The Best Tracks of 2017, #20


20. Louise Burns, “Who’s the Madman”

Vancouver singer-songwriter Louise Burns is one of the most underrated artists in Canada, but those who follow her solo work know just how consistently good it’s been. 2017’s album Young Mopes continued her metamorphosis from young upstart with pop rock band Lillix to an alt-rock auteur. With its chiming guitar accents and strident tempo, “Who’s the Madman” delves deeply into early-1980s post-punk, but what makes the track work is how the chilliness of the arrangement is counterbalanced by her tender singing. Try to imagine Stevie Nicks fronting For Against, and you’ll start to get the idea.