Now! That’s What Dwain Calls Music (2017 Edition)

It’s a yearly tradition! Here are the songs I could not get enough of over the past year. (The list is ordered by how I think they work best as a mix, not by most-best to least-best.)


  1. The Shins, “Name For You” My most played song of the year.
  2. Sylvan Esso, “Die Young” The first song I truly fell in love with this year. As good today as when I first heard it back in March.
  3. Maggie Rogers and Tycho, “Alaska” One of the pesky Discover Weekly finds that turned into a major ear-worm.
  4. Kyle and Lil Yachty, “iSpy” Such a ridiculous song. Even after a couple hundred listens I still laugh every time Kyle says “Thanks, lil boat”. Props to the notorious RLB for introducing me this one.
  5. Jidenna, “Long Live the Chief” First heard this during his appearance on Luke Cage. The rest of his album is just as good.
  6. DJ Khaled, Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, Lil Wayne, “I’m the One” Never thought I’d have a Biebs song on one of these but this was my song of the summer.
  7. Chastity Brown, “Wake Up” Another Discover Weekly find.
  8. Freedom Fry, “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” Freedom Fry had a couple amazing covers this year, but it seemed fitting that in a year where we lost the great Tom Petty, this French version of one of his greats should make the list.
  9. JR JR, “Same Dark Places” In a year that’s been defined by trauma and darkness, this ode to supporting loved ones during depression is especially poignant. “I know everybody goes to the same dark places. Sometimes in the dead of night when you think you can’t make it you might find I left a light beside the bed for you, ’cause I’ve been there, too.” Some of the best lyrics of the year. Fun fact! This is JR JR’s 4th appearance on the list. The made the 2011, 2013, and 2014 mixes as well.
  10. HAIM, “Want You Back” A spiritual sequel to their debut album’s The Wire.
  11. Courtney Barnett, “How to Cook an Egg” No one puts words together quite like Courtney. She’s on a three year streak right now, with songs on the 2015 and 2016 mixes as well. Also: check out the album she did with Kurt Vile this year.
  12. Argonaut & Wasp, “Beast of Burden” Love, love, love, this poptastic Stones cover.
  13. Father John Misty, “Real Love Baby” A beautiful, super sway-y love song.
  14. Oh Wonder, “Heart Strings” Shout out to Gabs for introducing me to Oh Wonder earlier this year. We saw them at 9:30 in October and they were delightful.
  15. Tennis, “Ladies Don’t Play Guitars” I saw Tennis at SXSW back in 2011, and I’ve been jamming to their mellow hits ever since.
  16. David Wax Museum, “At Least I Tried” No one should be surprised to see my favorite band on this list. David and Suz celebrated ten years and one thousand show together this fall and I was lucky enough to see #994 and #995. The first was a once-in-a-lifetime house show, sitting on a living room floor in Mt Pleasant and the second to a rowdy hometown audience in Charlottesville. 
  17. Maren Morris and Niall Horan, “Seeing Blind” Maren was on last year’s mix with her sound “My Church” and I fell in love with “Seeing Blind” during this year’s CMA Awards performance.
  18. Future Islands, “Drive” As I was putting this list together last night I kept thinking, “what was that song with that great driving drum beat and bass line?” What am appropriate song title from this great band.
  19. Portugal, the Man, “So Young” I couldn’t in good conscience put “Feel it Still” on the list as everyone has heard it approximately 254 million times. Instead I included this other great hit from this year’s “Woodstock” album.
  20. Chris Stapleton, “Broken Halo” It’s hard to believe this song come out in 2017. It feels like such a classic already.

And that is it! What songs couldn’t you live without in 2017? Stream my whole playlist below:

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