Mushroom’s 20 Best Songs Of 2017
Words by Hayley Franklin
A list of supreme songs that might help tighten your Triple J Hottest 100 voting.
DMA’S – ‘Dawning’
DMA’S copped us in the feels again with the release of ‘Dawning‘ a couple of months ago, sharing a slicker cut of guitar pop filled with familiar yearning. Whilst the acoustic charm and dreamy melodies create hopeful and uplifting vibes, the track contains some of the Sydney trio’s saddest lyrics yet. Leaving it open to interpretation, ‘Dawning’ is the type of friend that doesn’t ask questions but just puts a comforting arm around you when you’re not quite feeling right. Thanks lads!
Jack River – ‘Fool’s Gold’
Sparkly songstress Jack River infected us with this huge gem back in June, and we’ve been under the spell of her dream-rock infused huge pop sound ever since. Weaving between laid-back verses with bittersweet guitars and honey-whispered vocals to explosive choruses packed with shimmering synths, ‘Fool’s Gold‘ is written for the disappointment of thinking something is gold then being let down. The result, is gritty, intricate pop that actually makes you feel something.
In the lead up to their three-years-in-the-making album ZONE, Sydney trio Cloud Control dropped this piece of minimal magic. ‘Treetops’ tip toes through soft vocals, snappy beats, sharp bass and snazzy synths, leading the listener on a fascinating sonic adventure. It perfectly captures the wholesome good vibes of the album, which documents a series of break-ups, break-ins and break-downs in a break-through effort that is sure to get you into the zone.
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – ‘French Press’
The title track of the Melbourne band’s sophomore EP, ‘French Press‘ is just over five-minutes of luscious guitars, intricate bass, tight drums and laid-back vocals. Written as a Skype call between two brothers, one travelling and one stuck in an office, the single features captivating lyrics and a hint of true-blue charm. It’s smart rock that will get you moving and thinking at the same time, check out the rest of the EP here.
Tiny Little Houses – ‘Garbage Bin’
Melbourne garage-folksters Tiny Little Houses released slacker anthem ‘Garbage Bin’ in July this year, and never has our laziness felt so validated. Ripping with ’90s geek-rock influences and brain-washing pop hooks, the track is a bildungsroman of sorts, following singer Caleb Karvountzis’ life from disappointment to disappointment. “I wrote it partly in frustration about how sick I was of being a screw up and partly out of a strange, sarcastic acceptance of my predicament,” he explains. Being a screw up never sounded so good.
British India – ‘My Love’
Recorded live at The Batman Royale in October, British India smashed out powerful rock track ‘My Love’, taken from their new album Forgetting The Future. Complete with funky guitars, driven bass, chant vocals and singer Declan Melia’s distinctive belt, the track takes the heartfelt intensity of the Melbourne rockers’ back catalogue and turned it up to 11. British India are only getting louder with time, and our speakers are ready for impact.
Mansionair – ‘Astronaut (Something About Your Love)’
Sydney electronic trio Mansionair released their cinematic single ‘Astronaut’ in October, sweeping us up in their slick world of loneliness and distant love. Driven by a warm bass line and tightly ricochetting beat, this highly polished offering is a dance track that beckons you in to listen closely. They say that distance makes the heart grow fonder, and this track is out of this world.
Vance Joy – ‘Like Gold’
Vance Joy coupled the announcement of his highly anticipated sophomore album Nation Of Two, with the release of this tender folk track. “I wrote Like Gold after coming off the road at the start of 2016. It started with a simple melody I was humming and the idea of looking back at a relationship,” explains Vance Joy. His charming voice and inspiring songwriting only have us looking forward to what is to come.
ALTA – ‘Fix It’
Melbourne duo and masters in producing pop-percussive beats, ALTA released snappy track ‘Fix It‘ in June this year. Slick with summer sounds, the track snaps and crackles until it’s licked into place with spicy vocals and savage lyrics. Storytellers to the core, the stand alone single is an engaging and matured sound for the dance purveyors.
nyck – ‘This Might Be My Year’
Sensitive Melbourne duo nyck prepared us for their phenomenal debut EP with the release of ‘This Might Be My Year’, a soft and mellow track with tender vocals and echoing piano that pulls at our heartstrings but despite its sorrow, is full of hope. The duo’s rich voices and sweet harmonies soar over a minimal soundscape of warm tambourine, claps and swelling piano. With a collection as beautiful as Alive, 2017 has definitely been their year.
City Calm Down – ‘Blood’
Melbourne post-punks City Calm Down heated up our winter with their blissfully boppy but darkly vengeful single ‘Blood‘. Driven by madness and exhaustion, the track explores the struggle of balancing 9-5 life with touring commitments with a toe-tapping combination of formidable drums, tight bass, sprinklings of brass and singer Jack Bourke’s velvety baritone voice. This powerful track is the first hint of what we can expect from their anticipated second album.
DZ Deathrays – ‘Total Meltdown’
DZ Deathrays had us in meltdown last month with the release of this corker and news that their hugely-anticipated third album Bloody Lovely is set to drop in February. Following on from fast-paced thrasher ‘Bad Influence‘, ‘Total Meltdown’ has us dreaming of the huge guitars, crashing drums and yearning melodies that the album will no doubt contain. Always perfecting the balance of angst and party, ‘Total Meltdown’ has been stuck in our heads since day one, because like the anticipated album, it’s (in Shane Parson’s words) “brutal and beautiful and super Aussie.”
Bad//Dreems – ‘Feeling Remains’
Adelaide rockers Bad//Dreems proved they’re more than just pub-rock with ‘Feeling Remains‘, the anthemic single from their sophomore album Gutful. Featuring gritty punk guitars and raspy vocals, the track explores feelings of melancholy that just won’t dissipate. Turn this one up loud and thrash your sadness away!
Hatchie – ‘Try’
The newest member of the Mushroom family, Hatchie, released this super catchy dream-pop track in June this year and instantly melted our hearts. Melding reflective shoegaze with whimsical pop, Hatchie experiments with mesmerising vocal harmonies and sweet synths to create pop that is simultaneously playful and dark. ‘Try’ is the first example of her effortlessly hypnotic songwriting, and after following it up with rich single ‘Sure‘ we can’t wait to see what magic she delivers next.
The Rubens – ‘Million Man’
The Rubens have burst back onto the scene with infectious soul track ‘Million Man‘. The vibrant anthem is brimming with layers of joyous vocals, crashing cymbals, electric organs, gritty synths and bright piano. The big, spontaneous vibes are the result of an unlikely collaboration with Run The Jewels producers Wilder Zoby and Little Shalimar. What will The Rubens surprise us with next?
I Know Leopard – ‘Let Go’
Sydney-siders I Know Leopard extended their dream pop repertoire with this ethereal bopper in June this year. ‘Let Go‘ merges a retro soundscape with a fresh pop structure, as magical synths, groovy bass and anxious lyrics combine to create a ridiculously catchy tune. Plus, between the sweeping vocal melody and angelic backing harmonies, this track also wins most fun to sing along to.
Gordi – ‘On My Side’
Always one to drop a heart-felt song, Gordi’s single ‘On My Side‘ still has us reaching for the tissues. “I wrote the song about being incapable of telling someone that I needed them, ‘sending my words silently’ through lyrics instead,” Gordi a.k.a. Sophie Payten revealed. The emotional track is heightened with innovative production and swelling vocals, leaving us tingling for more. Luckily, there’s a lot more of Gordi’s magic in the Reservoir.
Slum Sociable – ‘Castle’
Melbourne duo Slum Sociable reeled us into their dark world with the second single from their self-titled debut album, ‘Castle‘. The slow-building track ventures into grimier territory for the soul/jazz/electro boys, as rumbling rhythms and squealing synths underscore Miller Upchurch’s emotional vocals. All this drama is highly addictive.
The Creases – ‘Is It Love’
Brissy rock-n-rollers The Creases infected us with their highly contagious single ‘Is It Love‘ in June and we’re still not over it. The brit-pop inspired track is jam-packed with jangly guitars and catchy group harmonies, the basslines is funky as hell and there’s hints of shiny brass. The sparkling track is just a taste of the slick rock goodness to be found on their debut album Tremolow.
Bliss n Eso – ‘Moments’ (feat. Gavin James)
Released way back in April this year, ‘Moments’ is an inspiring track brought to us by our favourite Aussie MC’s Bliss n Eso. “’Moments’ is a track that reflects on those precious moments we all had growing up before life got complicated. Your first kiss, the house you lived in, the smells of your childhood neighbourhood, your first time in love. It’s about reminiscing and appreciating how those moments have shaped who we are today. Gavin’s voice really brought everything together on ‘Moments’. His heart-warming vocals helped to paint all our memories even more vividly,” explains MC Bliss.