NME’s best songs of 2017 so far 

These are the new tunes you need in your life

21. Phoenix – ‘Fior di Latte’

From Phoenix’s sunny, Italian-influenced sixth album ‘Ti Amo’, this is a dreamy pop-rock tune – it’s named after a type of mozzarella-type soft cheese that serves as the song’s weird metaphor for the body.

22. Superorganism – ‘Something For Your M.I.N.D.’

With little notice, the mysterious group dropped their debut song in February filled with cartoonish noises, a vintage sample and a killer pop chorus. A delightfully bizarre arrival.

23. Stormzy – ‘Cold’

The second track on Stormzy’s chart-topping debut album ‘Gang Signs & Prayer‘ is as stone-cold as its title, and it’s full of brutal, funny boasts: “I’ve been cold the season / I should call my next one ‘Freezing’“.

24. Kendrick Lamar – ‘HUMBLE.’

The Compton MC’s 2017 return started with ‘The Heart Part 4’, but it’s this swaggering second release that leaves the bigger impression. Far from the jazz-inflected melodies of ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’, ‘Humble’ is a taut, extended brag, in which his skills are on a level with “that Grey Poupon, that Evian, that TED Talk.

25. Calvin Harris – ‘Slide (feat. Frank Ocean & Migos)’

“All my songs in 2017 have been sonically designed to make you feel fucking incredible,” Calvin Harris wrote before releasing this Frank Ocean/Migos collab. This one’s not far off.

26. Pale Waves – ‘There’s A Honey’

The indie-pop crew from Manchester got their Dirty Hit labelmates The 1975 to produce this one – its chorus is so catchy you wonder how it hasn’t been written before.

27. Laura Marling – ‘Nothing Not Nearly’

Marling’s sixth album ‘Semper Femina’ closes with this rousing, yowling number, whose lyrics are typically deft: “The only thing I’ve learned in a year where I didn’t smile once, not really – nothing matters more than love, no, nothing no, not nearly.”

28. Fleet Foxes – ‘Third of May / Odaigahara’

It took five years, but the Seattle folk crew led by Robin Pecknold are back with this nine-minute beauty, which picks up directly where ‘Grown Ocean’ – the closer of 2011’s ‘Helplessness Blues’ – left off.

29. Alt-J – ‘3WW’

Full of surprises, this slow-moving first taste of June’s ‘Relaxer’ begins with vocals from keyboardist Gus Unger-Hamilton, features Wolf Alice’s Ellie Rowsell and strings from the London Metropolitan Orchestra.

30. Calvin Harris – ‘Hard To Love’ feat. Jessie Reyez

The laid-back closer from Harris’ ‘Funk WAV Bounces Vol. 1’ is among the best on the album. Where many of the tracks feature multiple guests, this one is held down by just one: Canadian vocalist Jessie Reyez, who works wonders with the line: “I’d rather be hard to love than easy to leave.”

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