Top 100 Songs of 2017 (20-11)

Click here for songs 100-21

20. “The Gold” – Manchester Orchestra

Manchester Orchestra deserve a gold medal this year for coming out with what may be their best track in their 13-year history with “The Gold.”

I believed you were crazy you believed you loved me” are some of the most sing-along-worthy lyrics of the year.

No matter what is going on in your life, “The Gold” will take away your worries, and put you at ease with its laid back tone and gentleness; if only for 4 minutes and 37 seconds. Then its back to your miserable existence.

19. “Young & Wild” – The Strumbellas

Quite unlike “The Gold,” The Strumbellas track “Young & Wild” will have you up out of your seat and ready for a dance-off right from the get-go.

I have said it before, and I’ll say it again, The Strumbellas are the best band to come out of Canada in a very, very long time.

At the moment I can’t think of a band I would want to hang out with more than The Strumbellas, and “Young & Wild” is a perfect example of how they are so fun.

You don’t hear this too often, but good work, Canada! And to The Strumbellas….. more music please.

18. “Can We Hang On?” – Cold War Kids

Besides “Auld Lang Syne” is there a song more appropriate for New Years Eve than “Can We Hang On?” by Cold War Kids?

Vocalist Matt Willett says the song “is a hopeful love song that looks back with nostalgia on the good old days but is uncertain about the future.”

There may not be too much to look back on and love about 2017, but as long as the Cold War Kids are still making music like this, the future is looking bright for alt rock fans.

17. “Speak” – Wild Cub

In the past few months I have single handedly introduced “Speak” by Wild Cub, to no less than twenty friends, and each and every one of them instantly loved the uplifting track from the Nashville indie-pop rock band.

And for the most part, my friends wouldn’t know a good song if it slapped them in the face.

I still remember the reasons why, I remember, I remember” why I almost drove off the road the first time I hear “Speak.”

Because it was that good.

16. “In Cold Blood” – Alt-J

“In Cold Blood” may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is one of the most unique, “out there” songs of the year, and with every listen I began to enjoy it more and more.

The last minute and a half of the song is literally just “la la la’s.” But I have to say, they may be my favorite “la la la’s” of all time. Sorry Ashley Simpson.

15. “Feel Good” – Neon Trees

Tyler Glenn just has a way about making people feel good. That is why “Feel Good” is so believable and infectious.

Most Neon Trees songs are fun, energetic, and catchy, but “Feel Good” encapsulates all three the way that only Neon Trees can.

If Glenn’s only goal is to make us feel good, he passes with flying colors. As usual.

14. “Daisy” – Goodbye June

It will only take you one listen to Goodbye June’s “Daisy” for you to fall in love with the track and started searching the band on wikipedia to see who they are.

Well, let me help, the Nashville trio has been around since 2005, and the band has been described as being “blues-infused rock with hard-driving beats, blistering guitars, and down and dirty vocals.”

“Daisy” is exactly what modern day rock with classic rock influences should sound like. I’ll tell you one thing, my Spotify playlists will not be saying “goodbye” to Goodbye June anytime soon.

13. “Painkiller” – DREAMERS

DREAMERS, the three-piece band from Manhattan, NY has gotten progressivly more impressive since their debut single “Wolves (You Got Me,)” which made the countdown back in 2015 (#37.)

“Painkiller” is loud, fast, and will get you through that part of your run when you feel like you can’t possibly run any longer.

DREAMERS are beginning to make a solid name for themselves in the alt rock world, and seem to be getting more and more confident in their ability to make tracks that all-out rock.

12. “Middle Fingers” – MISSIO

If anybody out there knows of a way to not sing along and actually sticking up your middle fingers in the air while driving down the highway, please let me know. Because no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to not get caught by someone driving next to me as I am sticking my middle fingers in the air and screaming along to the catchy track about not giving an F.

The message MISSIO is trying to deliver, however, may surprise you. In an interview with Billboard the band says “[It’s] definitely based toward an ‘eff this situation’ mode, but the message is about finding the problem you struggle with, and lifting your middle finger with other people.”

So take that, everyone on the road that thinks I am just flipping the bird to you… I am actually on a mission to create solidarity and peace… So F Off and stop giving me dirty looks.

11. “Edge of Town” – Middle Kids

Perhaps the wa

rmest welcome to a foreign band this year goes to Sydney Australia’s Middle Kids. Their track “Edge of Town” has a tempo change that is so gradual that when they explode at the end of the track, I feel as though my head is going to explode right along with them.

This is the first and only track I have heard from Middle Kids, but as the new year begins, I will make it a mission to make up for lost time, and get to know the Australian band that I had no idea I was missing out on until now.

 

Songs 10-1

Top 100 Songs of 2015 (10 – 6)

Songs 100 – 91     Songs 90-81     Songs 80-71     Songs 70-61     Songs 60-51                   Songs 50-41         Songs 40-31     Songs 30-21     Songs 20-16    Songs 15-11

10. Go Big Or Go Home, American Authors

Adding to their list of hit songs that are impossible to not sing along with, Boston band, American Authors hit it out of the park this year with “Go Big Or Go Home”. The ultimate song about living life to the fullest, “Go Big Or Go Home” will get the party started and help justify having one more beer…. before having one more beer…… before having one more beer…. before going home.

9. Blame It On Me, George Ezra

George Ezra, the 22 year old singer-songwriter from the UK, is known for his big vocals, and deep voice. His 2014 hit, “Budapest” became a worldwide smash hit, and launched his musical career. “Blame It On Me,” however, shows off his musical range even more, and confirms that this kid is the real deal.

The amount of passion Ezra is able to exude through his voice is well beyond his years. Combine that with his likability and sense of humor (as portrayed in his music videos) and a new singer-songwriter superstar is on the horizon.

 

8. Get Me Out Of Here, Third Eye Blind

Not only is “Get Me Out of Here” one of Third Eye Blind’s best songs in years, it has the potential to be one of their best videos in their nearly 20 year career.

Stephen Jenkins and the boys put their acting abilities to the test in “Get Me Out of Here”and despite Jenkins being his typical overly-dramatic self, they make it work. The video is a tribute to the 40th anniversary of the “Rocky Horror Picture Show”, which helps the band relay their intended meaning of the song, which is “a personal story of introspection after a dark beginning”.

Even without the music video, “Get Me Out of Here” is an anthem. It is epic. And it is Third Eye Blind at their best.

7. Someone New, Hozier

Just when you think this song could not get any better, Hozier releases the music video featuring Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer (AKA Margaery Tyrell) as an ultra sexy vixen that trots around town and falls in love with every person she meets. If the Oscars awarded trophies to the Best Actress in a music video, Dormer has my vote.

At an iHeart Radio live event, Hozier says the following about “Someone New”….

“This next song is a fun one, it’s about love at its most… futile and shallow and useless,” he said. “And, awkwardly, I wrote it with an ex-girlfriend.”

“Someone New” is so lighthearted and carefree that even people with the coldest, blackest hearts, will fall in love with it.

6. Songs I Can’t Listen To, Neon Trees

There are few lead men in Alternative Rock today that are more genuine than Tyler Glenn, lead singer of Neon Trees. While you should never wallow in someone else’s relationship mishaps, any true rock fan secretly thanks the Lord that Glenn has had less than amicable breakups. “Songs I Can’t Listen To” is the latest end-of-relationship rock gem from Neon Trees, and who does not have at least one song makes you sweat because it reminds you of someone from your past that you no longer are on speaking terms with?

“And it’s all because of you. I got a list of songs, I can’t listen to. And it’s all because we’re through, I got a list of songs I can’t listen to.”

While it will be difficult for Neon Trees to attain the worldwide success they had with “Everybody Talks”, they continue to produce fun, energetic music, and have solidified their place in the world of alt. rock.

6 Alternative Rock Songs You Need to Hear Right Now

From seasoned vets back from hiatus, to front men going solo, and everything in between, the world of Alternative Rock is littered with hidden gems that may never make it to mainstream radio.
If you have not yet heard any of the following tracks, it is highly recommended that you do so immediately.

6. “Great Big Storm” – Nate Ruess

It seems that everything Nate Ruess touches turns to gold. The sophmore album for his band, Fun., “Some Nights“, has been certified Gold or Platinum in eight countries, and spawned four massive hits. He has found tremendous success in collaborating with some of the biggest names in music (i.e. P!nk and Enimen), and has now branched out on a solo career, which has already led to his first single, “Nothing Without Love” racing up the charts.

It is “Great Big Storm,” however, that has the potential to be one of Ruess’ biggest success stories to date. After just a few listens, you will likely find it impossible to not sing along with Ruess during the refrain, which almost sounds like he started an impromptu rock concert with a native African tribe in a remote region of Kenya. As Ruess assures us, he is “holding his own, in a great big storm”, and you can expect to hear “Storm” on just about every rock/pop radio station by the end of the summer, as his debut album, Grand Romantic, is set to drop on June 16th.

 

5. “Sedona” – Houndmouth

Houndmouth – Sedona (courtesy of HoundmouthVEVO)                                       January 20, 2015 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8wifV5RYr8

Even though “Sedona” was released earlier this year, and Houndmouth has been around since 2011, it seems to have not received much radio play for some reason. It would be a crying shame if this beauty of a song fades into obscurity without getting the recognition it deserves. A true tale sign of a reamrkable song is when it takes you on a roller coaster of emotions. The first half of “Sedona” is so easy going, and lead singer, Matt Myers’ voice is so soothing, that you could listen to it while falling asleep at night, and you would likely drift into a blissful slumber.

At the 3:00 mark, however, “Sedona” transitions from a happy-go-lucky ditty, to an all out rock anthem. The contrast between the first three minutes to the last 45 seconds, is what makes this a true Alternative Rock masterpiece, and makes Myers and Houndmouth, a force to be reckoned with.

 

4. “Songs I Can’t Listen To” – Neon Trees

There are few lead men in Alternative Rock today that is more genuine and relatable than Tyler Glenn, lead singer of Neon Trees. While you should never wallow in someone else’s relationship mishaps, any true rock fan secretly thanks the Lord that Glenn has had less than amicable breakups. “Songs I Can’t Listen To” is the latest end-of-relationship rock gem from Neon Trees, and who does not have at least one song makes you sweat because it reminds you of someone from your past that you no longer are on speaking terms with?

“And it’s all because of you. I got a list of songs, I can’t listen to. And it’s all because we’re through, I got a list of songs I can’t listen to.”

While Neon Trees may never again attain the success they had with “Everybody Talks”, they continue to produce fun, energetic music, and have solidified their place in the world of alt. rock.

 

3. “Everything is Easy” – Third Eye Blind

It has been a long, grueling six years for die hard Third Eye Blind fans, and if “Everything is Easy” is any indication, the wait may have been worth it. In a press release for their upcoming album Dopamine, the band says the following…

“Employing signature guitar riffs and rock arrangements, Dopamine is vintage Third Eye Blind – a body of work whose songwriting details the personal relationships that have come and gone and the rapidly changing world we live in. A lot can change in six years, and while the sound has progressed, the recordings retain the endearing sentiment Third Eye Blind fans new and old have come to love.”

Despite “Non-Dairy Creamer” being a mild radio success, it has been 12 years since the band has had a bonafide radio hit. “Blinded” reached #35 on the Alternative Rock chart back in 2003, and you would have to go all the way back to 2000 to see Third Eye Blind’s name on the Billboard Top 100, with their hit “Deep Inside of You.” “Everything is Easy” is fun, catchy, and radio friendly, and could be exactly what Stephen Jenkins, Brad Hargreaves, and their seemingly endless changing line-up need to kick start their band.

2. “Only Love” – Mumford & Sons

When Mumford & Sons announced that on their new album, Wilder Mind they were going to stray from their folk rock sound, the alternative rock world was all abuzz. If they were going to trade in their banjo for an acoustic guitar, would they still stand out from the crowd, or would they blend in which the rest of the alt rock bands currently on the scene?

“Only Love,” in addition to the bands first two releases from the album, “Believe” and “The Wolf” has assured fans that Mumford & Sons are still the unique one-of-a-kind band that they have come to know and love.

As with many Mumford songs, every ounce of Marcus Mumford’s emotions are bleeding through the track. And with a hook of only 17 words, Mumford & Sons proves that sometimes less can be more.

“And you saw me low
Alone again
Didn’t they say that only love will win in the end”

It is abundantly clear that fans, and critics alike, still have nothing but love for Mumford & Sons, and banjo or not, the band is capable of producing an album full of hits.

1. “I Still Want You” – Brandon Flowers

Brandon Flowers sophomore album, The Desired Effect, was widely regarded as one of the most anticipated albums of 2015, and he did not disappoint. Flowers, the mastermind behind the rock band The Killers, has garnered more positive reviews than just about any other album so far this year.

The best straight-up pop album made by a rock star in recent memory.” – Rolling Stone

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/brandon-flowers-the-desired-effect-20150519

“The other predicted effect of the album? A desire to play it repeatedly.”

http://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/music/2015/05/18/review-brandon-flowers-the-desired-effect/cwsLI5M7AZIH9VNtBaVcGN/story.html#

“It’s Flowers’ unique presence–equal parts Wild West underdog and glitzy glam messiah–that really transforms Effect’s Reagan-era throwbacks into forward-thinking Instagram-age rock.”

http://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/music/2015/05/18/review-brandon-flowers-the-desired-effect/cwsLI5M7AZIH9VNtBaVcGN/story.html

Every track on the album could be considered a “must listen to song,” but the song, and accompanying video for “Still Want You” is so much fun that it gets the spot over the other songs on the ten track album. “Still Want You” uses the most negative societal issues as a contrast to how much he still loves his subject. Despite all of these awful, terrible things that the world is going through, I still want you, says Flowers.

“Time is passing by
I still want you
Crime is on the rise
I still want you
Climate change is dead
I still want you
Nuclear distress
I still want you
The Earth is heating up
I still want you
Hurricanes and floods
I still want you
Even more than I did before”

As critics and fans agree, Brandon is still very much wanted, even more than he ever was before.

 

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