Top 50 Tracks of 2017 (30-21)

30. CFM “Rise and Fall”

Charles Moothart may be better known for his work with Ty Segall and Mikal Cronin but should be getting more credit for his solo work under the initials CFM. “Rise and Fall” can best be found rising somewhere in the 70’s between King Crimson and Motorhead while falling in the twenty-teens between the aforementioned Ty Segall and John Dwyer’s harder albums as Thee Oh Sees/Oh Sees. Moothart’s talents as a multi-instrumentalist abound on Dichotomy Desaturated and shine particularly bright on “Rise and Fall.” From the opening 70’s heavy metal riffs to the more harmonic vocal arrangements and stiff guitar solos this track has it all. Not to be missed or overlooked. – Greg Scranton

29. Xiu Xiu “Get Up”

Within a tight five-minute window, Xiu Xiu’s single “Get Up” from their album FORGET builds from a Casio keyboard beat and a simple, slow three-note guitar pattern to a rousing, triumphant, soaring finale. “A piano fell on my face, you told me to get up,” Jamie Stewart sings softly as well-timed echo effects enhance his vocal performance which ranges from pleading and sorrowful to anxious and demanding and back again. “Get Up” is simultaneously inspiring and empathetic and is not only a standout moment on a solid studio album but a new high-water mark in terms of songwriting and proficiency for the group. – Andy Mascola

28. Matthew Good “Decades”

After decades as a recording artist, Matthew Good gives us the new wave gem, “Decades.” The lyrics read like poetry and convey that his career has taken a toll – but like a vampire, I’ll keep sucking his metaphorical blood dry as long as he’s offering it. – Colleen Walsh-Jervis

27. John Maus “The Combine”

Not to be confused with the Jam classic of the same name, “The Combine” is the lead track on John Maus’ post punk revival Screen Memories. What sounds to be nothing more than a set of Garageband “instruments” Maus’ true magic comes from his deep vocal delivery and overall composition. “The Combine” could be performed as a one man band on a casio in the corner of an overlit supermarket just as well as it could be performed by Maus on stage at Radio City Music Hall backed by the 106 person orchestration of the New York Philharmonic and this is precisely what makes this track and this entire album so powerful and alluring. – Greg Scranton

26. Sir Sly “High”

Dark and catchy, Sir Sly takes us on a drug-fueled, introspective indie-pop quest on “High.” Considering the lyrics mention the rigors of touring, it optimistic. It’s a feel-good trip. – Colleen Walsh-Jervis

25. Taylor Swift “Don’t Blame Me”

Arguably the best track from the fully-formed pop album Reputation, Taylor Swift expresses her love for someone as being addictive like a drug. Normally one to shy away from anything too risque, Swift backhands the final track from her previous album entitled “Clean”, embracing the darkness within her spectacle of a love life. “Don’t Blame Me” is not only a shot to her former self, but it’s a revelation of synths and sounds so far from her country roots that it establishes her in the pop world. With clever almost-innuendos and a strong voice, Swift proves that she’s here to stay in the pop world. Look out. – Julie Sullivan

24. Ty Segall “Is It Real”

You’ve totally heard this song before, you swear it, somewhere by someone other than Ty Segall, you just can’t place it. No, no, you’re sure of it…oh it’s the Velvet Underground’s classic “Heroin”! You know Cause it makes me feel like I’m a man / When I put a spike into my vein / And I tell you things aren’t quite the same / When I’m rushing on my run / And I feel just like Jesus’ son/ only with heavier guitars. Nah, I thought so too. In fact it drove me crazy for weeks until I just said fuck it, “Is It Real,” is for real and it fucking rocks. – Greg Scranton

23. Haiku Hands “Not About You”

Imagine MIA rapping over Icona Pop and that should give you a good idea of what Haiku Hands’ track “Not About You” sounds like before you even hear it. These four sassy ladies from Sydney, Australia rap about tearing up the lexicon, kicking your ass, and eating their cake. “It’s not about you, shut up, it’s not about me either, I am my sister’s keeper, chiiiiill, it’s not about you, shut up, it’s not about me either, it’s us verse the grim reaper, chill, chill, chill, chill,” Haiku Hands sing during this EDM banger’s chorus. Energetic, fun, and empowering, “Not About You” is a winner. – Andy Mascola

22. Jens Lekman “What’s that Perfume That You Wear?”

Jens Lekman‘s power has always been his uncanny ability to tell sad stories about the human condition through interesting lens. “What’s that Perfume That You Wear?” works because it is so damn relatable. He sings about the scent of a former lover and how it brings him directly back to a moment of being with her in a hotel. Even if we don’t all have a tiny bottle of shampoo that has the same evocative effect, we all have something like it. As the song crescendos into a dance-y tropical track, you want to dance but the words make it so hard not to cry–a sure sign of Lekman at his finest. – Adam Tercyak-Morgan

21. Drake “Passionfruit”

Drake’s long-distance relationship woes makes for some catchy trop-pop. Sunny, passionate electronics under Drake’s passive vocals make for a great mix with the hot-and-cold relationship problems. – Colleen Walsh-Jervis

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