Well shit, 2017 is very nearly over! How’s it been for you? To me it’s been a year of self-discovery and exploring a little chunk of the world with my other half, which has been real nice. Ultimately the aspirations I had back in January were not reached but at least they’re in motion, but in terms of music blogging it’s been the best year yet. This is the beginning of a set of posts that look back over the past twelve months, highlighting particular points from each month that stood out to me as pretty impactful moments for the blog and myself too. So please come along on this journey into the nostalgic, relive some memories and pick out some new artists we discovered along the way too.

JANUARY | We kick off 2017 with the first Liner Notes of the year, detailing a new site design (the first of many this year, deary me) as well as looking to continue the pace with interviews and reviews and all that good stuff. Also find some early favourite albums of the year in Run The Jewels’ RTJ3, Julie Byrne’s Not Even Happiness and Fox Medicine’s Noise Nurse Demos. Fox Medicine also ended up becoming one of the best acts I’ve worked with too, but that’ll be detailed a bit more in another post this week.

DISCOVERIES: Elsee with her wonderful single ‘Electric On My Feet’ and local artist Holly Hannigan’s debut EP Holly Hannigan.

FEBRUARY | After celebrating the other half’s birthday in New York, things came back to normal with a string of steady releases that made February a pretty strong month for music. Fox Medicine cement their status as best people ever by contributing possibly the best An Interview With this blog has ever seen, whilst personal favourites Girl Friend continued to dazzle with new EP At This Time Of Night. I’m wondering what happened to Girl Friend, as they seem to have disappeared from the world. Please come back.

DISCOVERIES: The Lunar Year graced the ears with debut single ‘Porcelain’ as well as Violet Contours with ‘Electric Bodies’.

MARCH | 2017 begins to settle in it’s groove as a Liner Notes details my desire to learn to drive which I’m sure past me would hate myself for (still working on that past me, sorry). It was also the month I wrote ‘The Lack Of Support For Smaller Music Blogs | and Why It Should Change’. Probably the best thing I’ve ever written, it was something I was very nervous to publish but am very proud I did. It came from a place full of frustration after months of being largely ignored by artists and labels and fortunately the reaction was very heartwarming, and definitely made me fall back in love with blogging again.

DISCOVERIES: Tuxedo released another dose of smooth, feel good tunes in Tuxedo II, The Glass Child tore my heart apart with ‘White Spaces’ and Cavalcade put it back together again.

APRIL | Another month where content was sparse due to my dog passing away (RIP Susie). She was the chillest dog in the world and so, so lovely. That’s all really, though we did get to experience Father John Misty’s Pure Comedy too. What a great album that is (I’m listening to it right now infact).

DISCOVERIES: Father John Misty’s Pure Comedy and Pale Waves’ ‘There’s A Honey’ burst onto the scene and haven’t left the eardrums since.

MAY | Easily the coolest moment for me was getting to do Howlie Week. Howlie remains the best discovery I’ve made in the entire time I’ve been a blogger and fortunately he was more than willing to make this premiere of his Dead Dog EP even sweeter. With premieres of each of the four tracks, a premiere of the EP itself AND a very wordy and entertaining interview, this was the crowning glory of 2017 for me. Howlie, I thank you so, so, so much for making this a reality and am so glad to be in your company as a pal of yours. You are the sweetest, funniest dude around and I hope sometime soon we get to give eachother the manliest hug possible.

DISCOVERIES: Mac Demarco’s This Old Dog became my go-to album to listen to during chill times, while Jerry Williams continued to build a name for herself with ‘I’m Not In Love With You’.

JUNE | I became a birthday boy determined to sort myself out and get things in motion. Turns out motion’s longer than I anticipated but still, motion’s motion. QOTSA also released their first single in four years and it continues to bedazzle my fanboy mind daily. Also went on holiday to Croatia for a week and it was incredible. I highly recommend it.

DISCOVERIES: Dazy Crown’s I Don’t Need a Jacket EP, The Scarletts’ ‘In the Mirror’, QOTSA’s ‘The Way You Used to Do’ and Royal Blood’s How Did We Get So Dark?

JULY | Took advantage of the summer holidays and found myself in the Lake District for a week or two, which meant another month of sparse content. The content that came was pretty cool though, as we bigged up more new artists and also partnered up with local festival Village Green to showcase some local talent. It was a very good experience being a part of press for the festival, and I’m gonna look into doing that some more for 2018.

DISCOVERIES: Corella’s ‘Barcelona Girl’ and Fleet Foxes’ wonderful new album Crack-Up.

AUGUST | That’s better! 27 pieces of content made August bring stability back to the blog. This was the month that reinvigorated the joy I once had for blogging, and through sorting out emails in a new way, revamping the twitter profile to be more personal and gaining income through SubmitHub, things were suddenly looking a lot cooler for this music blogger. It certainly helped that the music that was coming about was some of the best of the year too.

Sounds Good also celebrated it’s first birthday which brought upon a very fun weekend of recording a special message of thank you and a cover of QOTSA’s ‘I Sat By The Ocean’ which in hindsight I probably shouldn’t have done, but it made for a brilliant month. QOTSA’s new album Villains also came out and again, the fanboy in me exploded with excitement.

DISCOVERIES: Darrah’s ‘Can’t Tax The Sun’, The Modern Strangers’ ‘Coco Hello’, Nth Cave’s ‘Bass’, Irascible Fuck Brigade’s ‘Slash the Fucking Seats’, Toby Charles’ All My Words, Pet Fangs’ ‘Gold Coast Dreaming’ and Courts’ Back of the Mind.

SEPTEMBER | The Good Sounds Playlist is born! This has been another way to branch out into the world and go “hey, this is pretty good, you should check it out” and it’s been quite fun. Cavalcade continued to be sweethearts and let us premiere their new single ‘Silver Bones’ alongside another fun interview, and also got to be featured on fellow blog Mytacism Music as they wrote the best review of my cover of ‘I Sat By The Ocean’.

DISCOVERIES: 1955’s ‘The Big One’, Lon Lon’s ‘Drifter’, Nick Dean’s ‘How Did We?’ and Me Not You’s ‘These Streets’.

OCTOBER | The chill began to descend into the atmosphere and I think that showed in October. The interviews had disappeared and the content was focused mainly on single reviews. Not my favourite month blog-wise but I was busy studying for an exam that I still cannot pass to this day. But nevermind, it allowed me to at least try for something and I can always pass it another day.

DISCOVERIES: Exnations’ ‘Never About The Money’, Celeste’s ‘Not For Me’, Vuromantics’ ‘ Into The Night’, Still A Great Night’s ‘Still A Great Night’, Two Islands’ ‘Still Life’ (PLEASE PUT THIS ON SPOTIFY) and Callum Pitt’s ‘Rabbits’.

NOVEMBER | Back to the months of little content as I was fully involved in trying to pass this exam. I had skipped out on the music stuff, largely ignored my emails and driving lessons and probably regret all of that. Nevermind, we all need stumbling blocks to find our feet again. The music we did feature was great though, as we discovered Lisabel and Scenic Route to Alaska, and made the best design the blog has seen ever. I SWEAR this’ll be the last redesign for a long, long time at least.

DECEMBER | And well, here we are. The last month of the year. I like to think we’ve gotten back on track so far and have featured a variety of new music and interviews and playlists, and fortunately all of it seems to be very good too. The likes of Young Earth, St. Buryan and Lauren Strange kind of round up what has been a great year of throwing spotlight onto a long line of emerging acts, and I reckon next year will be the same.

Thank you for all for all of the support you’ve shown throughout this year. The amount of interaction you’ve all thrown into this little blog has been overwhelming and it suddenly helps make running it a lot easier. May your Christmas and New Year be wonderful, and I’ll see you in 2018!

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