Welcome back to part two of the year end singles countdown, which was delayed slightly by a bought of holiday festivities. Now that that’s taken care of, here are my top 20 singles of 2017.
20. The Shifters – A Believer (Market Square)
Melbourne’s Shifters finally follow up their cassette from a couple years back with this slightly more melodic but no less urgent single. They still sound steeped in early Fall dashed with bits of psychedelia.
19. Presentable Corpse – Don’t End Up Alone (Grey Matter)
Jorge Elbrecht, who you might know from his former outfits Lansing-Dreiden and Violens, released Don’t End Up Alone as Presentable Corpse earlier this year. It’s an hallucination inducing wash of psych-pop that had me checking the credits to see he had resurrected Arther Lee.
18. Posse – Kismet (Saddle Creek)
2017 was a good and a bad year for Seattle’s Posse. They released this wonderful Galaxy 500 inspired single as well as new LP. They also decided to stop being a band. Kismet’s slow burn is perfect for a ride off into the sunset.
17. Thigh Master – B.B.C. (12XU)
Hailing from Brisbane and featuring jangly guitars and pithy lyrics is Thigh Master. The a-side is a corker, while the b-side is a little more plodding but is maybe more intriguing for it.
16. We. The Pigs – EP 2 (Discos De Kerlian)
This Swedish band with a name that contains a punctuation mark is big on atmospherics that some call shoegaze and others dreampop. I’m leaning towards dreampop here, with some nods to indiepop which if you hang around this blog at all, know is a favorite combination.
15. Swiftumz – Game Six (Fruits & Flowers)
I love the cover of this single. After gazing at it a while I noticed that the two players’ legs are cut off a the knee. Game Six is a sublime peach of a song that could waft into a room and hypnotize it. I don’t know what that has to do with basketball players with missing legs, but I like the mystery.
14. Snails – Starting With Mine EP (Undergrowth)
This was an unofficial record store day release lathe cut seven inch single, so don’t expect to find one your local shop. But who buys single anymore anyway? Thanks to technology you can still enjoy the Ladybug Transistor meets Kevin Ayers bucolic beauty a the tap of a screen.
13. The Lovebirds – Filled With Hate (Empty Cellar)
The first single from The Lovebirds is an accomplished bit of Teenage Fanclub inspired pop. The four laid-back sounding songs with a great sense of melody make it hard to not listen to this single again and again.
12. Beatnicks – Beatnicks (Neck Chop)
This Oakland group features folks from other bands that are big around here like the World, Andy Human and Life Stinks. Together they make a great snarling, clanging, racket.
11. Patsy’s Rats – Is It Alright? (Wink & Spit)
This Portland Duo write great hooks that are part Cheap Trick and part Fastbacks. Is It Alright is a blast when played at full blast!
10. The Luxembourg Signal – Laura Palmer (Shelflife)
The Luxembourg Signal’s ode to Twin Peaks has just the right amount of sad and mysterious. Laura Palmer just sort of drifts into the room and lingers. Their cover of the Close Lobsters’ Let’s Make Some Plans on the flip side is nice added insurance.
9. The Flying Stars Of Brooklyn NY – My God Has A Telephone (Colemine)
Aaron Frazer’s angelic croon will make you stop in your tracks. My God Has a Telephone with its gospel groove will do the same. The combination is as you might have guessed, top flight stuff.
8. Green Seagull – Scarlet & (I Used To Dream In) Black and White (Mega Dodo)
Green Seagull see to it that the psychedelic 60’s never went a way. Both of their singles sound like stone cold classics. I Used To Dream In Black and White has a Left Banke & Mamas and Papas melancholy to it while Scarlet and They Just Don’t Know reminds me of Crosby Stills & Nash and Kaleidoscope.
7. Mick Trouble – It’s the Mick Trouble EP (Emotional Response)
This Television Personalities inspired single wants you to believe it was unearthed from dusty closet in England, carefully preserved since 1981. In actuality, it’s Jed Smith of New York City’s My Teenage Stride. Even after wiping away its veneer it still sounds undeniably grand.
6. Flasher – Winnie (Sister Polygon)
Rooted in Washington, D.C.’s punk scene, Flasher remind me a little of Manifesto who also came from that same punk scene, yet veered more towards slicker pop. This single follows up their EP from last year and sees the trio on the upward trajectory.
5. The Arctic Flow – January Stars (Kingfisher Bluez)
The two songs on this single are culled from an EP that came out in 2014, so technically this a reissue of sorts. Whatever. The wonderful St. Christopher style pop is timeless, at least to a Sarah Records loving fellow.
4. UVTV – Go Away EP (Emotional Response)
Florida’s UV-TV continued their winning ways with this single that is clearly influenced by the Primitives. Oh, and wouldn’t you know there’s a cover of Really Stupid here.
3. Charlotte Adigery – Charlotte Adigery (Deewee)
Produced by Soulwax brothers, this four song EP is slithery and seductive. Icy beats form the backdrop for Adigery’s English and French vocals and provide a widescreen feel that stretches from sci-fi to farmhouse.
2. Patience – White of an Eye (Night School)
The third single from Roxanne Clifford’s Patience sees her moving further into New Order territory in her post Veronica Falls songwriting. If John Hughes were still making high school dramas this song would surely be playing as the protagonists walked into the gymnasium for prom.
1. Display Homes – Climate Change (Tough Love)
Band releases debut single, takes world by storm, gets single of the year honors. The first one is true and the third one is kinda true depending on your perspective and number two is true if you insert the word my before world. Australia’s Display Homes are half a world away from Athens, Georgia, but they can certainly be considered inheritors of Pylon’s post punk angular dance grooves. Climate Change has a brilliant riff juxtaposed with falsetto vocals that descend to a growl on the chorus. Bonus points for taking on weighty topics like misogyny and climate change and still make you want to dance as the boat goes down.