My Top 40 Songs of 2017

10. Vanic x K.Flay – “Make Me Fade”

I’m always a fan of songs that create an atmosphere for the listener, and this year the best song for that was this one. There’s a dark sense around this whole song, and the lovelorn lyrics cut a low and lonely path through the verses. But all the while there’s an unnerving feeling going on in the background that comes to the fore as a squealing and scary drop that symbolise an explosion of feeling. It’s a really good advert for what dance music can be, and unlike almost anything else you’ll hear from this year.

 

9. Jax Jones – “You Don’t Know Me” (feat. RAYE) [2016]

This was one of the big hits of the start of the year, bringing together two emerging talents in the UK music scene in the genius producer Jax Jones and incredible vocal talent RAYE. This mixture of musical excellence and a song full of sass and fun made it a chart success and perfect for the dancefloor. Even after hours on end of radio airplay I still love listening to this, which is testament enough to how good it is.

 

8. Lost Kings – “You” (feat. Katelyn Tarver) [2016]

Dance music is meant to be fun, but it’s rarely as good as this song. From a duo I’d barely heard of before, this tune is so incredibly positive and happy about life and relationships that it’s infectious. Everything about it is geared towards having a good time, and was always worth listening to in creating a better mood.

 

7. Ariana Grande – “Break Free” (feat. Zedd) [2014]

Revisiting Ariana Grande’s catalogue, as many did this year, I found this – which is perhaps one of the best combinations of pop and dance I’ve heard in years. Putting together Ariana’s sultry vocals with a message of pure defiance is an instant winner, and Zedd’s turn at the production makes it as dancey as possible and makes it all the more uplifting. It’s one of the few songs I could listen to on repeat and enjoy again and again, and it deserved every play it got this year.

 

6. Christine & the Queens – “Tilted” [2014]

“Tilted” took a long time from its release to featuring in the charts over here in the UK, but after seeing it on last Christmas’ Top of the Pops I was enchanted by it’s message and delivery. I don’t know if there’s ever been such a good song about loving yourself, flaws and all, and about how things will get better even if they don’t feel like they will at the moment. It’s one that’s always handy to listen to when things aren’t going so well, and a guaranteed way of bringing a smile to your face.

 

5. Hollywood Principle – “Firework” (Melad Remix)

Rocket League was a minor addiction throughout the start of the year, and this was the theme tune that fired up when the game started. It’s a dance song with some amazing melodies that link together and make the song evolve throughout. It’s so easy to listen to this song on repeat and still enjoy it.

 

4. Major Lazer – “Particula” (feat. DJ Maphorisa, Nasty C, Ice Prince, Patoranking & Jidenna)

Major Lazer’s Know No Better EP released a couple of big hits this year, in lieu of an actual album, but the best on it was “Particula”. It’s rhythm in the bridge is a perfect accompaniment to its chorus, and then it’s drop is so satisfying. This is proof that dance music doesn’t have to go all out, all the time to be really good and really fun, and as a bonus it has a nice story behind it too. All-in-all it’s one of Major Lazer’s best, and underrated.

 

3. LCD Soundsystem – “how do you sleep?”

This song is the centrepiece of LCD’s return, and captures the emotion of the album perfectly. A 9-minute take down of former DFA bigwig Tim Goldsworthy, this captures the more aggressive, negative and ominous feeling that James Murphy and co were going for on American Dream – and naturally sets it to an incredible soundtrack. It takes a while to get into it, leaning into Murphy’s elongated and chanting lyrics, before the beat kicks in and a dark, electric synth buzzes in the background and elevates the song. It’s an incredibly good tune and one that I’d only wish they’d play live. LCD are back, and they’re as phenomenal as ever.

 

2. Lorde – “Perfect Places”

Closing an album as good as Melodrama was always going to be a tall order, but this tune does it perfectly. “Perfect Places” is about going out week after week in search for the night out to end all nights out, but never quite reaching that high. Growing older does this naturally, but having it set to such a dramatic vocal-powered song makes it feel all the more real. The melodies capture a brilliant mix of euphoria and anxiety that underpins the song which adds to a spectacular finish. An incredible song to end an incredible album.

 

1. Paramore – “Hard Times”

My top tune of the year by some distance is this incredible lead single from Paramore’s latest album After Laughter. It’s an album that takes a fresh, more poppy take on Paramore’s sound, and also investigates the struggles of depression and the toll it takes on relationships, friendships and life itself.

“Hard Times” sugar-coats the despair you can feel when depressed and puts it to such a catchy beat it’s almost impossible to recognise. It’s Talking Heads inspired rhythm and somewhat wacky delivery make it so upbeat and fun, but all the while the message is of barely making it through and holding on for things to get better.

2017’s not been my favourite year, but it’s by no means been the worst, and songs like this are always a massive help when I’m not feeling the best. When it’s as good and as relevant as this, then it’s no surprise that it’s wound up being my song of the year.

So there we have it! 40 amazing songs that made up my soundtrack of 2017, to listen to the full playlist (unfortunately missing one song that’s not on Spotify), then just use the widget below:

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