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Albums of the Year 2017

It’s that time again.

Top Albums Top Reissues Bestsellers Top Stiffers Near Misses

Album of the Year 2017

Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked At Me

Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked At Me

It feels wrong to celebrate a record created out of such tragic circumstances, but good music generates an emotional response and no album released this year comes close in that respect.

If you have listened to A Crow Looked At Me already then you'll know the punch it packs.

With Phil Elverum's blessing, all profits from sales until the end of the year will be donated to Candlelighters - a Yorkshire-based charity supporting the families of children with cancer.

Buy it now
2.

James Holden & The Animal Spirits
The Animal Spirits

Electronics expert James Holden has expanded his Animal Spirits for a bold set of synth led folk opuses that fuse bits of psychedelia, kraut-rock, world jazz to create a genre blending opus that is also accessible. Sax, cornet, recorder and percussion have been introduced to the sonic maelstrom with Holden acting as band leader ...view item »


3.

Grizzly Bear
Painted Ruins

Grizzly Bear have been away for about five years now and have now returned with their first since the wild and windy ‘Shields’. Early tasters of their new material give the impression that they are heading in a well constructed synth pop direction with their unique take on harmony and melody intact. B...view item »


4.

Kara-Lis Coverdale
Grafts

First new material in a while from Kara-Lis Coverdale! Grafts is an impressive stretch of semi-abstract music that taps into the magical psychedelia of greats like Terry Riley, with sweet electronic patterns constantly twirling away into the distance, underpinned by organ, pipes, and much else. Single-s...view item »
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5.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Luciferian Towers

Post-rock collective Godspeed You! Black Emperor return to another world phase of political turmoil and humanitarian crisis, with a record of their usual oblique serenade. Following the format of the two records of their modern era, it features four songs in sum and continues to rebrand them as God's Pee ...view item »


6.

Colin Stetson
All This I Do For Glory

Windblower and earch-scorcher Colin Stetson returns for a new record of original solo material, his first since the finale in the New History Warfare trilogy. The core of his sound, developed through bass and alto saxophones, is pushed through with his signature circular breathing and crack...view item »
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7.

Mario Batkovic
Mario Batkovic

Mario Batkovic does for the accordion something like what Colin Stetson does for the saxophone: he opens everyone’s favourite wheezy-bag instrument up to new sonic possibilities. Solo statement Mario Batkovic uses extended techniques and minimalist structures to create a really captivating of acco...view item »


8.

Penguin Cafe
The Imperfect Sea

Originally Penguin Cafe Orchestra, after the death of Simon Jeffes, his son Arthur Jeffes took the helm and to mark the new chapter renamed them as just simply Penguin Cafe. In this next step of the cafe, they have moved to Erased Tapes and are encorporating more contemporary in...view item »
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9.

Piano Magic
Closure

Piano Magic album have declared that this will be their final album. The suitably-titled Closure, released for the band’s twentieth anniversary, is a subtle and carefully considered set of what the band call ‘ghost rock’. It is sad in places, as one might imagine, but it is great to hear a band able to...view item »
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10.

Richard Dawson
Peasant

The new album from Richard Dawson is a notable new epic from the Tyneside master, featuring more guest musicians than ever before. Peasant’s songs are all set in the pre-medieval north-east, with each title naming a figure: ‘Weaver’, ‘Herald’, ‘Beggar’. It’s the most fully...view item »
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11.

Mahatma X
A Mobtown Suite Vol 1

If the new A Tribe Called Quest record has reignited your fire for new sounds straight out of rap’s golden age you could do a lot worse than A Mobtown Suite. The Dilla and Jay Rock comparisons are obvious, but the subtly evolving live instrumentation gives these 17 instrumentals c...view item »
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12.

The Green Kingdom
The North Wind and the Sun

With a steady stream of releases over the past decade through Dronarivm, SEM, and Tench Michael Cottone has delivered a huge and diverse catalogue of sun drenched, heartwarming ambience as The Green Kingdom. His first release on Lost Tribe Sound sees them convince him to strip back the electronics and focus on m...view item »


13.

Daniel Brandt
Eternal Something

As co-founder to Germany's electroacoustic ensemble Brandt Brauer Frick, it wouldn't be surprising that pioneering whizz Daniel Brant's latest offering is highly intricate. His jittering debut solo release, Eternal Something, is both the antithesis to and introverted take on clubland dance mu...view item »
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14.

Phoebe Bridgers
Stranger In The Alps

We've already had Sinatra's Strangers in the Night now US singer songwriter Phoebe Bridgers brings us Strangers in the Alps. This is her first record for Dead Oceans following on from a 7" on Ryan Adams label Pax Am and has also been on the advert for the I Phone singing 'Gigantic' by the Pixies...view item »
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15.

Do Make Say Think
Stubborn Persistent Illusions

The first album in eight years from this long running Toronto collective. Now in their third decade, the group have created a critically acclaimed back catalogue and have become one of the most venerated names in the post rock canon. Stubborn Persistent Illusions is another example of the bands DIY ethos all recorded and produced t...view item »


16.

Ekin Fil
Ghosts Inside

Devastatingly beautiful, introspective, ethereal avant dream/drone-pop from Istanbul’s Ekin Üzeltüzenci. ‘Ghosts Inside’ is the Turkish artist's sixth full-length, and her second for The Helen Scarsdale Agency, following 2016’s &lsq...view item »
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17.

Lee Gamble
Mnestic Pressure

Lee Gamble’s first full-length in three years is a record of nuanced edge-of-the-dancefloor music that finds a fitting home on Hyperdub. Gamble describes Mnestic Pressure as a record that seeks to find order in an increasingly chaotic world and regain a sense of self separate from...view item »


18.

Justin Walter
Unseen Forces

Justin Walter plays the EVI (Electronic Valve Instrument) ‘wind-synth’ that is mainly seen in the hands of the Sun Ra Arkestra’s Marshall Allen these days. But Unseen Forces doesn’t hide the instrument in a large ensemble: it puts the EVI out there solo, in a set...view item »


19.

NHK yx Koyxen
Exit Entrance

This is most welcome news: lopsided dance miscreant Kohei Matsunaga is back! His new record for the NHK yx Koyxen record is also his first for DFA, offering the usual medley of melody, abstraction and frantic programmed drumwork. With his love of pitching anything and everything, it's hard to know what to predict beyon...view item »


20.

Esmerine
Mechanics Of Dominion

Esmerine are one of the finest of the several acts that have grown out of the peripheries of godspeed you! black emperor. New album Mechanics Of Dominion i...view item »


21.

Mark Van Hoen
Electronic Music (1982 - 1987)

Deluxe collection of Mark Van Hoen tunes, Electronic Music: 1982-1987 does what it says on the tin and gives you Van Hoen’s work from that period, an expansive range of early instrumental pieces influenced by his growing up in the Midlands. Double LP on snazzy blue vinyl, featuring original 35mm pictures o...view item »


22.

Porter Ricks
Anguilla Electrica

I used to think nautical German techno was all about U96 - Das Boot. Then I switched to Porter Ricks. I’ve waited seventeen years for this record, and so to celebrate, I’ve climbed into my wetsuit, ripped open a packet of prawn cocktail flavour crisps and put my Finding Nemo DVD on with the volume m...view item »
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23.

Aaron Dilloway
The Gag File

One day I received a text message from friend and former Norman Records employee Brian who was at the time at the great Tusk Festival in the North of England. It read “Aaron Fucking Dilloway! It’s like a fucking Francis Bacon painting coming to life”. Laughed my ass off. I’ve still not been...view item »


24.

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith
The Kid

Winner of our Album of the Year competition in 2016 with EARS, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith now serves up a new selection which is nothing if not ambitious. She has now produced a four part album which chronicles the for defining segments of life exemplifying Smith's deep thinking ability to delve further than t...view item »


25.

Laurel Halo
Dust

Oh good: a new full-length album from Laurel Halo! Dust started out with recordings made by Halo along with Eli Keszler and Lafawndah, which were then cut-up and augmented by Halo’s genius electronic processes into the sleekly experimental digital...view item »


26.

Sandy (Alex G)
Rocket

After doing many self recorded, produced and released records and cassettes, Philadelphia’s Alex G has rightly been snapped up by Domino for 2015’s Beach Music, and now they bring him back for his eighth full length. Rocket brings gorgeous suburban logfire songs, folk pop with a city backdrop. On vi...view item »
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27.

Jen Cloher
Jen Cloher

As a leading pioneer within Melbourne's rich DIY scene, Jen Cloher offers a self-titled ten-track which easily justifies her burgeoning reputation. Rubbing shoulders with the likes of Courtney Barnett and Fraser A on Milk! label, it's onwards and upwards for this bold, witty and punk-tinged songwriter....view item »


28.

Ex Eye
Ex Eye

Hey, cool idea, just throwing it out there -- how about a metal band with Colin Stetson's sax and Greg Fox on drums? Sounds wacky, let's do it. The definitely cacophonous Ex Eye are an instrumental quartet dual wielding it...view item »


29.

Craven Faults
Netherfield Works

Right, this is really something special. A cloaked Yorkshire based producer unfurling two long form pieces of pulsating vintage synth to soundtrack journeys across the post industrial landscapes of West Yorkshire. 'Netherfield Works' perfectly encapsulates the barren but beautiful landscape yet will appeal to fans of the Deep Distance label, ...view item »


30.

Actress
AZD

It’s been three years since Actress released his last full length Ghettoville, and after what seemed to be a farewell press release drawing a line under the Actress project I’m sure we’re not the only ones who will be glad to receive this news. Seemingly playing round the ideas of lang...view item »


31.

Drew McDowall
Unnatural Channel

Despite the fact that Drew McDowall has been releasing records since the early 80’s, ‘Unnatural Channel’ is only his second solo album. For the uninitiated, he’s stepped through the Psychic TV revolving door, was an official member of ...view item »


32.

Fleet Foxes
Crack-Up

Fleet Foxes like to take their time with this just their third album since their 2008 debut. They also spawned Father John Misty onto the world but let's not blame them for that. This meticulous approach to their song craft generally yields good results as was proved by the excellent 'Helplessness Blues'. Expect a dense, lush an...view item »


33.

The Bug vs Earth
Concrete Desert

This is a total dream-come-true collaboration for fans of pulverizingly heavy music: Dylan ‘Extra Low Frequency Version’ Carson’s Earth project and Kevin ‘Skeng’ Martin’s The Bug, producing together. After two...view item »


34.

Memory Drawings
The Nearest Exit

Third album from the Anglo/American collective Memory Drawings, featuring members of Hood, Manyfingers, Brave Timbers and Movietone. Pushing their exquisite dulcimer/guitar/violin sound deeper into the heart of post-rock (with nods towards Bark Psychosis...view item »
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35.

Oneohtrix Point Never
Good Time (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Oneohtrix Point Never recently provided the original soundtrack to crime thriller Good Time, and the good people at Cannes thought it good enough to give OPN an award for it. Good Time works as a fully-fledged studio album, with lots of arpeggio synths and mutant sounds flying around, as well a...view item »


36.

Ulrika Spacek
Modern English Decoration

They formed when they were 14, two fifths of them are called Rhys and they live in a house called Ken. Ulrika Spacek are truly a unique proposition amongst the glut of Women/Viet Cong influenced tangle rock bands. Their debut self titled record was a hero here at the towers and this follow up re...view item »


37.

Cigarettes After Sex
Cigarettes After Sex

This is the debut full-length album from Cigarettes After Sex, following up on a number of EPs. They’ve stepped things up for the occasion, with a sound more widescreen than ever before. The songs are romantic in subject matter and sonic construction: this could well be the soundtrack to your next heartache. CD and LP edit...view item »
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38.

James Elkington
Wintres Woma

James Elkington returns with his latest album for the Paradise Of Bachelors label this time going it alone (his 2015 collaboration with Nathan Salsburg 'Ambsace' was superb), his gentle fingerpicking folk textures are reminiscent of Nick Drake and Tim Buckley but have a certain virtuos...view item »


39.

Happyness
Write In

Happyness return with a second album of fresh-faced alternative rock, titled Write In. They still recall the high years of the US college rock scene, with just the right amount of slacker-swagger to make them charming. That, plus an increasingly bold and melodic songwriting sensibility, makes Write In a winner....view item »
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40.

Pharmakon
Contact

Margaret Chardiet returns to Sacred Bones under her solo extreme noise moniker Pharmakon for the follow up to 2014’s Bestial Burden. Contact follows along Pharmakon’s previous nihilistic qualities thematically, but with an empathetic twist focusing more on the mind ...view item »
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41.

Dmitry Evgrafov
Comprehension Of Light

Moscovite Dmitry Evgrafov follows his 2015 debut 'Collage' with Comprehension Of Light, also on FatCat's neoclassical offshoot 130701. Richter, Jóhannsson and O’Halloran fans rejoice! For his 1st vinyl LP release, Dmitry upscales from electronics to real strings, courtesy Iskra Quartet. Buddies Abul Mo...view item »


42.

Downtown Boys
Cost Of Living

The brilliant Downtown Boys made an absolutely monumental record a couple years back in Full Communism, a hardcore record with skronking sax, righteous politics and an abiding love for Bruce Springsteen. Their new record, Cost of Living, sounds like a structural upgrade to their sound, the l...view item »
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43.

Waveform Transmission (Rod Modell & Chris Troy)
V 2.0-2.9

The always fabulous Astral Industries label present the first new material in 22 years from Rod Modell (DeepChord, cv313) and the elusive Chris Troy as Waveform Transmissions. Their previous album of drifting, droning ambient came via Italy's Silent label in 1996, and then, nothing... 'V 2.0-2.9' is comprised of four eighteen minute cuts...view item »
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44.

Thet Liturgiske Owäsendet
Catalina

The first release on Lobster Theremin offshoot Lobster Sleep Sequence is the record that apparently kickstarted the new venture in the first place. Legend has it LT head Jimmy Asquith was so moved by Catalina after finding it on a Soundcloud binge that he decided to press it onto 180g v...view item »
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45.

Jesca Hoop
Memories Are Now

Fresh from an Iron & Wine collab and stepping out for a debut album on Subpop, Jesca Hoop’s idiosyncratic brand of singer-songwriterism befits the leftfield turn the label has taken recently. Calling to mind at once the torch-songs of Angel Olsen and the low-key experimental turns of ...view item »
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46.

The Last Dinosaur
The Nothing

An eleven piece record from London’s very own The Last Dinosaur. A collection of songs written about lead singer, Jamie Cameron’s, youth and the struggles he faced as he powered through in his teenage years. The Nothing is possibly the right title for this record as it captures melancholy and sadness at its ...view item »


47.

FIS and Rob Thorne
Clear Stones

This first-time team-up of two New Zealand talents is an intriguing one. Maori sound artist Rob Thorne generally has a more approach to sound that is more abstract and more rooted in acoustic instruments than electronics producer FIS, but the space where ...view item »
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48.

Snapped Ankles
Come Play The Trees

Snapped Ankles are a London group making their full-length debut right here and right now on The Leaf Label. The band apparently love to play shows while dressed up as trees, but you can’t really hear the foliage on these recordings. You’ll have to make do with chunky-funky synthesiser...view item »


49.

IDLES
Brutalism

Brutalism is the latest thirteen-track release from Idles. A powerfully written and politically driven collection of music that packs a punch aimed at the current political climate in the UK. It is hardcore and punk, so what do you expect? Described as ‘ a deadly serious indictment on popular culture’ that i...view item »


50.

Jane Weaver
Modern Kosmology

Sometimes a change is as good as a rest. Jane Weaver's early records (including those by her excellent band Misty Dixon) were lovely under the radar folky affairs but it wasn't until she started to invoke in vogue kraut and psych influences on 'The Silver Globe' that some overground success came her way. Mod...view item »