Last year, I posted ‘My Year in Music – 2016’. I’m not sure why I did, but it was really therapeutic.
I realised that many of the songs were associated with university and the lead up to moving out from home. However there were still some that ‘meant something to me’ all across 2016.
To say I have a ‘relationship’ with music is strange, but probably true. I listen to so much that it naturally associates itself with certain feelings, places, and times; so writing them down just felt…right.
And so, at the end of the following month, I posted ‘Music of the Month – January 2017‘, a simple playlist of music that I had enjoyed since the last. And it has continued all year.
Music of the Month satisfies three purposes for the blog:
- It’s super easy. Unlike the 2016 roundup, the monthly lists don’t have the emotive paragraphs alongside them, whilst it’s nice to look back and relate the stories that come with the music once a year, it isn’t necessary to do it every month. All MOTM needs is half an hour, a few copy and pastes, a bit of tidying up, and my usual ending signature. Done. With love and passion, of course.
- Blogging and university are arch enemies. It drains the creative juices and fills the veins with academic sludge. It’s difficult to write with deadline pressures looming over your shoulder but due to MOTM’s relative simplicity, it allowed me to add something to the site regularly, without abandoning it altogether.
- I like sharing music! Sentiment and emotional nonsense aside, it’s great to have a conversation with those who share musical tastes, and it’s rewarding to know that I’ve introduced music to someone that they wouldn’t have known about otherwise.
With that being said…
I’d like to shortlist a few of the many songs that featured and share the importance they’ve had across the months. So here’s my Music of the Year – 2017.
1. The B-52’s – Mesopotamia
Kicking off the list is one that found itself in the beginning entry back in January. Through listening with friends, I quickly got into the quirky nature of the B-52’s, and they soon solidified my liking for 80’s new wave music. I recall going through a phase of my life where uniqueness and standing out from the crowd was important for me, so the groovy insanity of the B-52’s just…worked.
2. Alela Diane – Lady Divine
My dog, Archie, is getting kinda old.
He’s a Lab, so his joints aren’t what they used to be. Early on this year, I was desperately scared for his life. In my head, I tore through the idea of him being in pain and putting an end to that, and never seeing him again.
One day, he went to the vet and, like the worrier I am, I was certain his time was up. I remember this song playing whilst walking down a big, long road. It’s a lovely song if you’re listening, but the image of my big old doggo popped into my head and I just broke down in tears, really. I found a little spot by the main road and cried it out. I was in anguish, really. Superficial, made-up anguish at the prospect of never seeing him again. That stupid eventuality.
For me, this song made my feelings almost tangible, like I could see, hear, and touch the raw sadness and thought-provoking nature of death.
3. Balue – Man In The Sixties
‘Man In the Sixties’ plays with my yearning to know what life in the past was like. I’m sure it’s all of the same but without internet, but the simplicity of history is really appealing, and this song takes me there for three short minutes.
4. The Emotions – Best Of My Love
Simply put, it’s a song of unadulterated happiness among friends.
5. Gorillaz – Andromeda
On 23 March, this song, with nothing but a video of an orbiting planet, was released, and with it came my subsequent obsession with the Gorillaz. I was interested (if not confused) by their ‘virtual band’ presence when I was younger, but that’s it. Eventually, I discovered the fan base and reveled in enjoying it with strangers on the internet. In early December, I watched them in concert and felt the sort of childish joy and release that I hadn’t felt for a long time. My favourite ‘band’ of all time so far.
6. OverEasy – Rain Clouds
Rain Clouds is one of those that you can consistently rely on for good feels. Its lyrics conjure images of escaping, its melody prompts you to float on this imaginary cloud where consequence doesn’t exist, and you’re the only person in the world. As joyful as it has ever been, ‘Rain Clouds’ is really quite special.
7. Chris Malinchak – Magic
This is one of Malinchak’s stranger tracks, it’s unusually upbeat and uplifting compared to his other hits. The vocal chopping and repetition takes it further into the valley of ‘weird’ but I still really liked it. It takes me back to my final week in university, specifically my dorm room. It came on whilst packing all my things together and it almost helped remove the sad part of leaving and replaced it with an optimistic buzz of excitement and wonder. Magic is a song like no other.
8. Childish Gambino – 3005
I first heard this in the final weeks of living in my accommodation. Uni was over and done with, my roommates had all upped and left, it was just me and a few good friends from home. My flat was our hole for three glorious days, some of the best days of my life. We made a hideous mess, stayed up til horrific hours, ate wonderful food together, and drank every night in between. I get nothing but happiness from listening to this.
9. Freeform Five and Ali Love – Throwing Stones
There’s no one memory attached to ‘Throwing Stones’, but there’s just something about it that I love. Its slick guitars, its detached drums, all of it just makes me want to float somewhere. And I have no idea why.
10. Galimatias – Blowback
It’s songs like ‘Blowback’ that remind me that life could never get the better of me if there is just a pair of headphones nearby.
11. Jason Nolan – Opals and Banonos
In a strange turn of events, there are few words that come to mind, except that this connects with me on a deep, incomprehensible level. Ethereal, dreamlike, I imagine riding my bike late at night with zero worries, immune to anything but contentment. It just takes me places, really.
12. Jason Nolan – Late Night City Hawks EP
It was a good day when this gem dropped a few months ago. Nolan’s ‘Penny’ featured in last year’s roundup, and for the exact reason more of his masterful music does here. Try this if you want to leave the planet for 15 minutes.
13. Zoology – Maroon
Everything is just nice when you’re listening to ‘Maroon’. The silky voice and smooth guitar strokes blend perfectly together.
14. Neil Frances – Music Sounds Better With You
This is another that exists on the list for no reason except for its pure brilliance. Everything works like buttery cogs in a funk machine, there’s too much of nothing. All is just right with this song.
15. Tove Lo – Disco Tits
Confession: I’ve danced on my own in the dark to this several times.
16. Miike Snow – Genghis Khan
There’s not a lot to say about this final entry. The song itself is great and, whilst It doesn’t make too much sense, the video is super cute, has great production value, and the dance scene at the end makes me so inexplicably happy.
To another year of music in 2018! ❤