Year In Review: Ten Of The Best Tracks You May Have Missed In 2017

on Saturday, June 30, 2018
Words: Saam Das

Attention may be starting to move towards the best tracks of 2018 thus far, but we thought that before entertaining that option, we'd look back at some of the best songs you might have missed from 2017. Stellar tracks like 'Don't Kill My Vibe' from new Scandi star Sigrid and 'Love' from the evergreen Lana Del Rey could have appeared but their popularity means that we've decided to focus on some potentially overlooked gems instead.

Dodie - '6/10'

Dodie Clark seems to have made a success out of the difficult transition from YouTuber into bonafide musician, with the understated, strings-laden '6/10' being a particular highlight of the burgeoning career. A track that wants to burst with its emotions is kept beautifully in check, before unleashing rousing multi-tracked vocals. Let the tears flow.

Francis & The Lights ft Chance The Rapper - 'May I Have This Dance?'

A team up of contrasting but leading lights in the musical world in the form of Chance The Rapper and Francis & The Lights on a track also co-written and co-produced by Benny Blanco and Cashmere Cat. 'May I Have This Dance?' has a flavour of Peter Gabriel and its Jake Schreier-directed video fits as perfectly as his work on HAIM's 'Want You Back', which appeared on our favourite tracks of 2017.

Gordi - 'In The End' (Linkin Park Cover)

One of the hardest hitting deaths in music in 2017 was the passing of Chester Bennington, a lynchpin in many early formative musical experiences in his role as Linkin Park frontman. Out of that darkness however came this wonderful harmonium-featuring cover of 'In The End' from Sophie Payten's Gordi. Imbued with appropriately deep emotions, and an even deeper main vocal from Payten, the Gordi version of 'In The End' is a distinctive and fitting tribute.

HAIM - 'That Don't Impress Me Much' (Shania Twain cover)

In the spirit of one of her smash hits, Shania Twain's ill-advised comments suggesting she would have voted for Don T in the US election didn't impress too many. Thankfully, our ladies and saviours HAIM were on board to re-right the ship and deliver this triumphant cover of 'That Don't Impress Me Much' to remind us of the joy of this Twain classic.

Halia Jack ft Flohio - 'Lover'

A meeting of two of London's greatest emerging minds resulted in this ode to more-than-just-friends as Halia Jack and the increasingly prominent MC Flohio (who proved particularly popular at recent buzz generating Brighton festival, The Great Escape) combined on the sultry 'Lover'. Add in a co-production by Jake Gordon, who's worked with everyone from Skepta to KT Tunstall, and it's little surprise this was special.

'PBNJ' (from 'Patti Cake$')

Geremy Jasper's underdog tale of an aspiring New Jersey rapper (the titular 'Patti Cake$', brilliantlly portrayed by Aussie actress Danielle Macdonald) was something of a breakthrough hit for the debut feature director, which wowed audiences at festivals such as Sundance in 2017. Somewhat incredibly, Jasper was also responsible for the film's music, including the off-the-wall 'PBNJ' and a rather impressive "parking lot rap".

Ryan Vail - 'Shadows'

Acclaimed Irish electronic musician Ryan Vail feels on the cusp of greater success and if he keeps making such insistently striking tracks as 'Shadows' then considerable rewards are surely imminent. This is a particularly meaningful offering from Vail, entailing his internal struggles to pursue music as a full-time venture/living, something that certainly preys on the mind of many contemporary artists across various media.

SOAR - 'Fort Funston'

A San Fran supergroup of sorts - comprising Joyride! member Jenna Marx, Void Boys' Shannon Bodrogi, Dreamspoiler's Mai Oseto, and Rebecca Redman from Watercolor Paintings - SOAR soared into my ears with the brilliantly scuzzy 'Fort Funston'. Out on Father/Daughter Records, the track reminded us of the criminally underrated 'All The Rage' by The Royal We, and that's a really good thing.

SOPHIE - 'It’s Okay To Cry'

Rumours have been recently flying that SOPHIE may soon be collaborating with Lady Gaga. Perhaps little surprise after excellent previous efforts producing the likes of Charli XCX and Let's Eat Grandma. Her own work has also sparkled with the emotion-fuelled 'It's Okay To Cry' appearing to be a landmark moment in her career as a solo artist and her life as a transgender woman.

Vivienne Chi - 'Junk'

Sounding both fresh and old-school is an art, and on the finger clickin' great 'Junk', Vivienne Chi masters that art. Spirited, experimental, vibrant - 'Junk' firmly demonstrates the talent of this rising London-based musician.

Listen to a Spotify playlist of Saam's top tracks of 2017 here, and read more about them here.

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