This is always a hard list to create, as it takes into account all genres of music and is ultimately very subjective, however it is also a very fun one! 2017 has been a strong year for music with some of the bigger artists not releasing anything this year, it’s allowed for some smaller lesser known bands to creep in and be heard. Also it was a year where both Gallagher brothers released an album, along with Kendrick Lamar making his highly anticipated return to the forefront. There were so many acts who had great years so it was impossible to fit them into a list of 10, so here’s how I think it stands.
10. The Cribs – ’24-7 Rock Star Shit’
First entry in the top 10 is a band that I will always be fond of, which may be why they find themselves in this list. However this is one of my favourite records that the Wakefield trio have come out with since bursting onto the scene early 00’s. The album was recorded in a very short space of time and has such a raw and live feel to it – something that made it what it is. It has some brilliant tracks on it, and hearing them live I suppose it gave the album a new feel.
Top Tracks: ‘Year of Hate‘ ‘Dead at the Wheel‘ and ‘Partisan‘
9. Kendrick Lamar – DAMN!
After only getting into King Kenny at the start of the year, it made it really exciting to hear what he was going to release after a two year break since TPAB. Although it received some mixed reviews, it always had a shine to me. After listening to it once, I find myself repeatedly going back to it, listening to certain songs over and over to hear the message he was putting across. On top of this it had some really catchy hooks and some innovative beats like what you would hear off a mixtape.
Top Tracks: ‘DNA’, ‘Humble’ and ‘XXX’
8. Los Campesinos! – ‘Sick Scenes’
I heard this album very early on in the year and it always stuck with me. I’m a sucker for good little indie songs with great pop hooks, and this album seemed to have a bucket load of them, it is such a fun album to listen to. Each song got stuck into my head with ease, and I never wanted them to leave. Some say that this style of music has become boring and repetitive, but when it’s done right, like here, you have to admire it and just enjoy it.
Top Tracks: ‘Renato Dall’Ara‘, ‘I Broke up in Amarante‘ and ‘Here’s to the Fourth Time!’
7. The XX – ‘I See You’
This album also came out very early in the year, and it was just what The XX needed. After five years since their last album Coexist it was getting worrying where the XX had gone. However I See You put them back where they were before. The album showed a more lighter side to the band, however they still kept their brooding vocals and sleek guitars and fills. There are several great moments on this album, mainly the track ‘Dangerous‘, which really brought people to this album. A strong year for The XX, just hoping they don’t have such a long break next time.
Top Tracks: ‘Dangerous’ , ‘Hold On’ and ‘Performance’
6. Vagabon – ‘Infinite Worlds’
Vagabon was a brand new artist to me this year, and how happy I am to have stumbled across her and this wonderful album. It’s a relatively short album as it only has eight songs, however those eight songs are all great. The vocals on each track have an innocence to them, and when they’re combined with these drowning guitars, it creates an ear catching sound. You can hear hints of The Softies across this album, but Vagabon very clearly put her own stamp on each track. This was a big year for her, and hopefully she can capitalise on this and continue to release good music.
Top Tracks: ‘The Embers’, ‘Mineappolis’ and ‘Cleaning House’
5. Idles – ‘Brutalism’
This album had the most rage and anger that I heard throughout the year, and not only did have these components, they were genuine. Brutalism was exactly that, it was brutal. Drawing comparisons from SLAVES, but Idles definitely had something different. Their sound is fully packed with driving guitars and combined with these classic British punk vocals, that have a dirtiness about them. What was most satisfying about this album was that the band were attacking general political issues, and doing it with so much sarcasm, which must be applauded.
Top Tracks: ‘Well Done’, ‘Exeter’ and ‘Rachel Khoo’
4. Alvvays – ‘Antisocialites’
This was another band that was new to me, but after hearing this album I will be listening to them for many years to come. Alvvays have these dreamy melodies, and witht the vocals they seem to be floating in the air around you. Yet the band still have this very raw side to them like in the track ‘Lollipop‘ it still has the unfinished sound which is endearing. At the core of each track is a devilishly good riff, which holds each of the songs together, and the album is consistent from start to finish, a very good Sophomore album from the Canadian band.
Top Tracks: ‘In Undertow‘, ‘Plimsoll Punks‘ and ‘Lollipop‘
3. Mount Eerie – ‘A Crow Looked at Me’
This was one of the hardest albums that I will ever listen to, but it’s also one of the best. The record was written shortly after the death of his wife, and the raw and painful emotion is there to be heard on every single track. Each track is description of what’s been happening and how he feels, and Mount Eerie pulls no punches as he’s brutally honest with himself and every single listener. It’s very hard to not get upset or feel sad listening to this album because it’s so obvious how much pain he is in when he’s recording this album. It won’t be revisited much, but it’s such an honest listen.
Top Tracks: ‘Real Death’, ‘My Chasm’ and ‘Soria Moria’
2. Wolf Alice – ‘Visions of Life’
After being such a big fan of their first release I was extremely excited to hear their follow up album, and it didn’t disappoint. It may not have had the charm that the first album had but it definitely had the songs. The album has everything from pure energy with ‘Yuk Foo’ to oozing sexiness with ‘Beautifully Unconventional’ the album managed to cover all corners. The musicality of the record seems a lot more mature than the first album, so it seems the band have refined themselves a bit, but it definitely felt like an evolving stage for Wolf Alice.
Top Tracks: ‘Yuk Foo’, ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’ and ‘Visions of Life’
1. Father John Misty – ‘Pure Comedy’
The album that constantly kept me coming back throughout the entire year was undoubtedly this one, and it is well worthy of the top spot this year. The slow methodical and sarcastic pace that Father John breaks down utopian World is fantastic, as he does it in such style. The album has so many genius moments scattered across it, it starts at the first track when he breaks down being born and crazy it comes down to luck whether you’re taken care of or not. He also has some very introspective moments on the album where he brings some personal moments of his to the forefront, and is very blunt in how he feels. This album keeps giving, as I still feel I haven’t got all the juice from this orange.
Top Tracks: ‘Pure Comedy’, ‘Leaving LA’ and ‘In Twenty Years or so’