Before you jump my shit to tell me that 19 days a week does not make, I must ask you to chill. This idea only occurred a few days ago, and since our eligibility period begins the first of the year, our first belt winner spans a little more than 2.5 weeks.
Speaking of this idea, the reason for this blog, it’s worth noting that our first belt-winner is firmly rooted in its inception. Jacob and I, on a slushy January eve en route to kickboxing, found ourselves discussing our favorite recently released music (as we often do). We both remarked that we couldn’t stop listening to I See You, the 01.13.17 release from English indie pop band The xx. We had been fans of their earlier releases (2009’s self-titled debut and 2012’s Coexist), but this album felt different, more mature, fuller. With it, the band seems to have reached a new level, from the album’s production to the strength of its lyrics and vocal performances.
The first single from the album, “On Hold,” was actually released some time ago (11.11.16). It was on both of our radar and was doing a great job hyping the upcoming album. Hearing it in the context of the rest of the album only boosted its appeal. The second single, “Say Something Loving,” was of comparable pristine quality. But it was “On Hold,” with its upbeat tempo and pitch-shifted Hall & Oates sample, that prevailed as the album’s and (so far) year’s best.
Without further ado, here it is, your inaugural 2017 SOTY Championship Belt-holder: