To mark the end of a brilliant year, packed with too much fantastic new music to keep track of, I’ve trawled through all the Tracks of the Weeks of 2017 to pick out my favourite track from each month, and compiled my Tracks of the Year. 12 might seem like a lot, but even narrowing it down to that was tough…
January: A Lily ‘Shadow and Me Makes Three’
Though like many of the tracks on the list, I had actually sort of forgotten about this track, I was obsessed with A Lily’s ‘Shadow and Me Makes Three’ back in January. It marked a good start (musically, at least) to 2017, in its hauntingly beautiful vocals and equally haunting video, and I’m vowing never to forget about it again.
February: Mountain Bike ‘This Lonely Place’
Deadpan wit, bad dancing, infectious hooks: what more could you want? ‘This Lonely Place’ has it all, and has stuck with me through the year, and it started a love affair with the band in perfect time – just before the release of Too Sorry For Any Sorrow (which we also recommend checking out).
March: Darlia ‘Ballad of Black & White’
‘Ballad of Black & White’ marked the breaking of Darlia’s two-year hiatus, and it was definitely the right track to break the silence. With huge choruses and vibrant hooks, ‘Blallad of Black & White’ was a triumphant return for Darlia, and has us hoping they don’t disappear again any time soon.
April: Kidsmoke ‘And Mine Alone’
This was a tricky choice, as Tracks of the Week throughout April played host to some pretty incredible offerings from the likes of Declan McKenna, SuperGlu and Childcare. But Kidsmoke won it for me with ‘And Mine Alone.’ A shimmering, nostalgic dose of summer sweetness, ‘And Mine Alone’ was the perfect accompaniment for the transition into warmer weather.
May: Life ‘Ba Ba Ba’
A precursor for Popular Music, Life’s debut album which came out in the latter half of May, ‘Ba Ba Ba’ is an unrelenting, bashful, but hugely aware dose of punk. Along with the previous single ‘In Your Hands,’ ‘Ba Ba Ba’ had me more excited for a new release than I had been in a long time – Life didn’t disappoint.
June: Bang Bang Romeo ‘Chemical’
Though they’d already made a significant name for themselves with tireless gigging that could’ve fooled anyone into thinking they at least had an album out, ‘Chemical’ was Bang Bang Romeo’s debut single. And what a debut single it is. It’s hard to describe it as anything other than completely breathtaking; it sort of does all the talking for itself.
July: FLING ‘Just A Dog’
In a year that saw them taking over Bradford with an army of fans and their own club night, FLING also released the wonderful ‘Just A Dog.’ To recycle my own words from July, ‘Just A Dog’ is in equal parts sickly sweet, cuttingly punky and mind-bogglingly psych. It’s brilliant, and another forgotten gem I’ll most definitely be revisiting.
August: Pat Dam Smyth ‘Goodbye Berlin’
Taken from his EP of the same name – also released in August – ‘Goodbye Berlin’ started a complete infatuation with Pat Dam Smyth’s music. About “being a kid and disappearing down the rock and roll rabbit hole,” ‘Goodbye Berlin’ is both hauntingly beautiful and a little scratchy: a winning combination.
September: Magic Mountain ‘Zodiac’
The first offering from Leeds super-group Magic Mountain (comprised from members of Grammatics/Mother Vulpine, Pulled Apart By Horses and Sky Larkin/Menace Beach), ‘Zodiac’ is a raucous two-and-a-half minutes of pure energy that sounds as though it was bursting to be set free.
October: BE GOOD ‘Nightbus’
A foggy, woozy ode to youth and awakened sexuality, and one of Britain’s most romantic spots (at least for drunken teens) – the night bus – ‘Nightbus’ is the perfect soundtrack to late night, top deck adventures. Fuzzy, but highly addictive, Ash Cooke’s invites – “It’s late do you wanna go cruising / are you tired of getting off to bad music?” – have been stuck in my head since October.
November: Darlingside ‘Eschaton’
With an air of Sufjan Stevens about it, Darlingside offered the perfect soundtrack to see us through the ever-dropping temperature in ‘Eschaton.’ Though thematically far from calm, leading an album “mourning the loss of our world,” ‘Eschaton’ appears to be a sort of glimmer of hope, a relaxing break in the chaos.
December: No Hot Ashes ‘Eight Till Late’
Finally, No Hot Ashes have rounded off the year, alongside a sold out show at Manchester’s Club Academy, of course, with the first taste of their forthcoming EP. While it sees the band take on a more emotional topic and open up about mental health, ‘Eight Till Late’ holds firmly onto Not Hot Ashes acclaimed dance-ability. A triumphant bow out for the year.