Each year we share MM’s contributors’ personal favourites of the year. Kicking us off is a fine selection from the Italian Job. Buon Lavoro.
20. Lød – Folder
19. BAIT – Push The Elephant
18. The Gay Blades – Hurricane Boys
17. Sun Abduction – Acid Pyramid
16. Beaches – Void
15. War On Drugs – Holding On (Edit)
14. Idles – Exeter
13. The Moonlandingz – Black Hanz
12. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Vomit Coffin
11. Pissed Jeans – The Bar Is Low
10. Deer Tick – Sea of Clouds
I love this understated and insightful all-American piece. I love the lead singer’s harsh voice against the unsophisticated arrangement and the nostalgic melody. I could not find a better tune to initiate the countdown to my best top 10 songs of the year.
9. Protomartyr – My Children
Once again, with this superb (and cynically accurate, I may add) contemplation on matters of ‘legacy’, Protomartyr did not disappoint! Absolute best intro of 2017 for me.
8. Screaming Females – Glass House
So-much-drama! Marissa Paternoster’s (great name) deep voice, the melodramatic chant-like lyrics and that bass… all coming together perfectly in a greatly anticipated mighty burst of frustration, drums and infuriated guitars. Intense!
7. Fresh & Onlys – Wolf Lie Down
A tune I liked instantly and that never shifted from my top 10. With its chorus ostensibly cheery but contrastingly set against a base of jarring guitars, this song is catchy and often plays on a loop in my head. I never get tired of it.
6. FEWS – La Guardia
Ha! What to say about this brilliant piece of work? Relentless, anxious, powerful and unsettling. It gives me goosebumps every time. A few lyrics down the line – a short, unequivocal statement and then.. screams! Distant and desperate screams. What else would you want from a track?
5. Big Thief – Shark Smile
After leaving their beautiful ‘Paul’ out of my top 20 last year (a decision that at times still regret), I was glad Big Thief were back delivering this sweet and emotional little piece, which immediately claimed and gained a top spot amongst my favourites of the year. I’m a sucker for emotive lyrics and forlorn tales, so no wonder this beautiful one instantly stole my little heart away.
4. Trevor Sensor – High Beams
Admittedly it took a while for this song to catch my attention and even then I struggled with Sensor’s voice… “nah”, I thought, “I couldn’t possibly put up with his voice, it gets on my nerves!”. Well, fast forward to now and I can’t get enough of it. I ended up falling for the desperate and mournful tinge in this piece, like a lament -beautiful and nostalgic. Definitely struck a chord.
3. Public Service Broadcasting – All Out
A masterpiece, politically charged and powerfully executed. The noise of the rise and fall of the coal mining Industry in Wales still reverberates today, inspiring this remarkable piece of work. Raging guitars play the perfect, striking soundtrack to the anger and unrest of a real dark hour in UK contemporary history -one not to forget.
2. Ha Ha Tonka – Race to the Bottom
Race To The Bottom is a song filled with resignation – unsurprisingly… the clue is in the title. The dim, hopeless lyrics (“you’re going down, down, down, down, down”) clash with the fast, unrelenting pace. The tone is surely bleak and melancholic but glorious at the same time and this is exactly what makes this a superb tune for me.
1. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Sleep Drifter
Here’s to my top song! An eerie tribute to the mind happily (creepily?) drifting away somewhere between sleep and wake -”..my favourite state to be”. There’s a mildly sinister feeling to this song (and isn’t it great) lurking amidst a jovial, almost childish rhythm and harsh, distorted guitar riffs. It’s obsessive, it’s wicked and I love it.