The year may have changed, but the fact that I am a procrastinator still hasn’t. I meant to post this about a week ago, but better late than never! Below are my ramblings and nonsensical thoughts about the albums I loved in 2017, as well as a playlist of some of the songs I couldn’t get out my head at one point or another.
SZA – Ctrl
If I had to pick one, this would probably be the album I listed as my favourite of the year. Possibly tied with Lorde. I love her voice, I love her songs, I love what she sings about, I love this album. I am so happy I was recommended to check this out.
Favourite tracks: Supermodel, Drew Barrymore
Lorde – Melodrama
I may have had to listen through this twice to really start loving it, but it quickly became my most listened to album of the year. I love the sound of it, the lyrical content, everything. Lorde is an excellent song writer and has an exceptional ability to capture a mood and a feeling.
Favourite tracks: The Louvre, Homemade Dynamite (especially the remix)
Vince Staples – Big Fish Theory
This is also one of my most listened to albums of 2017. I was only tangentially aware of him before Big Fish Theory was released, mostly from talk on tumblr. I really enjoyed his feature on the Gorillaz album this year, too, and this album has been a frequent backing track to my working hours.
Favourite tracks: BagBak, Love Can Be…, Party People
Harry Styles – Harry Styles
I had been looking forward to this album since long before it was even announced, way back when his solo career was a very debated possibility, and I am really happy with what he released. I appreciate it most for how it – for better or worse – feels like an expression of what Harry himself wanted to make rather than what was expected of him. My favourite thing about this album is the way it experiments with various sound effects and production.
Favourite tracks: From the Dining Table, Sign of the Times, Sweet Creature
Tyler, The Creator – Flower Boy
Tyler is another artist who I’ve primarily listened to this year. I really enjoy this album sonically, but I haven’t spent time delving into the lyrical content the way I normally would. I hope to be able to take the time to do that at some point this year.
Favourite tracks: See You Again, I Ain’t Got Time
Mansionz – Mansionz
I don’t even know how I first heard about this, but I’ve been listening to it on and off since it came out, particular this last month. The lyrics are a good mix of on the nose funny and actually quite touching. Gorgeous carries some really intense associations that I can’t even explain, and has been stuck in my head more often than not.
Favourite tracks: Gorgeous, My Beloved, Wicked
MUNA – About U
I admittedly only heard about MUNA because they opened for Harry Styles, but in the months leading up to seeing him (and them) play in October I probably listened to this album more. I love their sound, their lyrics, the fact that they’re queer and write songs that are both about and informed by that. And they put on a really good show.
Favourite tracks: Everything, Crying on the Bathroom Floor, I Know a Place
PVRIS – All We Know Is Heaven, All We Need Is Hell
I loved this album, but ironically my most listened to PVRIS song of the year isn’t even from this album (it’s a cover of a Tegan and Sara song, see playlist below). But this album truly holds up and has been great to listen to.
Favourite tracks: Winter, What’s Wrong
The XX – I See You
This is an album I haven’t listened to as much in recent months, but it was perfect in early 2017. It’s perfect for whenever I’m feeling a bit melancholic and want to just get wrapped up in that mood. I still love On Hold, even if it did feel like it was a bit overplayed on radio for a while.
Favourite tracks: On Hold, Performance, Replica
Charli XCX – Number 1 Angel
One of my friends has loved Charli for ages and has tried to get me on the bandwagon, but for some reason I’ve been hesitant. I (like everyone else) listened to Boom Clap when it was a huge hit, then got super tired of it, which is probably why it took me a while to give her other music a listen. I actually prefer her newer, more experimental pop more than her old stuff. I haven’t had time to properly listen to Pop 2 yet, but Number 1 Angel was a real treat earlier this year.
Favourite tracks: 3AM (Pull Up), Roll With Me, ILY2
For convenience I’ve made a playlist with a selection of songs from the albums mentioned above, as well as a number of other songs I’ve really enjoyed this last year. The songs are listed in no particular order (like anything I ever do), and probably a bit all over the place in terms of genre and sound, but that’s pretty representative of how I enjoy music most of the time, I suppose. I also cheated and put music that didn’t actually come out in 2017 but which heavily featured in my personal playlists at the bottom. Please enjoy and feel free to let me know about music I should check out in the future!