NME’s best songs of 2017 so far 

These are the new tunes you need in your life

41. Sampha – ‘(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano’

The quietest moment of the south Londoner’s debut album ‘Process’ is its emotional highlight: a ballad to the instrument he turned to after his mother’s cancer diagnosis.

42. Maggie Rogers – ‘On + Off’

‘Alaska’ might have been the track that piqued Pharrell Williams’ interest last year, but it’s the uplifting electropop banger ‘On + Off’ that proves Rogers was no passing fad.

43. Loyle Carner – ‘Stars & Shards’

This cautionary tale of a depressing drugdealer is lit up by interior rhymes and other shimmering wordplay: “Losing friends, rookie, he spends all of his tens on the little bit of leaf that’ll leave him stuck in the ends.”

44. Future Islands – ‘Ran’

The first cut from the Baltimore trio is as propulsively sad as we’ve come to expect: “On these roads out of love, so it goes,” Samuel T Herring roars.

45. Gorillaz – ‘We Got The Power (feat. Jehnny Beth)’

On a le pouvoir de s’aimer!” exclaims Savages’ Jehnny Beth on this, one of five singles revealed early from Gorillaz’s ‘Humanz’. It’s an energetic and all-too-brief introduction to the new record from Damon Albarn’s animated crew.

46. Thundercat – ‘Walk On By (feat. Kendrick Lamar)’

The bassist also known as Stephen Bruner was key to the jazz-fusion sounds of Kendrick Lamar’s ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’. Here the collaboration takes a woozy, boozy turn as Bruner coos: “No one wants to drink alone / Baby that’s how it goes“.

47. The Moonlandingz – ‘Black Hanz’

The Eccentronic Research Council and members of Fat White Family combined to form the barmy yet political fictional band The Moonlandingz, and this is their glorious “celebration of the Outsider, the socially inept.”

48. The Japanese House – ‘3/3’

From the excellent ‘Saw You In A Dream’ EP, ‘3/3’ showcases Amber Bain’s continued aptitude for crafting memorably strange melodies while scoring deep lyrical marks: “I fall into the trap you made / fall into your face… the scars on your knee / the mole on your cheek.”

49. Vince Staples – ‘BagBak’

This one’s threatening bassline slithers beneath the surface like a mythical sea creature as Vince nears the track’s apex: “Clap your hands if the police ever profiled / You ain’t gotta worry, don’t be scary ’cause we on now / Ain’t no gentrifying us, we finna buy the whole town / Tell the one percent to suck a dick, because we on now.”

50. Jay Som – ‘Baybee’

There’s no part of this understated, lo-fi jam from Melina Duterte’s second album ‘Everybody Works’ that isn’t lovely. It finds the Californian 22-year-old trying to make a relationship work: “If I leave you alone when you don’t feel right, I know we’ll sink for sure.”

Next page Previous page