Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Guest List Week: Saskia's Best of 2017

#2: Saskia Warwick
#3: Dionicio Solano (Coming Wednesday)
#4: Jamie Pfeifer (Coming Thursday)
#5: Megan Swidler (Coming Friday)
#6: Erik Kristjanson (Coming 12/25)
#7: Curt Trnka (Coming 12/26)
#8: Gina Uriarte (Coming 12/27)

Thankfully Spotify recently generated my top 2017 tracks - made this much less of a faff! 

Here are my top 13 (unlucky for some).

Don Diablo - "Take Her Place Tonight" (feat. A R I Z O N A)

Of course being Dutch, house music runs through my veins (as well as beer, hagelslag and caffeine), but I was nearly sliding off my seat when two of my favourites collaborated to produce this little gem. Overplayed on my walk home from work, it fills me with happy feels.

Jonas Blue - "Perfect Strangers" (Acoustic) 

Jonas Blue brought out several tracks that dominated my playlists this year. "Mama," "Fast Car" (feat Dakota), "We Could Go Back" and "Perfect Strangers." All of them have been played to death in bars, clubs and in Ubers but when I heard the acoustic version of "Perfect Strangers" I fell in love with the song all over again.

Jacob Banks - "Chainsmoking"

I can still remember first hearing Jacob Banks when he performed at the BBC Urban Proms (the BBC proms is an 8 week festival of sorts with a full classical orchestra). For one night they do the urban proms - and not many urban artists can pull off singing with a full orchestra behind them, but Jesus, Jacob Banks has some pipes! Think Barry White in a 20-something year old body. "Chainsmoking" still blows me away when Jacob hits those low notes.

Kano - "GarageSkankFREESTYLE"

Spotify reminds me that I was still in love with this track this year. One of the few tracks that I still watch the music video from time to time because it's shows exactly what all us idiots look like when we dance and sing along to it (think Pharrell Williams - "Happy" video-esqe)

J HUS - "Did You See"

Overplayed on the radio, but I never quite got sick of it. It has an insanely catchy melody. He was absolutely robbed of the Mercury Music Prize IMO, but the great success is that since this track, it feels like UK radio is full of Afrobeats again. 

Little Mix - "Touch"

Having accused Aaron and Ilana of looking like paedos going to a little mix concert, I have to confess I secretly overplayed this track this year. My friends and I were dancing to this track at 1am the night before Brett and I got married, so Little Mix are solely responsible for my puffy eyes on the wedding day.....well, that or the buckets of champagne. Either or.

Chainsmokers - "Something Like This" (feat. Coldplay)

Brett plays this track most days so we start the day happy. I feel like this track is so much better than the annoying songs that Chainsmokers normally churn out (evidence: "Selfie." Eurgh). Chris Martin commented that this track among others showed a change in his mood after getting over his divorce and makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Video is pretty damn good too.

The White Stripes - "Seven Nation Army"

This sneaked into my most played tracks of 2017 for one reason: Jeremy Corbyn. The lyrics have been changed to "Oh Jeremy Corbyn" (see Glasto this year). After a year with Trump and Brexit, a lost General Election still felt like a win. The media, the government, the political pundits didn't see it coming. Brexit book author, Matthew Goodwin ate his book live on Sky News because he said there was no way JC would get 38% of the vote. Well largely thanks to 75% young people turning out to vote, Labour won 40.3% of the vote. The following day, all the radio stations were playing "Seven Nation Army" as it had suddenly jumped in the charts. 

Òlafur Arnalds - "Doria"

The one classical track (although he is defined as an ambient artist, whatever that means) that made in in my playlist for the year and it was a well earned one. I spent ages searching for the right song to walk up the aisle in and this light, simple melody just stood out for me. I still get teary when the lower piano notes come in and change the tone (you'll know it when you hear it). This will always be memorable song now.

Ed Sheeran - "Galway Girl"

There were a lot of Ed Sheeran tracks that I overplayed this year but this one is still a clear favourite. Last year I did a road trip around Ireland and spent a long weekend in Galway, arguably the music hub of Ireland. There are so many live music bars and few will play tracks other than Irish hits, which are seemingly different from the UK charts. "Galway Girl" definitely plays homage to Galway with the traditional Irish fiddle melodies and will be another track no band will play in Galway, as tradition dictates.

Craig David - "I Know You" (feat. Bastille)

Craig David has started to reappear on the charts after over a decade. He came back out of nowhere in the Radio One Live Lounge with this, he went on to gain a fan in the form of Justin Bieber (not sure if this is a good thing) and release an album that had a couple of UK garage tracks like his old stuff that made us all nostalgic (see: "When the Bassline Drops"). But more of his stuff has been pop/RnB (see: "Ain't Giving Up" - catchy as hell). This new track has been growing on me for the last week and again, when two of my favourites collide, I can't help but love it. Still doesn't have a patch on "Pompeii" but that was always a tough act to follow for Bastille.

Terror Jr - "Holding Your Tongue"

I stumbled across the track earlier this year and initially fell in love with the melody but then the lyrics. The word "cunt" is decidedly less offensive when someone sings it this softly. The song is annoyingly catchy and gets stuck in my head a lot, I have to enjoy it responsibly, like crack cocaine.

Franz Ferdinand - "Take Me Out"

This is an oldie, but a goodie. Furthermore, Spotify tells me this is one of my most played tracks this year. Only last night this came on at my work Christmas party and it's quite a sight seeing several hundred people singing along and doing the same weird marching dance (who knows why this move naturally occurs in British people when this comes on. We'll need to do a US trial to see if this is a widespread phenomenon). For being a consistent floor filler and the epic drunk dancing, this has to make it in.

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