2017 has been a cracker for music, I found it really hard this year narrowing it down to 10 albums, and as always there’s so many great albums released that I haven’t even listened to – my only hope is I discover the truly great ones over the years to come.
I’ve put together a sample Spotify playlist of two of my favourite tracks from each album, so maybe hit play on this, while you read on down.
10. The XX – I See You
In at number 10, really only number 10! The previous album Coexist never really gelled with me, but this album has been a staple in our house this year. 5 years was a long time to wait for this, but it was truly worth it.
9. Ryan Adams – Prisoner
This ain’t no love song, err album. A breakup album that is painful to the core. But all the same a solid release from Adams, and given it’s his 16th album, he’s not showing any signs of running out of ideas or steam.
8. Milky Chance – Blossum
Milky Chance are one of those bands which I can’t decide if they’re a guilty pleasure or, what is the alternative here? I’ve thrashed this album, summer days, friends and good times; it’s been the soundtrack to all of the above in 2017.
7. Mac DeMarco – This Old Dog
I’m clearly not hip enough as I only discovered Mac DeMarco this year, instantly I’ve probably made him uncool now with all the indie/hipster kids. But I don’t care, great album, fantastic recording and just a very easy listen with wide appeal.
6. Cut Copy – Haiku from Zero
What an album! Every time I’ve played this it just puts a smile on my face. Ridiculously catchy loops (like on Airborne), laid back vocals and a fun vibe.
5. Elbow – Little Fictions
Elbow and The National are two of my favourite bands, both album announcements had me eagerly awaiting their releases. One delivered in spades, the other I felt was hit and miss, and made me persevere to get through the to end of the album. Little Fictions is an effortless listen, with variety yet the consistent tones of front-man Guy Garvey holding it all together perfectly.
4. Thievery Corporation – The Temple of I & I
The Richest Man in Babylon is one of my all time favourite albums, and Thievery Corporation have had a LOT of airtime over the years, but the last couple of albums I’ve found them slightly stale. The Temple of I & I has strong and familiar roots/downbeat sounds, but it feels fresh at the same time. A stunning comeback to their best.
3. Bonobo – Migration
I’ve always heard the name Bonobo and known a few of their tracks, but 2017 was the year that Bonobo happened if you will. Migration is a fantastic electronic album, and Break Apart would be up there for track of the year for me.
2. The War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding
After taking my top album in 2014, the follow up had some big shoes to fill, and fill them shoes it did. A Deeper Understanding from start to finish does everything right, healthy doses of reverb, decay and perfectly placed distortion. It might feel like this albums a little more polished and grown up, but that is perfectly fine with me
1. Julie Byrne – Not Even Happiness
A stunning voice and a recording to match. Turn down the lights, pour another glass and let the crazy world fade away…