This is a snapshot of what my favorite albums of 2017 are on June 19th. I don’t have a far and away 1st place finisher at this point in the year yet, but I do feel pretty confident in my Top 10. Right now, the undeniable juggernaut Kendrick is at the top, but I can see that potentially falling as the year progresses. Out of the records on here, I can see Aldous Harding or Chino Amobi topping the list at the end of the year if my favor for Kendrick wilts. There are also many albums I haven’t listened to yet that might blast their way to the top, aside from everything else coming later this year. Everything will change. Probably. Either way, here’s my Top 30 with a little descriptor for each album – a goofy little thing that I wanted to be creative with. I hope you like it and find some records that you enjoy, or that you find some weird happiness knowing that we share opinions on music.
- KENDRICK LAMAR – DAMN.
The album is DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar. Is there more one needs to know?
- HAND HABITS – WILDLY IDLE (HUMBLE BEFORE THE VOID)
It’s 1pm on any given Sunday. Light pours in through a well-thought out window. A good friend is in one room of the house and you’re in another, but you can see them if you look up from the book you’re reading. They’re cutting fruit that you will both enjoy together. You love them. You lay on the floor next to each other. You love them.
- CHINO AMOBI – PARADISO
In the year 2017, the entire history of humanity and its culture is rebuilt and destroyed in a cataclysmic flash. The process is documented via a team of artists and antagonized by cannibalistic radio hosts.
- ALDOUS HARDING – PARTY
A shape-shifting lounge singer recounts harrowing tales from their long, eternal life to the enraptured crowd.
- ARCA – ARCA
A grove of sea anemone undulate uncomfortably in warm waters. An unmoving human face appears to be nestled in between the tendrils.
- SLOWDIVE – SLOWDIVE
Scientists observe different forms of soft, pillowy, candy clouds from varying locations to obtain data.
- HURRAY FOR THE RIFF RAFF – THE NAVIGATOR
A teenage girl writing a novel on her fire escape has Nuyorican stories from her grandparents floating in her head and the bustle of the city bubbling below her.
- VARIOUS ARTISTS – MONO NO AWARE
A series of instrumental suites set to dreams of rooms.
- JENS LEKMAN – LIFE WILL SEE YOU NOW
A sad man takes a cruise to the Bahamas, accompanied by the jolliest companions he didn’t ask for, and thinks about the events in his life that lead up to this moment.
- COLIN STETSON – ALL THIS I DO FOR GLORY
Two elite warriors from rivaling kingdoms clash repeatedly on their travels, starting strong and with swagger but slowly are eroded by the unending brutality of war.
- (SANDY) ALEX G – ROCKET
An indie rock fever dream where everything transforms into bluegrass.
- SAM AMIDON – THE FOLLOWING MOUNTAIN
A bluegrass fever dream where everything transforms into sweaty free jazz.
- MOUNT EERIE – A CROW LOOKED AT ME
Seeing the clothes of a deceased loved one worn by people of the town you live in.
- JACASZEK – KWIATY
A decaying spaceship that acts as a deadly siren to passing vessels, or,
A black and white photo of a landscape that changes every time you look at it.
- SAMPHA – PROCESS
An extremely likable protagonist is on a journey to recover his lost memories.
- DEMEN – NEKTYR
Underneath the old clock tower lies a pitch-black portal to another dimension. A dark, dripping hand slowly extends from the gaping opening after you recite the incantation.
- POND – THE WEATHER
It’s the hottest day of the year and you’re on a quest to find the coolest place in the city.
- KELLY LEE OWENS – KELLY LEE OWENS
The sound and feeling of being haunted by a dance floor.
- THE SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE – PLEASURE SUCK
A friend’s smile progressively gets bigger and more distorted over time as it melts off.
- MIGOS – CULTURE
A car with a very good sound system drives slowly through a castle-sized mansion that has no people inside.
- MEGA BOG – HAPPY TOGETHER
While occupied with solving a Rubik’s Cube, you don’t notice that the room you’re standing in has turned itself into a Rubik’s Cube until it’s too late. You’re a Rubik’s Cube, too.
- MAC DEMARCO – THIS OLD DOG
Scene: Mood lighting. In the center of the stage is a usually goofy guy on one knee with a Casio keyboard. He plays some heartfelt tunes. All members of the studio audience are wearing baseball hats that look slightly different but achieve the same purpose.
- TOPS – SUGAR AT THE GATE
Canadian folks politely visit Los Angeles and write about its beaches in their diaries.
- LAND OF TALK – LIFE AFTER YOUTH
Meeting up with a person you haven’t seen in a long time triggers a long chain of intense flashbacks and flash-forwards.
- PRIESTS – NOTHING FEELS NATURAL
The fiery itch of progress. An anxious, slithering intruder in a wiry nest of inheritance.
- BEACH FOSSILS – SOMERSAULT
Forecast today is saying it’ll be partly cloudy with slight gusts and a storm later tonight. Your unbuttoned shirt is gonna be blowing everywhere. In the breeze the temperature will be bearable, but the stagnant heat and humidity might be a problem.
- FIRST HATE – A PRAYER FOR THE UNEMPLOYED
A friend that likes to give corny motivational speeches for no reason also likes to party.
- SHE-DEVILS – SHE-DEVILS
A bunch of goofballs get sucked into a cartoon and realize they can make their desired dream world, a colorful, nonsensical place, a reality there.
- BIG THIEF – CAPACITY
A family gets together for a reunion and things go haywire with emotions flared, but at the end of the day things settle down and all is right in its disarray.
- DRAKE – MORE LIFE
A friend incoherently telling you about this long, extravagant vacation they went on and clearly having a good time talking at you about it. You’re kind of bored but you’re comfortable in a plush chair and having a cool drink, so you stick it out.