I am not a writer, a music critic, or a tastemaking social influencer. I just like music. I live my life listening to hundreds and hundreds of new songs each month. Occasionally, a handful of songs make my MixTapes.
They are the sound track to my life.
In 2017 I experienced a rather large chunk of turmoil culminating with the passing of my beloved best friend, Miles.
Thankfully, I had these songs to help me get through it all Here are my top 25 for 2017 (click here for Spotify playlist)
25) The National – Empire Line
At the risk of repeating myself, I must tell you to listen to this one until the end, and again and again! It just gets better as it goes on.
24) ODESZA – A Moment Apart
Odesza was a big part of my 2015 and 2016. It was nice to get a new album in 2017.
23) Flaming Lips – How??
Trippy, fun, political song from Wayne Coyne.
22) Slow Magic – Belong 2 Me (feat. Peter Silberman)
A spacey EDM track from Slow Magic’s Float. Doesn’t it sound like something you would want to hear in a float tank?
21) Sylvan Esso – Die Young
Die Young was the first big single in 2017 for one of my favorite duos, Sylvan Esso. It has been a pleasure watching this band grow and grow every year!
20) Keep Shelly in Athens – Leave in Silence
Tough call on whether I wanted to use the song Seattle or this one (I know, that’s not how lists are supposed to work). Went with this and I think you will approve!
19) the xx – On Hold
This song bumped up a few notches after seeing it performed live (while going up against Jay Z) at ACL Fest.
18) Ryan Adams – It Will Never Be the Same
Is slow burner the term for a song that starts of mellow and ends so majestically? Either way, the ending is what hooked me on this one from the delightful trouble maker Ryan Adams.
17) Sleigh Bells – And Saints
A lot of replay in a little bit of time catapulted this song into my top twenty.
16) Sylvan Esso – Rewind
The break out band of my 2014 list tops out at number 16 with this fun jam.
15) The War On Drugs – You Don’t Have To Go
It has been a theme of this list: my love for the last half of a song. The same theme applies to almost every track on A Deeper Understanding. Put this one on and go for a cruise.
14) HAIM – Right Now
I can only imagine how awesome this song would be to see live!
13) Cults – Right Words
My favorite song from Cults end of summer release Topic.
12) Toro y Moi – Don’t Try
It was a depressing year. This song echoes how some of us feel most days. “Woke up because I only thought I had to.”
11) St. Vincent – New York
St. Vincent storms back with another fantastic album. Here is my favorite from MASSEDUCTION.
10) SOHN – Hard Liquor
This song reminds me of March, SXSW (seeing SOHN), and drinking waaay too much at the Mohawk and fighting with my poor girlfriend because I didn’t want to go home.
09) Animal Collective – Man of Oil
It might be a bit strange to call my number nine song of the year a “background” tune but it kind of was. Man of Oil was the second song on my second most played MixTape, right after my most played song of the year. Don’t get me wrong though, I love this one from Animal Collective (thus the placement).
08) LCD Soundsystem – american dream
Oh fuck does this song just fit this year, this garbled life, and the overall jaded chugging along of the student debt riddled millennial generation.
07) Twin Oaks – Window
Let’s categorize this under rainy day driving tunes. Sit back, listen, and just think…
06) David Ramirez – Twins
Another song that brings out the pessimistic outlook many people have on our crumbling American society from Austin’s own David Ramirez.
05) Gidge – Midra
Gidge are a Swedish EDM duo unlike anything else I’ve listened to. While enjoying some LSD, cleaning house, and mounting my new sword on the wall; I decided to check out their just released EP LNLNN. This song floored me. Imagine, if you will, climbing a glacier in Iceland with a giant battle axe strapped to your back.
04) the xx – Seasons Run
It is funny that the best song from the xx’s I See You was on the deluxe version and not included on the original album. Listen to the entire thing and tell me if you disagree (you won’t).
And now, here we are: the top three. Three of the most played songs of 2017, three that could easily be switched around, and the three that had the most meaning to me.
03) The War on Drugs – Strangest Thing
Listen to this on repeat, listen all the way through. Strangest Thing is such a beautifully building song and the stylistic centerpiece for my top album of the year, A Deeper Understanding.
02) The National – The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness
Sometimes you hear a song and just know it is going to be the best that year. This is true for The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness, which topped several national countdowns and really pushed Sleep Well Beast. It also happens to be my most played song of 2017 (according to Spotify).
That being said…
01) Father John Misty – So I’m Growing Old on Magic Mountain
“That was the last New Year I’ll Ever See.”
2017 was a bitch of a year. Our heroes died in 2016, and now we are left floating in this flaming garbage can asking “What’s next?”
Well, I already knew what was next. I had no intention of finishing out this year, of seeing another stupid New Year.
This song is important to me because I was listening to it during a very difficult time; the month or so in Spring when my long time companion, Miles, was dying. He would get better, worse, then better, and worse (even on his last day, after I had made the appointment at my home, he was hopping around in a good mood).
The music helped me think, grieve, and cope. I still, right now, get choked up listening to So I’m Growing Old on Magic Mountain (even cried loudly during FJM’s ACL Live taping). The song itself addresses so many issues we all face while aging and moving on.
Through the haze of depression I found hope and happiness in my love, my friends, and my family. Here is to 2017, and a better 2018!
TOP SONGS OF YEARS PAST
2016: M83 – Solitude
2) The Range – Florida
3) James Blake – Timeless
2015: Purity Ring – dust hymn
2) Tame Impala – Eventually
3) ODESZA, Zyra – It’s Only
2014: Future Islands – Seasons (Waiting on You)
2) Sylvan Esso – Could I Be
3) Little Dragon – Pretty Girls
2013: The National – Sea of Love
2) Major Laser – Get Free
3) Dan Croll – From Nowhere (Baardsen GTA-V soundtrack Remix)
2012: Divine Fits – My Love is Real
2) Santigold – Disparate Youth
3) Hot Chip – Look at Where We Are (Major Lazer remix)
2011: My Morning Jacket – Holding on to Black Metal
2) TV on the Radio – Will Do
3) …And You Will Know Us – Weight of the Sun
2010: Odessa – Caribou
2) Interpol – Lights
3) Arcade Fire – Ready to Start
2009: Matt & Kim – Daylight
2008: Yeasayer – 2080
2007: Peter, Bjorn and John – Young Folks
2006: Muse – Knights of Cydonia
2005: Postal Service – Against all Odds
2004: Modest Mouse – Float On
2003: Interpol – Obstacle 1
2002: Wilco – Jesus etc.
2001: Pete Yorn – For Nancy