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2017 End Of Year Round Up

2017 End Of Year Round Up

Friday 22nd December, 2017 3:11PM

What a weird and wonderful year 2017 has been, packed full of incredible music and insane international politics. Luckily we get to focus on the musical side, and while that certainly hasn't always been roses either there's plenty of great moments to celebrate in the year that was. Put your feet up, listen to our comprehensive 2017 End Of Year Playlist which features 100 of the best New Zealand tunes from throughout the year, check out our 2017 video highlights, and dive in to our 2017 End Of Year Roundup below...

A number of New Zealand artists achieved unprecedented levels of success in 2017, including Lyttelton artist Aldous Harding whose sophomore album Party was named Rough Trade's album of the year. Likewise, Auckland songwriter Jonathan Bree's video for 'You're So Cool' was TimeOut New York's top music video of the year. Devonport crooners The Veils made a surprise appearance on David Lynch's television series Twin Peaks: The Return, Auckland rockers Street Chant took away the annual Taite Music Prize for their album Hauora, and Auckland rappers SWIDT’s popularity snowballed throughout the year, winning big at this year's Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. Folk musician Nadia Reid has been travelling the globe this year and made an appearance on prestigious UK television programme Later… With Jools Holland, which also featured a memorable performance by Harding. And of course it goes without saying homegrown pop star Lorde was ubiquitous throughout 2017, her latest album Melodrama dominated end of year lists worldwide.

Standouts among a huge crop of excellent local albums include Nadia Reid's beautiful long player Preservation, Onehunga hip hop artists SWIDT's debut record Stoneyhunga, Fazerdaze's exceptional debut album Morningside, Kane Strang’s breakout Two Hearts And No Brain, and Aldous Harding's aforementioned sophomore record Party. On the slightly more underground end of the spectrum, Dunedin sibling guitar-poppers Coyote dropped their highly anticipated debut Hotel For DogsAuckland songwriter Roy Irwin crowned himself King Of Pop with his album of the same title, left-field electronic artists SoccerPractise shared their self-titled full-length debut record, and numerous excellent releases were dropped by Auckland collective/label The Grow Room including WhyFi’s Dishwash Cookie.

Highlights from heavy music community included Alien Weaponry receiving the APRA Maioha Award for their te reo m?ori thrash metal single 'Raupatu’, a stellar compilation of ‘raw spewings’ from throughout the country titled No NZ, Wellington post-metal group’s Opium Eater’s debut album Ennui, and the debut album from Wellington thrash-metallers Stalker via influential Austrian label Napalm Records. A fabulously curated compilation of obscure New Zealand disco and soul music from the 70s and early 80s titled Heed The Call dropped late in the year to the delight of many. There's lots to look forward to in the coming year too, with Marlon WilliamsUnknown Mortal Orchestra, Kody Nielson, Connan Mockasin and Chelsea Jade all promising new albums for 2018.


Gender equality was again at the forefront of conversation this year, and this year's APRA Silver Scroll Awards were significantly the first to feature an all-female lineup of nominees. Auckland-based rapper and visual artist Coco Solid organised a timely symposium discussing equality in the music industry titled Equalise My Vocals, and New Zealand’s inaugural Girls Rock! Camp was announced to be taking place in January 2018. A number of iconic venues will be closing early next year, Wellington’s Matterhorn and Auckland’s the Kings Arms and Golden Dawn Tavern will be shutting up shop, here's hoping new venues emerge to help provide artists and punters with accessible spaces for them to do their thing in the coming year.

Significant international music releases for 2017 would have to include recent visitors Melbourne psychedelic rockers King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard's ambitious effort to release five albums in one year. They've made it to four, with their fifth album of 2017 set to drop very late in the year. Other highlights definitely include UK artist King Krule's hugely popular slow-burning hit album The OOZ, forthcoming visitor US r'n'b artist SZA's breakout record Ctrl, Thundercat's sprawling jazz-fusion collection Drunk, Chelsea Wolfe's sublimely heavy Hiss Spun, Kendrick Lamar's universally acclaimed DAMN, St. Vincent’s pop-infused record Masseduction, and the triumphant return of UK shoegazers Slowdive, whose self-titled album was their first release in over twenty years.


Sadly we lost some stellar musical talents over the year, with beloved US songwriter Tom Petty, promising young hip hop artist Lil Peep, rock and roll legends Fats Domino & Chuck Berry, soul/jazz singer Al Jarreau, Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young, and Celia Mancini of New Zealand surf-noise rock group King Loser being among the many iconic artists to pass on from our earthly realm in 2017, much respect to all.

It’s been a jam-packed year of amazing shows, tours and festivals and our champion team of photographers have provided some epic coverage - huge thanks to Ngamihi, Connor, Dave, Michael, Nick, Stella, Gabrielle, Thiago, Oliver, Rain, Alexander, Bruce, Alex, Keria and Jess.


(Pictured: King Gizz, Mistress Blaster at bSteet, Acid Mothers Temple, Fazerdaze, The Damned, Aldous Harding, Police at Windhand and Cough, Guitar Wolf, Japandroids, Nadia Reid, Drake, Neurosis)

Head over the Live Photos section to peruse all our excellent galleries.

Undertheradar itself underwent some significant changes in 2017, with the departure of our ace editor of nearly four years Danielle Street who has headed off to RNZ after her exceptional tenure with UTR. Huge thanks to Danielle for all her hard work and inspirational contributions both to the site and to New Zealand's musical community as a whole. New editor Chris Cudby has been passed the baton and immediately got stuck in. We also brought in a whole new look for the website in September courtesy of the visual talents of designer Sam Flaherty.


And that was our take on 2017! We wish you an awesome summer, we’ll be sticking around and sneaking out crucial news when it emerges during the holiday break.


What will 2018 bring?

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