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 warmest 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.