What was your favorite song of 2017? Feel free to post details and a link in the Comments.

It would have been easy for me to pick a politically charged song, since the year has been overwhelmed by an uprising of art and imagination voicing anguish, rage, and protest against the hijacking of American democracy by white supremacists and fascists. But I experienced such daily heartbreak at the cruelty being carried out in the name of my country that I tended to find sweet (if only occasional) relief in music that provided escape, energy, encouragement, and a sense of play. Play, after all, is only possible within a context of freedom and security.

And if you listen closely, the song rings a chime of hope: As pending “change” approaches, the singer asserts that the change inspires a renewed unity among us. Sometimes, hard realities are what prompt into a state of “once was lost” into “now I’m found.”

So my favorite track of 2017 is “Moonshine Freeze” from the band This is the Kit. I can’t explain the song, but I love what it does for my spirits, how it achieves an inspired sense of play:

I’ve asked the Looking Closer Specialists to share some of the tracks that meant the most to them in the past year. I wouldn’t want to miss out on something beautiful, artful, and true.

Here are some of their picks:


Offa Rex — “The Old Churchyard”


The Killers — “Rut”


The National — “Day I Die”


Chris Pureka — “Back in the Ring”


Chris Muvahill — “The Lord is Coming”