Episode 142 closes out Volume I of Superconnected by gathering our favourite songs of 2017 in no order. Volume II commences January 2018.
Disconnect now from whatever holds you down
Everything is everything, and you are Superconnected
1) “Mouth Guards of the Apocalypse” - Broken Social Scene
After seven years, Broken Social Scene returned just when we needed them most. Harnessing all their collective power to create moments that inspire free-thinking, Hug of Thunder is a vital collection of songs. When it’s quiet, it’s in a way that allows clarity to reign, and when it is grand it ’s in a sky-mocking manner. On this album closer, a drawn out bass groove and a funk-wrapped beat serve as a long fuse, leading to a challenge to put down your phones and kill your fears. Kevin Drew’s passionate message explodes into the infinite above on firework guitars, Justin Peroff’s mighty drums, and the same divine horns that blast when you transition from this life to the next. Hug of Thunder is available via Arts & Crafts.
2) “Everybody Works” - Jay Som
The debut album from Melina Durterte (as Jay Som) is a masterful collection of intimate songs that draw mature observations from patiently expanding styles. This title track is just one of 10 wholly different songs that comprise the record, each woven only by a wide-eyed approach that is so refreshing. Everybody Works is available via Polyvinyl.
3) “Boyish” - Japanese Breakfast
On her sophomore album as Japanese Breakfast, Michelle Zauner revealed how far she might take us with this project. “Boyish” is a beautiful and harrowing addition that reveals the vulnerability that a relationship can expose. Sometimes love does more to spotlight feelings of inadequacy, than it does to help us grow. Her latest album Soft Sounds From Another Planet is available via Dead Oceans.
4) “123” - Girlpool
“123” is a you-sized bubble that grows from within. All hands press outward on the mighty second chorus with the force of realization, reinforced by the acceptance that only comes with maturity. Girlpool’s latest album Powerplant is available via ANTI-.
5) “Black Hole” - Charly Bliss
Mocking systems from within the very structure of pop music, the balance on Charly Bliss’ debut album is ultimately bewitching. Singer Eva Hendricks casts her voice to the ceiling over a Penrose staircase of guitars and bass. The riffs and melody counter each other throughout, so that every build up, drop off, and hook thrives on focused power. Guppy is available via Barsuk Records.
6) “This Year” - Beach Fossils
Conjuring a mystic calm from regret and acceptance, Beach Fossils crystallize the accessibility and absurdity of the human condition. Their latest album Somersault is available via Bayonet Records.
7) “From Here” - Lomelda
On their debut album Thx, Lomelda humanize the unapologetic nature of distance. The space between quivering guitars and Hannah Read’s mystic voice gives way to walking percussion, urging you to move forward if only to convince yourself you are closing the gap. Toward the end of each verse, there’s a turn where everything clouds over and it is breathtaking. Thx is available now via Double Double Whammy.
8) “Czech One” - King Krule
Everything ominous, intriguing, and fascinating from Archy Marshall’s debut album as King Krule is lit over a low fire on his new record The Ooz. The smoke yields masked keys, midnight saxophones, and negative space dreams that dance the line between cherished memory and demonic nightmares. His mesmerizing and darkly shimmering new record is available via True Panther Sounds.
9) “Darling” - Real Estate
Many beloved bands have been undone by trying too hard, either to stay the same or to be different. There aren’t many who can draw interesting ideas from the familiar shape of their sound. On “Darling”, Real Estate explore new elements without forcing the matter. Matt Kallman’s sustained notes and colourful motifs serve as a gentle counterbalance to the hesitant time-signature, and Alex Bleeker’s gorgeous bass jaunt. Each piece is exciting, but still familiar to fans. It’s just further proof you should trust in Real Estate. Their latest album In Mind is available via Domino Recording Company.
10) “Holding On” - The War On Drugs
You’ll never get higher than this. Wonder blooms on an endless upward push of cleansing guitars and glimmering synths, as glockenspiel dings and vibrant sweeps of slide guitar billow under Adam Granduciel as he shuns the past - “Now I’m headed down a different road / Can we walk it side by side?”. A Deeper Understanding is available now via Atlantic Records.
11) “If You See My Beloved” - Friendship
With instinctive cadence, Dan Wriggins of Friendship questions the surging nature of nearby water, while creating a subtext that considers the spontaneous quality of conversation. Wriggins defies lyrical convention in favour of a narrative that blends the common talk of relationships with internal simplifications. Between earthy drum machines and sweeps of mild synths, each wandering acknowledgment lands with casual, luminous insight. Undone by the detachment of most things, Wriggins can’t keep his mind where his body is, so he clings to the ground by the fleeting safety of passivity - “If if don’t bother you, then it don’t bother me.” Friendship’s stunning new album Shock Out of Season is available now via Orindal Records.
12) “Mary” - Big Thief
There is an aspect of memory that transcends the boundary of time. The scent of hardwood and spice, the give of earth beneath your boot as winter yawns, the temperature of a drink…these fragments coalesce the senses via a single feeling. Love. On “Mary”, the past hums behind soft keys, as Adrianne Lenker gracefully channels the gamut of experience into a surge of delicate minutia and grand emotion. Her careening lyrics brush visceral detail equally over each piece of specific recollection and fleeting impression, rebuilding a safe place from the past that houses the love for ourselves and others that we sometimes bury. Big Thief’s latest album Capacity is available via Saddle Creek.
13) “Sporstar” - (Sandy) Alex G
Alex Giannascoli (as Sandy Alex G) said he wanted new listeners to be introduced to his music by something that isn’t standard indie rock. He said he wanted to move more into his own world. Is “Sportstar” something weird? It is, but so are the other songs on his latest album Rocket. The pitch-skewed vocals on "Sportstar" are fitting, and they are the only vocals that could match the infinite piano and cosmic guitar bolts. (Sandy) Alex G is on a pathless journey, and his discoveries are exhilarating. You should wander with him. Rocket is available now via Domino Recording Company.
- 8:00Broken Social SceneHug of ThunderMouth Guards of the Apocalpyse
- 8:03Jay SomEverybody WorksEverybody Works
- 8:06Japanese BreakfastSoft Sounds From Another PlanetBoyish
- 8:12Charly BlissGuppyBlack Hole
- 8:15Beach FossilsSomersaultThis Year
- 8:18LomeldaThxFrom Here
- 8:21King KruleThe OozCzech One
- 8:24Real EstateIn MindDarling
- 8:27The War On DrugsA Deeper UnderstandingHolding On
- 8:30FriendshipShock Out of SeasonIf You See My Beloved
- 8:33Big ThiefCapacityMary
- 8:36(Sandy) Alex GRocketSportstar