Yes folks it's July already. Where did the time go?
While I know it seems like you just put away your New Years Eve confetti, it's time to review the great music that's emerged in the past six months.
The Spotify Community Staff (Managers and Moderators) as well as some of our most trusted Music Stars active in our Music Boards got together and voted on our favorite tracks of 2017 so far.
While of course the original list was a lot bigger, the majority of these tracks had more than one vote, so they're double approved. Check out the full playlist right here:
We've also offered some background behind a few of our favorite tracks. Thanks to Music Rock Star @crematedman for outlining why we picked some of these favorites:
Perfume Genius - "Slip Away"
Many artists try to capture what it feels like to be carried away by an emotion. "Slip Away" is one of the few tracks that captures this successfuly. It’s a triumphant testament to defiance, pride and difference. Feeling at once methodical and unrestrained, it builds and builds through waves of mesmerising harmonies and pulsing drums and gets better with every listen.
IDLES - "Mother"
"Mother" is vicious and on point. It’s the perfect culmination of frustration with the system and disenfranchisement felt by so many in the world. Epitomising punk, the Bristol five-piece deliver drilling bass and roaring intensity. Distilled and pure in form and message, it slashes into consumer culture and sexual violence, aching with honest emotion.
Tinariwen - "Tiwàyyen (feat. Kurt Vile & Matt Sweeney)"
Tinariwen’s feverish and eloquent approach to songwriting seems only to have intensified following their displacement from their homeland of Mali. With psychedelic guitar-work and pleading vocals, "Tiwàyyen" rises in tempo towards the song’s climax. Their fusion of culture with Kurt Vile and Matt Sweeney and poignant imagery gels perfectly with the powerful messages of unity and grief.
Julie Byrne – "Follow My Voice"
It has been another outstanding year so far for female vocalists, with some exceptional picks in Sylvan Esso, Maggie Rogers, Laura Marling, Nadia Reid, Tei Shi and Feist. A standout has been Julie Byrne, whose husky delivery and simple artistry fuses the poetic imagery of a lullaby with the open-hearted honesty of a diary entry. She compromises the perfection of the timing for the message, making it feel all the more real.
Jlin – "Challenge (To Be Continued)"
In an industry that is increasingly formulaic, Jlin is a breath of fresh air and an entrepreneur of electronic production. "Challenge"is a jarring soundscape of tribal percussive elements and hallucinogenic sampling, too rhythmic to be noise, but too eclectic to fit neatly anywhere else.
Sampha - "What Shouldn't I Be?"
Spacious and delicate, the sound of "What Shouldn’t I Be?" is an exploration of harp-like piano sounds and introspective vocalising. In the background, the distant echo of his voice is like a wisp of meditative thought. It’s a track at once profoundly detached and deeply personal. Sampha’s breathy falsetto is heavenly in every sense, showing why he is so prolific and highly sought after in the world of collaborations.
Father John Misty - "Ballad of the Dying Man"
Father John Misty offers a tragic satire, and social commentary on life and music, unique for the time. "Ballad of the Dying Man" is a track conscious of the disdain for hipster culture that his work encourages – so often misinterpreted as a pretentious pop figure claiming to have insight into the meaning of life. The sound is consciously clichéd and simple to highlight the song’s themes of delusion, complacency, ignorance and absurdity. It’s sarcastic in its grandeur, yet sincere and humble in expressing the insignificance of the narrator. At the same time, Tillman is unapologetic in his portrait of the hypocrisy, materialism and faux-intellectualism that supports the reverence of negativity in our societies.
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