Were at the halfway point of 2017, so all this week Mashable entertainment will be rolling out our 8.5 (Get it, half of 17?) picks for the best of the year so far! in movies, TV, music, and more. Its our eight best picks for you, along with a bonus choice that, while not strictly one of the greats, deserves a guilty pleasure mention. Enjoy.
1. Slide by Calvin Harris featuring Frank Ocean and Migos
Throw the hottest artists on the same track and unfortunately, most of the time it does not work (*cough* Katy Perry *cough*). That’s not the case with “Slide,” which came out in February and will probably be the song of the summer. Frank Ocean’s silky voice pairs perfectly with Calvin Harris’ sunny production, and the addition of Atlanta’s Migos make it perfect for any day that ends with the letter “y.”
2. “Perfect Places” by Lorde
Lorde’s been gone for three years, and in that time has lived a million lives and grown exponentially as both an artist and a normal human beingbecause that’s what happens when you leave teenage-hood. She portrays all the tumultuous emotions on Melodrama, and “Perfect Places” is the boisterous thesis of the entire project.
3. “Everything Now” by Arcade Fire
Arcade Fire is back, and we’re so very ready for it. “Everything Now” is the band’s first single since 2013’s Reflektor and is the title track off of their upcoming album.The track was initially a vinyl-only release, because, well, they’re Arcade Fire. But in this evolution of the band, they’re fully embracing the need to bust a move (comparisons to ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” have already been madeoh and there’s a pan flute) while still remaining their insightful selves.
4. “Wild Thoughts” by DJ Khaled featuring Rihanna and Bryson Tiller
The world could do without some of Bryson Tiller’s verse, sure, but DJ Khaled manages to strike gold with this collaboration. Of course, Rihanna steals the show (did you expect anything else?) and her vocals are giving us Work 2.0 vibes.
5. “Cut To The Feeling” by Carly Rae Jepsen
There’s no way one can listen to this song and not feel inclined to listen again. It’s an electric shock in a pop song, a feeling only Carly Rae Jepsen can manage to muster out of even the most reserved of folks.
6. “DNA” by Kendrick Lamar
The return of Kendrick Lamar was felt ’round the world. With “DNA,” the Compton rapper delivered a thundering track to the masses (and spoiler, the one and only Don Cheadle in the video). The bass lines are heavy, erupting between his electrifying bars. The flow switch alone deserves all the awards. For anyone who doubted Kendrick, I dare you to listen.
7. “Bad Liar” by Selena Gomez
It’s the perfect song to listen to while you’re walking down the street trying to distract yourself and play it cool, and that’s not just because that’s the first line of the song. Selena Gomez has gone through a lot of phases over her long career, each one stronger than the last, and this does not mess up her trajectory. It’s a breezy track that’s a wonderful sign of her forthcoming album, possibly because it does not try hard to be anything other than it is.
8. “Drew Barrymore” by SZA
It’s SZA’s time to shine and no one could be happier than I am. You might not have heard of her, but rest assured, she’s just getting started. “Drew Barrymore” is a perfect representation of her debut album Ctrl and the raw vulnerability that she manages to spin into a catchy anthems.
8.5. “REDMERCEDES” by Amin
Portland rapper Amin is young and fresh to the mainstream scene but every single he’s dropped during the lead-up to his debut album Good For You has been the perfect tinder for what’s sure to be a blowout album. The track “REDMERCEDES” isn’t necessarily special, but there’s an infectious quality that feels similar to his breakout hit “Caroline.” The laid-back confidence he manages to exude is contagious; there’s no way to stop your head from bobbing, and the music video (which features Kari Faux and Leon Bridges) is a hoot, too.