10 best albums of 2017 so far (part 1)

This blog is primarily based around bad music.  It’s a little grating, to be honest.  You definitely don’t look forward to or enjoy listening to bad music.  So, as a change of pace, here is some of the best music that 2017 has had to offer so far…

10. I See You (the xx)

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It’s a little too cute in some spots, and I’ve never really been a fan of them anyways, but I’m a firm believer that Jamie xx is the best electronic music producer going.  His expansive beats—full of cavernous ambience and catchy hooks—are the highlights of I See You, but the interplay between lead singers Romy and Oliver Sim make this one of the most re-playable indie pop releases of the year.

9. Slowdive (Slowdive)

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I’m totally cheating here, since this one isn’t due out until May 5, but of the two singles released so far— “Star Roving” and “Sugar for the Pill”—it sounds like Slowdive’s reformation has been long worth the wait.  Having not released an album since 1995’s Pygmalion, the influential shoegaze band hasn’t appeared to lose their step.  Of course, the other six songs from the upcoming Slowdive might be terrible, but considering their historic track record and the greatness of those first two singles, I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

8. Hot Thoughts (Spoon)

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Spoon has quietly been the most consistent rock band since the turn of the millennium.  Their latest, Hot Thoughts, isn’t likely to win over any new fans, but it’s another classic that stays true to the band’s identity.  Complete with electronic flourishes that call to mind The Flaming Lips, Hot Thoughts shows that Spoon has no intents of slowing down.

7. Arca (Arca)

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This one’s a bit weird, I’ll admit—dark, glitchy techno from the Venezuelan producer who masterminded Yeezus—but it pays off with repeated listens.  I can’t tell if it’s depressing or uplifting.  An uplifting album wouldn’t contain a song as tortured as “Castration”, and a depressing album wouldn’t contain a song as inspiring as “Piel.”  When Arca is at his best, the two are seamlessly mixed together.

6. In Mind (Real Estate)

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Real Esate is one of the mellowest bands out there.  So chill, dude.  Hailing from New Jersey, but with sunny California in their DNA, it’s amazing that they’ve remained so consistent.  All their songs sound relatively the same—the same dreamy and jangling indie rock forever and ever—but I could listen to them for hours.  In Mind doesn’t switch up the formula, but it continues Real Estate’s monopoly on hummable melodies.

 

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