A Music Roundup You Never Asked For by Blugold Radio’s Digital Marketing Analyst
The year-end list-making urge is a powerful one I have succumb to. It is a way to organize what we have been feeding our ears over the past year as well as an opportunity to pick up on tunes we may have overlooked.
Here are my subjective thoughts you never asked for on some 2017 albums I categorized into niche genres.
LCD Soundsystem – american dream
Genre-agnostic and dance-friendly as always.
A well worth five-track journey through the late ‘70s and early ‘80s to the sweet hard-hitting midpoint.
Essential Tracks: “ how do you sleep?” , “tonite?” , and “call the police”
Beach Fossils – Somersault
A compelling and immersive addition to their summer soundscape catalog.
I am deeply moved by this new Beach Fossils album. Their sound is so confident and atmospheric.
Essential Tracks: “Tangerine” , “May 1st” , and “This Year”
Alvvays – Antisocialites
Catchy melodies keep the album lively and colorful throughout without overfilling or over saturating its sound.
The perfect formula for a near perfect pop album.
Essential Tracks: “Dreams Tonite” , “In Undertow” , and “Not My Baby”
Sylvan Esso – What Now
A festival and live-show ready hybrid of electric sounds and folk sensibilities.
Aren’t you dying to call it folktronica?
Essential Tracks: “Die Young” , “Radio” , “Kick Jump Twist” , and “Just Dancing”
Fleet Foxes – Crack Up
The payoff for your patience and attention is substantial.
An F. Scott Fitzgerald inspired album that is hypnotically rhythmic like never before.
Essential Tracks, “Kept Woman” , “Third Of May / Ōdaigahara” , and “If You Need To, Keep Time On Me”
GIRLPOOL – Powerplant
All artists observe to some degree, but the genius of Tividad and Tucker makes watching itself the art form.
Girlpool once defined their punk as maximum vulnerability, and it seems the band define their new energy and edge by what they won’t do.
Essential Tracks: “123” , “Kiss and Burn” , and “It Gets More Blue”
The War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding
Both claustrophobic and breathtakingly expansive, A Deeper Understanding breathes new life into their familiar sound. This bright, bold album leaves just enough room for the listener.
Essential Tracks: “Up All Night” , “Holding On” , and “In Chains”
King Krule – The OOZ
Essential Tracks: “Dum Surfer” , “Logos” , and “Biscuit Town”
ALTERNATIVE HIP HOP
Tyler, The Creator – Flower Boy
On Flower Boy, Tyler ditches his shock jock persona and dark, aggressive sound, instead opting for mellow, sun-soaked beats and lyrics that probe emotional complexities. Casual openness about his sexuality breathes out like a sigh of relief on the album. The features are well chosen and the production is notably cohesive.
Essential Tracks: “See You Again” , “I Ain’t Got Time!” , and “Glitter”
EXPERIMENTAL HIP HOP
BROCKHAMPTON – Saturation I, II, & III
THE WORLD’S GREATEST BOY BAND.
This L.A.-based collective comprises rappers, producers, singers, directors, designers, and creators to form what they call an “All American Boy Band.”
Give all three of their albums they released this year a listen. Don’t sleep on ’em!
Essential Tracks: “STAR” , “SWEET” , AND “STAINS”
SZA – Ctrl
This slow-simmering album practically sounds out her thoughts. She establishes a clear respect for the craft of delivery.
Essential Tracks: “Love Galore” , “Doves in the Wind” , “Go Gina” , and “Wavy”
Thundercat – Drunk
Drunk is an intoxicating mix of jazz, R&B, electronic, 80s soft-rock, and a fun personality that is just trying to live life!
It’s an eccentric, surreal and oddly hypnotic listen.
Essential Tracks: “A Fan’s Mai (Tron Song Suite II)” , “Tokyo” , “Friend Zone” , and “Them Changes”
Toro y Moi – Boo Boo
Toro Y Moi has managed to twist his sound into whole new shapes without ever entirely losing that amber chillwave hue.
It’s melodically less rich, but yet just as stylistically coherent as his previous offerings. Given that it was born out of an identity crisis, is a continued testament to its creator.
Essential Tracks: “No Show” , “Windows” , “Girl Like You” , and “You and I”
Bonobo – Migration
A migration from one soundscape to the next, Bonobo sticks to his original style while adding different hues and colors.
Essential Tracks: “Outlier” , “Bambro Koyo Ganda” , “Kerala” , and “Ontario”
Bicep – Bicep
A dance floor bomb with its cosmic synths and crunchy break beats.
Essential Tracks: “Ayaya” , “Spring” , “Rain” , and “Aura”