - THE PREATURES

The coming-of-age narrative has proved fertile cultural mining ground for writers ever since Homer penned The Iliad, and The Preatures explore it to spectacular effect on their second LP, ‘Girlhood’. Essentially a tale about the trials and tribulations of entering womanhood during the Modern Age, it's as much a love letter to the band's native Australia as it is an ode to singer Izzi Manfredi's internal contradictions.

Other EOY Positions:
2014"Somebody's Talking"#20
#64 - "Keep Running" - TEI SHI

You may know Tei Shi from her beautiful ear worm ‘Bassically’. And here she is proving she’s no one-hit wonder.
Valerie Teicher has roamed the globe, born in Bueno Aires, growing up in Colombia, Canada and then the US. Going against the current grain, she was actually professionally trained in music at the Berklee College of Music.
There is a sense of vulnerability to ‘Keep Running’. Languidly, Tei Shi asks the ‘Keep Running’s’ subject, “Baby, keep running, keep running for me”. The lazy drumming keeps the pace super slow, letting Tei Shi’s brilliantly layered vocals to be the real star of the show, in the same vein as ‘Bassically’.
This vulnerability is also reflected in the name of her debut album Crawl Space, named after an impressive confrontation of a fear. Tei Shi forced herself to overcome her fear of the night and insomnia by hiding in her family home’s crawlspace every night for a minute. I, for one, have seen too many horror movies for that kind of behaviour. This self-determination clearly seeps into her career: “People have this idea that you can only check some of the proverbial boxes as a creative woman, that you can’t be attractive and sexual and a great singer and a solid performer and a great writer and be in control of your creative space, as if some of those are mutually exclusive for a human woman.” (Art Felicis)
#63 - "Elevator" - HOLY HOLY

“Elevator” is a classic upbeat burner that features swells of guitars and Timothy Carroll’s beautifully rich vocals. “You were a heart-breaker, I couldda told you that,” repeats Carroll throughout the crashing chorus driven by just two incredibly catchy chords. The same chorus will ring true of melancholy shoe-gaze rockers The War of Drugs- a substantial progression from Holy Holy’s earlier pastoral-rock sound.

Other EOY Positions:
2017"That Message"#80
#62 - "Fruitflies" - GABRIEL GARZON-MONTANO

This track is a story being told along a long walk back home. Had a music video been shot for this track, I’d imagine a dimly lit street, introspection, jeans, and a dark jacket. It’s fascinating how well Garzón-Montano finds his way into your head. (Impose)
#61 - "Phase Me Out" - VERITE

VÉRITÉ’s voice is in constant command of the song, the slightly electronic music bed laden with some keys and synth creating a more sophisticated alt-pop quality, and, while often prominent, it never captures the listener’s main focus. It’s her ravishing voice that does that, frequently sounding ethereal as she pushes herself into a spellbindingly gorgeous higher register, doing so with apparent ease. Few possess a set of pipes like those that she does, capable of such a stunning range while constantly retaining an authoritative tone that ensures she has the listener’s absolute attention.
The story is every bit as beautiful in its own heartbreaking way, “Phase Me Out” being about holding on the final strands of what was once a thriving love. The pains of growing less comfortable around your partner as you fade into strangers (“Stand up straight with my back against the wall…”) and drift apart from one another, questioning what you’re holding on to in the first place.
Teeming with emotion, “Phase Me Out” has no trouble pulling the listener in thanks to the detailed perspective it offers and honest admission of what was and what the romance deteriorated into.
That knack for songwriting, the ability to generate a strong connection and insight that people can identify with is another seldom seen trait, successfully making VÉRITÉ a double threat and an artist you should familiarize yourself with now before everyone else is talking about her.
#60 - "Star Roving" - SLOWDIVE

During their original run, Slowdive changed constantly. They proved shoegaze was not an unchanging monolith, but an incessantly protean genre. The UK quintet’s original run of albums responded and morphed in relation to one another. A spate of rough-hewn EPs produced the gothic ethereality of 1991 debut LP Just for a Day. The eclectic clarity of 1993 pinnacle* Souvlaki* set the stage for the skillful use of negative space on 1995’s Pygmalion. Now, with “Star Roving,” Slowdive’s first song in 22 years, the band has subtly shifted again.
The solution, it seems, is revisionism, not revivalism. In “Star Roving,” they have the luxury of being able to pick and choose from their own ghosts, and summon them into the present. The song bears the hallmarks of their more rugged work, but the streaks of noise and layers of out-of-reach-murmurs is sensitive to their later experimentation. This allows Slowdive to bask in the benefit of all their hindsight. Their recorded return not only follows a younger generation of shoegaze-indebted bands, but also comebacks from their peers: My Bloody Valentine, Ride, and the Jesus and Mary Chain. Slowdive, by distilling elements of their prior selves in a way that recalls without recycling, have stayed true to incandescent form. (Pitchfork)
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#59 - "Ballad Of The Dying Man" - FATHER JOHN MISTY

Joshua Tillman’s “Ballad of the Dying Man” is tragic. On the new Pure Comedy song, Tillman’s Father John Misty persona takes on a pathetic character: the Dying Man, a sneering critic and cultural connoisseur. And much like his Father John Misty guise, the Dying Man actively courts your revulsion.
Despite this character’s insufferable attitude, “Ballad of the Dying Man” is warm and inviting. Tillman does not treat the Dying Man with cynicism. The skepticism is implied, and the sarcasm is obvious (“Who will critique them when he’s left?”), but he still finds sympathy in the man as a fellow human, one who is concerned with his legacy. If Tillman finds the Dying Man worthless, the music—its lovely chorus and beautiful arrangement—does not communicate his disdain. For Tillman and his fatally flawed friend, there are no right answers in the end, or clear paths toward truth—there are just the attempts. (Pitchfork)

Other EOY Positions:
2015"True Affection"#12
2015"I Love You, Honeybear"#66
#58 - "Dark Water" - COLLAPSE UNDER THE EMPIRE

This track is ominous and fathoms deep, much like the images of vast bodies of water its music weaves in your mind. For just as an expansive sea rises and falls and sucks back and forth on itself, so too does this very track.
#57 - "Mourning Sound" - GRIZZLY BEAR

Grizzly Bear songs rarely fare well in isolation. This was especially true of “Three Rings,” the swirling six-minute lead single from their just-announced Painted Ruins, which felt more like a piece of a larger puzzle than a single-serving like “Two Weeks.” The second offering from the album, “Mourning Sound,” gets quickly to the point, though, riding a blunt bassline, a sweeping Ed Droste verse, an ambling Dan Rossen vocal interlude, and a harpsichord draped in gold lamé. (Pitchfork)
#56 - "Feel It Still" - PORTUGAL. THE MAN

At a time when most rock bands in search of hits are swiping drum patterns and bass lines from hip-hop and electronic music – take Imagine Dragons' "Believer" or Muse's "Dig Down" – few could have predicted that Portugal. The Man's unabashedly vintage "Feel It Still," a mix of Twist-contest surf rock and 1960s crossover soul, would become the biggest song of the group's career.
Portugal. The Man's sudden flare-up on the edge of the pop mainstream is the result of more than a decade of rock & roll grind. "They've worked really, really hard over the last few years and built an incredible fan base and awareness, sans the record they would need to get to another level," says Bruce Warren, program director for Philadelphia station WXPN. Portugal. The Man's unrelenting productivity eventually perked ears at Atlantic Records, which signed the band and helped them gain access to ace producers and co-writers who could help conjure that level-up single. (Rolling Stone)

Other EOY Positions:
2017"So Young"#92
#55 - "While We're Young" - JHENE AIKO

There are a lot of people that didn’t understand why she decided to go in the Twenty88 direction with her music (and I’m ignoring the relationship drama; just talking about the direction of the music), but you can see how that has helped her overall sound. While we love a lot of her songs the biggest issue is that, to accommodate mood for her more poetic style, she tends to stick to a particular production route. It fits her voice well and makes you key in on what she’s saying a little more, but it can also be a slog if you are going for a long listen and not just a short trip. This still has that similar sound that most people are used to (and love) from her, but it brings a little more life to the underlying beat, making it work a lot better for her.
One thing that we noticed is that, while her voice is still very much sweet and gentle in its tone, she has a little more power behind the tone. There is a confidence in her vocals that isn’t always there with her work but has become more prevalent with her more recent singles. We like this; she’s bring more color and personality to her overall sound and it makes for a much better sit…especially with repeated plays.
The lyrics are solid on this. One of the things that could easily be complained about with love songs by women is that they sometimes tip the scale into unhealthy with their lyrics that depict a loss of agency if they were to lose the one they love. This song is depicts a more healthy view of love; speaking on enjoying each other, being proud of each other, and wanting to be with each other long term while still maintaining a sense of self throughout. It doesn’t have to be explicitly stated but the title and the overall theme lends itself to sounding like someone who is complete in herself first. It’s a romantic view of love without being overdone and that’s a great statement overall.
#54 - "Tinseltown Swimming In Blood" - DESTROYER

“Tinseltown Swimming in Blood,” the latest gnomic missive from Dan Bejar’s Destroyer alias has an arch bump to it that recalls songs like “Suicide Demo from Kara Walker” from his high mark, 2011’s Kaputt. The soft-focus horns are back in commission, as well—after 2015’s sumptuous if weary Poison Season, it feels like a minor blessing to have them return on the upcoming ken. Bejar’s words, as always, artfully suggest a multitude of overlapping monologues and dialogues, a series of flavorful dispatches that you bite into like ripe plums. But in the middle of all of this, a startling emotional expanse opens up, with bottom-heavy synthesizers hitting visceral frequencies not normally tapped in Bejar’s world. In that slurred sing-speak of his, the professor after nine brandies, he leans in and offers this morsel: “Now let me tell you about the dream/I had no feeling/I had no past/I was the Arctic/I was the vast/Spaces/Without reprieve/I was a dreamer/Watch me leave.” The moment isn’t unguarded, exactly—he’s still speaking in tongues—but it feels nakedly sincere. “Tinseltown” offers one of the precious few moments in Bejar’s catalog where he seems to care that you divine his meaning. (Pitchfork)
#53 - "New York" - ST. VINCENT

Annie Clark has long been defined by contradictions—violence and beauty, power and supplication—but with “New York,” the only discord lies in the fact that she first performed this gorgeous ballad while dressed as a purple toilet. Presumably the first single from her forthcoming fifth album as St. Vincent (no official news yet), it surprises by totally forsaking her cosmic guitar playing for simple piano, which blooms beneath her laments for the lost accomplice who made NYC more than just a pile of old bricks. Maybe it’s her noted hero Bowie, though Clark’s yearning, gasped entreats suggests a deeper intimacy than distant admiration: “So much for a home run with some blue blood,” she sighs, ruing the loss of “the only motherfucker in the city who can stand me” (possibly the highest compliment a New Yorker can pay).
It’s a complete pivot from the imperious vigor of 2014’s St. Vincent, and unlike any other ballad in Clark’s catalogue—the scrambled inner compass and sense of being so close, yet so far, is a jarring sentiment from someone who always seems so supremely herself. Yet “New York” is confident, too, rushing into an orchestral chorus paired with a deep, skipping pulse that adds an infectious adrenaline shot. The lavish strings may recall the instrumental arrangements of 2009’s Actor, though this new song is less self-conscious and ornate than Clark’s second album, and more in-keeping with the rare moments of luxe cinematic sincerity on, say, the score to Manhattan. Her gesture befits big city movie romances, which retain their grandeur even in ruin, and accompanies a declaration that showcases a softer side of her masochistic renown. “But for you, darling, I’d do it all again,” Clark swears, making heartbreak feel just as heroic as unleashing furious solos atop a giant pink pyramid. (Pitchfork)

Other EOY Positions:
2014"Digital Witness"#25
#52 - "YAH." - KENDRICK LAMAR

A more languid and laid-back, breezy number ‘YAH.’ sees Kendrick pondering race, religion and family as his thoughts meander and overlap. Oh and there’s another Fox News (“Fox News wanna use my name for percentage”) jab for good measure. (NME)

Other EOY Positions:
2012"Backseat Freestyle"#6
2015"King Kunta"#70
2016"Goosebumps" (with Travi$ Scott)#67
#51 - "Stuck" - CIRCA WAVES

The anthemic indie-pop bounce of this track masks the disenchantment of time wasted glued to “poisonous TV”, social media and life lived in a rut with the kind of bounding, uplifting chorus Circa Waves first caught so many ears with. (NME)

Other EOY Positions:
2015"T-Shirt Weather"#27
2015"Young Chasers"#75
#50 - "Sober" - LORDE

Lorde’s house party is in full swing now. The three songs the New Zealand singer previously released from her upcoming album Melodrama have suggested a strange little arc. She found freedom in heartbreak with the Robyn-style dance-pop of “Green Light,” then intimate interpersonal drama in the piano ballad “Liability,” and bleary-eyed wisdom on the album’s protean finale, “Perfect Places.” The fourth song, “Sober,” she debuted at her Coachella pre-show as the first of a two-part track, and fittingly for a part one, it feels transitional, like it’s in motion to somewhere else. Only eight years after Pink’s stadium-sized “Sober” became one of her own biggest hits, and amidst “Sober” singles by everyone from Kelly Clarkson to Childish Gambino, the basic kernel of this song is less novel than we might have been rooting for from Lorde, but the execution here is still tough to deny.
Sonically, “Sober” is pretty intoxicating. Its spare and slinky electro-R&B keeps with much of Pure Heroine or the xx. Stereo-panned mini-Lordes chirp like angels and devils on her shoulders, with dimly lit spaces and triumphal trumpet blares that make co-producer and co-writer Jack Antonoff’s moody three-chord foundation seem like plenty; some credit also goes to the producer Malay, who Lorde has said “cracked the code” on finishing the track. Lyrically, despite a colorful reference to Jack and Jill getting “fucked up and possessive,” the imagery of a weekend more euphoric than pills is a little familiar. Luckily, Lorde is already looking ahead: “What will we do when we’re sober?” she repeats on the chorus. The answer may well be, as she also sings here, “dancing with all the heartache.” “Melodrama,” the “Sober” sequel, is tantalizingly still to come.

Other EOY Positions:
2013"Tennis Court"#93
2014"Yellow Flicker Beat"#79
#49 - "Aeroplane" - HOLLY THROSBY

"We made the What I Thought Of You video together for my last record, which is largely super eight footage we collected from around the world," Throsby says.
"Yanni and I both love the quality of super eight and old home movies.
"Aeroplane is about going out into the world, but it comes from a very interior feeling. This video is essentially a home movie for the song." (Holly Throsby for themusic.com.au)

Other EOY Positions (Seeker Lover Keeper):
2011"Even Though I'm A Woman"#35
#48 - "Mended" - VERA BLUE

She is quickly becoming one of the most talked about upcoming Australian artists and for good reason. Vera Blue is a new project from The Voice alum Celia Pavey and her debut EP was an impressive introduction to her magical indie pop. But as her debut album comes closer to being unleashed her music have been getting a bit darker with an electronic influence and I am LIVING for this sound. Her last single “Private” was a perfect representation of this bolder and darker sound and I couldn’t get over the incredible production. Her new single “Mended” begins quite simple, stripping the sound back to a oozing synth while she sings over with dreamy harmonies. The song then adds some basic percussion while she emotionally sings “It’s been a little while since we have ended but we haven’t mended” which will totally break your heart. A heavier drum beat comes in over her repeating “it’s getting close” but then fades away before bringing in this big production for the final chorus that sees the song just explode with emotion and intensity. It’s a perfect mix of the original Vera you were introduced to on the last EP and the darker electronic Vera we are now being acquainted with. However the song’s dreamy outro will break your heart even more with the final lyrics lingering in your head “What am I supposed to do when most of me still belongs to you”. This emotional synth ballad will be stuck in your head, play with your emotions and have you falling in love with Vera Blue. I promise you that. (ThomasBleach)
#47 - "Big Fish" - VINCE STAPLES

Other EOY Positions:
2015"Norf Norf"#65
#46 - "Burn It Down" - DAUGHTER

If you had to pick a band to soundtrack the prequel to the BAFTA Award-winning graphic adventure game ‘Life Is Strange’, then Daughter seem like a pretty good choice. They’ve always had a knack for handling some of the harshest of subject matters with sensitivity and beauty, and it’s that delicate balance that seems to fit perfectly with the mix of chaos and normality that surrounds the narrative of ‘Life Is Strange’.
Those connecting threads run even deeper considering that the prequel, ‘Before The Storm’, is set to tackle issues such as bullying, suicide and teenage pregnancy as well as friendship and love. Elena Tonra revealed that it was this realism that helped them say yes to the project: “We loved the story on first read as it centres around realistic female lead characters who are emotional, intelligent, sensitive and badass in equal measure”. But what’s even more striking about Daughter’s first taste of the soundtrack though, is that it doesn’t just attest to the difficulties in the protagonist’s life, but even gives a little nod to the core gameplay itself.
Across sweeping, dramatic strings, swirling guitar chords and snapping beats, on ‘Burn It Down’ Elena sings from the perspective of one of the characters, pondering setting fire to everything and musing on the idea of being a “good kid”. But having a voice is also an important factor here, Elena singing “always thought I had a way with words/ Never thought I could be speechless”. It’s a significant part of the chorus, and while it paints a picture of a character stripped of agency, it also hints at the concept of “backtalk”, which is set to either help or hinder main character Chloe throughout the game.
In that sense, ‘Burn It Down’ is pretty much the perfect way to introduce a video game soundtrack. It weaves an intriguing narrative, the final repetition of “burn it down” being truly intense. It straddles the line between the virtual universe it was born from and some incredibly real issues, making for dramatic, engaging listening. No doubt there’ll be a few people putting down the controller just to take this one in. (DIY)
#45 - "Sit Next To Me" - FOSTER THE PEOPLE

This track continues to paint Sacred Hearts Club in the same colors that all of their most recent releases have. It's a bright, uplifting, and shamelessly fun dance tune that finds equal inspiration in psychedelic 60s music and the most prominent pop trends of today. If there's any take away from the new song, it's that it just sounds so in right now. But, again, don't think that the band has changed entirely (even if they are noticeably sans one Cubbie Fink on the bass). When Mark Foster sings in that familiar nasally wail during the chorus, you'll breathe a sigh of relief that, while Foster the People is clearly going in new directions, their personality is here to stay. (Baeble Music)

Other EOY Positions:
2010"Pumped Up Kicks"#4
#44 - "Hot Thoughts" - SPOON

This repetitive title track, whose jittery energy is practically killed by its surface-level “hot thoughts” about a sexy girl, has nary a hint of clever winking to be found. (Pitchfork)

Other EOY Positions:
2010"Written In Reverse"#42
2010"Got Nuffin'"#62
2014"Do You"#19
#43 - "Standing In The Middle Of The Field" - CUT COPY

Last fall, the Australian electronic outfit Cut Copy put out a cassette called January Tape that was surprising not only for its analog packaging, but also for its ambient tilt. The wordless 44-minute EP evoked the atmospheric sounds preferred by DJ Dan Whitford when he launched Cut Copy as a solo project in the early 2000s. The group’s forthcoming studio album, Haiku from Zero, their fourth, further displays their return to an upbeat electro-rock sound. On their latest single, “Standing in the Middle of the Field,” the quartet’s vibrant synthesizer antics are at their most fine-tuned. Opening with a merry melody of xylophones, cowbells, and drum pad strikes, the song is a spirited bop with some sly pensive tension at its core, as Whitford belts, “You’ve gotta give up the things you love to make it better.” With it, Cut Copy reassert their ability to turn even moody introspection into floor-filler bliss. (Pitchfork)

Other EOY Positions:
2014"We Are Explorers"#42
#42 - "If You Need To, Keep Time On Me" - FLEET FOXES

“If You Need To, Keep Time on Me” is the quietest taste from Fleet Foxes’ comeback album Crack-Up. Centered on Robin Pecknold’s crisp vocals and acoustic guitar, it’s a patient ballad, with Pecknold’s lyrics compacted into stark, lingering couplets, tying each word together like one mournful exhale. After the abrupt stops-and-starts of “Third of May,” the movement here is notably subtle: a gentle introduction of piano a minute in, a seamless key change and perspective shift from second-person to first just 30 seconds later. While Fleet Foxes’ best music often evolves in sweeping progressions, “Keep Time on Me” gains its power from stillness. They’ve achieved the kind of distance that makes everything else seem small, high above the world where all you can do is reflect on its beauty while you prepare to come back down. (Pitchfork)

Other EOY Positions:
2011"Helplessness Blues"#6
#41 - "ELEMENT." - KENDRICK LAMAR

‘ELEMENT.’ is Kendrick’s latest call-to-arms to his rap rivals. On ‘Control’, he took shots at his peers and also-rans, leap-frogging them all and propelling himself to the higher echelons of the game in the process. Then on ‘The Heart Part 4’, he boasted about being not only in the top five greatest rappers alive but occupying all five spots. Here, Lamar complains of his lack of competition (“Last LP I tried to lift the black artists / But it’s a difference between black artists and wack artists”) and aims for a reaction (“If I gotta slap a pussy-ass n***a, I’ma make it look sexy”).
First premiered on Instagram by LeBron James, the song’s backdrop is provided by one credited ‘J Blake’ (who we can safely assume is the James Blake), who has offered up some piano tinkering, having remixed Kendrick in the past.


Other EOY Positions:
2012"Backseat Freestyle"#6
2015"King Kunta"#70
2016"Goosebumps" (with Travi$ Scott)#67
2017"YAH."#52
#40 - "Name For You" - THE SHINS

This track is a sweetly encouraging piece written for his three daughters, and played as if he raced to the studio to record it while it was still fresh in his mind. (Pitchfork)

Other EOY Positions:
2012"Simple Song"#18
#39 - "Slip Away" - PERFUME GENIUS

How do you create a sound that's both skeletal and giant? That dichotomy is at the heart of “Slip Away,” the lead single from Perfume Genius’ upcoming fourth album, No Shape. The song takes the significant sonic upgrade Mike Hadreas made with 2014’s Too Bright and blows it out of the water. And rightfully so: If you’re going to write a fight song about breaking free, never looking back, and letting the haters’ voices slip away (including the ones in your own head), the music needs to have your back.
It more than does here, pulsating with primal power as Hadreas’ innocent croon works through anthemic lines like, “If you never see them coming/You never have to hide.” In other songwriters’ hands, this might skew towards platitude, and indeed, Hadreas has beautifully tackled far thornier matters of identity in the past. But few others would think to take these fundamental truths about self-preservation and violently bang them into our heads via eerie didgeridoo-esque electronics and tribal-metal drum slams and creaking doors and glittering piano racket. There are several moments on No Shape that burst with so much incandescent noise, they’ll make you feel glad just to be alive. “Slip Away” is the first of these opportunities to be, as Hadreas says, “carried by the sound.” (Pitchfork)

Other EOY Positions:
2017"Die 4 You"#90
#38 - "Every Single Thing" - HOMESHAKE

“Are you even paying attention to me right now?” drones a voice behind a swooping siren. Then everything pulls into focus as Peter Sagar (aka Homeshake) invites us into his private daydream. There you are, too, sitting on the couch with your lover, thinking about everything except the person sitting next to you. “Feeling so out of touch, staying inside too much” he confesses matter-of-factly.
Sagar, a former guitarist for Mac DeMarco, has already quietly released a handful of albums and mixtapes of ramshackle synth-pop; they exhibited an alluring slacker thrill and controlled restraint. In this new track, the drums snap squarely and satisfyingly, and his muddled synth chords balance deep, wobbling bass. The chemistry is simple, and its payoff is unexpected and easy. Homeshake’s detachment in “Every Single Thing” is a chilled-out force in its own right. (Pitchfork)
#37 - "Caroline" - THE BELLIGERENTS

Brissy group The Belligerents have come through once again with new single “Caroline”. Taken from their debut album Science Fiction (coming this November), The Belligerents continue to play with psych and some bloody great pop before taking a sharp turn toward some dance-party inciting sounds before winding out – “Caroline” is colourful, textured and definitely an exciting indicator of where Science Fiction stands to take The Belligerents yet. (The AU Review)

Other EOY Positions:
2015"In My Way"#98
#36 - "Trying Year" - CAPTAIN, WE'RE SINKING

Based solely on the lead single and opening track, “Trying Year”, I knew it was going to be good. As it turns out, The King of No Man is one of those albums that I listened to multiple times a day for two weeks straight. It’s got that ‘every time I think I’m going to listen to a different record, it’s just easier to let this roll over again because nothing else sounds as good to me right now’ kind of good. (Bad Copy)
#35 - "Used To Be In Love" - THE JUNGLE GIANTS

"Used to Be in Love" stole the show. ‘Are you guys ready to fucking dance’ screamed Sam and that’s exactly what we did. The crowd went crazy as did the band, you could tell they were having just a good a time as us. (AmbientLight Blog referring to Jungle Giants' live performance in Auckland)

Other EOY Positions:
2015"Kooky Eyes"#68
use this link until chat comes back http://us23.chatzy.com/42186789961729
#34 - "The Evil Has Landed" - QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE

For all the come-hither hooks and sultry side-eye of “The Evil Has Landed,” the new single from Queens of the Stone Age, it sure is a pummeling affair. Josh Homme opens the song in an isolated falsetto, before a swampy metal riff slithers in to counteract any sense of warmth. His voice retains an alluring intimacy while set against the turmoil of the guitar, which sounds like a beginner’s Mastodon riff, especially for that precision fuzz. The drums take Bonham-doffing downbeats and turnarounds without remorse, across the huge six-and-a-half-minute song. Even as the track spirals from straight-ahead strut to psych-rock soloing to herky-jerk breakdowns, it never loses the magnetism of Homme’s clarion call.
That the title swaps “evil” in the patriotic placeholder “the eagle has landed” recalls the 2015 terrorist attacks on the Bataclan, where Homme’s other other band, Eagles of Death Metal were performing. (Homme was not present but became involved with relief efforts after the incident.) Though Homme has said in interviews that the political climate has little to do with QOTSA’s new album Villains, it’s hard to pass over mentions of the hand of God, “near-life experience” and a larger sense of overcoming adversity. A lot has happened in the four years since the last QOTSA album, 2013’s Like Clockwork. We’d be remiss to forget that time. (Spin)

Other EOY Positions:
2013"If I Had A Tail"#75
#33 - "Homemade Dynamite" - LORDE

Other EOY Positions:
2013"Tennis Court"#93
2014"Yellow Flicker Beat"#79
2017"Sober"#50
#32 - "Creature Comfort" - ARCADE FIRE

Like the perpetual theater kids they are, Arcade Fire have always fancied themselves a beacon for the misfits. It was there when they urged us to wake up from this bullshit world, when they spoke to the desire to flee the suburbs, when they asked, “Is anything as strange as a normal person?” They add another such anthem to their repertoire with “Creature Comfort,” an anti-suicide PSA that sounds a little like Suicide.
As Arcade Fire’s aspirations to become the biggest band in the world have grown more overt, so too has their tribe-building, like the Lady Gaga of indie rock. The increased profile has also coincided with an embrace of electronic sounds, but the song incorporates enough of their signatures to still resemble Arcade Fire, glockenspiel glitter flecking off coldwave synths in a striking way. “Creature Comfort” sounded better to me when they premiered it at Primavera Sound, though—gloriously raw and loud, thus harder to make out the words.
The lyrical arena is where Arcade Fire have out-Arcade-Fired themselves, with the song humble-bragging at one point about Funeral preventing a fan’s suicide. There are specific moments of empathy here that ring true to how music can be the salve, like the line, “Some girls hate their bodies, stand in the mirror and wait for the feedback.” And their overflowing hearts are in the right places, amplifying the unspoken struggle over whether to go through with it in the chorus before Win Butler reasons, “Well if you’re not sure, better safe than sorry.” Inevitably, this song will stop someone from doing something rash. The problem is that Arcade Fire are pompous about knowing that, throwing their arms wide around the problem and presenting their own music as the solution. Bono on line one for you, Win. (Pitchfork)

Other EOY Positions:
2010"The Suburbs"#8
2013"Reflektor"#4
#31 - "Them Changes" - THUNDERCAT

Before there was space funk, there was heartbreak. On some cosmic level, Thundercat knows this. Strip away the technique, the phasers, and the astral glitter of Stephen Bruner's recent EP and what's left are the raw materials of loss and pain. He stares bald-faced into deep melancholy and then drops globs of dope bass shit on top. This has made Thundercat more than just a child of P-Funk, but a futurist songwriter who's in tune with the outer sounds of Flying Lotus, Kamasi Washington, and the rest of L.A.'s Brainfeeder label.

On "Them Changes", a sampled beat from the Isley Brother’s "Footsteps in the Dark" introduces a shaggy '70s R&B groove before Thundercat's six-string bass sets the swirling mood. "Nobody move there's blood on the floor/ And I can't find my heart," he sings, the melodrama of his words coupled with a wide-eyed bass line that adds a subtle shade of humor. But to Thundercat, the stakes really are that high; believe him when he concludes he's a "heartless, broken mess." At the very end of the track, the spotlight turns briefly to Washington's sax, as he plays Thundercat out of the club and into night, while behind them the party just keeps on bouncing. (Pitchfork)
#30 - "Strange Or Be Forgotten" - TEMPLES

Temples are back at it again with their psychedelic, prog-rock sound and it couldn’t be more needed. Their 2016 single ‘Certainty’ is a stark contrast to this dreamy, whimsical tune. However, it leads seamlessly into the new single, which is reminiscent of a 70s psychedelic concept album, if you were to listen to both singles back to back. It’s therefore safe to say that ‘Strange Or Be Forgotten’ is insane. (RedBrick)

Other EOY Positions:
2014"Shelter Song"#36
#29 - "DNA." - KENDRICK LAMAR

In ‘DNA.’, Lamar champions black heritage and the culture that’s made him who he is (“I got loyalty, got royalty inside my DNA”) while sardonically dispelling rap stereotypes (“Sex, money, murder – our DNA”). He takes another shot at Fox News, airing a soundbite spouting that “hip hop has done more damage to young African Americans than racism in recent years”.
The instrumentation takes a backseat here to Lamar’s stinging flow. In a climate where ‘Hotline Bling’ can take home Best Rap Song at the Grammys (in the words of Drake, it’s not even a “rap song”), Kendrick aims to bring the focus back to rhymes and he’s on the same fine form as we last heard in his verse on Kanye’s ‘No More Parties In LA’. (NME)

Other EOY Positions:
2012"Backseat Freestyle"#6
2015"King Kunta"#70
2016"Goosebumps" (with Travi$ Scott)#67
2017"YAH."#52
2017"ELEMENT."#41
#28 - "(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano" - SAMPHA

Over the last six years, Sampha has become something of a musicians’ musician, working with everyone from Drake to SBTRKT to Solange, whether as a producer, songwriter, or guest vocalist. With his forthcoming debut, Process, he stands to make a proper introduction in the wider music world—and “(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano” could be the song to help him do it. As far as artist statements go, it's hard to imagine him topping this prayer to the very power of song.
Guided by austere keys, Sampha shares how a piano that appeared in his mother’s south London home shaped his life profoundly, providing him with his future. “You would show me I have something some people call a soul,” he croons, “And you drop-topped the sky, oh you arrived when I was three years old.” His maturity, both artistically and emotionally, came from finding his true self at the piano bench. But even when Sampha offers up a sentimental pop ballad, he hasn’t lost hints of his edge. He knows to cut the music with a simmering tension that grows from below his instrument of choice, first in a slow, echoing beat, and then in slight electronics that give way to the sound of birds chirping. In this moment, Sampha is stepping into the spotlight, but he hasn’t lost the part of himself that needed music as armor for life. (Pitchfork)
#27 - "Everything Now" - ARCADE FIRE

Other EOY Positions:
2010"The Suburbs"#8
2013"Reflektor"#4
2017"Creature Comfort"#32
#26 - "The Way You Used To Do" - QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE

Like most people in the world, Josh Homme is a fan of Mark Ronson's 2015 hit “Uptown Funk.” He liked it so much, in fact, that he tapped the Brit (whom he met while collaborating on Lady Gaga’s Joanne, which Ronson produced) to man the boards for the Queens of the Stone Age’s(http://pitchfork.com/artists/3494-queens-of-the-stone-age/) upcoming album Villains. “I think one of the reasons I recruited him was to act like a talisman, as a reminder of listening to ‘Uptown Funk’," the QOTSA frontman told Zane Lowe earlier this week. “It’s very tight and vacuous. It sounds fucking great,” Homme said.
Although the pair differ significantly on stylistic specifics—Homme’s a rugged, desert-dwelling rock star, Ronson a globetrotting disco impresario—their shared penchant for full-bodied mixes and carefully-calculated grooves suggests that this ostensible odd couple are more compatible than one might think, especially on Villains' first single, “The Way You Used To Do.” Queens diehards anxious over the prospect of Bruno Mars cameos or anodyne arrangements needn’t fret. Between the bristling, speaker-bursting blues chords and sinister lyrics—“Gave birth to monsters who will terrorize normalcy,” Homme, croons coyly—the scrappy cut proves far more reminiscent of 2007’s similarly unkempt Era Vulgaris than the polished “Uptown Funk.” In a stark departure from his usual lush maximalism, Ronson tests the limits of Queens’ plug-and-play approach with a searing mix that clatters and hisses like a beaten-up Harley barreling down the highway to hell. (Pitchfork)

Other EOY Positions:
2013"If I Had A Tail"#75
2017"The Evil Has Landed"#34
#25 - "Feel The Way I Do" - THE JUNGLE GIANTS

This track finds some of that ferocity mentioned in the title, a tight number that you can already picture crowds bopping their head to.

Other EOY Positions:
2015"Kooky Eyes"#68
2017"Used To Be In Love"#35
#24 - "Say Something Loving" - THE XX

With just over a week until new album ‘I See You’ is revealed to the world, The xx have shared another glimpse into their new, brighter, outward-looking world. ‘Say Something Loving’ cements all that’s been hinted at with ‘On Hold’ and ‘I Dare You’ – showing a band rejuvenated and shimmering with fresh perspective.

After sampling Hall & Oates on ‘On Hold’ got tongues wagging, Jamie xx is at it again here, slicing up the Alessi Brothers’ ‘Do You Feel It’ to give ‘Say Something Loving’ one of its golden moments. The track’s sentiment is simple. “Say something loving / It’s so overwhelming, the thrill of affection,” sing Romy and Sim as one, offering a simple yet often overlooked take on romance and friendship.

You wouldn’t have heard The xx with talk like this in the past. But as they sing of loving words washing away insecurities, it’s the sound of a band returning with a newfound appetite for the joy of making music, rather than the anxieties that have shaped their music in the past. It’s the most fitting ode to Romy’s newly announced engagement that you could imagine, too. Well done everyone. (DIY)

Other EOY Positions:
2016"On Hold"#9
#23 - "Lights Out" - ROYAL BLOOD

Lights Out as good as anything they've ever done and reminiscent of Queens of the Stone Age at their most imperious.

Other EOY Positions:
2014"Figure It Out"#6
2014"Ten Tonne Skeleton"#71
#22 - "Hey, Did I Do You Wrong?" - SAN CISCO

This track is a laid back, highly infectious tune that invokes feelings of summer afternoons by the beach in Fremantle, the band’s hometown.

Other EOY Positions:
2015"Too Much Time Together"#15
2015"Magic"#64
#21 - "Rattlesnake" -KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD

Having released 4 albums in the last two years, it’s starting to feel a bit disingenuous to say “King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard are back”. But they are, and it’s with a song that will be completely unsurprising to anyone who’s heard any of their previous work.
‘Rattlesnake’ contains every key King Gizzard ingredient — an unrelenting one-note rhythm section, insanely catchy dogmatic lyrics that repeat incessantly, a bizarre harmonica solo, etc. The difference this time is that the band is experimenting with eastern melodies: on a budget of $200 each they bought/created instruments tuned to Arabic microtonal scales, which are the inspiration behind their new record Flying Microtonal Banana.

Other EOY Positions:
2014"Cellophane"#32
2016"Gamma Knife"#25
#20 - "Ran" - FUTURE ISLANDS

Since the beginning, Future Islands have made conviction their brand, allowing them to resonate relevance in times of resistance Even though the group is more concerned with matters of the heart than politics, singer Sam Herring makes every verse feel like the climactic speech at the end of a Frank Capra film. “Ran,” their latest trip through the “Take On Me” looking glass, is no exception. Like their breakthrough “Seasons (Waiting on You),” it’s an expression of pure hunger, juxtaposing artificial sounds—those Spandau Ballet keyboards and studio-perfect drums—against raw human emotion. Herring’s voice remains their greatest instrument, and he continues to milk it for every ounce of drama. “What’s a song without you, when every song I write is about you?” he sings with collar-clenching ardor, panicked by the possibility of losing a relationship that’s likely already dead. Then he goes in for the growl: “I can’t hold myself without you!” As always there’s an element of fantasy at play. Contemporary music doesn’t sound like this, and the world certainly doesn’t feel like this, yet Future Islands make this style of romance-swept new wave sound as alluring and empowering as ever. (Pitchfork)

Other EOY Positions:
2015"Seasons (Waiting On You)"#5
#19 - "Perfect Places" - LORDE

Imperfection is always a virtue in Lorde’s world—whether it’s the “incorrect songwriting” of her fantastically nonlinear banger “Green Light,” her unchosen solitude on “Liability,” or the manic expressive dancing these new songs inspire within her. She has said that her upcoming second album, Melodrama, charts the trajectory of a single house party, which is a little funny in this context—the searching introspection of these songs doesn't quite scream “rager” yet. But Lorde is a songwriter who still vividly celebrates out-of-step self-possession.

Where does the party end? Melodrama closer “Perfect Places” cuts to the 3 a.m. heart-to-heart. The track slides in on a spacious, charcoal beat à la Pure Heroine’s “Team,” but reality has grown crueler since then. In “Perfect Places,” Lorde’s heroes are dying; she can’t stand the headlines; the weather is disagreeable. The world around is becoming less recognizable, and how to cope? “Now I can’t stand to be alone,” she sings.

If there is an argument to be made for partying as a mechanism of survival, this Lorde song bolsters it. “Perfect Places” is about the extents we go to in order to feel more alive, but it spares no details of “graceless,” grotesque real life—the consequences of “nights spent off our faces.” The promise of the house party is so rarely fulfilled: At any age, you are unlikely to find utopia in a drink and a stranger. By the end of the song, with the raspy inflection of experience, Lorde asks, “What the fuck are perfect places anyway?” There are none. But the path to figuring that out comes close. (Pitchfork)

Other EOY Positions:
2013"Tennis Court"#93
2014"Yellow Flicker Beat"#79
2016"Sober"#50
2016"Homemade Dynamite"#33
#18 - "The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness" - THE NATIONAL

“We’re in a different kind of thing now,” Matt Berninger notes in the chorus of the National’s new song, “The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness.” It could be his way of addressing the dark turn things have taken in the four years since the band’s last album, Trouble Will Find Me. But “The System” is also a different kind of thing for the National. While many of their songs, records, and even the trajectory of their nearly 20-year career could be described as a slow build, now they’re not wasting any time. “The System” sounds heavy and urgent and surprisingly aggressive—and not just because of Aaron Dessner’s gnarly guitar solo in the middle.

There’s a bit of Spoon in the song’s disjointed swagger, but the National retain the elegance that’s been their calling card since the Alligator days. Drummer Bryan Devendorf still finds unexpected patterns to propel Berninger’s understated melodies: the sneakers-in-a-dryer wallop of 1980s Grateful Dead might be the only thing the band’s retained from their recent Day of the Dead sessions. Here, they all sound more energized, jutting forward with a slick confidence. “I can’t explain it any other way,” Berninger repeats desperately in his highest register as the band hits the song’s emotional peak. Together, they sound wide awake and ready to fight away the darkness. (Pitchfork)

Other EOY Positions:
2010"Bloodbuzz Ohio"#19
2013"I Should Live In Salt"#7
2013"Sea Of Love"#90
#17 - "Passage" - IN HEARTS WAKE

The chorus of this track stands as Kyle Elrich's strongest moment in a moment reminiscent of last year’s Refuge.
#16 - "Love Galore" (ft. Travis Scott) - SZA

You’ve found yourself here before. At 3 AM, a text arrives. “U up?” it reads, not quite two words but it speaks volumes, a wealth of interpretations to be considered. Solána Rowe, aka SZA, contemplates such a message in a “Hotline Bling” reversal on “Love Galore”, the latest cut from her long-awaited debut LP, CTRL. While an early morning text might catch someone unawares, this messenger caught Rowe sounding mid-blunt, and she approaches its contents with curiosity and matter-of-fact musings.

“I need I need/I need I need” Travis Scott drones, unable to get his feelings across before Rowe gives him an answer: “Love.” A simple answer, but remarkably effective on SZA’s latest, Rowe at the center of a universe she constructed and the men who orbit her. Depicted not as a symbol of commitment to each other but to eroticism, love is used by Rowe as a justification for the mistakes her former lover apparently wants to make with her. In “Love Galore”, there’s just enough love to go around, but it only spans the area of a king-sized bed.

The beat, the boys, all of it falls into Rowe’s sphere of influence, topics and observations about which she muses, her voice like silk sheets. It pours outward in a stream-of-thought delivery, skipping over a fuckboy in triplets, all atop a smooth, sensual line of lulling bass and stretched synths. Her deliberate enunciation on certain phrases (“You got a prollem, beeches”) lets SZA thrive in her own vernacular, in charge of her voice and the conversation. She does it “for fun,” providing him fair warning that she, the other woman, is in control. As synths spread themselves over the track in lazy waves, Rowe reclines against them, considering her options.

Other EOY Positions (SZA):
2017"Drew Barrymore"#84

Other EOY Positions (Travis Scott):
2016"Goosebumps" (ft. Kendrick Lamar)#67
#15 - "Animated Violence" - OH SEES

The glorious, steamrolling sludge of this track is the closest Oh Sees have ever gotten to metal, with Dwyer dropping comically Gene Simmons-esque growls in between gleaming Thin Lizzy arpeggios.

Other EOY Positions (Thee Oh Sees):
2011"I Need Seed"#80
2015"Web"#67
2016"Fortress"#77
2016"Dead Man's Gun"#10
2017"The Static God"#75
#14 - "Flash" - THE BELLIGERENTS

This awesome track is a time-travelling trip, taking you from '60s sitar-infused groove, via '70s disco, through to '80s-'90s Madchester.

Other EOY Positions:
2015"In My Way"#98
2017"Caroline"#37
#13 - "Curve" (ft. The Weeknd) - GUCCI MANE

Gucci Mane is looking to close out September with a bang, with his upcoming book The Autobiography Of Gucci Mane dropping on September 19th and his second album of the year Mr. Davis dropping this Friday, September 15th. The project's first single, the Migos assisted "I Get The Bag," indicated that Mr. Davis might be more up-tempo than the haunting, alien vibes of Droptopwop. Now, another single has dropped, and it features the master of dark-pop himself, The Weeknd.
As is usually the case with Weeknd features, Abel sings about his aptitude at the art of nightlife, wooing and stealing the ladies before curving with no mercy. The braggadocio is high on this one, and the eerie trap beat from Nav is well suited to the singsong delivery and cocky lyricism that Abel brings to the table. "A n*gga wanna come and diss me, and put a hex like a gypsy, they kill themselves, no wrist bleed, got suicides on my SV" sing-raps The Weeknd, sounding simultaneously ghostly and angelic. Ultimately, The Weeknd has always acquainted himself well in the after hours aesthetic, and has a keen eye for exploring the seductive nature of the witching hour.
Gucci Mane closes out the brief single with a sexually charged verse. While Abel exudes charm through mystery, Gucci opts for more of a Tony Soprano approach, utilizing his reputation and sheer status as a boss to enthrall the ladies. It's no coincidence that his opening lines reward skilled "dick riding" with a first class flight...or they would, if Gucci wasn't curving with as much reckless abandon as his compatriot. His verse continues in that regard, with Guwop reveling in his own ostentatious nature, because let's be honest, only Gucci Mane can can get away with calling himself the "kingpin" of the game.

Other EOY Positions (The Weeknd):
2013"Live For" (with Drake)#40
2015"The Hills"#97
2016"Starboy" (with Daft Punk)#1
#12 - "How??" - THE FLAMING LIPS

On this glacial mecha-ballad, a crestfallen plea for liberal freedoms that feels all the more hopeless in the face of Donald Trump’s tangerine terror-glare, Coyne sounds as if he’s trapped in one of Coleridge’s pleasure-dome ice caves.
#11 - "Hunter" - GALANTIS
#10 - "Want You Back" - HAIM

Whiplash is starting to feel like a theme of pop in 2017. Lorde defied Max Martin’s pop algebra with the zig-zagging “Green Light,” and now Haim are pulling the rug out from under our feet in the run-up to releasing their second album, Something to Tell You. Last week’s brooding taster track “Right Now” iced an ex who’d come crawling back. It was an understated choice for their big comeback, maybe indicating a rootsier follow-up to 2013’s Days Are Gone—or even, à la Calvin Harris’ earnest Twitter videos of him at the piano, their way of showing off the chops behind their regular pop-locking productions.

“Right Now” was clearly a red herring, or at least only half of the story, as the album’s first proper single, “Want You Back,” pivots in a big way. This time, Danielle Haim’s the one asking for forgiveness from an ex she steamrollered into leaving. It’s fairly brazen to name a song after one of the biggest singles of all time, but unlike the Jackson 5’s charm offensive, there’s a tentativeness to her words. She confesses to being selfish, and outlines the newfound space for someone else in her life. That openness reverberates through “Want You Back”’s verses, which have a Don Henley glimmer and a Christine McVie yearning. But then the chorus swells and shudders like Lindsey Buckingham at his most overheated, sprinkled with jittery digital chatter. Once it hits, Danielle stops explaining herself and pleads her case from the rooftops, backed by her sisters for ballast. On “Want You Back,” Haim’s dueling impulses are a battle played out between the head and the heart.

Other EOY Positions:

2012"Don't Save Me"#99
#9 - "Liability" - LORDE

Last week, Lorde shared her first song in four years, the Robyn-inspired heartbreak banger “Green Light.” Yesterday, the New Zealand-based singer insisted on Twitter that “Liability,” the second release from her forthcoming album Melodrama, is not a single, “just a strange little sister of this album.” Regardless, it’s a powerful counterpart to “Green Light” that shows how intensely Lorde peers into herself on her second record. On “Liability,” she is literally dancing on her own to a ballad that confronts a newfound sense of alienation.

“Part of what is really difficult about being ‘new-famous’...” Lorde once said, “is having to watch people that you really care about being subjected to the kind of scrutiny that they wouldn’t normally.” “Liability” is a song written in response to those who regret “dancing in [her] storm.” She sings, “They say, ‘You’re a little much for me/You’re a liability/You’re a little much for me,’” her delivery thick with both pain and smirking self-awareness. “Liability” is Lorde at her most exposed, offering just an unidentified mumbling male voice at the beginning, a solitary piano, and a brief glimmer of organ. While Lorde has certainly plumbed the depths of her heart before, minimizing the sound allows her to reveal a new vulnerability. As Lorde’s hero David Bowie once sang, “Fame puts you there where things are hollow.” Though celebrity can garble reality, in Lorde’s new world, self-love is always the buoy floating just within reach.

Other EOY Positions:
2013"Tennis Court"#93
2014"Yellow Flicker Beat"#79
2017"Sober"#50
2017"Homemade Dynamite"#33
2017"Perfect Places"#19

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#8 - "Fire That Burns" - CIRCA WAVES

‘Fire That Burns,’ the second single from Circa Waves’ upcoming second album Different Creatures, follows up on first single ‘Wake Up‘ in signifying the band’s lean into a slightly new stylistic territory. As with ‘Wake Up,’ they have traded in the major key, distorted jangle pop of 2015’s Young Chasers into something altogether moodier and aggressive, recalling bands like Twin Atlantic. However, ‘Fire That Burns’ functions well as a bridge between their old and new styles: opening with a pummel of heavily distorted power chords, the song quickly slips back to a more minimalist verse structure with a delay-drenched guitar line hooking in well to the surging bass and drums. Its pre-chorus builds into staccato and layered guitar picking before opening up into a euphoric chorus built up of huge blocks of distorted guitar and heavy percussion.

Kieran Shudall gives a nice performance of his somewhat intense lyrics and delivers some enjoyable and relatively catchy hooks, although his delivery is oddly unemotional given how intense his lyrics are. (“You call me a liar / You call me so innocent,” the entertaining chorus couplet, is delivered in such a bizarrely straight way it’s difficult to get completely invested, despite its catchiness.) Indeed, this hands-off, near clinical outlook pervades throughout ‘Fire That Burns’ to make it seem a bit by-the-numbers. Its structure – a traditional Pixies-like loud/quiet/loud dynamic – is used effectively, yet again it’s arguably a tad predictable and even the middle 8 of a last-minute swell of ever-building guitar and bass it feels adherent to a template.

This is not to say the song (and the band) is not effective – ‘Fire That Burns’ is enjoyable, catchy, and well put together. However, it regularly feels like it was created by committee, with everything fitting into an amiable if not particularly unique blueprint. This has the unfortunate tendency of shedding a bit of personality, especially compared with the band’s previous efforts. Nevertheless, it still works well and is another fun, if not overly thrilling, addition to their catalogue with a new record a month or so away.

Other EOY Positions:
2015"T-Shirt Weather"#27
2015"Young Chasers"#75
2017"Stuck"#51
#7 - "Sweep Me Off My Feet" - POND

Other EOY Positions:
2013"Midnight Mass (At The Market St. Payphone)"#67
2015"Zond"#34
#6 - "Green Light" - LORDE

At the outset of Lorde’s comeback breakup jam “Green Light,” she threatens an ex: “I know about what you did and I wanna scream the truth,” she sings, her droll voice flaring with rage. But she doesn’t scream—she doesn’t need to. Instead, she reckons with her power as a writer and a protagonist in her own story, dialing back the complex imagery of debut Pure Heroine to flex in a new way. That record explored the anxious teenage mindset that files experiences into memory while they're happening in real time. Here, she understands that songwriting for the masses is now part of her emotional processing (“I whisper things, the city sings ‘em back to you”) but wields her trademark nuance to bury this guy, betraying intimacy in every line. “She thinks you love the beach—you’re such a damn liar,” she snarls, spotlighting how tiny pretensions can feel as treacherous as full-blown betrayal, then multiplies her voice into a skittish falsetto chorus that mocks her ex’s fear of intensity: “Did it frighten you/How we kissed when we danced on the light-up floor?”

The fear is not one she shares; instead, this rupture only enhances Lorde’s openness to possibility. “I hear sounds in my mind/Brand new sounds in my mind,” she sings coolly, as rapturous house piano soundtracks her search for the green light that’ll help her get over this relationship. To Lorde, raging synesthete, green equals transcendence. (She once explained that her early single “Tennis Court” was initially “the worst textured tan color” until a shift made it change to “all these incredible greens overnight!!!”) Different hues ripple through her catalog, but the euphoria of “Green Light” is a new look for this 20-year-old who first appeared as a shadowy teenaged mystic. She doles it out carefully, true to her inability to find closure. But when it hits, she’s radiant.

Other EOY Positions:
2013"Tennis Court"#93
2014"Yellow Flicker Beat"#79
2017"Sober"#50
2017"Homemade Dynamite"#33
2017"Perfect Places"#19
2017"Liability"#9
#5 - "HUMBLE." - KENDRICK LAMAR

If you’re listening to this album – and reading this review – then you’ve probably heard this one already. It’s the perfect attention-grabbing first single and Kendrick need not be humble about that fact.

Other EOY Positions:
2012"Backseat Freestyle"#6
2015"King Kunta"#70
2016"Goosebumps" (with Travi$ Scott)#67
2017"YAH."#52
2017"ELEMENT."#41
2017"DNA."#29
#4 - "Love" - LANA DEL REY

Perhaps it’s the times we live in, but on “Love,” Lana Del Rey sounds like she's been hit with a new sense of perspective. “Look at you kids with your vintage music/You're part of the past, but now you’re the future,” she sings over Born To Die era strings, talking up a generation disillusioned. Over the course of three albums, Del Rey has used American pastiche to discuss the truly chronic parts of love: the addiction, its deception, and the fleeting transaction. Historically, she’s nailed the art of channeling Don Draper, dosing on and off in a post-coital dream, imagining a reality less bound for destruction. Until now.

Del Rey has decided to name a song after the emotion that drives her, and she’s not wasting the opportunity. “Love” is an ode to allowing yourself to feel. Here, she reassures a listener that the feeling can still lift, that love can still conquer. “It doesn't matter if I’m not enough, for the future for the things to come,” she coos, before employing a winking nod to the Beach Boys’ “Don’t Worry Baby.” For years, Del Rey has been an icon as ultimately fruitless to solve as a Rubik’s Cube, but now, with “Love,” she’s turning ideas into action.

Other EOY Positions:
2011"Video Games"#4
2012"Born To Die"#1
2012"Blue Jeans"#8
2012"Summertime Sadness"#19
2012"National Anthem"#73
2014"West Coast"#53
#3 - "Ubu" - METHYL ETHEL

While fellow countrymen Tame Impala may opt for the hazier, more blissed out side of the pop spectrum, Perth pals Methyl Ethel are aiming their sights firmly on the dance floor.
New track ‘Ubu’ - influenced by risqué, revolutionary 1896 surrealist play called Ubu Roi - is a case in point. Though quite obviously an exercise in pretty outré ideas (we did mention it’s inspired by a weird theatre piece from 120 years ago, right?), it manages to channel them into the kind of shimmering disco nugget that’s part wonky Dutch Uncles smarts and part soulful 70s swagger - all held together by frontman Jake Webb’s falsetto croon.
Yet, despite Methyl Ethel’s clear ability to incite some toe-tapping of a serious degree, you get the feeling that while the other kids were at prom, this lot were probably happier holed up in their rooms with a record player and some low key hallucinogenics.
‘Ubu’ is outsider pop of the highest calibre.

Other EOY Positions:
2017"No. 28"#77
#2 - "Nite Expo" - OH SEES

Other EOY Positions (Thee Oh Sees):
2011"I Need Seed"#80
2015"Web"#67
2016"Fortress"#77
2016"Dead Man's Gun"#10
2017"The Static God"#75
2017"Animated Violence"#15

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#1 - "Low Blows" - MEG MAC

It's a quality that McInerney has shown from the start and she seems to have just about perfected at Niles City Sound in Texas, showing the confidence and experience to rely on her abilities instead of trying to blow them out of proportion. McInerney keeps delivering on all the neo-soul promise of those first two singles — if this isn't the cut that makes her an international household name the one that does likely won't be far off.

Other EOY Positions"
2017"Maybe It's My First Time"#99
Bumping this thread because my full Top 200 list is now at the top of this thread
Jeez, too many amazing songs to comment on! A couple of things I'm happy to see include Sampha pretty high up, as well as The xx, Liability in the top 10, and The System... being top 20.

Slip Away, Big Fish, Mended, and Phase Me Out are some great choices too!
I tend not to check peoples charts out and not because I am not interested but because if I start it will distract me from things I should be doing. Anyway, it's after 3am and I am having one of those nights where I can't seem to fall asleep so am wasting time having a read (yeah I know my Ipad is probably doing me no favours in regards to sleep) of some charts and yours is the first one I am checking out and bloody awesome is all I can say. Kickass chart mate.

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