It’s day two of the cmd+vent calendar.
While I swore I wouldn’t grind myself down to commit to choosing just one favorite song of the year, I managed to coax someone else into doing it. Who could be so brave? It’s Christina, of course.
Quick little backstory: Christina is the reason cmd+f is "a thing." In late 2015, the two of us started a newsletter called “What’s Poppin’?” in which we shared 5 songs each of us were really digging every few weeks (also there was a lot of pop culture slander folded into the mix).
Now Christina eat, sleeps, and breathes music full time with her day job, so we’ve scaled back on the music criticism (now it’s all about those Shadowhunters recaps, baby).
While Christina managed to settle on a single, definitive favorite tune for 2017, she also tucked in a handful of other artists to check out.
Hi, I'm Christina. I'm a digital marketer working in music in NYC.
This is a little intimidating. It feels like you can capture the essence of a person based on their playlists. I know I often judge people based on what music they do (or don't) listen to.
I was going to use Spotify's handy Wrapped function to choose my Song of The Year, but it turns out my most listened to song this year is one that came out last year. So, that's where I'm at emotionally.
I'm kind of going to cheat on this assignment and give you my "also-rans" before telling you definitively what my favorite song this year was. Full disclosure, 99% of the music I listen to is by British artists. There's a special place in my heart for baby UK bands that hustle and play tiny rooms when they come to America.
- The Amazons are a rowdy bunch from Reading. If you like Sundara Karma and Circa Waves, you'll like these dudes. Their debut self-titled album came out this year.
- Joy Room are a four-piece from London who have, I kid you not, only 3 songs you can listen to but I am absolutely charmed.
- Zuzu is a 22 y.o. rocker from Liverpool who also has a handful of tracks you can listen to. There's a theme here. If you're British and have only 2 songs to your name, I am your champion.
Some more established artists I kept going back to include:
- Perfume Genius' excellent album No Shape
- Portugal, The Man's "Feel It Still"
- Jamiroquai's "Automaton"
- Migos' Culture
- John Mayer's The Search for Everything (do not @ me)
- and Harry Styles by Harry Styles (also do not @ me)
Ok, so here it is. My song of the year.
It’s... BIG FOR YOUR BOOTS by Stormzy.
If I die tomorrow, I am comfortable with this being part of my personal brand. "Did you hear about Christina? So sad. She really loved Stormzy."
I love Michael Ebenazer Kwadjo Omari Owuo, Jr. like I gave birth to him myself. Controversial opinion: he's better than Skepta. I said it. Stormzy's words, music, and actions have a profound impact on his audience. 2017 doesn't allow for celebrities on the fence. Stormzy has always spoken out about inequality, whether it was trendy or not. His success in the UK is huge for Grime and people of color in music. I was at his first ever NYC show in a dingy but much-loved venue in Brooklyn called Market Hotel a few years ago. That was one of the most special nights. I'm heartbroken and disappointed that he hasn't made it over here after (outside of festival plays). "Big For Your Boots" is on Stormzy's debut album Gang Signs and Prayer which came out this year.
Check out Christina’s fantabulous adventures in the photo pit on Instagram: @hiventura
Stay tuned for a new edition of cmd+f dropping tomorrow! The next cmd+vent letter will go out Saturday, December 16.