No matter how many music albums one managed to listen to in a year, there’s always more albums waiting to be discovered. Some of these are to be discovered next year, with a special message saying you will regret not listening to me a year ago. In this case, however, there will be no digging out. It is s a list of 2017 ten best international albums. It was very hard to choose only ten. For starters, here are seven albums that did not make it to the final list, but they are worth mentioning or are just exceptionally enjoyable.
Queens of the Stone Age – Villains
The most danceable record the band ever made. The songs are surprisingly buoyant and melodic. They managed to combined that with their characteristic sound.
Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile – Lotta Sea Lice
The duet covers their own solo songs, interprets songs of their close friends (the amazing Fear is Like a Forest – Jen Cloher’s cover), and plays songs written especially for the album. Maybe it is not the best album, but definitely one of the most enjoyable recordings of 2017.
Pale Seas – Stargazing For Beginners
Young Southampton’s band Debut LP. Dream pop and shoegazing guitars. Influences of The Jesus And Mary Chain, and sometimes even Cocteau Twins, are easy to pick up. Surprisingly light songs and great vocals by Jacob Scott.
Baby in Vain – More Nothing
First album by all-girl trio from Copenhagen. Raw energy, stoner guitars harp like knives and vocals sometimes opening out into a scream. Remarkably mature record for a debut.
Molly Nilsson – Imaginations
In the sound of synthesizers and vocals of Molly Nilsson one can hear joy and melancholy entwined. The texts on Imaginations are mostly about social issues, loneliness and passing-by. Together with the sound, they create a special climate.
The Flaming Lips – Oczy Mlody
This band sounds weirder and weirder with every record. And Oczy Mlody is no exception. It has a groove. Everything sounds fantastic when it comes to sound, with bass and electronics. If only texts were more clear. It all sounds like a soundtrack to a narcotic trip.
Benjamin Clementine – I Tell A Fly
On Clementine’s second album, a metaphorical tale of two flies and their journey, the musician The mature and incredibely well composed songs sound elegantly and finely. Because of the style, one needs to listen to the album more than just once, in order to fully appreciate its artistry.
10. Maria Arnal i Marcel Bagés – 45 Cerebros y 1 Corazón
Soft, pure vocals accompanied by electric guitar create an exceptional, almost magical climate. Maria Arnal sings both in Catalan and Spanish. Her voice is soothing, but can be powerful at the same time. And what would it be without that beautiful guitar noise. It all ends too quickly.
9. Perfume Genius – No Shape
Beautiful songs arrangements and gripping vocals. Perfume Genius is at his best with wonderful Wreath i Slip Away. Sensitivity takes over one’s soul through these art pop songs. Still better than most of the 2017 songs, the second part of the record throws a bit off stride by being quieter and more atmospheric. It creates a special, contemplative climate, though.
8. LCD Soundsystem – American Dream
The freshness of American Dream transfers you to a land of dream and wildest imaginations. James Murphy’s project came back after a few-years break with heads full of prime ideas: that is how this wonder was born. Long, electronic songs weighed against experimental songs where an electric guitar rules over everything. It’s all here: the essence of LCD Soundsystem.
7. Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.
It’s a comeback to more automated, yet amazing, beats. Often ambiguous lyrics put forward social issues regarding African-American culture. Lamar fight’s his corner as one of the best representative for conscious hip-hop.
6. Ulrika Spacek – Modern English Decoration
Be careful, the album is addictive! Ulrika Spacek very adroitly mixes guitar alternative with the purest form of krautrock. Modern English Decoration is slightly less raw as their first record, but it only proves the band resisted the second album syndrome – the fantastic and powerful guitars and consistency of the whole album speaks of their talent.
5. Slowdive – Slowdive
If one is to take a feather duster and dust Pygmallion off of all the(beautiful but unnecessary) ambient elements , leaving the pure shoegaze power, one could get an agency to this album. Beautiful shoegaze. Thrill to it!
4. Dos Floris – The Widowed Earth
The album takes hold of one’s soul and speaks to it, telling beautiful stories through both music and lyrics. What is astonishing that it sounds so energetic, yet one can feel the growing melancholy somewhere, breaking through. All of the emotional and purifying songs leave you with a feeling of comfort and going to something really beyond perception. What a marvelous debut!
3. Brand New – Science Fiction
Brand New are exceptionally good at turning emotions into music. They are bubbling away in the often poignant, bitter and personal lyrics. Rage, frustration, depression, dissapointment, sadness and tiredom – it’s all there. As to the arrangements, the band created powerful, yet somehow climatic, guitar songs (besides electric guitar, one can hear the acoustic guitar in many songs). These songs are not to be forgotten easily.
2. Mount Eerie – A Crow Looked At Me
A Crow Looked at Me is probably one of the most personal and sad albums recorded in recent years. There, Phil Elverum tells a story of his wife (who died of pancreatic cancer), their relationship that lasted for 13 years and their only daughter. Eleven simple songs arranged on acoustic guitar contain so much emotions that it’s hard not to shed a tear or two. It moves to the core, crushing hearts and souls into little pieces.
1. Dot Hacker – Nº3
Dot Hacker’s third album is full of phenomenal compositions. Such incredible sounds that they create seem to come from another dimension. They resonate through the soul and sensitivity. Alternative and experimental rock with electronic insets and keyboard parts, plus wonderful and extraordinary voice of the vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Josh Klinghoffer – it all makes the album a pleasure to one’s ears, no matter what time and place it is.