We’re almost a third of the way through 2017, and so far it’s been a brilliant year for new music.
There’s been long-awaited albums, scintillating singles, and countless rising stars of indie and rock coming to the fore with breakout material.
We’ve found it’s truly a year for the individual single, though, as more bands play the long game and take their time to unveil a debut full-length.
FEISTY editor Katy has rounded up no less than 40 of our favourite tracks so far in a playlist of our sound of 2017 to date.
From big-hitting bands to young pretenders, there’s awesome indie, nu-punk, rock, synthpop and more, including a few surprises you might have missed.
Check out the 2.5 hour playlist on Spotify now, and read on for blurbs on every single track we’ve included. Enjoy!
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The xx – Say Something Loving
We’ve opened the playlist with one of the singles from an early contender for album of the year. It took over four years to arrive, but I See You was well worth the wait.
The Magic Gang – How Can I Compete
The third EP from the Brightonians, inventively titled EP Three, was released in March. How Can I Compete was its relaxed and popular single, on which they worked with two new friends, Felix and Hugo White from The Maccabees.
The Night Café – Strange Clothes
Liverpool buzz band The Night Café seem destined for big things. Their thriving indie single Strange Clothes was released in February, since included on their fun Get Away From The Feeling EP.
Slowdive – Star Roving
At the start of 2017, shoegaze veterans Slowdive weren’t on anyone’s mind for the possible single of the year. But when Star Roving, their first new material for 22 years, was released in January it was more brilliant than we ever could have hoped.
Dream Wife – Somebody
When Dream Wife experimented with a scummy, Sleigh Bells-esque sound on their Fever Dream collaboration FUU last year, we weren’t sure what to think. Somebody is the trio going back to their fuzzy indie best.
The Shimmer Band – Jacknife And The Death Call
We reckon that The Shimmer Band have enough about them to one day tour arenas and play the biggest festival stages. Their latest single dropped in January, and it’s a soaring indie anthem.
Blaenavon – Orthodox Man
The debut from Blaenavon, That’s Your Lot, was released to fanfare earlier this month. Their contemplative single Orthodox Man is one of the album’s deepest and best.
Kid Wave – Everything Changes
Dreamy favourites Kid Wave returned all too quietly with a new single in March. And if you liked them before, you’ll be pleased to know that Everything Changes would fit in perfectly on their all too underrated debut album, Wonderlust.
Cassia – Weekender
Lively indie pop is in and on trend at the moment, and Macclesfield trio Cassia are as fresh as anyone. Their first single of 2017 is the perky Weekender.
Prides – Away With The Night
The Way Back Up, the debut album from Prides, was released in 2015. They continued to flaunt new material ever since, and on Away With The Night they’ve created a thriving marriage between indie and synthpop.
Declan McKenna – The Kids Don’t Want To Come Home
The young star has just announced details of his debut album, so it seems right to highlight his millennial anthem – released in January – on our playlist. He’s yet another it’s easy to tip for big things in the years to come.
Get Inuit – Barbiturates
This unconventional single isn’t the furiously-paced deal that Get Inuit usually go in for, but it’s a definite grower and yet more indie fun from the guys from Kent.
Marsicans – Friends
The Leeds lads released this cheery ode to friendship in February, and they’re fast becoming one of the indie scene’s buzziest bands.
Nelson Can – Miracle
Newly signed to Alcopop! Records, the new single from the Danish girls doesn’t feature a single guitar (well, there’s a bass) but packs some serious groove as an indie dancefloor smash.
Black Honey – Somebody Better
After years of being on the radar as cult favourites, Black Honey finally seem to be absolutely everywhere. When there’s finally an album, we reckon it could be huge.
Diet Cig – Maid Of The Mist
Taken from their debut album Swear I’m Good At This, this sugary pop-punk track has just been afforded its very own music video. In short, they’re simply good fun.
The Blinders – Ramona Flowers
The north-west hype magnets are picking up more and more fans as the UK’s next fiery, politically-charged punks. Their latest track is the fleshy rock of Ramona Flowers.
Royal Blood – Lights Out
One of the biggest breakthough rock bands of the decade returned recently with Lights Out. It’s their first single since 2015, and everything we expected it to be.
The Amazons – Black Magic
The debut album from The Amazons is out in June, just in time for some hard-hitting festival spots in the summer. Fresh from a completely sold-out tour, they’re another rock band on the move.
Desperate Journalist – Resolution
A pulsating alternative rock single taken from the second Desperate Journalist album Grow Up.
Charly Bliss – Glitter
With debut album Guppy out as soon as next Friday, now is a great time to invest in Charly Bliss. Their cheery grunge stars the distinctive vocals of lively frontwoman Eva Hendricks, and Glitter is as sugary as it gets.
Bryde – Less
This February single from solo upstart Bryde is vitriolic and searing, reminiscent of the biggest femme rock sounds of the 1990s.
Pumarosa – Dragonfly
London’s artistic rock wonders Pumarosa kept their slow unveil of new material going with the alluring Dragonfly. Tantalisingly their debut album, The Witch, is finally out in May and could be a shout for album of the year.
Pale Waves – There’s A Honey
If you want to know who’s going to be the big indie-pop crossover of 2018 or 2019, look no further than Pale Waves, the latest label mates of The 1975 on Dirty Hit. There’s A Honey is their glittering debut single.
Clean Cut Kid – Leaving You Behind
Another band with an album on the way, Clean Cut Kid have crafted one of the most consistent runs of earworm indie singles in memory, including latest offering Leaving You Behind.
NYTCLUB – Drive
Hailing from Merseyside, NYTCLUB create synth-laden indie pop. Their new single Drive, with its catchy chorus hook, is as good as the genre gets.
Mac Demarco – This Old Dog
The title track from Mac’s latest album, out on 5 May, is characteristic of his plucky, mellow style and one of two he dropped on the same day earlier this year.
YUNGBLUD – King Charles
The next in the alternative hip-hop lineage of Jamie T and Rat Boy is very possibly Yorkshire native YUNGBLUD. His abrasive debut single, released in January but only just being picked up now, is the punchy King Charles.
Hippo Campus – way it goes
The debut album from Hippo Campus, landmark, was a long time in the making. Its February release was preceded by one final single, way it goes, an easygoer that’s characteristic of their surf indie sound.
Cut Off Your Hands – Higher Lows and Lower Highs
Aficionados of indie music circa 2008 might be surprised to see the name Cut Off Your Hands again. Sounding like an entirely different band, their return with Hate Somebody last year was followed by this Kitsuné Maison-style single in January.
The Modern Strangers – Margarita
The new single from The Modern Strangers – a band formed from the ashes of Propellers – is the sound of an indie band that’s listened to too much nu-disco and Daft Punk. And that’s not a bad thing.
ISLAND – Dreaming Of
This breezy single from Londoners ISLAND is slightly more mellow than their other singles, but still the work of yet another British band to watch. They released an EP, A Place You Like, in January.
The Drums – Blood Under Your Belt
A welcome return from the band behind the innocent indie pop of Let’s Go Surfing and the morbid brilliance of Best Friend. They might not have the high profile they once did, but Blood Under Your Belt’s definitely whetted our appetite for a new album.
The Pale White – Reaction
Much-fancied Newcastle lads The Pale White packed a punch at the turn of 2017 with this gutsy British rock-and-roll single, and they could be set to – along with Eat Fast and PLAZA – bring the north-east back into the spotlight.
Blood Red Shoes – Eye To Eye
We’ve had to wait a long time for new material from Blood Red Shoes. When it finally arrived this week, we were pleased to hear a gritty return to form, with Laura-Mary Carter and Steven Ansell crafting their best single since the days of Fire Like This.
The Presolar Sands – Witches’ Hill
The most accessible song from their brilliant full-length The Big Noise, Witches’ Hill is the dark gothic rock of The Presolar Sands presented in a gloomy pop package.
Holy Now – Dead End
The Scandinavian indie scene frequently yields under-the-radar brilliance. Holy Now’s Please Call Me Back EP, typified by the unique sound of Julia Olander’s vocals, is a glowing example, and Dead End is arguably its best track.
No Joy – Califone
Canadian shoegazers No Joy may have been around for almost a decade, but on Califone – taken from their latest EP – it’s obvious they’ve still got what it takes.
TEAR – Careless Again
Described as a “surefire DIY epic” when we featured it in January, this 6:22 single has lament, discord, and an almost shamelessly The Chain-esque instrumental breakdown. They’ve since released their new VINYL01 EP, their first physical release.
Amber Arcades – Can’t Say That We Tried
We first discovered this song at one of the Dutch dream pop star’s live dates back in January, and fell in love there and then. Now unveiled in studio form, it’s part of her new Cannonball EP, set for release on 2 June.