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! 

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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
Paracetamol
Humongous
Brazil
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
Fire
Hobo Rocket
Little Boy
Kicks

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:
Tokyo
January
One Of Us
Bad Boy
Educate

 

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
Flame
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”

Song of the Week: Explore

Featured Image via Sundara Karma

On Friday, one of my favorite bands, Sundara Karma, released a new track called “Explore.” An addition to their debut album, Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect, “Explore” is pure gold. This track is dope. It’s disco meets funk meets indie rock. Oscar Lulu’s one-of-a-kind voice is accompanied by groovy guitar riffs, backup vocals fit for a gospel choir and LOADS of cowbell (you can never have too much cowbell). And who can forget the eloquent lyrics only the brain of Oscar Lulu could dream up? This track will have you up and dancing in no time.

Check out “Explore” below!

Summer 2017 Playlist

It might not officially be summer yet, but it sure feels like it (at least here in North Carolina)! We’ve put together a playlist of songs dripping with summer vibes, perfect to listen to whether you’re poolside, roadtripping or catching some waves.

Check it out below! 

Sundara Karma Live: A Cathartic Experience

It is fairly impossible for me to put into words just exactly what I experienced last night, but I’m going to try. Over the past few months, one band has come to mean more to me than I can say. That band is Sundara Karma. There has never been another band that I connected to on such an emotional level. When I can’t find the words, Sundara Karma find them for me. And last night, I finally got to see them perform.

The British rockers played to a packed room at Songbyrd Café in Washington, DC. The stage was lit by a backdrop of string lights, giving the appearance of a starry night. When Sundara Karma took the stage, I was overcome with a sense of elation. I was finally hearing the songs I love so dearly being performed live. Oscar’s unique voice rang throughout the room as he belted out the lyrics to the opening song, “A Young Understanding.” It was hard to see little other than the members’ silhouettes moving in the darkness, but I didn’t care. To be quite honest, I kept my eyes closed for the majority of the set, just letting the music wash over me and getting lost in the sensation of it. The crowd cheered loudly when Oscar led the band into “Flame,” fans singing along to the familiar tune. The highlight of the set for me was the performance of “Happy Family,” my favorite song. Tears came to my eyes as Oscar delivered the poignant lyrics with incredible emotion. The band closed their set with “Loveblood,” a tale of starcrossed lovers. 

As the band played their final note, I knew that this had been the best show I had ever witnessed. For me, it was nothing short of cathartic. Even though their set only consisted of eight songs, it left me on cloud nine, all of the stresses of the day gone. Oscar Lulu has the ability to pack more meaning into a three-minute song than other artists could ever dream of putting into an entire album, making Sundara Karma’s music my greatest comfort in life. Seeing them live only amplified that. If you ever have the chance to see them, just do it. You will not regret it.

Song of the Week: Happy Family

There are few songs that move me to tears every time I hear them. “Happy Family” by Sundara Karma is at the top of that list. It’s practically impossible for me to make it through the song without my eyes at least getting misty.

A poignant piece, “Happy Family” shatters the idyllic image of perfect family life. “Were we ever happy acting in a family role?” Frontman Oscar Lulu’s vocals are nothing short of breathtaking as he delivers the sorrowful lyrics.

Check out the video for “Happy Family” below.