My last post of the year: My Top 10 favorite tracks of the year, plus some honorable mentions of that just barely missed the cut. (audio/video)
Compared to just trying to pick my five favorite albums of the year, trying to narrow down my top 10 favorite track is definitely one of the more challenging, end of the year tasks. And while I said in my video that I didn’t feel like 2017 was as strong of a year as 2016 was for albums (or at least, that’s what I meant to say), there were way too many great tracks that that came out in 2017! That being said, I still feel like it was pretty easy to filter out what tracks made it onto this year’s list; with the main criteria being that they made a memorable, long-lasting impact on me and that they remained with me throughout the year.
So with that little introduction out of the way, here are my honorable mention tracks of 2017. Tracks that were real stand-outs of the year, but just not quite strong enough to make into the top 10:
Jonti – Sleeping & Falling
Torben Unit – Es Hat Doch Jemand Gehort
Stro Elliot – Break-Up
Opio – Galvanometer 2nd
Jukka Eskola Soul Trio – Martha’s New Movement
Oh No – Keep Movin’
Floating Points – Ratio
El Michels Affair – Verbal Intercourse
Stimulator Jones – Need Your Body
Sam Gendel – Core
Carlos Nino – Organicself
Tuxedo – Second Time Around
And my top 10 favorite tracks of 2017 are:
10) Tall Black Guy – There Is No Love Without Love
Picking one Tall Black Guy track for 2017 was no easy feat. The man seemingly had an endless supply of remixes up his sleeves, with each one seemingly outdoing the last. But for my “Tall Black Guy Track Of The Year”, I have to go with the one that continues to floor me every time I listen to it. “There Is No Love Without Love” is a pretty standard Tall Black Guy track: taking a fairly well named track or sample, flipping it, giving the track a fair bit of atmosphere, all while bringing up the low end to fill things out. Where the track really caught me off guard is the track’s drums, which explode out of nowhere multiple times throughout the song’s short duration. Definitely one of the most exciting tunes I’ve heard from the guy yet!
9) Mallard – Surface
Much like Bicep, Mallard’s music is steeped in a retro vibe that’s right up my alley. But also like Bicep, Mallard doesn’t just regurgitate sounds from the past just for nostalgia’s sake, rather using them to help create something that’s both familiar and new at the same time. All of this is made even more amazing by the fact that the kid is still in his early twenties!
8) Detroit Swindle – Just Not Norma feat. Mark De Clive-Lowe
Despite the fact that I neither bought or listened to that much house music this year, Detroit Swindle’s track from Mark DeClive-Lowe was a easily one of my favorite house tracks of this year. It had a good mix of melody and groove, enough organic sounding elements to give the track a real live feel and make it an enjoyable listen (especially thanks to some superb keyboarding from Mark), and enough energy to make it playable on the dance floor. It basically covered all the things I look for in a house track, and then some.
7) Bicep – Aura
Bicep didn’t really seem to flip the script on this one, rather they seemed to double down on their strengths as music producers and make one of their best retro-futuristic tunes to date.
6) Gabriel Garzon-Montano – Crawl
While the album didn’t quite hold up as well, there’s no denying that Gabriel Montano-Garzon’s “Crawl” was unique pop-soul highlight that remained stuck in my head all year round.
5) Children of Zeus – I Can’t Wait
Even though, I didn’t get a chance to pick up their EP, Children of Zeus’s “I Can’t Wait” has been on near constant repeat all throughout this year. There’s just something about their vocal stylings and instrumentation that seems both new and old that really struck a chord with me all year round.
4) Lord Echo – The Sweetest Meditation
Even before buying Lord Echo’s latest album, “Sweetest Meditation” was already a highlight for me. It’s the perfect mix of Lord Echo’s melodic and instrumental sensibilities and Mara TK’s strained, understated vocals. Add in a very sunny, laid back, beach-vibe, and you have a song that helped soundtrack my summer this year.
3) Kiefer – Tubesocks
If there’s one track that sticks out in my mind from Kiefer’s Kickinit Alone album, it’s definitely the album’s opener, “Tubesocks”. There’s just something about how it starts off the album; the way the track and the beat lurches, while slowly revealing more and more of itself to the listener by way of adding more and more layers of piano and synths. It’s easily one of the most unique tracks on the album and of the year.
2) Thundercat – Tokyo
I don’t think a single track in 2017 stayed stuck on repeat in my head as much Thundercat’s “Tokyo”. That was probably due in no small part to amazing music video, but between Thundercat’s almost child-like, gleeful vocals, and the playful melody and instrumental that goes along with it. This is probably the first Thundercat song I’ve ever truly fell in love with.
1) RSXGLD – True (feat. Royce da 5’9”, JMSN & DJ Assault)
While I could’ve picked “I Believe” or “ICU”, “True” is hands down my favorite track from this album. Between producer 14KT’s downright insane, beat, switch up, and drops, top-shelf vocal performances from Royce, JMSN, and Ro Spit himself, and the sheer fact that Detroit Ghetto Tech legend DJ Assault shows up on this track, this is not only my favorite track of the year, but easily the best hip-hop track I’ve heard in years. Here’s hoping we here more from these guys in 2018 (Royce da 5’9″ and 14KT album?).
And there you have it, my Top 10 favorite tracks of this year. Hopefully you enjoyed it. As always head down to the comments and post your top 10, 20, 50, 100, favorite tracks of this year and let me know what great music I’m missing out on.
This will be my last post of the year. Thank you to everyone who stopped by this blog this year, and I’ll see you in 2018!
Peace and love,