5. Bad Sounds – Living Alone
Funky, very very funky. Following in the footsteps of electronic icons like Beck and the lesser known Holy Fuck, and wrapping their tracks up in the themes of every catchy ’70s disco dance number you’ve ever loved.
Bad Sounds have yet to make a wrong move when it comes to their meteoric rise to fame, bagging themselves Hottest Record in the World from Annie Mac for the track Wages back in 2016 and a BBC Tune of the Week with Avalanche.
Their highlight of 2017 is a tricky pick with the release of their Phresssh EP in May and Mixtape One in September. For this list, we’ve gone for Living Alone, a perfect introduction to the band and written while in our very own Manchester.
The track was written while on the road with Ratboy in Manchester, where the Bath five-piece found themselves booked into a particularly dodgy below ground hotel room: “It was midnight on Saturday and there was no light down there and we were starting to freak out,” singer Ewan Merrett recalls.
“When we turned the TV on it was just loud static, and there was blood on the sheets. In Olivia’s room, someone had carved ‘You’re Dead’ with a knife into the door. It was horror movie stuff.”
Are you really a Mancunian until you’ve found weird death threats carved into your door though?
4. FREAK – I Like to Smile When I’m Sad
From stacking shelves at a Co-op in Chelmsford to one of the best EPs we’ve heard all year. Connar Ridd, who prefers to go by FREAK, has been throwing out tracks left right and centre while touring throughout the year, including a spot at Manchester’s Dot to Dot Festival back in May.
Always bursting with energy and a directness that’s certainly appreciated. Although tracks like No Money might hit the punk honesty a little more directly on the head with its lyrics, I Like to Smile When I’m Sad is certainly the track you’d tell someone to listen to to introduce them to FREAK. It’s about time someone took on the situation of Britain’s youth because it certainly looks like it’s set to get worse before it gets better. We’re very happy to have FREAK as an addition to our 2018 revolution playlist.
Check out our full review of FREAK from Dot to Dot Festival here.
3. LCD Soundsystem – Call the Police
Six years after their final farewell gig, and James Murphy and co return with a masterpiece of woozy haze, fierce bass lines and passionate lyrics of mid/late-life crisis. Everything you could hope for from an LCD Soundsystem track.
We’re pretty sure that Call the Police recounts a particularly bleak one-night stand, however later turning to cries of “Well, there’s a full-blown rebellion but you’re easy to confuse” seems like a definite reference to the absolute shit show of America at this point. We’re not 100% sure what the deeper meaning is here, but finding one is half the fun. Give it a late night listen and see what creeps into your head.
2. Dream Wife – Somebody
We saw Dream Wife well and truly take their place as the British Queens of feminist punk and rock in 2017. Never holding back, whether it was on recorded tracks or at energetic in-your-face live shows.
Somebody is one of Dream Wife’s clearest rallying cries for their “girls to the front” riot grrrl-inspired message. “I am not my body, I am somebody” singer Rakel Mjöll screams, something that looking at the top headlines of 2017, is certainly something worth singing about.
Check out our full review of Dream Wife’s recent Manchester show and what we thought here.
1. Black Honey – Somebody Better
If British rock band Black Honey had released their debut album made up of the brilliant tracks they’ve released throughout 2016 and 2017 it would certainly have made it into the top albums of the year. Instead, Black Honey have opted to repeatedly tease us with a series of increasingly catchy singles, the crowning jewel of which was Somebody Better released back in March.
It was the track that best captured the Brighton quartet’s energetic sound. Frontwoman Izzy B Phillip’s vocals soar for its passionate chorus surrounded by the collection of catchy hooks we’ve come to expect from the band who excel at huge stadium-sized tracks.
2018 will almost certainly be the year Black Honey dominate the British scene, taking their place among the Wolf Alices and Royal Bloods of previous years. Dare we say they might even surpass them? All we can confirm for sure is that we need that debut right now.
Other tracks from 2017 that are definitely worth a listen to: