Mercury in Retrograde of 2017. Not to be an extremely stereotypical millennial Angeleno by getting deep with astrology references, but with the retrograde coinciding and ending just before the end of the year, and the year-end kinda feeling sparking a sense of reflection… now is the best time to that thinking about all the things that got us through this dumpster fire we’ve survived called 2017:
Personally, I started listening to audiobooks and podcasts at double speed at my very boring day job for 8 hours (which kept me sane before I was honored with a career offer), acquired a taste for binge-watching TV (thanks to my wonderful friend who kindly gave me their streaming account passwords), and spent my Thursday nights typically not sleeping to put up a music newsletter about new and under the radar artists I want to share with the world. I’ve amassed over 230 songs that each have a detailed caption as to why it’s worth your time.
As if cmd+f isn’t a large enough project in and of itself, I’ve been working on giving you readers even MORE music goodness before the end of the year.
Rather than compiling yet another playlist containing my top 50 pop tracks of 2017 (I really couldn't help myself, please forgive me), I’ve reached out to a handful of select readers to write about their musical journey throughout 2017. Keep an eye out over the next couple weeks for more music recommendations, personal essays, and other delightful discoveries in music from 2017, all written by readers like you!
The cmd+f advent calendar will commence starting next week.
Please reach out to me via the handy dandy contact page on the cmd+f website, or on Twitter with your thoughts about any of the tracks I’ve selected this week. As you already know, I love chatting about music. Let me in on your new favorite band; they’re looking for new fans, too!
As always, you know the drill: if you like what you hear, spread the cheer. Tell your friends about the songs you liked in this letter, but most importantly, let the artists know. There’s a good chance they’ll see your comments. Let them know how good their tunes are, and they’ll crank out even more magic.
P.S. If you would like to have this letter sent to your email every Friday, please head over to this link right here to subscribe to never miss a weekly roundup!
“Untitled in D” - Spector | Spector, your favorite feel-good-tune-making band you’ve likely never heard before if you live outside Europe, returned with a witty, infectious single. Mocking a densely superficial culture that’s ironically consuming at astonishing rates only to have nothing to show for it, it’s a sad and deliciously humorous homage to the hopelessness millennials are trying to shake amidst a global employment and financial crisis. If the song is honestly not this deep, accept my apologies, but know this chorus fucking slaps. Listen here
“Fake Satan” - Demob Happy | What are your demons? Demob Happy are here to tell you the simple pleasures of love and sex in life may have a bad PR rap, but that’s all [2017’s word of the year] FAKE. You’ll feel extra inspired by this scuzzy, juicy glam-rock bassline and sharp drums chugging along throughout. You heard it here, folks: indulge in these flesh bags before we all rot under the sun. Listen here
“GRRRLS” - AViVA | I’ve been sitting on this track for weeks, trying my darnedest to express which elements of this song sparked a hint of nostalgia. Did you ever wonder what Avril Lavigne would have sounded like if she did an original song for a Tim Burton film? Now I must explain myself, and I mean this with the utmost respect for AViVA and Avril’s tunes–”GRRRLS” sounds precisely like it's been plucked off a Tim Burton soundtrack as interpreted by Avril Lavigne, down to the biting, insatiable chorus piling over an eerie, wavering piano hook. The chorus dives into an unsettling choir of “la la la’s” and shadowed with warped voices.. Listen here
“Human Age” - FEHM | I can never resist a bit of dark wave. For those looking for a heavy synth and the relentless crushing weight of existential dread, may I recommend post-punk goodness from FEHM? Listen here
“Into Me” - Strange Names | Now a complete 180 from the previous track, I present the bubbly mid-Western turned Moved to the Big Apple to Make It Big trio Strange Names. The band claims the track is about people not acting out and reflecting their true feelings, but rather putting on a facade. All that fudgery turns into a very twisted mind game. Then you get LOVESICK. Blegh! “Into Me” pans out like a film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice directed by John Hughes (could you IMAGINE if this were a real thing?!). “I heard you are so ordinarily, extra into me,” the chorus chimes, “and your camouflage is just a mirage.” I am all the way extra into this song. Listen here
It’s that time of year again where Spotify users can check out stats on their listening habits throughout the year! This year my most listened tune was “Xtal” by Aphex Twin simply because I no joke listened to it on repeat for 5 hours at a time when working at my last job to help me focus. Spotify generates a handy playlist of your Top 100 most listened tracks of the year, along with a 30-track music discovery playlist. Check it all out here
Although it’s been out for a minute, it’s just come to my attention MUNA have covered Paul McCartney’s “Pipes of Peace” for a holiday compilation Listen here
[CUE CHARLI XCX IS COMING OUT WITH A NEW MIXTAPE NEXT WEEK AIRHORN] Yeah! You heard right! Charli XCX is pulling out all the stops on her new mixtape [making it theeee biggest pop event to end 2017, let’s be real] that’s dropping NEXT Friday, featuring future hitbangers with Brooke Candy, cupcakKe, MØ, Kim Petras, Mykki Blanco, CARLY RAE JEPSEN, and many more. Listen to the first track off the project “Out of My Head” featuring Tove Lo and ALMA Listen here
There’s a new Quality Control compilation out featuring new tracks with Migos, Gucci Mane, Lil Yachty, Cardi B, and a billion other emcees. Available exclusively on Apple Music here
2018’s next big breakout pop act Billie Eilish shared her Soundtrack of her Life with Teen Vogue, and it’s pretty dope Watch here
Sufjan Stevens wrote, recorded, and pitched a song for the new Tonya Harding biopic (it was rejected), and just a fair warning: it’s gonna break your heart. “Of course it is, it’s Sufjan,” you say. Somehow Brother Suf has outdone himself. Listen here
Enjoy an ongoing playlist of covers I’ve been compiling over the past 3 years consisting of nothing but covers of Wham!’s classic “Last Christmas” Listen here
If you’re interested in hearing what else I’ve been rinsing this month (aside from the tracks listed above), peep my personal December 2017 playlist. There I will be dumping in new (and occasionally throw back) tracks as the month carries on. You can dive into the cmd+f archive to hear what I’ve been listening to in previous months this year.
A(lmost a)ll of the tracks I’ve shared this week and past cmd+f newsletters are archived into a single playlist on Spotify for you to follow here. You’re welcome.
See you next week!