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The Quietus Tracks Of The Year 2017
Christian Eede , December 19th, 2017 13:35

The final of our annual lists sees us pick our top fifty tracks of the year, as selected by Patrick Clarke, John Doran, Christian Eede, Luke Turner, Seb White and Anna Wood

I've seen a lot of discussion online recently questioning whether we truly need all of these lists at the end of each year. Granted, the argument that ranking people and their achievements may feel reductive to some, or even cast doubts in the minds of some working musicians, seems a fair one. However, I'll always feel that taking stock of the year in the way that we, and of course many others, do every 12 months - in rounding up our favourite albums, tracks, reissues, mixes, compilations and whatnot - can play an important role in introducing people to music that they might have missed that year, and maybe even encourage people to step outside of their comfort zones and listen to something that might not usually fall naturally within their listening habits.

With that in mind, hopefully there might be something new to you in the list below. Our final big round-up for 2017 sees tQ's office staff come together to share our 50 favourite tracks of the last 12 months. The list was put together from polls collected by myself, Patrick Clarke, John Doran, Luke Turner, Seb White and Anna Wood. You can check back over our favourite albums of 2017 here and click here to find out what made up our favourite reissues, mixes and compilations of the year.

Thanks for reading the site this year. Without both our readers and contributors, none of this would be possible of course. Thanks too to all who have helped to keep us afloat in some way, via donations or other support, during an increasingly unstable time to be an independent publication. You can donate to the site here if you so wish. 100% of money contributed goes directly to the site and paying our excellent contributors. Have a happy Christmas and New Year break however you are celebrating and see you in the new year. Christian Eede

50. Filthy Gears (feat. Wiley, Jammz, Capolee and C Cane) -
Step Up
(Self-Released)

"Adding to the fantastic year Wiley’s had, this song by Filthy Gears featuring Wiley, Jammz, Capolee and C Cane sounds both old school and fresh. Mixing veteran and young blood. A great addition to 2017." Seb White

49. Self Esteem -
Your Wife
(Kick & Clap)

"Polyamorous glamourpuss threatens heteronormies, with schoolyard percussion, Kate Bush spookiness and Rebecca Taylor’s sad-strong-sinister-sexy vocals." Anna Wood

48. Naked -
Spit
(Halcyon Veil)

"London duo lube up with power electronics, vomit and an absolutely filthy rhythm on this rigid and rugged belter of a track." Luke Turner

47. Davy Kehoe -
Going Machine
(Wah Wah Wino)

"'Going Machine''s gorgeous, organ-led balladry is a highlight on Davy Kehoe's debut solo effort, Short Passing Game carried along by stuttering drum machine snares and oddball garbled vocal interjections." Christian Eede

46. Steve Monite -
Only You (Frankie Francis Disco Jam Mix)
(Soundway)

“(Re)discovered via last year’s Doing It In Lagos compilation, via Frank Ocean’s live version, and now via this tight little mix; a bassline of elastic joy and vocals in the proud tradition of Kellee Patterson and Barry White.” Anna Wood

45. Levelz -
Front Face
(Levelz)

"Top work from Skittles, T-Man, Truthos Mufasa, Chunky, Chimpo, Black Josh, Sellotape Steve, Crinkle Cut, Fray Bentos and the rest of the Cheetham Hill Crew." John Doran

44. Croatian Amor & Enya -
Caribbean Blue (Paradiso E Edit)
(Posh Isolation)

"Danish artist Croatian Amor joins Chris Carter and Gazelle Twin in the small but sainted group of experimental musicians rightly unafraid to celebrate the greatness of Ireland's biggest selling musical export (apart from the tossers U2) in this gothy and mangled take on 'Caribbean Blue'." Luke Turner

43. Fever Ray -
To The Moon And Back
(Rabid)

"On ‘To The Moon And Back’, a chocolatey-sweet crush is turned into a moment of lewd, giddy triumph. “Your kiss is sweet and creamy,” sings Dreijer, her voice rushing past in a bright swirl of shining-star synths. “Your lips, warm and fuzzy/ I want to run my fingers up your pussy.” Ben Hewitt

42. Meridian Brothers -
¿Dónde Estás María?
(Soundway)

"A sublimely gentle slice of gorgeous Latin baroque psych, laced with earthy strings and winding electronics and topped by sweet, silvery vocals.” Patrick Clarke

41. The Granite Shore -
The Performance Of A Lifetime
(Occultation / Fishrider)

"There is never a dull moment here. By the time you get to the standout track, 'The Performance of a Lifetime', you are left in no doubt that, above all else, this is an album offering great and wholly affecting beauty." Mick Middles

40. Arun Ghosh -
Dagger Dance
(Self-Released)

“Bolton kinda-jazz: menace, swagger and soaring squawking clarinet, with just a touch of sci-fi.” Anna Wood

39. Double S (ft. Wiley) -
Get Paid
(Self-Released)

"The energy Double S provide when performing this is live is powerful. Great beats, better bars." Seb White

38. J Hus -
Did You See
(Black Butter)

"J Hus, Mercury nominated Afro-Swing star, East London native, purveyor of Gucci, self-labelled ‘Mr Ugly’ and creator of the catchiest hooks of all time (more on that later), should be the next Poet Laureate. It’s a very timely notion, what with the current Laureate’s tenure up for renewal in 2018 and J Hus enjoying a sharp ascent to fame this year," Jeffrey Boakye

37. Re-TROS -
At Mosp Here
(Modern Sky USA)

"‘At Mosp Here’ is the best articulation of their expanded abilities, a monster of a song that incorporates the most welcome of the group’s newfound dalliances – a fascination with the ceaseless pump of electronica." Patrick Clarke

36. Hieroglyphic Being, Sarathy Korwar and Shabaka Hutchings -
Calling The Loas
(Technicolour)

"The three musicians integrate elements of spiritual jazz, Indian classical and acid into a blissed-out cosmic flow, as if Jon Hassell had wandered into his Fourth World with a bag of pills and a clutch of Balearic mixes." Stewart Smith

35. Liars -
Cred Woes
(Mute)

"Recorded by Angus Andrew alone in his new Australian home, it's the sound of someone blinking their eyes open in a new reality, as if he were a Robinson Crusoe working out how to survive with the means at his disposal on the shoreline." Luke Turner

34. Madonnatron -
Cat Lady
(Trashmouth)

"What is a cat lady? How is she different to a cat woman? Have you ever met a dog chap? Are you bored by the heteronormative patriarchy? Do I look good with cat ears and a tail? Is there anything better than a spooky sexy filthy silly pop song with a spooky sexy filthy silly video?" Anna Wood

33. Pussy Riot -
Police State
(Self-Released)

"If all songs in 2017 had been about being so happy you could cry, it might not have been such a shit year. Departing the disco train and boarding the party bus, this really is an anthem. Play it loud, play it proud - Pussy Riot are amazing." Seb White

32. Sisters Of Mercy -
This Corrosion (Andrew Liles Edit)
(Self-Released)

"Goth went out with the biggest of bangs 30 years ago. The Nurse With Wound and C93 man Liles makes the best a little bit better with this re-edit." John Doran

31. $hit & $hine -
That’s Enough
(Rocket Recordings)

"A Scud missile of wrongness blasted straight into my prostate gland." John Doran

30. Cardi B -
Bodak Yellow
(Atlantic)

"This is one of the biggest songs in the States right now: it’s managed to knock ‘Despacito’ off the top of the chart, and that is no mean feat." Tara Joshi

29. Mumdance And Logos -
Move Your Body (Perc And Truss remix)
(Tectonic)

"The influence of the early Warp signings that defined Sheffield's storied bleep techno sound - records such as Sweet Exorcist's 'Testone', Forgemasters' 'Track With No Name' and LFO's seminal 'LFO' - can also be picked out on tracks such as 'Move Your Body'. Christian Eede

28. The Last Skeptik (ft. Scrufizzer, Mikill Pane, Dream Mclean & Al, The Native) -
Drumroll Please
(Self-Released)

"I record everything in my bedroom. I still do and probably always will because I get a great sound in there." The Last Skeptik

"Our of this years releases from The Last Skeptik (there were a few, all amazing), this cheeky number with Mikill Pane, Al the Native (Jordan Stephens from Rizzle Kicks fame) and Scrufizzer is what I go back to on Spotify. Magnificent bars to move to." Seb White

27. M.E.S.H. -
Search. Reveal.
(PAN)

"The most bizarre and gripping track, 'Search. Reveal.', is the axis the rest of Hesaitix spins around. White noise is pumped in. The sounds make up a lurching, growing, living landscape, as they are thrown around and reverberated. It's hypnotic to be roped in for the ride." Sukanya Deb

26. Cid Rim -
Zünder
(LuckyMe.)

"A beacon of light from Cid Rim’s Material album, this track is a 5:38 journey of ups, downs, longevity, high energy and a solo that will blow your top right off." Seb White

25. Lanark Artefax -
Touch Absence
(Whities)

"I’ve been at some of the nights where [Manchester's meandyou] play records you won’t expect to hear like this old Mike Paradinas track called ‘Hi-Q’ which was quite a forgotten track of his. It was really percussive and urgent, but also super melodic. I think they played it at around 4am towards the end of the night and I just remember having a really euphoric moment on the dancefloor. I just thought that I wanted to make something that could create that feeling and that turned into ‘Touch Absence’" Lanark Artefax

24. Circuit Des Yeux -
Paper Bag
(Drag City)

"Throughout the record Circuit Des Yeux draw as much on modern jazz and minimalist composition as folk and blues, as also demonstrated by the Terry Riley-like psychedelic swirl of oscillating organ and abstract vocal sounds that make up the first two minutes of ‘Paper Bag’." Ben Graham

23. Jane Weaver and Virginia Wing -
I Feel It Starts Again
(Fire)

"A looming re-interpretation of the Menzel classic, Weaver and the band have ramped up the electronic power on their version of 'I Feel It Starts Again', tempered only by Weaver's superb, sweeping vocals." Patrick Clarke

22. Joe -
Tail Lift
(Hessle Audio)

"‘Tail Lift’ is a dizzying blend of carnival whistles, hollering chopped up vocal snippets and comedy drum breaks that made for the highlight of many a DJ set in the latter part of 2017." Christian Eede

21. Fieh -
Glu
(Self-Released)

"Debut song from new band Fieh, created by Sofie from a tiny village in Norway. Brill feminist lyrics, magical bridges, a killer hook and loads of brass - perfection." Seb White

20. Princess Nokia -
Brujas
(Rough Trade)

"Afrocentrism, Yoruba spirituality and black femininity are threaded throughout 1992 Deluxe, most discernibly on the standout track 'Brujas' in which she raps: “We is them ghetto witches / Speaking in tongue bitches / Fall on the floor / Got sage on the door.” Alice Kemp-Habib

19. Fixmer / McCarthy -
Chemicals
(Sonic Groove)

"McCarthy provides vocals for Fixmer's intense, no-holds-barred techno across two tracks, which also come accompanied by an instrumental for lead track 'Chemicals'. It's a solid marriage of the two's influences in techno and EBM - the pair fusing their backgrounds to excellent effect." Christian Eede

18. V Ä L V Ē -
Lights
(Self-Released)

"Absolutely beautiful." John Doran

17. Hannah Peel -
Sunrise Through The Dusty Nebula
(Society of Sound)

"I wanted these huge slabs of planetary sounds to echo the excitement and wonder of our human need to explore and develop." Hannah Peel

16. Björk -
The Gate
(One Little Indian)

"The beats Arca contributes, especially on ‘The Gate’, sound as if they’re leveraging Bjork’s voice, like the diaphragm acting on her lung capacity as she sings." Lottie Brazier

15. Matthew And Me -
Every Day (Dean Honer Mix)
(Self-Released)

“Melancholy Vangelis with extra poppers: the man from The Moonlandingz and Eccentronic Research Council has taken a beautiful song and made it even more so.” Anna Wood

14. Manni Dee -
London Isn't England (ft Ewa Justka)
(Perc Trax)

"I was on a train on the way to a protest. I heard an ominous throb emanating from the distance which seemed to encapsulate, in a sound, the collective discontent I was due to become immersed in." Manni Dee

13. Snapped Ankles -
I Want My Minutes Back
(Snapped Ankles)

"Like Animal Collective challenging Grumbling Fur to a duel while Angus Andrew of Liars fame roasts one of those recent Pop Group LPs on the campfire in an abstract attempt to attract the attention of LA's Not Not Fun label." JR Moores

12. God Colony ft. Flohio -
SE16
(Self-Released)

“Flohio joins production duo God Colony for the finest of a fantastic run of singles this year. The MC’s comfortable but purposeful flow makes for the perfect counterweight to a dark, rich and pneumatic instrumental.” Patrick Clarke

11. GNOD -
Stick In The Wheel
(Rocket Recordings)

"GNOD's commitment to exposing the harsh and the grim in society is equally persistent through their music – these aren't 'sweet', harmonically pleasing pop songs; they are a 'horrible sound,’ something not exactly unexpected if you are already familiar with their previous albums." Lottie Brazier

10. Nadine Shah -
Out The Way
(1965)

"As a second-generation immigrant – her father is Pakistani and her mother is English of Norwegian descent - Shah is well placed to tackle these thorny issues head-on, offering a refreshing take from a perspective that rarely gets a look in. For this second-generation immigrant, there’s a moment of air-punching validation on ‘Out The Way’ when Shah hits back at those detractors and trolls: “Where would you have me go? / I’m second-generation don’t you know?”" Julian Marszalek

9. The Horrors -
Machine
(Wolf Tone)

"A juddering slab of Numanesque synth rock." Anna Wood

8. Objekt -
Theme From Q
(Objekt)

"Club tracks in 2017 didn't come more ubiquitous than 'Theme From Q' with its tongue-in-cheek, singalong organ hook, callback to classic breakbeats and elaborate backstory centred around the sadly now defunct Basement Q and its curious owner Bogdan."Christian Eede

7. Foreign Beggars (ft. Alix Perez, Izzie Gibbs and Dizmack) -
Toast
(Par Excellence 100)

"Foreign Beggars, Izzie Gibbs and Dismack trade bars on the 2017 banger to end all 2017 bangers." Patrick Clarke

"Absolute. Stone. Cold. Banger. Upon receiving this in the inbox at tQhQ, we played it four times in a row at top volume." Seb White

6. Baxter Dury -
Miami (Parrot And Cocker Too Mix)
(Heavenly Recordings)

“Like taking bronzed, engorged Ray Winstone in those tight yellow Sexy Beast trunks and making a shimmering rutting Balearic dance track out of him.” Anna Wood

5. Algiers -
The Underside Of Power
(Matador)

"Tinged with Suicide, Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, sounds that hark back to their original meeting in Atlanta and which pay homage to their official formation in London, The Underside Of Power is both the latest chapter in a long-running and universal story that seems to be nearing climax, and solid, sonic proof that Algiers are capable of not just acting with their hearts, but ripping them out and offering them up on record." Karl Smith

4. Insecure Men -
Subaru Nights
(Fat Possum)

"Take a listen to the first official 'single' from Insecure Men, 'Subaru Nights', easily one of the best tracks we've heard all year at tQHQ." John Doran

3. Kelela -
LMK
(Warp)

"‘LMK’ is coming from a place where you are single, and you want to have something casual, but it’s demanding respect in that." Kelela

2. Confidence Man -
Better Sit Down Boy
(Les Inrockuptibles)

“Deee-lite meets vintage Girls Aloud on an unstoppable stonker of a pop song, complete with an intergalactic launch of a chorus to defy the chin-stroking bores.” Patrick Clarke 

1. Amor -
Higher Moment
(NIGHT SCHOOL)

"Now more than ever before we deserve to feel the sun on our faces and the breeze at our backs. Amor's ‘Higher Moment’ is a refined moment of Balearic bliss." John Doran




The Quietus Tracks Of The Year 2017



  • 1. Amor - Higher Moment
  • 2. Confidence Man - Better Sit Down Boy
  • 3. Kelela - LMK
  • 4. Insecure Men - Subaru Nights
  • 5. Algiers - The Underside Of Power
  • 6. Baxter Dury - Miami (Parrot And Cocker Too Mix)
  • 7. Foreign Beggars (feat Alix Perez, Izzie Gibbs and Dizmack) - Toast
  • 8. Objekt - Theme From Q
  • 9. The Horrors - Machine
  • 10. Nadine Shah - Out The Way
  • 11. GNOD - Stick In The Wheel
  • 12. God Colony ft. Flohio - SE16
  • 13. Snapped Ankles - I Want My Minutes Back
  • 14. Manni Dee - London Isn't England (ft. Ewa Justka)
  • 15. Matthew And Me - Every Day (Dean Honer Mix)
  • 16. Björk - The Gate
  • 17. Hannah Peel - Sunrise Through the Dusty Nebula
  • 18. V Ä L V Ē - Lights
  • 19. Fixmer / McCarthy - Chemicals
  • 20. Princess Nokia - Brujas
  • 21. Fieh - Glu
  • 22. Joe - Tail Lift
  • 23. Jane Weaver and Virginia Wing - I Feel It Starts Again
  • 24. Circuit Des Yeux - Paper Bag
  • 25. Lanark Artefax - Touch Absence
  • 26. Cid Rim - Zünder
  • 27. M.E.S.H. - Search. Reveal.
  • 28. The Last Skeptik (ft. Scrufizzer, Mikill Pane, Dream Mclean & Al the Native) - Drumroll Please
  • 29. Mumdance And Logos - Move Your Body (Perc And Truss remix)
  • 30. Cardi B - Bodak Yellow
  • 31. $hit & $hine - That’s Enough
  • 32. Sisters Of Mercy - This Corrosion (Andrew Liles Edit)
  • 33. Pussy Riot - Police State
  • 34. Madonnatron - Cat Lady
  • 35. Liars - Cred Woes
  • 36. Hieroglyphic Being, Sarathy Korwar and Shabaka Hutchings - Calling The Loas
  • 37. Re-TROS - At Mosp Here
  • 38. J Hus - Did You See
  • 39. Double S (ft. Wiley) - Get Paid
  • 40. Arun Ghosh - Dagger Dance
  • 41. The Granite Shore - The Performance Of A Lifetime
  • 42. Meridian Brothers - ¿Dónde Estás María?
  • 43. Fever Ray - To The Moon And Back
  • 44. Croatian Amor & Enya - Caribbean Blue (Paradiso E Edit)
  • 45. Levelz - Front Face
  • 46. Steve Monite - Only You (Frankie Francis Disco Jam Mix)
  • 47. Davy Kehoe - Going Machine
  • 48. Naked - Spit
  • 49. Self Esteem - Your Wife
  • 50. Filthy Gears (ft. Wiley, Jammz, Capolee and C Cane) - Step Up

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