Even though he left office last year, former President Barack Obama kept up the annual tradition of putting out a list of his top musicians and authors from the year and this year’s list includes the mega-hit “Feel It Still” by Wasilla-grown rockers Portugal. The Man.
“During my presidency, I started a tradition of sharing my reading lists and playlists,” Obama wrote on Facebook. “It was a nice way to reflect on the works that resonated with me and lift up authors and artists from around the world. With some extra time on my hands this year to catch up, I wanted to share the books and music that I enjoyed most.”
“Feel It Still” debuted on the album “Woodstock,” the band’s first in more than three years. The album featured a dramatically different sound than the group’s earlier works, a move that had something to do with the state of 2017.
“The world continues to burn like an out-of-control dumpster fire. Wait, that’s not quite fair to say. The world continues to burn like an avalanche of flaming biohazard material sliding down a mountain of used needles into a canyon full of rat feces,” they wrote in a narrative released alongside the album.
They explained that a chance realization that lead singer John Gourley’s dad attended Woodstock pushed the band to toss out their previous work and come up with a more politically relevant album.
“Woodstock is an album that—with optimism and heart—points at the giant pile and says, ‘Hey, this pile is fucked up!'” they wrote. “And if you think that pile is fucked up too, you owe it to yourself—hell, to all of us—to get out there and do something about it.”
They describe “Feel It Still,” which has become a mega-hit that peaked at # 4 on the Billboard Top 100 chart, as a “an anti-anthem about a clueless rebel wandering aimlessly through the world.” Portugal. The Man also got an invitation to play the hit on ABC’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.
Though Portugal. The Man has relocated to Portland, Ore., the band still has strong roots in Alaska. The “Feel It Still” music video includes images of mushing.
Best we could tell, President Donald Trump didn’t release a playlist for 2017, but we’d imagine it would include Lee Greenwood and a lot of musicians who’d rather not be included.
Obama’s full 2017 playlist
My favorite songs of 2017:
Mi Gente by J Balvin & Willy William
Havana by Camila Cabello (feat. Young Thug)
Blessed by Daniel Caesar
The Joke by Brandi Carlile
First World Problems by Chance The Rapper (feat. Daniel Caesar)
Rise Up by Andra Day
Wild Thoughts by DJ Khaled (feat. Rihanna and Bryson Tiller)
Family Feud by Jay-Z (feat. Beyoncé)
Humble by Kendrick Lamar
La Dame et Ses Valises by Les Amazones d’Afrique (feat. Nneka)
Unforgettable by French Montana (feat. Swae Lee)
The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness by The National
Chanel by Frank Ocean
Feel It Still by Portugal. The Man
Butterfly Effect by Travis Scott
Matter of Time by Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
Little Bit by Mavis Staples
Millionaire by Chris Stapleton
Sign of the Times by Harry Styles
Broken Clocks by SZA
Ordinary Love (Extraordinary Mix) by U2
*Bonus: Born in the U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen (not out yet, but the blues version in his Broadway show is the best!)