As 2017 slowly comes to a close and autumn creeps in so do the gripping BBC dramas and cinematic season and it's easy for music to take bronze in the running. From Loyle Carner’s confessional UK Hip-hop to LCD Soundsystem's gratifying embodiment of electro-rock, 2017 has certainly been a magical year for music so far, with more excitement to come. Lets take a look at some of the music that I’ve considered worth celebrating for 2017 and what I’m eagerly anticipating in the closing months of the year.
Bonobo ‘Migration’ January 13th 2017
‘Migration’, Bonobo's sixth and powerful album reaffirms his status as an acclaimed electronic musician and producer. Drawing inspiration from his very surroundings while touring over the world, Bonobo meanders through every song creating a sense of unity throughout, one whole song rather than a dozen separate ones and successfully capturing the essence of his life environment and new landscapes.
Loyle Carner ‘Yesterday’s Gone’ January 20th 2017
Redefining the UK Hip-hop scene is its very own 22 year old, Loyle Carner. His sentimental wordplay rawly reveals deep emotions resembling that of a diary, tackling personal issues such as family, loss and friendship with a strong emphasis on his love for his mother. With his use of jazzy backdrops and beats, placement of rhythm and wording, each song is a well rounded thought provoking master piece, bringing you to his level, even if you can't initially relate.
Sampha ‘Process’ February 3rd 2017
South London soul singer Sampha is most widely known for his guest vocals and collaboration on records by artists such as SBTRKT and Beyoncé . This year saw his own debut ‘Process’ earn him the Mercury Prize, beating chart running artists such as Ed Sheerhan and putting authentic and independent music at the forefront of the media which exposes his most intimate experiences with death and grief.
Stormzy ‘Gang Signs and Prayer’ February 24th 2017
Stormzy’s ‘Gang signs & Prayer’ was a highly anticipated album of the year dealing with the duality and normality of crime which Stromzy and many young black men in Britain have to juggle in the their lives. Stormzy has established himself as the God of Grime, a voice for UK Youth, and a raging force not to be reckoned with.
Laura Marling ‘Semper Femina’ March 10th 2017
Worlds away from Stormzy’s booming basslines is English rose Laura Marling and her sixth studio album ‘Semper Femina’ which translates to “a woman is an ever fickle and changeable thing”. The album constitutes a collection of musical musings of friendships, femininity and flaws of women’s relationships and teams with musicality moving further away from her humble folk beginnings and boasting a full band with a collaboration from guitarist Blake Mills.
Gorillaz ‘Humanz’ April 28th 2017
After a six year long silence, Gorillaz make a politically charged come back with their fifth album ‘Humanz’. The album draws on themes of a dystopian world after a globe changing event, openly referred to as a reaction to Donald Trump's winning of the Presidential election. The LP exploits the limits of and experiments with the production bringing a dark and twisted impression, similar to that of Donald Trump himself.
Mac DeMarco ‘This Old Dog’ May 5th 2017
Mac DeMarco’s latest album ‘This Old Dog’ is the product of musical evolution, moving away from his jangling guitars and easy going vibes is a Mac all grown up, balancing the right amount of serious themes with his slacker tongue and cheek. Mac himself has said this is the first time he’s truly sat on his songs before releasing them, a notion that is noticeable in his self instrumented and produced album, with each textural layer reflecting that depth and thought.
Lorde ‘Melodrama’ June 16th 2017
Lorde gained incredible commercial success with her debut in 2013 and her hit ‘Royals’, with recognition from David Bowie himself calling her ‘the future of music’. It is hard to believe that this year has seen only her second studio album ‘Melodrama’, and after a 4 year wait, it seems definitely worth it. This masterful pop LP addresses what it is like to be a young woman with themes of heartbreak, solitude and loneliness, making it a highly relatable and empowering piece of work.
HAIM ‘Something To Tell You’ July 7th 2017
HAIM kick started summer this year with their second album ‘Something To Tell You’, saturated with catchy hook lines and 80’s grooves – a collection of feel good summer time anthems. It is no surprise that HAIM would bring a refreshing revival of sounds of retro inspiration and just in time for the festival season too.
The War on Drugs ‘A Deeper Understanding’ August 25th 2017
The War on Drugs' latest album ‘A Deeper Understanding’ was a long awaited release which gained universal and critical attention. With the success of three albums and 2 EP’s preceding it, it’s no surprise they earnt credit where due, especially with their acute capability to mark their sound defining stamp but whilst forever staying fresh and progressive. The dreamy virtuosic guitar latticed songs confront themes of melancholic pain, love and lonliness.
LCD Soundsystem ‘american dream’ September 1st 2017
Reunited following a hiatus lasting nearly five years is LCD Soundsystem with their fourth studio album ‘american dream’ to mark their bang of a comeback and gift to their loyal fans. Lead singer, James Murphy, channels adult themes of depression, social issues and endings of relationships. Whilst no music had been released since 2010 and their break saw them leave the music circuit in 2011 the album has received critical acclaim with a full embodiment of 2017 that makes them a timeless yet timely chameleon of a group.