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50-26  |  25-1

 

(25) Manchester Orchestra – “Lead, SD”

A Black Mile to the Surface

 

Imagine the heart-wrenching emotional reach of a track like “Colly Strings”, only blasted through the sleek production of an album like Simple Math. This is Manchester Orchestra in peak form. –Sowing

 

(24) Lorde – “Hard Feelings/Loveless”

Melodrama

 

2017 was the year of our Lorde, and she created one of the most captivating art-pop albums of the millennium. “Hard Feelings/Loveless” unravels in gorgeous fashion, evolving from the heartbroken laments of lost love to a sassy, fuck you of a little jingle. –Sowing

 

(23) Cairo Knife Fight – “A-Six”

Seven

 

A scorcher that balances groovy choruses with moody verses. As sharp sound scapes wrap around the buzzing guitars, the passionate, wide ranged vocals rip throughout the track with powerful hooks. –Raul Stanciu

 

(22) JASSS – “Every Single Fish In The Pond”

Weightless

 

Few artists can so seamlessly blend tribal base layers with industrial climax like JASSS. This is the sound of a civilization’s evolution from its eventual rise to its peak, envisioned in a nightclub, suspended in time. –Tristan Jones

 

(21) The Contortionist – “Reimagined”

Clairvoyant

 

Their first song relaesed after the acclaimed Language, The Contortionist took a shallow dive into radio rock and released a catchy, vocal-driven and accessible version of their ever-evolving sound. –macman76

 

(20) Haim – “You Never Knew”

Something To Tell You

 

“You Never Knew” sounds, first, like the songwriting of Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks (wholly uninvolved with the song): the endlessly looping ambient flow of guitars and keys reflects Nicks’ songwriting interest in carving pure atmosphere out of and within pop music. The second person it sounds like is Blood Orange’s Dev Hynes, who co-wrote the song with the HAIM sisters and Ariel Rechtshaid; he, too, has a sort of inimitable, expressive style, usually based on a three-chord ascending or descending pattern, that comes through on Solange’s “Losing You,” Sky Ferreira’s “Everything is Embarrassing,” and his own “You’re Never Good Enough”. “You Never Knew” is a sassy and sexy pop confection and a moving record of artists reaching toward each other in time. –Alex Robertson

 

(19) Freddie Gibbs – “20 Karat Jesus”

You Only Live 2wice

 

Equal parts gritty penance and comedic panache, Kane’s two-part leadoff is a nuanced and deeply troubled reflection on his past, both near and distant. And that Mike Jones line, whew. –Tristan Jones

 

(18) Paradise Lost – “Shrines”

Medusa

 

A really strong tune that displays Nick’s versatility, moving from glacial clean vocals to demonic growls. The pessimistic, mournful atmosphere the instrumental creates makes for a vivid experience, especially within the album’s context. –Raul Stanciu

 

(17) Death’s Dynamic Shroud – “Life Should Be Easy”

Heavy Black Heart

 

A strong feeling of uncertainty, belted from the rooftops, reveling in vulnerability. Vaporwave isn’t usually this affective, by gawd. –Tristan Jones

 

(16) NYOP & Zora Jones – “Descent”

Visceral Minds 2

 

The bass mutations from musicians like Murlo and Mssingno have begat countless stylistic benefits in low-end-heavy dance music in the years following their inception into the scene, and – in this writer’s humble opinion – the best of these is the staunch refusal to let intellectual headiness get in the way of the tunes’ club-centric nature. “Descent” is proof of that shut-up-and-dance ethos, syncopated double-time snare and tom hits grooving harder than almost any other track this year. It’s a perfect melding of creative production and composition and a mindset of making the dancefloor go nuts. –Brostep

 

(15) Brand New – “In The Water”

Science Fiction

 

Fuck Jesse Lacey. Just pretend that Modest Mouse and Dark Side of the Moon made sweet, sweet love because that’s what this sounds like. –Sowing

 

(14) Jakub Zytecki – “Feathers”

Feather Bed

 

Don’t be fooled by the melancholy intro – Jakub Zytecki is on a mission to make metal fun again both with and without his band (y’know, Disperse, who put out the astounding Foreword earlier this year). “Feathers” sizzles with all of the fizz and bounce that’s quickly become a signature of the guitar prodigy as he picks out a next level major key melody at lightspeed. –Thompson Gerhart

 

(13) Anathema – “Can’t Let Go”

The Optimist

 

An upbeat bopper on a downbeat album that infuses some brightness and energy, keeping said album from becoming a slog. –Thompson Gerhart

 

(12) Equiknoxx – “Flank”

Colón Man

 

When writing of their latest album, Colón Man, I complimented Equiknoxx’s music for not leaning on references to contemporary dance tropes, but rather serving as a series of simple, modest anachronisms. “Flank” might be the best example of this, playfully combining the sensibilities of Twilight Zone-esque oddity with dated, romanticized exploration akin to 1960s Bond flicks. –Tristan Jones

 

(11) Free Throw – “Randy, I am the Liquor”

Bear Your Mind

 

“Randy, I am the Liquor” is a cathartic emo track engineered with a powerhouse punch: the angst hits with an aggressive bite as tag-team vocals moan and shout about the art of drinking alone. It’s self-deprecating, it’s narcissistic, and it’s a damn blast. –Atari

 

(10) BLACKPINK – 마지막처럼 (“As If It’s Your Last”)

As If It’s Your Last – Single

 

BLACKPINK deliver a monstrous banger that morphs across a litany of genres and influences. From a reggae- and house-twinged contemporary pop to an 80’s eurodance chorus to (one of the better K-pop takes on) hip-hop, the song is a trip for sure. –theacademy

 

(9) Idles – “1049 Gotho”

Brutalism

 

The title of “1049 Gotho” refers to a certain c-type asteroid, and the song envisions depression as a large, unavoidable force hurtling towards you with an increasingly enveloping shadow. For noisy post-punk act Idles, the best response is frank reflection, devil-may-care celebration, and a guitar riff that won’t quit. –Tristan Jones

 

(8) Denzel Curry – “Zeltron 6 Billion”

13

 

Denzel’s incendiary attack leaves him chasing his own breath throughout “Zeltron 6 Billion”, aided by production duo Finatik N Zac and a guest verse from Lil Ugly Mane. –Tristan Jones

 

(7) Charlotte Cardin – “Main Girl”

Main Girl – EP

 

Cardin’s latest is yet another soul-crushing take on modern romance, which really seems to be what she does best. Much, much more than just a pretty face, the Montréal native proves herself to be a master of her own momentum and spells out one more jam for the big boys. –theacademy

 

(6) Fred V & Grafix – “Hurricanes (Wild Love)”

Cinematic Party Music

 

Forgive me for hewing towards the poppier, more critically maligned strain of drum ‘n’ bass dominant today as opposed to the more spartan (and less fun) sound most of the internet seems to prefer, but Fred V & Grafix’s Cinematic Party Music is the best DnB album of the year, and “Hurricanes (Wild Love)” is the best individual song. A perfect conflagration of glorious Auto-Tuned chords, driving synth squelches, and addictively fluid guitar, the song cements the duo’s place in the upper echelons of pop composition, and I can’t wait to see them get even bigger and better soon. –Brostep

 

(5) Gang of Youths – “Say Yes to Life”

Go Farther in Lightness

 

This album had three tracks that could have equally qualified as SOTY contenders, but this is the one that never wears off. The final couple of minutes are good for chills every time, offering the most inspiring delivery of hopeful, uplifting lyrics in recent memory. –Sowing

(4) Nadia Reid – “Richard”

Preservation

 

There were a LOT of great singer-songwriter releases in 2017, but few with the storytelling ability of Nadia Reid – especially in the case of the poignant “Richard.” This track has it all: colorful lyrics, Joni Mitchell vibes, and a powerful momentum that will drill its way into your subconscious. –Atari

 

(3) The National – “I’ll Still Destroy You”

Sleep Well Beast

 

The National, duh. If you need further convincing, this is better than anything off of Boxer–Sowing

 

(2) Glassjaw – “Pompeii”

Material Control

 

Back when it debuted in live shows, “Pompeii” was known as “Post Apocalyptic”, and it’s not hard to see why. Justin Beck’s angular guitar stabs its way across the track, underpinned by shotgun drums and viscous bass like molten lava; and of course, Daryl Palumbo’s horrific banshee screams, here standing in for all the lost souls of the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius.  Rowan

 

(1) Carly Rae Jepsen – “Cut to the Feeling”

Cut To The Feeling – Single

 

It seems to be a common perception that in order for music to improve, it needs to become more complex…darker…it needs to make a statement. “Cut to the Feeling” is proof that’s utterly false; Carly drops a straightforward banger that is easily the best pop song of the year by simply crafting a gigantic hook/chorus and singing the hell out of it. The best things in life are simple. –Sowing





SowingSeason
01.08.18
Let the shit storm commence! ;-)

zakalwe
01.08.18
Fucking useless

SowingSeason
01.08.18
CRJ is the voice of our generation I don't know what you're talking about

DoofusWainwright
01.08.18
When the best picks are two of the weaker songs from the Anathema and National Albums you know you’re in trouble.

That CRJ song is...hmmm. I don’t hate it. That’s as positive as I can go :D

DoofusWainwright
01.08.18
It tickles me that the write up for Haim is ten times longer than anything else here for some reason

luci
01.08.18
it's like a muddle of each staffer's pet favorite song of the year. y'all rubbing elbows against each other. doesn't feel very ~collective~ if you know what i mean

Pheromone
01.08.18
Nice seeing Gibbs on here

luci
01.08.18
like we know "richard" placed high cause it's atari's soty but i doubt the rest of the staffers give a shit about it

SowingSeason
01.08.18
I'm glad you all are enjoying this so much. I know I am.

DinosaurJones
01.08.18
Number 1 is a surprise, but as I'm hopelessly in love with CRJ, I approve.

Papa Universe
01.08.18
Had a laugh. Thank you.
When's the real list coming out again?

Frippertronics
01.08.18
"CRJ is the voice of our generation"

yikes

SowingSeason
01.08.18
Fripp don't deny what you know to be true ;-)

Frippertronics
01.08.18
I can't deny...that CRJ is incredibly overrated :^)

low key same crowd that praises CRJ thinks Phil Collins is trash
source: facebook groups

Frippertronics
01.08.18
(projecting my butthurt over this very blatantly agreed)

Papa Universe
01.08.18
CRJ on #1 is the proof that this site is becoming Pitchfork without the budget for a thesaurus.

Rowan5215
01.08.18
Phil Collins IS trash away from Gabriel tho

EvoHavok
01.08.18
Cool seeing PL and Anathema here.

SandwichBubble
01.08.18
9 was an unexpected, but welcomed entry

jmh886
01.08.18
agree on reimagined.

hesperus
01.08.18
fuck all y'all, CRJ slays

theacademy
01.08.18
Phil collins is the goat and crj was my #1 and richard was actually my #4 so relax people lmao

DinosaurJones
01.08.18
Lol, telling sput to relax over taste that isn't their own superior taste.

Jom
01.08.18
>> low key same crowd that praises CRJ thinks Phil Collins is trash

Who says this? I'll fight them. Phil Collins follows me everywhere I go. Grocery store? "Sussudio". Randomly flipping channels on the radio? "Don't Lose My Number". Playing during a significant moment in Mr. Robot outta nowhere? "Take Me Home". Going to a friend's house for board game night and some random Spotify playlist is playing on the host's Echo? "Something Happened on the Way to Heaven".

Alright, so maybe only No Jacket Required-through-...But Seriously Phil follows me around. Still, I'll argue vociferously with a man saying that the guy's trash.

furpa
01.08.18
Yyo are we gonna see a users best of list soon?

neekafat
01.08.18
^^^ Also yeah this is pretty lame lol

macman76
01.08.18
That’s right, you can get a sentence out of me about music

Dewinged
01.08.18
Well I can't say I saw these coming...

PistolPete
01.08.18
I think "Alexys" was the better song on #19 but cool that it's even here. Awesome to see Cairo Knife Fight on a list like this lol

SCREAM!
01.08.18
Hold up now, you mean to tell me that 16 Psyche didn't make the top 50?

Git outta here

Jom
01.08.18
>> Yyo are we gonna see a users best of list soon?

First entry is published tomorrow at 13:00 London time. Everybody else can do the math regarding what time that might be based on where they are geographically.

AngryJohnny
01.08.18
I don't recall Haim releasing any good songs last year

robertsona
01.08.18
you never knew is their best song imo

bgillesp
01.08.18
List is fake right?

butcherboy
01.08.18
list is essentially a manic pixie girl's jogging mix..

onionbubs
01.08.18
glassjaw at number 2 nice, esp since its a top 10 gj track prob

still dont get how literally nothing from the menzingers made the cut, especially since a captain were sinking song did

ZombieToyDuck
01.08.18
this is the strangest set of songs to picks for the top 50 of this year... how in the world did kirb la goop get in this?

Frippertronics
01.08.18
Thanks for proving my point so wonderfully, Rowan

ticklemeemo
01.08.18
Say Yes to life is my SOTY so cool seeing it on here

neekafat
01.08.18
@tickle Not even a Top 5 song on that album tho

mortifierftw
01.09.18
DID I TELL YOU THAT I SPENT MOST OF MY SISTER'S WEDDING STONED


glad to see Pompeii so high

mortifierftw
01.09.18
"this is better than anything off of Boxer"

You stop that right now Sowing

sempiturtle
01.09.18
#1 made me so happy for this site lmao

Captain Civic
01.09.18
Say Yes to Life? There's not a bad song on that album but there is definitely better ones than that one.

mortifierftw
01.09.18
you guys underestimate Say Yes To Life

one of the most satisfying and triumphant closers to an album ive ever heard

Piglet
01.09.18
agreed with the honda civic over there, say yes to life is like persevere, has that truncated crescendo which feels a tad too manufactured. First three songs blow it out the water alone imo

Captain Civic
01.09.18
Underestimate? All I see is praise for that song. I just relistened to it to see if I was missing something but I'm not. It's a good song still.

Captain Civic
01.09.18
Also Sowing, what were the other two off that album you were contemplating?

GreyShadow
01.09.18
Cut To The Feeling isn't even close to my favorite song by her but I still love it to death.
I liked Trouble In The Street a lot more personally but can see why it wasn't as well received. Here's hoping that 2018 graces us with a worthy followup to Emotion

AngryJohnny
01.09.18
'agreed with the honda civic over there, say yes to life is like persevere, has that truncated crescendo which feels a tad too manufactured. First three songs blow it out the water alone imo'

exactly this

DinosaurJones
01.09.18
Jesus, butcher, what kind of manic pixie girls do you know?

BigHans
01.09.18
Song of the year is absolutely "Swing of the Axe" by Power Trip and its not close.

mortifierftw
01.10.18
@Civic Ive seen more people say that Say Yes To Life is one of the worst tracks off that record than say its one of the best

granitenotebook
01.11.18
i love how i can see entries like 6 and 16 and know they’re brostep without checking
also 1 is overrated

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