Sit Down, Be Humble: Here Are Our Top Ten Songs Of The Year

28 December 2017 | 10:15 am | The Music Team

Who got the green light?

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Each year, our writers and editors sit down, cast their memories back and think about the year that was — in music, of course. We took a vote and here's who made the cut for our Songs Of The Year.

1. lorde — green light

​Lorde has always - and even more so now - been known for her striking ability to connect with young people who are experiencing the rollercoaster ride, the ephemerality, of teenage emotions. Why? Because she was a teenager herself penning these albums, recently explaining to Apple Music that second album Melodrama described her "first proper year of adulthood".

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Green Light was her long-awaited return to music after her 2013 debut, critically acclaimed Pure Heroine, and it was an untamed exploration of anger, of exuberance, of joy, set to a pounding piano house line concocted with musical collaborator Jack Antonoff (of fun. and Bleachers fame and also a longtime collaborator of Taylor Swift).

The tune became an instant classic, giving punters a jubilant farewell at Lorde's recent Australian shows, with everyone singing rapturously to the chorus: "Cause honey I'll come get my things, but I can't let go / I'm waiting for it, that green light, I want it." So much about a song is how it makes you feel, and more than once Lorde fans that saw the track live recently said it was like having an out-of-body experience, bringing that sensation of being untouchable. Green Light makes you completely succumb to it and you get the feeling it opened a floodgate of emotions for Lorde herself when writing it - it was the first song she wrote for the now lauded Melodrama.

Green Light was an unexpected, euphoric change for Lorde when so much of what we'd heard from the young Kiwi thus far was dark, throbbing and pulsating electro-pop. It went on to garner nearly 97 million views (so far) on YouTube for its music video, starting off in a smoky, gritty club and moving onto the dark streets of Los Angeles, where Lorde dances wildly on top of cars or hangs out of a dark SUV's passenger window.

Lorde was previously voted the Artist Of The Year in our 2013 Writers' Poll.

2. Kendrick lamar — humble.

At #2, Kendrick Lamar makes another appearance with the lead single, HUMBLE., from DAMN., its trappy beats and catchy hook making it an earworm that drilled into even the most rap-hating of ears (he was edged out this year after winning our Song Of The Year for King Kunta in 2015).

3. arcade fire — everything now

Arcade Fire's optimistic Everything Now, the title track from the band's fifth album, came in at equal #3 alongside HAIM's harmonious, '90s pop-inspired Want You Back. Australian acts reigned supreme in the rest of the top ten, with cuts from All Our Exes Live In Texas, Methyl Ethel, Ocean Grove, Ali Barter and Cable Ties making a name for themselves, while English pop star Charli XCX's peppy Boys snuck in at the end of the list.

3. haim — want you back

5. all our exes live in Texas — candle

5. methyl Ethel — drink wine

5. ocean grove — intimate alien

8. ali barter — cigarette

8. cable ties — say what you mean

8. charli xcx — boys


2016: Beyonce — Formation
2015: Kendrick Lamar — King Kunta
2014: FKA Twigs — Two Weeks
2013: Daft Punk — Get Lucky (feat. Pharrell)
2012: Tame Impala — Elephant
2011: Gotye — Somebody That I Used To Know (feat. Kimbra)