2017 has been a roller coaster to say the least. Along the way a lot of albums were sadly left behind, these are the ones that deserved a little more recognition at their time of release.
Little Comets Worhead: My northern loves smashed it once again with their forth album Worhead. It encapsulates all there is to love about Little Comets. It takes the eclectic sounds, gentle geordie accent and sincere heart-on-sleeve lyrics all melted down to make a homely album. Even when tackling subjects a darker than you may expect, there’s an optimism that cannot be ignored in Rob Coles’ voice. The album really comes alive with tracks like ‘The Man Who Wrote Thriller and ‘À bientôt’.
Mt Doubt Moon Landings: Technically it’s an EP but don’t shoot, there aren’t enough EPs for them to warrant their own list but that doesn’t mean Mt Doubt should go unnoticed. Moon Landings is easily the most accessible thing Mt Doubt have released. It takes notes from infectious indie music and spins it in a way that simplifies it to a form that takes shape particularly in songs such as ‘Mouthwash’.
Nothing but Thieves Broken Machine: Arguably one of my favourite albums of the year, this little gem slipped under the radar for a lot of people. Tackling more subjects and heavier subjects than their 2015 eponymous debut, the Southend five-piece set themselves on a trajectory that will no doubt see them rival the likes of Foo Fighters and Radiohead.
Despite experimentation in songs like ‘Live Like Animals’ and ‘I Was Just a Kid’ the band still maintain a comprehensive style held together by frontman Conor Mason’s signature vocals. ‘Afterlife’ and ‘Reset Me’ for me, stand out. ‘Afterlife’ sounds like the song that would play as the credits roll, it has a delicate grandeur that quite simply, I didn’t think Nothing but Thieves were capable of.
Father John Misty Pure Comedy: Love or hate Father John Misty as a person or as a public persona, he knows his way around a nice little indie folky album. Josh Tillman makes a return to the scene with Pure Comedy. Quite rightfully, the album marks a point in Tillman’s career in which the Father John Misty persona finally appears to make a genuine connection to the man behind it. There’s a distinction between both the previous two Father John Misty albums and the previous works of Tillman under various other bands and pseudonyms.
Blaenavon That’s Your Lot: This album feels like a long time coming considering Blaenavon have been called ‘upcoming’ since i heard of them in the cold winter of 2016. On one hand, it’s easy to see that That’s Your Lot was a labour of love, there being evidence of how songs like ‘Prague ’99’ have come along in the years Blaenavon have spent touring and honing their music. On the other hand Blaenavon still have a way of writing that feels like brand new eyes on the world, ready to mould it to their vision.
Mount Eerie A Crow Looked at Me: I dare say this album broke me. Written in the aftermath of Phil Elverum’s wife’s untimely death. italics album name documents the grief Elverum feels and the mourning and the eventual acceptance of the death. There’s times when there is nothing but utter dispair and hopelessness while others feel more accepting until eventually there comes the point of total recovery. This is a roller coaster, make sure to strap in.
The Killers Wonderful Wonderful: So I missed this one when it came out and to amend the words of John Lennon I may in fact be the only one. It wasn’t until I got the chance to see The Killers last month that I even thought to give Wonderful Wonderful a listen. Remarkably, and unexpectedly it’s a mature step for the band.
In a time when a lot of bands that were around in the early 2000s are trying to show their youthful side *cough cough Kasabian and Kaiser Chiefs* The Killers are unafraid to show that they are no longer young men down on their luck but instead they’re bold and brave, looking into the future in songs like ‘Run For Cover’. Of course Brandon Flowers and co. still know how to have fun and strut around to the sound of ‘The Man’ but overall they take a gamble and it’s payed off.
The Staves The Way is Read: A thing of beauty. The Staveley-Taylor sisters have proved personally captivating from the moment I heard ‘Tired as Fuck’ and this capitvation only continues as time goes on and the trio hone their skills to create bolder, braver sounds as proven in songs like the finale ‘The Way is Read’ which is a beast by any means with the stinging vocals and orchestra behind it.