Erika Goldring, Kevin Winter, James Devaney—Getty Images; Photo Illustration by Kenneth Bachor for TIME
May 23, 2017 7:00 AM EDT

From viral rap hits to the return of pop queens like Lorde, the first half of 2017 was marked by an eclectic mix of sounds and stars. The best tracks came from artists pushing the boundaries of their genres to express messages both timeless and topical. These are the 10 songs we couldn’t get out of our heads.

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Write to Raisa Bruner at raisa.bruner@time.com.

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