Mandy’s Top 20 Tracks of 2017

2017 has seen the release of so many incredible songs. It’s extremely difficult to pick the best 20! I decided to give it a shot anyway. Here are my top 20 tracks of 2017:

20. “White Noise Boys” by Airways

19. “Shape Of You” by Ed Sheeran

18. “Separate Ways” by Joe Dolman

17. “The Last Of The Real Ones” by Fall Out Boy

16. “Pay The Man” by Foster The People

15. “Born To Die” by Coasts

14. “One Of Us” by New Politics

13. “Drown” by Kovic

12. “Sight For Sore Eyes” by Knox Hamilton

11. “Something Beautiful” by Joe Dolman

10. “Ropes” by Kovic

9. “Sorry” by Nothing But Thieves

8. “Let Me Love You” by Coasts

7. “Hold Me Tight Or Don’t” by Fall Out Boy

6. “I Think It’s Strange (Acoustic)” by Joe Dolman

5. “Broken Machine” by Nothing But Thieves

4. “Explore” by Sundara Karma

3. “Heart Starts Beating” by Coasts

2. “Amsterdam” by Nothing But Thieves

1. “Happy Family” by Sundara Karma

Check out all of these songs below! 


Danielle’s Top 5 Albums of 2017

What Do You Think About The Car? – Declan McKenna

At the age of 15, Declan McKenna was the youngest solo artist to perform at Glastonbury winning the Emerging Talent Competition in 2015. His debut album ‘What Do You Think About The Car’ has  a certain maturity to the lyrics and topics that it explores for such a young singer and did I mention that they are ridiculously catchy.

Top five tracks:

The Kids Don’t Want To Come Home
Why Do You Feel So Down

Attractions Of Youth – Barns Courtney

Barns Courtney has certainly come a long way since I saw him at a very intimate gig at the Oporto last February. Putting Barns Courtney in a single music genre is a virtually impossible task and ‘Attractions of Youth’ just goes to show what a diverse musician he is. From rock to folk(ish) and then rap this album is a treat for your ears.

Top 5 tracks:

Glitter and Gold
Hobo Rocket
Little Boy

Emerging Adulthood – Dan Croll

Dan Croll’s second album has been a long time coming and I can assure that it was certainly worth the wait. ‘Emerging Adulthood’ cwas released in July and with catchy hits like ‘Bad Boy’ and ‘Tokyo’ was a definite favourite for my summer playlist.

Top five tracks:
One Of Us
Bad Boy


Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect – Sundara Karma

On twelfth night the three wise men came to a stable in Bethlehem bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh and on the 6th January 2017 Sundara Karma gifted the world with their debut album ‘Youth is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect.’

This album has become such a ‘go to’ soundtrack for me that I often forget that it was actually released this year!

With highs…..and more highs, because there literally aren’t any lows when it comes to the infectious sound of Sundara Karma, this record is all I need for dancing round my room.

P.S introducing Mandy to SK’s music remains, to this day, my greatest achievement in life.

Top 5 tracks:

She Said
A Young Understanding
Watching From Great Heights
Lose The Feeling

This Life, Vol. 1 – Coasts

Who are we kidding, of course Coasts were going to be on my list of Top 5 Albums and taking the top spot too!

Coasts second album ‘This Life, Vol. 1’ has a certain maturity to it, exploring themes that have often challenged the band. All of this is done whilst maintaining a distinct Coastsness and includes some absolute belters.

Top 5 tracks:
Take Me Back Home
Heart Starts Beating
Chase The Night
Make It Out Alive
White Noise
(I wanted to put all ten tacks on my ‘top’ list but Mandy said that I had to choose five)

Mandy’s Top 5 Albums Of 2017

Featured Images via Sundara KarmaNothing But ThievesCoastsKnox Hamilton and Foster The People 

With 2017 coming to a close, I wanted to take a look back at some of the incredible music that has been released this year. It wasn’t easy to pick only five best albums, but here are the ones that stand out from the rest of the pack to me: 

5. Sacred Hearts Club by Foster The People

Foster The People did not disappoint with their third studio album. They dabbled in a lot of new sounds (check out “Loyal Like Sid & Nancy”) that took me by surprise at first, but quickly grew on me. And of course the album comes complete with brilliant lyrical work from the genius that is Mark Foster.

Top 5 Tracks

  • “Pay The Man”
  • “Sit Next To Me”
  • “Lotus Eater”
  • “I Love My Friends”
  • “Static Space Lover”

4. The Heights by Knox Hamilton

Knox Hamilton didn’t disappoint with their debut album. The Heights is track after track of pop-rock goodness. Each track has its own unique sound, from the bright pop of “Rightfully So” to the grungy rock vibes of “Call Me Up.” 

Top 5 Tracks:

  • “Rightfully So”
  • “Sight For Sore Eyes”
  • “Washed Up Together”
  • “The Heights”
  • “Call Me Up”

3. This Life, Vol. 1 by Coasts

The Bristol boys’ second album was anything but a sophomore slump. Coasts explore more complex themes and display a sense of musical maturity throughout this album. From the feel-good “Take Me Back Home” to the heartwrenching “Born To Die,” Coasts deliver an album full of single-worthy tracks.

Top 5 Tracks:

  • “Heart Starts Beating”
  • “Let Me Love You”
  • “Born To Die”
  • “Chase The Night”
  • “White Noise”

2. Broken Machine by Nothing But Thieves

Nothing But Thieves’ sophomore album is nothing short of a masterpiece. The topics that they touch on are so incredibly deep and relatable. It’s hard to find words to describe the feeling of belting out these lyrics along with frontman Conor Mason, but the closest I can come is to say that it’s a cathartic experience. From start to finish, this album is truly a work of art.

Top 5 Tracks:

  • “Amsterdam”
  • “Broken Machine”
  • “Sorry”
  • “Particles”
  • “Live Like Animals”

1. Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect by Sundara Karma

Sundara Karma quickly became one of my favorite bands with their debut album. Their music has so much packed into it. The raw emotion of “Happy Family” that never fails to bring me to tears. The beautiful lyrics of “Loveblood.” The deep meaning paired with the funky beat in “Explore.” Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect has everything you could ever hope for in a debut album and more. This is easily the best debut I’ve ever heard, and certainly the best album of the year.

Top 5 Tracks:

  • “Happy Family”
  • “Flame”
  • “Explore”
  • “She Said”
  • “A Young Understanding”

Gig Review: Marika Hackman

Featured Image: Marika Hackman

On November 17h Marika Hackman brought an alternative 90s sound to Leeds with support from Our Girl.

The solo performance of Our Girl had a low key, stripped back feel that was inviting and personable.

The Wardrobe quickly filled up for Marika and the amount of glitter in the room was inspirational.

Marika Hackman brought the house down on a Friday night with her unique sound. Personal highlights included  ‘Time’s Been Reckless’ and public debut of ‘When You Sleep’

Did you know that Marika Hackman used to be in a band with model turned actress Cara Delevigne.

Gig Review: Joe Dolman

Featured Image: Joe Dolman 

On the evening of the 15th November, I crossed over to the Fox and Newt pub in Leeds for a relaxed folky evening with Joe Dolman, Sunflower Thieves and Amy J.

3 pints of squash later and Amy J was ready to ‘Rock The Boat’ with a beautiful set mixed with her own material and covers including Passenger’s ‘Let Her Go.’

Sunflower Thieves aka Lily and Amy mix stunning close harmonies and heartfelt lyrics in their serenely calm duo set.

It was the penultimate night of tour and Joe Dolman brought ‘Something Beautiful’ to Leeds. With a mix of old and new songs and injection of soul with a Ray Charles cover Joe delivered a pure an unforgettable night.

EP Review: A Light That Blinds

Featured Image via Saint Raymond

Saint Raymond is finally back with a new EP, A Light That Blinds. It was completely worth the wait. 

This EP has such an incredible vibe to it. It kicks off with the infectious “Younger,” a song that anyone who has gotten that bubbly, butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling around a crush (so everyone, no point in denying it) can relate to. It’s a song to blast from a boom box while holding it over your head under said crush’s window. Okay, maybe that’s taking it a bit too far, but seriously, this song is amazing.

Next up is the sultry “Nightcrawling.” There’s a certain intensity in the imagery of this track that gives me chills. “Last Time” is a reminder that simplicity can be beautiful. The layers of vocals and guitars are mesmerizing, especially in the pre-chorus. The last song, “We Are Fire,” is nothing short of anthemic. I can easily imagine it being played in a packed arena with thousands of fans singing along. 

In short, this EP is absolutely stunning. This is undoubtedly Saint Raymond’s best work yet. I am forever grateful for the friend who said “hey, check this guy out,” because it led me to this fantastic EP.

Check out A Light That Blinds below! 

Bonus: Saint Raymond also released an alternative version of “Nightcrawling,” which is just as incredible (if not more so) than the original. Give it a listen below.

Song of the Week: Lifted

Featured Image via New Politics

Sometimes a song comes along that manages to perfectly convey how you feel at that moment. Right now, that song for me is “Lifted” by New Politics

Tensions are rising

How much can I take?

Tensing my muscles, afraid I will break

The damage is done

I’m left with a choice

Live with the pain or live without no voice

I’m lifted

Frontman David Boyd delivers these poignant lyrics with heartfelt emotion. He’s backed by tribal vocals that somehow manage to fit flawlessly in this pop-rock ballad. All in all, this song is nothing short of a tearjerker, and a relatable one at that.

Listen to “Lifted” below.