Apr 17

2017 Albums I Like Part 1

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hot thoughts Thanks to the Unheard Album Project (March mix on its way!) I am finally in a position where I can ACTUALLY DO a list of the records I’ve enjoyed most in “Q1”. (Note that at no point in my career as a ‘music journalist’ did I listen to enough new music for this to be possible!)

All of these need further listening to ‘settle down’ into a coherent list but here’s what I’ve dug this far.

1. SPOON – Hot Thoughts (Indie rock vets in lascivious mood)
2. T Q D – UKG (“Bass supergroup” brings the wub wub)
3. SACRED PAWS – Strike A Match (Sunny highlife-inflected indiepop)
4. IBIBIO SOUND MACHINE – Uyai (Afrobeats old and new plus lazer noises)
5. GOLDLINK – At What Cost (Catchy go-go influenced DC hip-hop)
6. SERGE BEYNAUD – Accelerate (Tuneful coupe-decale from Cote D’Ivoire)
7. VALERIE JUNE – The Order Of Time (Oak-aged Americana with cawing vocals)
8. CHARLI XCX – Number 1 Angel (Hyperreal pop plus surprisingly good guest spots)
9. KEHLANI – SweetSexySavage (Slinky, opulent R&B)
10. DUTCH UNCLES – Big Balloon (Herky-jerk nerd pop from Manchester)

11. BLANCK MASS – World Eater (Bludgeoning Fuck Buttons side project)
12. VISIBLE CLOAKS – Reassemblage (Don’t call it vaporwave! PS it’s vaporwave I think.)
13. NOVELLER – A Pink Sunset For No One (Sternly beautiful guitar ‘scapes’)
14. WILEY – Godfather (Wiley gives consistency a try for once)
15. STEF CHURA – Messes (World-weary indiepop with beguiling vocals)
16. LITKU KLEMETTI – Juna Kainnuuseen (Joyful Finnish garage pop)
17. STORMZY – Gang Signs And Prayer (Most accurate LP title on the list)
18. HURRAY FOR THE RIFF RAFF – The Navigator (Politics! Americana dept.)
19. AUSTRA – Future Politics (Politics! Synthpop dept.)
20. MICK HARVEY – Intoxicated Women (Gainsbourg covers with plenty of female guest vocals)
21. SYD – Fin (Moody, spartan R&B)
22. THUNDERCAT – Drunk (Brief vignettes by funky bass virtuoso)


  1. 1
    Tom on 3 Apr 2017 #

    Bah I forgot one – Kelly Lee Owens s/t – electronic/dreampop which would slot in somewhere in the mid-teens on my list…

  2. 2
    Matt DC on 4 Apr 2017 #

    Wow this Sacred Paws record is great!

  3. 3
    Garry on 5 Apr 2017 #

    New Serge Benyaud – must check it out. Since PWC2014 I’ve periodically dipped back into Ivorian music to see what’s happening. It’s seemed coupe decale has been splintering and tangling into other pop forms but it’s been a good year since I’ve had a listen.

  4. 4
    flahr on 5 Apr 2017 #

    The Kelly Lee Owens is rather lovely and special, although some of the edge has been taken off by noticing that one of her earlier EPs does exactly the same ‘here are some photos of my face at different angles superimposed’ thing for its cover as James Blake and Rae Morris did.

    (Which all ultimately of course derive from that episode of Stargate SG-1 where Sam Carter undergoes entropic cascade failure.)

  5. 5
    James BC on 24 Apr 2017 #

    Number 1 Angel is the one for me. It’s great to have Charli back somewhere that’s at least on the same planet as True Romance.

  6. 6
    Homeia on 28 Apr 2017 #

    the record is great..keep hard working on that!

  7. 7
    cryptopian on 28 Apr 2017 #

    Good stuff! Of the ones you’ve introduced me to, I’ve had a lot of time for MUNA (big roomy synthpop is my flavour of the year) and Spoon. Elsewhere, I’d recommend Process by Sampha (R&B; if only for “Like the Piano”) and Volcano by Temples (like Tame Impala, packed with great hooks and melodies)

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