As the world waits with bated breath for Dear Tommy, the prolific Italians Do It Better continues to quietly share a wealth of amazing new and/or rare material in 2017. The label just dropped a sprawling new deluxe version of CHROMATICS' 2016 Cherry LP, featuring a handful of reworked tracks alongside the title track and previously released jams like "Hands in the Dark" + the group's dreamy "Ceremony" cover...
Before we even have time to second guess our albums of the year list, here are our favorite songs of 2017. While plenty of our old favorites are well repped -- including TOPS, Burial, Shabazz Palaces, SZA, Sufjan, Laurel Halo, et al. -- it was an exceptionally great year for exciting new artists, with Men I Trust, Yaeji, Playboi Carti, Kelly Lee Owens, Aldous Harding, Bernache, and so many more dropping some of the most essential songs of the year. Hit play on that 5+ hour Spotify playlist, and follow along with the list below:
More magic from Loma -- the new project from Cross Record + Shearwater's Jonathan Meiburg -- whose debut single "Black Willow" is one of our favorite songs of the year. The driving "Relay Runner", which Meiburg calls "the happiest accident on the record", is taken from the group's entrancing debut LP, out next year on Sub Pop:
HAERTS return with a soaring, beautifully poignant new track -- the first to be unveiled from the group's new album coming in early 2018 -- on which frontwoman/absolute force Nini Fabi rousingly extols the universal, transformational power of love. Nini says of emotional new single "The Way":
As the internet's collective attention span continues to dwindle away and the clickbait economy slowly ruins everything good, we made a conscious effort this year to spend more time listening to fewer things. Discovering new favorites will always remain a priority around here, but it felt good to devote more quality time to absorbing ambitious, flawed, elaborately nuanced and layered masterpieces like Dust, Quazarz, Party, and The OOZ. And the more immediate records that we fell in love with at first listen -- TOPS’ Sugar at the Gate, the super charismatic Carti mixtape, and Kelly Lee Owens’ enveloping debut full-length, to name a few -- felt more like all-time favorites with each spin. While anyone in our top 5 could have staked a legit Album of the Year claim depending on the day, we had to put the two EPs that announced the arrival of dance music's brightest new star in their rightful spot at the top of our list. Here are our favorite records of 2017: