This post is self-admonishment. What came off the presses in 2017? I don’t know. What am I paying attention to? I’lll be learning from everybody else’s “Top Ten 2017” lists. This is not a best of 2017 list. It’s just a cache of songs from the past year.
My primary goal for this blog is to find “new music”; looking over the past year, I’ve been really good at finding old music that is “new to me”, and I hope I’ve pointed out things new to others. Also, I admit that I’m cheating. Some of these songs are from 2016, but all of them I heard new-to-me in 2017. So, I’m within a year of being honest. (And there’s been bunches and bunches of great stuff that I wrote about in 2017 that is way too old for a list like this. Brick, anyone?)
Finally, here is some new music for you to consider. You can find the playlist on YouTube, New Music 2017 _ Community Noise, and read about it all below.
1. Goat Girl “Crow Cries”
I love this band. They have style. They understand primal emotions and primal needs. That’s what rock ‘n’ roll is supposed to be.
I’ve extolled the virtues of this young band many times. They’re taking it slow. Maybe too slow; I’d love to see a full album. Even an EP. They do have a new single out in 2017 – let’s celebrate that.
2. St. Vincent “Savior”
St. Vincent is good. Her work has texture and layers and little things hiding in the corners. Her voice is strong, with range and intrigue.
3. Spencer Ludwig “Diggy”
He’s hot and the sound is fabulous. He has released lots of singles and you can buy MP3s but a complete album would be worthy. A trumpet disco band? Honestly, I don’t know why this guy signed to Warner Bros. Sometimes your flame is short lived – you’ve got to strike when your opportunity is alive. He needs to get an album out.
“Diggy” is from 2016. I picked through some of his 2017 singles, but I still like this best, so let’s play it.
4. Destroyer “Tinseltown Swimming in Blood”
Stopped me in my tracks…I was listening to local radio, Audioasis, on Saturday evening (http://kexp.org/programs/Audioasis). I was working on stuff. This came on and I stopped cold – stunned. What is this?
It’s got the stuff, doesn’t it? It seems to get muddled somewhere near the end, like he took a break from the action for just a little too long, but the core of the song, the intro, the stuff, damn!
5. Posse “Keep Me Awake”
I was already stopped cold, and this song was next on the radio. Damn. It’s better.
6. Nice as Fuck “Cookie Lips”
This is 2016, but I didn’t hear it until 2017, and I really like this and the album is really good. Is this bubblegum pop? I don’t know. Will I be listening to it in 10 or 20 years? I don’t know. I really like it right now.
This is the best kind of dance music. I don’t like the deafening, driving bass/drum thing; I like the ethereal thing that makes you want to slink and shake a little bit. In a live version, the drummer explains, “It’s about when you’re given crumbs of affection, like a text or one date, …(inaudible)… and you can’t survive on crumbs. You want the whole cookie.”
7. Girl Ray “Stupid Things”
Pretty intro. Patient. Lot’s of little parts – hear that heavy breathing? Heavy breathing can be an instrument. I’d never thought about that. I like that. I just happened to notice this in the Youtube list after listing to NAF; remember to keep your eyes open!
They alternately describe themselves as “Girl Power Trio” or “Estrogen Pop”. To me they sound more like the latter; good luck, girls.
8. Pinkshinyultrablast “The Cherry Pit”
I continue to like these folks from St. Petersburg. I think this song is actually 2016.
9. Alex Newell & DJ Cassidy (with Nile Rodgers) “Kill the Lights”
This is the song by the mythical band Indigo on the HBO series, Vinyl. It’s make-believe 1973 in the year 2016, but it’s beautiful. I just found it a few weeks ago, so it rounds out my 2017 list.
This has been a rough year in many ways. A misogynist, racist lunatic resides in the White House and fringe right-wing nationalists are having their day in the sun. The barrage of insights into sexual predators and the #meToo movement is heart breaking. Buck up. I find myself thankful for the movement — it has been a long time coming. Greatness will spawn from this mess; there is no alternative. Here’s to a brighter 2018. Who’ll be making the great music that we’re still listening to 2038? Let’s find out.
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