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Kailey’s Picks: Top 20 Songs of 2017

Resurget Magazine has a unique mix of contributors with a span of music tastes, allowing for a more diverse experience in content. 

Our contributor Kailey Howell is an established and published music writer and photographer. She has worked with national publications as well as exclusively with up-and-coming local bands in Detroit.

Check out Kailey’s Top 20 songs from 2017 below! 

20. “Thunder” – Imagine Dragons – Evolve 

Despite hearing this song seemingly all-day-long on the radio, it has not gotten old. And neither has Imagine Dragons. The songs catchy beat along with Dan Reynolds vocals highlight how the band has developed since their debut album Night Visions in 2012.

19. Walk On Water” – Thirty Seconds to Mars – Walk On Water

Their first release since the 2013 album Love Lust Faith + Dreams, Thirty Seconds to Mars  brings their empowering lyrics and sound back in 2017. With everything going on socially, this song seems like the anthem to change.

18. “Ghost” – ZZ Ward – The Storm 

This song is the perfect upbeat blues song to sing along to. ZZ Ward’s talented voice is hard to ignore in this one. The single from her new album The Storm, the single emphasizes her unique blend of blues and hip hop sounds.

17. “Untouchable – Eminem – Revival

This song isn’t one of the most popular songs from Detroit rapper Eminem’s new album Revival. However, it is one of the strongest off of the album. The song is mocking the privilege of the “white boy” while talking about the issues of police brutality. It is definitely one of Eminem’s most political songs.

16. “Born for Greatness” – Papa Roach – Crooked Teeth

The empowering lyrics on top of the band’s infamous blend of punk and rap has lead to the quick popularity of this song. One of the heavier songs off of their new album, Crooked Teeth, this song is one of Papa Roach’s best.

15. “Don’t Blame Me” – Taylor Swift – Reputation

Aside from the shade throwing pop anthems on the album, Swift explored new sounds. This song has more blues vibes than pop. While following Swifts theme of love songs, her emotional lyrics and deeper vocal sound chart new territory for her.

14. “The Violence – Rise Against – Wolves

This single off of the bands 2017 album, Wolves, follows suit in their theme of political messages. The chorus stating, “Are we not good enough? Are we not brave enough?” asks existential questions that Rise Against uses to draw awareness to violent politics.

13. “Drew Barrymore” – SZA – Ctrl

SZA made her mark in the R&B scene this year. This song shows her unique, talented voice. Her themes of youth culture and romance are followed in this song. However, instead of playing damsel in distress, SZA takes an empowering stance.

12. “Threads” – Spirit Breaker – Spirit Breaker

The combination of Spirit Breaker’s progressive metal sound with harmonic vocals create a talent that one cannot believe can came from a local band. Tre Turner’s powerful vocals carry their deep lyrics. This song shows the bands immense talent, and that they have what it takes to carry their career on.

11. “Vultures” – Dayseeker – Dreaming is Sinking /// Waking is Rising

One of the heaviest songs off of their new album Dreaming is Sinking /// Waking is Rising, Vultures is about a friend of vocalist Rory Rodriguez who was sexually assaulted. This song carries a powerful message and attacks those who assaulted her, and girls alike.

10. “Contra” – A Year in New York feat Aaron Rush – Forget Me Knots

This Detroit local band brings one of the most beautiful, unique sounds. Brittany Christofel’s captivating vocals with the iridescent sound of Michael Miller’s guitar draw the listener in. The addition of Aaron Rush’s vocals adds a heavier tone to this song.

9. “Heaven in Hiding” – Halsey – Hopeless Fountain Kingdom

Halsey successfully release her second album, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, this year. This song brings a R&B vibe in the beginning but transforms into a ballad for the chorus. Halsey shows off her powerful vocals and lyrics in this song, following a theme of love and sex.

8. “Writer in the Dark” – Lorde – Melodrama

The talented, young artist Lorde released one of the best albums of the year, Melodrama. The song Writer in the Dark, she breaks down and confesses not just her love but her frustration towards a love. The emotion in this song is raw, and is one of the best tracks off the album.

7. “Hostage” Stories Untold – Can’t Go Home

In case their debut album, Can’t Go Home,  couldn’t get any better, it did. Stories Untold re-released the album and added this among other songs. Each member of this band brings immense talent to every song and the lyricism in this cut are some of the most powerful off the album.

6. “Short Story on Being Set Aside” – As We Divide – The Days We’re After

As We Divide is not just your average post hardcore local band. This band brings a unique twist. This song is off of their debut album, The Days We’re After. The drops in this song along with vocalist Robbie Hunt’s talented harsh vocals demands attention.

5. “DNA – Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.


Kendrick’s widely anticipated album DAMN. did not disappoint, especially with this song. The theme of racism is emphasized through the tracks of news reporters criticizing African American rap music. Kendrick also switches flow in the middle of the song but still creates a united whole, showing that he has what it takes to keep his spot at the top at the top of the rap game.

4. “No Mercy – PVRIS – All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell 

Already on our list of top albums of the year, PVRIS nailed their sophomore album. This song demonstrates not only the growth in talent of vocalist Lynn Gunn, but her lyricism as well.  The strong emotion in the song engulfs the listener every time.

3. “Good Times” – All Time Low – Last Young Renegade

One of the widely popular singles off of their new album Last Young Renegade, All Time Low shows their growth in sound in this one. The band begins to stray away from a more punk sound towards pop. Alex Gaskarth sings a heart warming, youthful anthem that shows that All Time Low carries the themes that they had from the beginning despite the sound changing.

2. “Stitch” – Wage War – Deadweight

Wage War brought everything to the table with the debut single from their new album, Deadweight. The song Stitch is one of the heaviest off of the album, with Briton Bond’s harsh vocals carrying the heavy riffs. The drop in this song is definitely it’s strongest point, when Bond screams “I would’ve stood by you until the gates of hell”.

1. “Feel Nothing” – The Plot in You – Dispose (2018)

This song is everything. It takes The Plot in You to a whole new level. The emotion in this song is so raw, as seen through vocalist Landon Tewer’s lyrics. This is one of those songs you listen to when you’re pissed off, because you can scream along to the chorus and let it all out. The sound in this song is slightly different for Plot, but did not disappoint, quickly becoming one of their best songs.

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