2017, in Music

If there’s one thing I partake in every day that brings me so much comfort and joy, it’s music. That’s probably why I’ve compiled a mixtape of my favorite tunes every year for the past 9 years. Let’s do a 2017 music wrap-up!

Warning: Marcy Music is heavy on the bass, funk and dance vibes. Welcome to my strategy for keeping a chill state of mind. Imagine me driving on a dusty wilderness road to a trailhead with the music turned up (in summer 2017, probably to this song), or watching the rain streak by an airplane window on my way home from an international conference (to my entire 2017 song list, saved offline).

Music revs me up more than anything else, and if you find one nugget of something you like in here it will definitely make me smile!

9th Annual Holiday Mixtape

The cornerstone of my collecting habits each year is a list of songs. I put every track I like into a folder on Spotify and then whittle it down to my favorites. Even though I don’t burn it onto a physical CD anymore, I still try to keep it about the length of a regular CD album for nostalgia’s sake.

Rather than try to maintain songs on my opentape playlist (which I’ll leave up for now), I’ve listed the songs here and embedded the Spotify playlist. If there’s anything you’re interested in, check out the artists and buy their music. That’s what I do every year!

Track List

  1. No Pressure – Odd Mob, Super Silly
  2. Rockets – LION BABE, Moe Moks
  3. Land of the Free – Joey Bada$$
  4. Blow Your Mind – Devlin, Maverick Sabre
  5. What You Want – THEY
  6. Pray for Me – Brother Ali
  7. Deeper – Riton, MNEK, House Gospel Choir
  8. Real No More – Chase & Status, SHY FX, Kiko Bun
  9. Amsterdam – Mungo’s Hi Fi, Eva Lazarus
  10. Sweet – Little Dragon
  11. Rave – Eskei83, Drunken Masters, Gunjah
  12. Feel It Still (Flatbush Zombies Remix) – Portugal. The Man
  13. Space & Sound – Oliver
  14. All Nite – Friction
  15. Things I Do (The Vanguard Project Remix) – Pola & Bryson
  16. Should Have Known – Phaction
  17. Strobelite (Kaytranada Remix) – Gorillaz, Peven Everett, KAYTRANADA
  18. Skyline (Kraak & Smaak Badlands Remix) – Izo FitzRoy, Kraak & Smaak
  19. Adieu – Tchami

Albums

There were a few standout albums for me this year. Undoubtedly I’ll learn new favorites I missed after this post is written, but these are the top 5 I bought and put on repeat.

  • Oliver – Full Circle

    The full-length album from Oliver, Full Circle, easily tops my list of favorite albums for 2017. I’ve had my ear on them for a while, keeping track ever since my sister picked up an instrumental hip hop album by DJ U-Tern in Vancouver. His music evolved into something more dancefloor-heavy, and I can’t get enough of it–even it is a little campy at times. My favorite tracks from this album are Heart Attack (with De La Soul), Electrify, and especially, Space and Sound. Looking forward to more from Oliver!

  • Nu:Logic – Somewhere Between the Light

    Nu:tone and Logistics are some of my favorite drum & bass producers, so when I saw they had an album coming out together as Nu:Logic, I pre-ordered it immediately. They definitely didn’t disappoint! I really like the songs Strut, Nova, and Our Nights, which they recorded with the Nextmen (another favorite artist of mine).

  • George Fitzgerald – Update

    This album might be too obscure for some tastes, but I freaking love this one from George Fitzgerald. Especially when I’m hazily traveling through time zones and zoning out in the airport with my headphones on. I learned about this artist from attending the Hotflush showcase at Decibel Festival when I lived in Seattle (RIP). I don’t even know how to classify his music, except to say it’s electronic and sometimes sounds like house. It’s deep and rhythmic, and I’m into it.

  • Brother Ali – All the Beauty in this Whole Life

    Brother Ali is one of my favorite hip hop artists. There’s something about his gratitude in lyrics and musical style that just speaks to me. I’m not religious, but I can appreciate what he’s saying and definitely how he’s saying it.

  • LCD Soundsystem – American Dream

    I’m mostly surprised LCD Soundsystem got back together and made an album. I saw someone joke about how their songs all sound the same, and they kindof do…but I missed them terribly when they went away. I’m so happy they released this one.

Mixes

This year I finally got a paid subscription to Soundcloud, since I collect mixes over there quite a bit. This allows me to listen offline, which is awesome when I travel! I love long mixes for the continuous and uninterrupted sound. Following my favorite record labels and artists has proved to be a goldmine of musical inspiration, and these are the 10 mixes I listened to most this year.

  • Oliver, the Cookout

    Oliver dominated my speakers for a while this year, and this mix definitely contributed to that. Get ready to dance!

  • Beats in Space, Best of 2017

    2017 was the year I finally realized how much I love Tim Sweeney from Beats in Space. I’ve listened to BIS for a few years, but I noticed this year that his mixes were consistently my favorites. And I had this “best of 2017” episode on repeat.

  • Fleetmac Wood, Burning Man 2017

    Fleetwood Mac at the Gorge was my first concert as a kid, and naturally I’m drawn to them. When I heard this mix from Burning Man, even though I didn’t attend, it quickly became one of my favorites. I even sent it to my immediate family members who also went to the concert. Awesome.

  • Darker than Wax FM, July 22 2017

    I rode mountain bikes a lot this summer, some days on my lunch breaks from work listening to this mix. I put it on quite a few times so of course I wanted to document it. Lots of hip hop and jazz, makes me feel like a NYC hipster in the woods in Bellingham.

  • bell towers: music to… brush your hair to

    This one is just a classic. It starts out with Madonna and Sade, and then goes into one of my favorite dance tracks of 2016 (discovered in this mix) which reminds me of this animated GIF of an otter holding a fish. Weird, I know. It’s just that good.

  • Tuxedo: Intuxication

    We saw Tuxedo at the Wild Buffalo in Bellingham this summer, and it was such a good time. Of course I had this mix on repeat. I love their style! It’s like old-school G-funk meets cheesy soul love songs.

  • A-Trak: Cut It Out! A 74-minute mix

    A proper dance mix from A-Trak, one of my favorites. Fools Gold Records is the biz (it’s Oliver’s label too!).

  • martin king: music to have an identity crisis to

    This mix was just deep and dancy. It has a bunch of good tracks from the year, I’m looking forward to hearing it again.

  • Fred Everything: Live at Ponderosa Beach

    I listen to almost every mix from Fred Everything, and this one was my favorite from 2017. The sound of the beach in the background just put me in a good mood. He’s one of my favorite dance music artists!

  • Danny Byrd: Quest Mix

    This mix from Annie Nightingale’s BBC show is a keeper. I’m so glad someone ripped it, because the BBC doesn’t let you listen online anymore! This one is a classic journey through uplifting drum & bass, and deserves listening.

Happy new year, thanks for reading and listening!