Capacity – Big Thief: A starkly somber and humanizing reminder of the feckless struggle between yin and yang, man and woman, child and adult, and body and society. And without the slightest sense of regret in self loathing or pity, Big Thief’s Adrianne… Read more.
Little Fictions – Elbow: As the release that separates itself from the pack of brewing angst and lost loves, Elbow’s release in Little Fictions makes ground on the integrity it’s predecessors sought. A concoction of intertwining rhythms, melodies, and moving instrumentals, Little Fictions displays… Read more.
Woodstock – Portugal. The Man: Carved out with years of dedication and keen-eyed teamwork (and a hell of production lineup to boot), Portugal. The Man’s 2017 release, Woodstock is one to be reckoned with as a powerhouse release and catalog standout. With flavors spanning from hip-hop and pop to wheelhouse PTM, it certainly kicks it up… Read more.
Death Song – The Black Angels: For a group of demonic missionaries (after all, their name is the The Black Angels), they sure know how to conjure the inner-psychedelic savage out of every listener. Eerie and haunting while shaking the bad juju off from a… Read more.
American Dream – LCD Soundsystem: The release that brought the band back. There’s something so tantalizingly romantic about the narrative that enshrouds the rise and fall and rise again of LCD Soundsystem. In limelight, there’s something about solely the rise and fall that debilitates the psyche into a weird Shakespearian-like… Read more.
Run The Jewels 3 – Run The Jewels: The baddest duo in hip-hop know a thing or two about the inner workings of the world, both artistically and socially. They don’t mess with things that don’t need to be messed with, they don’t speak when things don’t need to be spoken, and they only shine a light when a light needs… Read more.
Flying Microtonal Banana & others – King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: To say the least, 2017 was a big year for King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, if not the year. Yes, it’s an understated question: how did they do it? Take the sheer nature of the band as the indicator. Imagine a seven-headed psychedelic Australian devil borne out of Jim Morrison’s peyote desert trip… Read more.
Elwan – Tinariwen: Home is truly in the heart of Tinariwen. Even after exile, through struggle and strife, and after a few close brushes with tragedy, Tinariwen continuously defies their shortcomings through community in music. They walk the walk, chant the chants, and create some of the deepest and most dynamic sounds originating from the sand dunes… Read more.
Semper Femina – Laura Marling: As one of the great contemporary acoustic artists to come out of the United Kingdom, Laura Marling’s release in Semper Femina focuses her efforts of a career dedicated to the genre of worldly folk. In theory, it seems difficult to refine a craft release after release, but Laura Marling’s effortless ability to stay true… Read more.
Pleasure – Feist: Leslie Feist doesn’t owe the world a thing. Starting out as the female vocalist in the Canadian troupe, Broken Social Scene, launching a solo career captivated by the album The Reminder and pairing singles, “1234” and “I Feel It All”, and then morphing into something else entirely, it’s fair to say she’s paid some dues and been around the block once… Read more.
City Music – Kevin Morby: With a hint of bottle-up punk-like angst, folk-esque acoustics, and hand-clapping soul, Kevin Morby’s 2017 release City Music is as classic indie rock as classic indie rock can get. Soaking up the experiences of past ventures from the NYC psychedelic-folk outfit Woods and more indie-centric efforts… Read more.
Masseduction – St. Vincent: An orchestra of electro-pop synths and hip hop beats, guitar slaying, domination, and sentiment. If Annie Clark didn’t before, she definitely owns you now. Economically, emotionally, socially, sexually, and even a tad bit affectionately, Annie Clark is just on a different wave length… Read more.
DAMN – Kendrick Lamar: After 2015’s release of To Pimp a Butterfly, you may have asked yourself ‘Why would Kendrick Lamar need to release anything ever again?’, ‘Can anything be this good?’ or ‘Why even try?’ And the resounding answer is ‘Yes, here’s Damn.’ It goes without saying that Kendrick Lamar didn’t owe… Read more.
Colors – Beck: Creating a masterpiece doesn’t happen overnight, over the course of a few months or weeks, or even through years of trial and toil. A full-fledged masterpiece, tried and true and withstanding the test of time is a feat that most artists dream of, but bouncing from masterpiece to masterpiece is… Read more.
Visions of a Life – Wolf Alice: Dark and demonic, spacey and airy, and poppy and carefree, Wolf Alice’s follow up to 2015’s My Love Is Cool tests the boundaries that were considered anything and everything under the sun. The only difference is on 2017’s Visions of a Life, the band includes just about everything under the sun a traditional indie alternative rock can throw a… Read more.
Relaxer – alt-J: Isn’t it tragically mundane to approach art with the same emotions and outlook time and time again? This piece fits here, put that there, and screw the lid on tight as if art is an assembly line pumping out nostalgic, bite-size… Read more.
Painted Ruins – Grizzly Bear: Time changes, nifty chord progressions, and key changes are all fancy bells and whistles that play nicely in theory, but seamlessly putting them onto an album is the not-so-easy part. What Grizzly Bear achieves on their… Read more.
Everything Now – Arcade Fire: Oh the peculiarity in stature, aura, and idiosyncrasy. Is it a paradox? Or is it the tantalizing mystique that sets it aside from the majority of releases to hit the streets in 2017? Why would one of the greatest indie acts of the past decade release such an enigmatic record… Read more.
As You Were – Liam Gallagher: Brotherly love comes in all different shapes and sizes, colors and shades, and fluid moods and attitudes. Some flourish through decades of art making and collaboration and others flutter at the slightest glimmer of bond. Where tension meets animosity for reasons both ill and valid, creativity… Read more.
Carry Fire – Robert Plant: At 69, most music legends are either rousing around the house, perusing through the remnants of fame since past, hitting repeat on stage like a broken nostalgic record, or languishing from a worse fate than the preceding. And yet at 69, some relish in the instinct of looking forward rather… Read more.
A Deeper Understanding – The War On Drugs: As their fourth full-length release and follow up to 2014’s monumental Lost in the Dream, the Philadelphia outfit takes another step further along the path that is characteristically “The War On Drugs” with A Deeper Understanding. Meticulously crafted with a magnifying glass… Read more.
Sleep Well Beast – The National: One of the more subtle and obscure aspects of really good acts is sustain in longevity. Some acts can tour for decades on end, some can pump out hits like an assembly line, and others can ride the wave of past successes with brief hints of quality and resonance. But the brotherly… Read more.
Villains – Queens of the Stone Age: Back in the saddle again after their monumental and roaring comeback release …Like Clockwork, Queens of the Stone Age return with a through and through well-done and meticulously crafted release in Villains. As their third release in ten years, Villains stands to attest… Read more.
Half-Light – Rostam: Generally speaking, genre lines are hints and nodes of flavors that mix well with some and not so much with others. Transcending the lines history defines as dogmatic is certainly ambitious, but Rostam’s release in Half-Light surpasses ambition for a natural medium of instinct… Read more.
Lotta Sea Lice – Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile: Courtney Barnett brings the melodramatic kink and nonchalant quirk, Kurt Vile lays the twirling twang and wispy guitar, and together combines the trans-continental power-duo you always wanted, but never thought possible. Almost as if they were meant to be siblings glued… Read more.
Harmony of Difference – Kamasi Washington: If you’re not a jazz fan, are under the impression that you flat-out don’t like jazz, or have never listened to jazz out of sheer association, consider Kamasi Washington square one. With an insiders perspective looking out, Kamasi knows a thing or two at a ripe young age, and his most… Read more.
Honest Life – Courtney Marie Andrews
Crack-Up – Fleet Foxes
Salutations – Connor Oberst
All American Made – Margo Price
Aromanticism – Moses Sumney
Soul of a Woman – Sharon Jones
Face Your Fear – Curtis Harding
ken – Destroyer
Losing – Bully
The OOZ – King Krule
If All I Was Was Black – Mavis Staples
Communicating – Hundred Waters
Deer Tick Vol. 1 &2 – Deer Tick
Bedouine – Bedouine
A Moment Apart – ODESZA
The Navigator – Hurray for the Riff Raff
No Shape – Perfume Genius
Flower Boy – Tyler the Creator
Pure Comedy – Father John Misty
I See You – The xx
New Energy – Four Tet
How Did We Get So Dark – Royal Blood
Big Fish Theory – Vince Staples
Melodrama – Lorde
Hot Thoughts – Spoon
Drunk – Thundercat
This Old Dog – Mac Demarco
Prisoner – Ryan Adams
Lust for Life – Lana Del Rey
Humanz – Gorillaz
The Far Field – Future Islands
MILANO – Daniele Luppi & Parquet Courts
Tribute To & Tribute to 2 – Jim James
This Is the Kit – Moonshine Freeze
Migration – Bonobo
In Mind – Real Estate
Love Is Love – Woods
Orc – Oh Sees
Volcano – Temples
The Witch – Pumarosa
Slowdive – Slowdive
Cigarettes After Sex – Cigarettes After Sex
B-Sides and Rarities – Beach House
The Nashville Sound – Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
Hang – Foxygen
Nothing Feels Natural – Priests
Process – Sampha
Turn Out the Lights – Julien Baker
4:44 – Jay-Z
Okovi – Zola Jesus
Hug of Thunder – Broken Social Scene
Culture – Migos
Rest – Charlotte Gainsbourg
Take Me Apart – Kelela
Plunge – Fever Ray
Targ – Bargou 08
Flat Worms – Flat Worms
The Order of Time – Valerie June
What Now – Sylvan Esso
Famous Last Words – The True Loves
Waiting on a Song – Dan Auerbach
Black Origami – Jlin
Stranger in the Alps – Phoebe Bridgers
Ctrl – Sza
Out in the Storm – Waxahatchee
V – The Horrors
Antisocialites – Alvvays
Caldera – Polyrhythmics
Fake Sugar – Beth Ditto
Life & Livin’ It – Sinkane
UNDIVIDED HEART & SOUL – JD McPherson
Last Place – Grandaddy
Mister Mellow – Washed Out
Infinite Worlds – Vagabon