Charly Bliss – ‘Supercut’ (Lorde)

Our favorite track of the year has to be 'Supercut' by Lorde. I don’t think a day has gone by on tour where we haven’t listened to it at least once. It’s a beautifully melodic song with peaks and valleys that ultimately come together for one last chorus that is guaranteed to give you goosebumps.


Phoebe Bridgers – ‘Shark Smile’ (Big Thief)

It’s one of those songs you play on repeat until it’s permanently tattooed on the inside of your skull. It’s a song you strategically put on on a low but not too low volume when people you think are cool get in your car, and that you blast with the windows down driving alone.


Murray MacLeod (THE XCERTS) – ‘Judy French’ (White Reaper)

So this was an incredibly tough decision to make as 2017 was the year 'Smoke Signals' by Phoebe Bridgers hit my heart like an emotional bullet. However, if I'm being totally honest with myself, I jammed 'Judy French' by White Reaper religiously this year. They are a fantastic rock and roll band who take huge influence from the 70s, Thin Lizzy, Cheap Trick...all the good stuff. Me and my friends have spent many nights in bars demanding this song be played at full volume whilst we kick and punch the air, envisioning some sort of scene from Dazed and Confused.


Lido Pimienta – ‘Work In Progress’ (Gucci Mane)

Gucci Mane, his wife, his kids, his life and his story are very important to me. I see Gucci Mane as a survivor and a true creative and business man. I see what I can become in Gucci, and I see what I can become in Keyshia Ka'oir, because they survived and thrived in a system designed to keep them incarcerated, locked away in a cell, and deprived of basic human rights. But they, against all odds, prevailed and are the people they are now, an example to the world. 'Work in Progress' is a perfect song for me because it is an anthem of self-realization and self-motivation, to keep working hard towards your goals and dreams. “I am just a work in progress, I aint even though.” out of the lips of Gucci Mane, a man who has recorded so much and has already done so much musically, the TRAP GOD, who has discovered and made mainstream one of the most popular styles of music right now, self-proclaims “I am a work in progress.” This is how I see myself, always, probably until the day that I die.


Jamie Lenman – ‘Sandwiches’ (Frauds)

Frauds’ debut album With Morning Toast And Jam And Juice is a weird little record, full of unsettling textures and insidious hooks and this track is probably the best example of all that. A song as quotable as Withnail & I or Life of Brian – “Who’s eating sandwiches in someone else’s garden? That’s me”, “Your face looks like jam and butter mixed together”, and my personal favourite, “Get off the estate – coming here was your mistake”, which also includes these gigantic fuzz riffs and a bizarrely delicate breakdown ending – I just keep coming back to it. You don’t get many of these to the pound.


Joe Talbot (IDLES) – ‘A Private Understanding’ (Protomartyr)

First choice would be 'A Private Understanding' by Protomartyr; the album perfectly captures the zeitgeist from a band at their best. It is one of few songs this year that have taken my breath away.


James Spence (Rolo Tomassi) – ‘So Numb’ (Sannhet)

I chose the title track from what is one of my favourite albums of the year. This song is that album at its absolute best. A perfect balance of intensity with energy from the blast beats along with huge hooks which isn't always easy for an instrumental band of this nature.


Julia Jacklin – ‘Diving Woman’ (Japanese Breakfast)

This is my song of the year. I can't fully explain why but maybe that explains it. It just seems to fill me with purpose. I love Michelle's lyrics so much. Maybe the repetition of the line, "I want it all" speaks to how I've felt this year. The production just hits you in the chest. This song just makes me want to reach out to all the women in my life and hold them close.


Andrew Groves (Arcane Roots) – ‘Hubris’ (Sevdaliza)

My track of the year is 'Hubris' by Sevdaliza, from her incredible album ISON. I was only introduced to Sevdaliza's music last month, but i have since made up for my sins by binging on any of her music I could physically get my hands on. The production on ISON (released back in April) is stunning, and filled with unique twists and turns, intricate teases of intense visceral beauty. Listen to it loud and with speakers/headphones that can take the amount of rich, low end information being made available to you! 'Hubris' leaped out at me on my first listen and continues to plague my sleep with (in my opinion) one of the best key changes in modern music, and yet also the smallest glimpse of a crescendo heaven. Did you notice i haven't mentioned a genre?


Tamino – ‘Czech One’ (King Krule)

I basically love everything about this song. The modulating synths, the simplistic drum beat, the poetic, romantic lyricism, the video, and of course King Krule’s deep voice which always gets to me. I’ve been listening to his music since I first heard songs like 'Rock Bottom' and 'Out Getting Ribs'. In my opinion he’s a fantastic, unique songwriter and singer who doesn’t make compromises and who isn’t afraid of exploring boundaries.


Paul Waller (OHHMS) – ‘Memories Are Now’ (Jesca Hoop)

For my money this is the vocal performance of the year. Jesca hasn’t the greatest range or timbre but what she delivers here is incredible. The use of harmony, layering, melody & backing vocals utilises to the greatest degree all the weapons in her arsenal. Against a spacious, near skeletal instrumental musical arrangement, the depth of skill involved is astounding. It’s a song that takes hold of the listener & makes you believe every single word.


Billy Lockett – ‘Just The Same’ (Bruno Major)

This is my fave song of the year. I love everything about the song from start to finish. The words are clever but to the point, the production is sharp, and the melodies are unpredictable but go exactly where you want them to. Smashed it Bruno!


Jade Jackson – ‘MLK Song’ (Mavis Staples)

I've always turned toward sad songs when I'm blue because they've managed to temporarily cancel out my own sadness. But this year I was introduced to an album that lifts me in a different way. Mavis Staples album, Livin’ On A High Note, has been my 2017's cure for pain. Every song on the album, especially 'MLK Song,' makes me feel a joy I've never felt from “uplifting” music before. Her optimism inspires me to shift my outlook, encouraging me to lend a helping hand, and focus on giving love rather than receiving it. Thank you, Mavis.


Tyler Ferrin (Typhoon) – SO (Kelly Lee Owens)

I listened to KLO's self-titled record more than any other record in 2017. The LP came with a CD copy so I put that in my car and it became the only thing I listened to while driving for 8 months straight. Whenever I started my car 'S.O.' would come on, beginning my sexy driving soundtrack to picking up the groceries, driving to band practice, or whatever dumb thing I was about to do. It automatically put me in a cool and calm headspace, yet pumped me up for whatever I was about to do no matter how mundane or trivial the task. The self-titled album is my actual favourite song of the year, my favourite 45-minute song to drive to.


EERA – ‘Up In Hudson’ (Dirty Projectors)

I've chosen this song because there is so much happening within it, and the lyrics are very honest and upfront. It's got everything from brass to amazing vocal harmonies to an awesome guitar outro at the very end. I've always been a big fan of Dirty Projectors, and I find David Longstreth's songwriting style very inspiring alongside his amazing vocal melodies. Not every single song on this album blew me away, but this song is truly a masterpiece.


Stephan Jenkins (Third Eye Blind) – ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’ (Wolf Alice)

On the very last night of The Summer Gods Tour, after a packed-out show at The Greek Theatre - the Third Eye Blind band & crew checked in the notorious Phoenix Hotel for an all night drug & alcohol infused post-tour romp. It was joyous. It was hilarious. It was decadent. There was deep dish pizza and naked swimming. All in keeping with the traditions that make The Phoenix, San Francisco, perhaps the worlds last great rock&roll hotel.

The morning after, around 11am, I was in the pool having a wake up dip (bath to be honest) before flying out for August in Bali. Floating there, I saw two of 3EB's most-famous groupies walk out of my guitar tech's hotel room and stroll across the courtyard. We called them the disaster twins and they are beloved.

"Hey I didn't know you two were here last night," I said smiling from the pool.

"Of course we were!" one of them said.

And they rolled out - lipstick & leather jackets, in the Summer fog, looking for brunch. I think they were law school students and spent Summers following the band.

They were followed, loosely, by a foppish lad in slender black trousers, a statement-making perforated collared shirt, and a bleach blonde coiffure evincing a new-romantic/post-punk steeze. He was brooding. He had silver rings. Somehow I remember seeing chrome toe-caps.

Phoenix still has the vibes, I thought to myself. Bloke's rad.

Meanwhile, in the lobby my guitar tech Danny, who looks exactly like Iggy Pop as a nor cal vegan, was cheerful as ever waiting to check-out. And this is where we get to why Wolf Alice makes the grade for favourite tracks of the year.

The whole band was there, equally smartly dressed and on-brand. Also with them was their tour manager, who Danny describes as Kenny Rogers' Tour Manager's bastard son. He wore a Western blazer and boots a la south Austin-- a look when wore by Brits, Americans always recognize as ridiculous.

"Where did ya play last night?" Danny asked.

"Rickshaw Stop," said KR's bastard grandson in a way too British accent.

"Oh what's your band?"

"Wolf Alice"

"Oh we played The Greek last night. We're Third Eye Blind," said Danny.

"You must be the miserable cunts who kept us up last night. No one is happy... No one." he said and trudged, morbidly with last word in-hand to their tour bus.

He was the very model of an absolute ponce.

And we marveled at his rare ponciness the rest of the morning. It's really a dying art. That combo of school marm, nightclub maitre d, and fashion stylist. It just is all but gone. He actually managed to make us feel naughty. The fact that we indeed were a bunch of inconsiderate cunts was immaterial. Being dressed down by this unknown band's tour manager was exhilarating.

I had to know more. We brought them up on Spotify and behold:

"I love this!" I exclaimed.

Romantic, pure, and fierce, I became nostalgic for a time that didn't exist. Because the time is now for bands like Wolf Alice, and the rest of us can live in their dream. They brought fresh poignancy to my end of tour melancholy and sweet summer in Bali. That's what Wolf Alice does. They make landscapes for waking dreams.

So there is the story of how I became a Wolf Alice fan. And if there is ever a next time, out of deference, we'll try to keep it down at the after party. But they should know we have an open door policy for bands we love. And Wolf Alice is very much invited, toe caps and all.