Features

The best indie, rock and pop albums of 2017

2017 is coming to an end and so it’s time to round up all the album releases and decide which ones truly were the best. Our writing team has kindly put together their top lists for the year across the indie, rock and pop genres— do you agree with them?

Madison Convey

1. Superfood – Bambino
2.
Harry Styles – Harry Styles
3. The Cribs – 24-7 Rockstar Shit
4. Trampolene – Swansea to Hornsey
5. The Amazons – The Amazons

“Superfood are truly one of my favorite bands. The amount they’ve achieved this year would make even the most accomplished of artists feel envy, and Bambino is the pinnacle of all that. It was their way of showing the world that they were evolving without changing anything that could possibly alienate their older fans. Newly signed to Dirty Hit, they’ve been welcomed warmly by fans of label-mates The 1975 and Wolf Alice and this fantastic record surely helped the process along. Defying the construct of traditional genre, Bambino presents a whole range of influences from reggae to dance to pop, while retaining the indie foundations that Superfood fans have come to know and love.”

Favourite track: ‘Where’s The Bass Amp?’

Phoebe De Angelis

1. Lana Del Rey – Lust For Life
2.
Liam Gallagher – As You Were
3.
Yonaka – Heavy EP
4. The Amazons – The Amazons
5. Stereo Honey – Monuments EP

“Albeit an assortment of subgenres these albums and EPs have all shaped music for me this year. Stereo Honey and Yonaka are the up and coming music of the future, definitely bands to look out for in 2018 with their unique and exciting sounds. Yonaka have provided some of the best vocals of the year, not only complimenting their sound but making it more intense and powerful, it’s very rare to see a band who are masters both instrumentally and vocally; but yet that’s Yonaka. They are also one of the best live bands I’ve seen this year with their flawlessly energetic sets. There’s no denying that The Amazons are the new it band and rightly so, after having created a record which is consistent from start to finish with no dud songs or fillers they have earned their place as everyone’s favourite band. And as for Liam Gallagher’s As You Were there’s no explanation required really, it exceeded the already high expectations while also embodying just what 2017 needed in musical format, I don’t think anyone else would of been able to deliver that other than Liam Gallagher himself.

Finally, and most importantly, Lana Del Rey. This may seem like the odd one out amongst the list due to the mainstream popularisation of her brand, nonetheless there’s no rebuking the artistry this album exudes. There’s always quite a bit of uneasiness and skepticism surrounding the unpredictability of a third album and for this to be her fourth and still confidently surpassing the taboo she must be commended. Lyrically standing head and shoulders above the rest she manages to churn out poetic masterpieces one after the next, likening her to the musical Stephen King. This album, however, is a far more coherent journey, we are taken with Lana from ‘out of the black into the blue’ moving from her trademark gloominess to a glamorously hippie wonderland, accomplished in the Stevie Nicks duet ‘Beautiful People Beautiful Problems’.”

Jesse Coakley

1. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Murder of the Universe
2.
Jesus and Mary Chain – Damage and Joy
3. Queens of the Stone Age – Villains
4. Kurt Vile & Courtney Barnett – Lotta Sea Lice
5. LCD Soundsystem – American Dream

“Australian psych band King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard announced at the beginning of the year that they were going to release a whopping five albums in 2017. With four out of five of the albums now released, I had a tough time choosing which one was my favourite. I eventually decided the winner had to be Murder of the Universe. I like this album so much because Gizzard have really let their wide range of influences shine through. Whilst staying true to their quirky garage-psych sound, there are some clear heavier elements in songs such as ‘Lord of the Lightning’ and ‘Murder of the Universe’ that bring a darker feel to their sound. A thing for me that stands out about King Gizz is the relentless rhythm section throughout each song that is so tight you wouldn’t believe they had two drummers. The album takes you to a completely new world and is so much further out than anything else around.”

Favourite track: ‘Altered Beast I’

Alex Whitmore

1. Loyle Carner – Yesterday’s Gone
2.
Superfood – Bambino
3. Trampolene – Swansea to Hornsey
4. Father John Misty – Pure Comedy
5. Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile – Lotta Sea Lice

“Released in January, Loyle Carner’s debut album Yesterday’s Gone truly stated his arrival onto the music scene. Loved by fans and critics alike, Carner’s debut album is a story of his life and growing up in South London. Featuring a poem written and performed by his mum and a hidden track by his dad which Carner found after his father’s passing it is clear that to this South London rapper, family is of utmost importance and his songs have a homely feeling. Vinyl crackles and little conversations between tracks with his mum and friends litter the album and only serve to add to the familiar feeling created by the laid-back production and vocal delivery. Yesterday’s Gone has the air of an incredibly laid back and relaxed album whilst still being incredibly balanced and changing energy at just the right time. You would do well to find another debut so mature and full of so many well-written tracks.”

Favourite track: ‘No CD’

Tom Clarke

1. Slaughter To Prevail – Misery Sermon
2.
Lil Pump – Lil Pump
3. Infant Annihilator – The Elysian Grandeval Galèriarch
4. Enterprise Earth – Embodiment
5. xxxTentacion – 17

“This is my favourite album of 2017 because it’s pure deathcore annihilation from start to finish. With brutal vocals from lead singer Alex Shikolai and amazing instrumental pieces from the rest of the band, you know this is going to hit hard from it’s self titled opening track. This album doesn’t fail to hit the bar that has already been set high by similar bands on their label, Sumerian Records, and go on further to show that they really are here to conquer. I’ve personally loved this band from the very begining and it’s amazing to see what a powerhouse they have become over the last year. I gave this my number one spot, due to the fact it’s just straight up brutal, heavy deathcore that’s fast paced enuough to motivate you through your day to day regiment. I would highly recommend a listen if you want to shred a massive gym session.”

Favourite track: ‘Russian Hate’

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