Let’s admit it, 2017 was weird. Everyone can agree that, on many fronts, 2017 wasn’t the best of years. Many scandals and tragedies fueled the news cycle. But the thing is, I had a good time. I don’t know about you, but 2017 was definitely good to me. I made some amazing friends, traveled places I never even dreamed of before, finally figured out what I wanted to do with my life (mostly)… So all around: pretty great. So now, when I look back at all the memories I made, I also have a long list of songs associated with each one of them.
The soundtrack to my 2017
January 1st, I moved houses. After that, I met some pretty great people and enjoyed the summer sun as much as I could. For the next 6 months, all I did was living the best life I could while studying abroad. That entailed a lot of traveling, days spent at the beach, nights spent dancing and sometimes some studying. The next 6 months were a bit tamer, as I went back to ‘real’ school. But it also means that I’ve settled down and had more times with my old friends and my family.
I could go on and on talking about the past 12 months. Instead, I’ll simply give you a list of my favorite songs of the year. Enjoy!
BROCKHAMPTON is an American hip-hop collective formed in Texas in 2015. The group partially came about thanks to the internet, where most of the members met on a forum called KanyeToThe.
1 year, 3 albums.
In June 2016, the band released their first mixtape, ‘All-American Trash.’ In the past year alone, they also released two albums. The first, titled ‘Saturation’ was quickly followed by ‘Saturation II’. And when I say ‘quickly’, it’s because they were released within two months of each other. They respectively came out in June and August 2017. Their next album, ‘Saturation III’, is slated for release in December 2017. And sadly for us, the collective has announced that it will be their final studio album.
A unique sound
The sound of the band, more so than even their lyrics, is what differentiates them from any other current artists. It is often described as cool and funky while still being polished. On this new album, they never fail to bring a touch of unexpected that makes them stand out from more mainstream hip-hop artists.
LANY is an American alternative band from Los Angeles, California. The band formed in 2014. That year, Paul Klein, Jake Goss, and Les Priest decided to create music together. They shortly released their first songs anonymously on the platform Soundcloud. They revealed their identity and the name of the band soon after the success of their song “ILYSM.”. The group offers a different sound, which is what makes them stand out. It is a mix of old-school pop song enthusiasm and the soulfulness of the ’90s R&B. The band also adds a touch of uniqueness and modernity with the sound of synths.
My top 3 songs
Pink Skies – kinda-EP (We can work it out you and I are meant to be together, this is how it’s supposed to feel I’m in love with how this feels)
ILYSB – LANY (Ain’t never felt this way, can’t get enough so stay with me, it’s not like we got big plans, let’s drive around town holding hands)
Super Far – LANY (Got me begging for affection, all you do is roll your eyes, broken down, I’ve had enough, if this is love I don’t want it)
Matt Corby was first discovered at age 16 on Australian Idol, where he finished as runner-up. He later said that competing was for him a big mistake and that he regretted it. It was only in 2013, four years and two EPs later, that Matt’s career really took off. With his new song, “Resolution”, he charted on Australian top50 for the first time. After that, the Australian singer-songwriter got people to pay attention to his music, old and new. He also started to tour Europe and played in big festivals such as Glastonbury or Latitude.
My top 3 songs
Resolution – Resolution-EP (It’s dangerous to speak and sigh, you might know what I’m trying to hide)
Brother – Into the Flame-EP (Pull yourself out of this state dear, acknowledge you were a fake here, from there on you might just grow)
Breathe – Made of Stone-EP (So far from the ocean’s thrall, I was homesick inside city walls)
In 2017, Dua Lipa went from being a relatively unknown artist to one the world’s biggest pop star. It’s with her song “New Rules” that the singer’s career really took off. To top of a successful album release, the singer also had three singles charting in the U.K. Top 15 at the same time.
Her music fits a safer ‘commercial’ pop song sound with lyrics reflective of her personality. Those two aspects combined, as well as many collaborations with respected artists, are what made her so popular.
My top 3 songs
New Rules – Dua Lipa (Talkin’ in my sleep at night, makin’ myself crazy)
Garden – Dua Lipa (Used to think that this love was heaven sent, how did we get lost, can’t get back again. Tell me, is the light on the outside?)
Thinking ’bout You – Dua Lipa (I’ve been sleeping later, I’ve been breathing stronger, I’ve been digging deeper but the memories won’t stop)
Picture this: 5 college roommates move into a house on a big party street, in one of New Zealand’s best student city. They go to class, they go to parties, and in their free time, they make music. This is, more or less, how the band Six60 came about. Just a bunch of young guys, living their lives and having fun doing it.
Soon enough, people around campus started taking notice of this up and coming local band. And this is how, in 2008, Six60 came about. (Well, this is the story I was told anyway)
Their new album, a new beginning?
In 2017, Six60 released a grand total of 6 new songs, all of which ranked in the New Zeland’s the top50. (“Don’t Give It Up”, “Rivers”, “Closer”, “Rolling Stone”, “Vibes” and “Up There”). “Don’t Give It Up” even reach n°4 and went Platinum. Those songs are proof of how much the band has grown. Staying true to their roots, Six60 has kept the elements that made them successful while adding sounds and notes showing what they learned over the years.
My top 3 songs
So High – Six60 (2015) (It’s been four days, three lives and one too many times since we last kissed the sky but this time, we’re going down, down, down, down…)
Exhale – Six60 (2015) (I’m running after the world I’m breaking out of these chains I don’t get it, but I’m in it)
Forever – Six60 (2011) (It’s the start of my demise everything I know and trust, but we shall rise)
New Zealand is full of surprises and has a lot to offer, especially to travelers. Many small towns are a must see, and if you ask me, Queenstown is on top of the list. Situated in the South Island, on the shore of Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by the mountains, the town is a real marvel.
Queenstown is a small town with the energy of a big city. It’s a place where laid-back afternoons and adrenaline rushes mix perfectly. The town is full of life and offers everything from bars and clubs, to brunch spots, charming shops, and good food.
Small town, plenty of activities.
Queenstown is the best place to go if you want to live unforgettable moments. For the daredevils of this world, the town offers a wide range of electrifying experiences. This small New Zealand town is probably the best place on earth to go bungee jumping, with amazing jumping spots and the option to jump during nighttime.
The town is also host of the world most famous swing. And there is a reason why the Nevis Swing is so renowned, the 300m arc is sure to make anyone shriek.
Looking for a relaxed and serene getaway? Come to Queenstown. The town also offers plenty of quiet but still delightful activities.
Queenstown is surrounded by many amazing hiking trails for every kind of hiker, casual or experienced. Moreover, the scenery is breathtaking and will not let you down, even on rainy days.
Known as Billie Eilish, the 15-year-old singer is making a name for herself in the music world, with hit songs (“Ocean Eyes” & “Bellyache”) and a critically acclaimed first album (“dont smile at me”).
Her career took off in 2016 after she released on SoundCloud her debut single, “Ocean Eyes”. The song quickly became a viral hit on the platform.
Billboard has called her “Pop’s Most Impressive 15-Year-Old.”
Billie has previously stated that she doesn’t believe her music fits into any genres of music. Nevertheless, she admits being heavily influenced by alternative music as well as hip-hop and rap music.
In one of her most successful song called “Bellyache”, Billie decided to play a character and sing from the point of view of a serial killer. Against all the odds, this choice makes for a calming escape, mixing somewhat disturbing lyrics with a strong hook, the enticing sound of an acoustic guitar and later on the steady beat of a drum.
New tour dates for a blooming star.
The fans of this young artist can rejoice. Billie Eilish has just announced her new tour dates for 2018. Her tour dates take place from mid-February to early July in European and American cities.
Traveling the world. On paper, it sounds incredible. In real life… well, it is. But it can be challenging, so before you go and have fun, I have a few tips for you that will make your vacation a lot more enjoyable.
If you haven’t planned ahead, your best option is to visit the local tourist office. They’ll let you know about all the events and activities worth checking out. They also will help you find your way around the city. If you are in a rush to go out and explore, just ask the receptionists at your hotel, they are usually pretty resourceful too.
In case that you are staying in a hostel, don’t forget two things: a lock for your bags and flip-flops for the shower. You’ll thank me later.
Make copies of necessary documents. Passport, Visa, anything important. If you know you’ll have a bad day if you lose it, make a copy. You can also e-mail yourself the documents, just to be safe.
It may seem like a waste of money, but getting a travel insurance should be on top of your to-do list. Trust me, it’s easier to brag about your amazing trip with photos rather than with medical bills.
Sunscreen is your friend. You might not like the smell of it, or maybe you find it too sticky, but the drawbacks are never worth it (also, a bright red peeling nose is never a good look).
Download the app Maps.me. It is a lifesaver when you run out of data or don’t have any signal. The only thing you have to do is to download the map of the region you’ll be traveling before going. Then you’re all set. The app will not only guide you to your destination but also let you know where the closest gas station or public restrooms are.
Some of us are lucky enough to be offered the opportunity the go study abroad, but is it worth it?
Yes. That is the answer that you will get nine times out of ten. And did you check to see if the tenth person you asked has ever left the country? They probably haven’t.
Studying abroad is much more than something you can (humbly) brag about to everyone you meet for the next 20 years (and trust me, you will). It was for me how I finally discovered who I really was, the good and the not so good parts. I also figured out my strengths and weaknesses and how to use them in my favor.
Living abroad will inevitably make you face your biggest fears. Considering that almost everyone has the same ones, I’ll let you in on the secret, it is failure, loneliness, and disappointment (…and spiders). And you will probably be faced to some degree to one of the three. But in my experience, it is what makes studying abroad worth it.
It is when you push yourself that you find out that you can make it. You’ll find out that maybe it wasn’t so bad, because yes, you slept in a car last night, and you’ve lost your passport, but you also made some of your best memories, and you’ll never forget your house keys at McDonald’s ever again.