2017 was a blur, wasn’t it? I feel like we’ve all aged 10 years and lived a thousand lives. Dramatic, yes, but here at Scene+Heard, we love a bit of drama. Yet even we’re feeling dizzy after this year of pop culture. Everything feels a bit discombobulated. We’ve had one of the worst summers in the film industry's recent history, muted debuts on the album charts as the gap between superstars and upstarts gets wider and wider by the day, and of course the ending of some pretty fantastic shows (moment of silence for The Mindy Project please).
What happened in the sphere of music? Taylor Swift, Cardi B, and Dua Lipa seemed to be the only females able to make a dent in the singles world. Ed Sheeran may have reigned supreme with album sales, but even Jay-Z and Kendrick couldn’t pass the million mark, which is surprising given the hype. Has streaming officially broken the charts? Probably. It would seem that after the big releases from Drake, Beyonce, and Adele, few could match their memorability this year. That has left Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Lorde, Bruno Mars, Calvin Harris and scores of others in the dark. While many have achieved minor success with individual songs, no album has stuck this year and it shows. Our top albums of the year this year are a hodgepodge of potential, but frankly, while they are all impressive, none of them stick out with icon status.
The same goes for films. When consulting this year’s best, names from this year’s Oscars came up; but apparently, apart from Get Out, few post-February releases really made waves in the mainstream. TV flourished with talent and Hulu had its day with the incredible The Handmaid’s Tale. However, more and more TV shows saw the axe.
While this is all depressing, some encouraging signs remain. Take young artists like SZA, Sampha, Dua Lipa, Alessia Cara and Khalid - all have made significant dents in our minds. These could be the superstars of the streaming generation, should they keep up with the times. More independent films like Lady Bird and Call Me By Your Name, have been allowed to flourish in the vacuum of big studio talent. This can only be exciting. So while we lament the strange world we live in (both politically and artistically), we must look to 2018 for something groundbreaking, something innovative. If 2017 has taught us anything, it’s that now more than ever before, we need people to stretch the limits of their creativity. Anyone up for the challenge?
Eish Sumra, Editor-In-Chief.