We are officially at the halfway point of the year. So far, 2017 has given us some really great music from new artists, legendary acts, and current stars. With so much to listen to nowadays, here is a cheat sheet of some of the best of the best so far this year.
Despacito by Luis Fonsi feat. Daddy Yankee
While not my cup of tea, Despacito has been a monster and needs to be mentioned. In just six months, this Latin Reggae track has the third most views of any video on YouTube with over 2,530,000,000. That is insane.
Passionfruit by Drake & Paramore
I have never been a big Drake fan. Then I heard Passionfruit and it became an instant favorite. I really love this song. The beats and vocals are just awesome. Recently Paramore did a great cover of the song taking it up a notch as Hayley Williams vocals add a great female side to the song.
Shape of You by Ed Sheeran
There are not many artists out there that are as popular as Ed Sheeran is right now. Sheeran’s one-man show is just amazing and his hip hop/singer songwriter vibe is so infectious. Shape of You is Sheeran at his best and six months after its release is still a monster hit.
Hard Times by Paramore
After taking a break, Paramore returned with a completely revamped sound. Steeped in 80s retro synth pop, Hard Times is such a fun track despite Hayley Williams still staying true to her darker lyrics. The song makes you want to get up and dance. Love it!
Believer by Imagine Dragons
Imagine Dragons are back with their third album and these guys are proving once again that they are a big part of the future of rock. The Imagine Dragons hybrid sound is in full effect on Believer as the band created another anthem to go with their long list of other great ones.
HUMBLE by Kendrick Lamar
As I talk about the future of rock being in good hands, I can finally say after a long dark period (in my eyes), that the future of hip hop looks a lot better.
At the front of the line is Kendrick Lamar. His rhymes are amazing and his delivery even better. HUMBLE is a perfect example of why Lamar is one of the most exciting things going in the rap game today.
Malibu by Miley Cyrus
I have said for years that Miley Cyrus is extremely talented and if she could get past the tabloid lifestyle and concentrate on her music we would be in for some great stuff.
Her comeback single Malibu proves my point. The personal song about her love life and her rebirth is a great start and I know I’m not alone wanting to see what she does next.
J-Boy by Phoenix
I fell away from Phoenix for a while, then I heard J-Boy. Wow. This is such a great tune and totally in the wheelhouse of that modern-retro sound I’ve been digging a lot lately. I can listen to this song all day and get lost in the beats. My faith in Phoenix has been restored.
Before we move on to my Top 5 tracks of 2017, my editor Morgan has a few honorable mentions.
Let You Down by Seether
While I concede that the guitar riff sounds quite familiar, there’s no doubt that Seether released an incredible record with Poison the Parish and Let You Down is among its highlights.
Seether has definitely gone down a far different route than their last album in that there are several tracks that are harder and more in-your-face. I really love this side of Seether, and can’t help but tout this as one of the best hard rock songs of 2017.
The Promise by Chris Cornell
This one hurts my heart, yet there’s no question this song is powerful regardless of the circumstances. Prior to his death, Chris Cornell released The Promise in order to provide donations to The International Rescue Committee.
Now, after his passing, the song has taken on a new life as the last piece of new music we’ll ever hear from Cornell. Because of this, I feel this track is something to truly be treasured not just for its beauty, but for the memories it contains.
Thanks, Morgan. Now on to my Top 5 songs of 2017 so far!
I Promise by Radiohead
So what if one of the best songs of 2017 was actually recorded 20 years ago. One of the three previously unreleased tracks off of the Ok Computer reissue, I Promise is as good as anything on the original album and an instant favorite of mine from their entire catalog.
This is the Radiohead I have always loved and I am so glad this song has received a proper release and the attention it deserves.
Slide by Calvin Harris (feat. Frank Ocean & Migos)
Calvin Harris’s new album Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 is a total summer album. Each track is meant for summer drives, beach days and nights and everything in between. For me no song on the album beats Slide especially that Frank Ocean puts his mark on this awesome track.
Creature Comforts by Arcade Fire
This song has only been out a few weeks but I am obsessed with it. Arcade Fire have found this sweet spot of sound and meaningful lyrics. It all comes to a head here in this synth pop awesomeness. I cannot get enough of this song.
Sign of the Times by Harry Styles
I will admit, I didn’t want to give Harry Styles a chance as a solo artist since to me he would just be another boy band guy that will fizzle out. Boy was I wrong!
Sign of the Times is one of the best songs of this half year and showed Styles has a bright solo future ahead of him. Possibly the next Justin Timberlake? I listen to this song daily as I truly love this song.
Green Light by Lorde
Lorde has released the best pop album I have heard all year in Melodrama and no song proves that more than Green Light. Lorde has been bringing down houses with this one at festivals all over the world. Mark my words, Green Light will go down as the song of the summer and possibly the year.