My Top 10 Tracks From 2017 So Far

Now that the Summer Solstice has passed, and cosmic gravity begins to pull on the right side of our brains for a few months, it’s a good time to set our intuitive thoughts in motion towards the musical gifts that 2017 has given us so far. There’s been a burst of creativity in music this year, and the extraordinarily challenging times we live in are certainly a big factor in the creative surge. I’m guessing the second half of the year will be even crazier and more sonically fertile. For now, here are ten new songs that have really stood out to me so far this year.


10. David Bowie – “No Plan”

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In the early days of the year this last little missive from the dear departed Mr. Bowie arrived, and outside of gospel music I don’t think I’ve heard a more uplifting song about death. It’s very moving and serves up plenty of food for thought for all of us who aren’t getting any younger.


9. LCD Soundsystem – “Call The Police”

You don’t often see the words “dance-rock protest anthem” in that exact sequence, but LCD’s James Murphy pulls it off and he means business: “The old guys are frightened and frightening to behold/The kids come out fighting and still doing what they’re told/But you’re waking a monster that will drive you from your hoary holes of gold.”


8. Benjamin Booker – “Witness”

Booker took a step back after his post-punk debut in order to take a stand on the injustices he sees in America. And even though there ought to be a moratorium on using Mavis Staples as a backup singer, Booker mashes some styles together and hits just the right tone.


7. Garland Jeffreys – “When You Call My Name”

From the comeback album of the year so far, the amazingly versatile Jeffreys delivers some great old-fashioned Rock & Roll that sounds fresh and new. Its got a hook in the chorus guaranteed to stick in your head, which is what hit records are supposed to do.


6. Childish Gambino – “Redbone”

Just like Sly Stone crossed over into Rock audiences in the Seventies, this track has been crossing over to modern Rock radio this year, which is a pretty encouraging development for those of us who see Rock as a Big Tent with room for lots of different styles. You know, the way it was in the Seventies.


5. Queens Of The Stone Age – “The Way You Used To Do”

Yeah, this one just came out last week, and it sounds just like Queens Of The Stone Age, but I think these cats just get better and better for those who like their Rock Rocking.


4. Jamie Saft, Steve Swallow and Bobby Previte With Iggy Pop – “Everyday”

Iggy Pop is a genuine Rock Pioneer, and the leather-skinned genius is at it again, inventing here something resembling a punk-jazz love ballad alongside the critically acclaimed Jamie Saft Trio. It’s bold, ballsy and beautiful.


3. Spoon – “Hot Thoughts”

It’s smart, it Rocks, it’s original, it is what 21st century Rock sounds like. “Hot thoughts melting my cool”, that’s Marshall McLuhan on a Stratocaster, man.


2. Alt-J – “3WW”

When I listen to this song I feel like I’ve been spiritually cleansed by a Hopi shaman in a healing ritual, and I swear that was before I even watched the video. There’s definitely something magical about it.


1. Father John Misty – “Total Entertainment Forever”

I think Misty really caught the zeitgeist this year – crazy performance art schtick with a serious and hard-hitting message, and it all came together on this track. The guy has been everywhere this year, at least his persona has, and it’ll be interesting to see how far he takes the irony thing going forward.

Photo: Father John Misty; credit – By Bruce [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

2 comments to “My Top 10 Tracks From 2017 So Far”
  1. Pingback: My Top 10-ish Tracks From 2017 So Far | Rocknuts

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