I thought that I’d do something different this year and, with one exception, focus this list on songs that aren’t from my list of favorite 2017 albums (so far). Each of those releases, of course, could contribute songs to this list but let’s highlight some other faves of the year.
A song for the times. In an age of vitriol, Isbell proclaims, “I ain’t fighting with you down in a ditch, I’ll meet you up here on the road.”
I said it before but I’ll say it again. I’m addicted to this song. It’s pure pop deliciousness with a touch of folksiness added for good measure.
I could talk about the group’s tremendous musicianship or singer Melody Walker’s powerful voice but there’s something about this song – a tale of romantic hardship as only a hard-touring band can convey – that is simply captivating.
Kimbrough and DeMeyer shine on this quietly majestic hymn.
Melancon sings of his Louisiana roots, set to some vintage-sounding guitar-driven rock and roll.
Atlanta Georgia’s The Whiskey Gentry mash up country and rock with outstanding results.
Edwards’ release has been something of a sleeper for me, rewarding with each subsequent listen. This song has emerged as a favorite. What starts with an orchestral restraint bursts into a majestic pop symphony.
When you’re in the mood for some gritty garage rock, you’ll be hard-pressed to find much better than Gallo’s latest release. This song is particularly potent, both for the hook and the blistering solo that closes it out.
The fury of Bains and the Glory Fires can sometimes overshadow the catchiness of the melodies and the intelligence of the lyrics. This is the rare “mellow” Glory Fires song, or at least as mellow as they get.
What starts as a melancholy ode to a failed relationship somehow ends up with a touch of euphoria drenched in harmony-driven glory.
What seems like it might be a break-up song is actually something different, the tale of a guy yearning for continued companionship. “What started out as a splinter ended up as a thorn in my side,” he signs as an electric guitar ushers the song along.
Denver’s Cowles set down his acoustic guitar and picked up an electric one. His debut ep as a solo artist rocks with catchy tunes infused with some mighty fine funkiness. With tracks like this one, you’ll find yourself singing along in no time.
About the author: Mild-mannered corporate executive by day, excitable Twangville denizen by night.