Under the Radar’s Top 100 Albums of 2017

Dec 30, 2017
Bookmark and Share


2016 was regarded as a fairly rough year by many, but 2017 was no walk in the park either. 2016 was mired by the deaths of several beloved musical icons (David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, George Michael, and Sharon Jones among them) and the disappointing and divisive Presidential election, but in 2017 we had to deal with the ramifications of said election (we'd say that roughly 95% of the musicians we interview likely don't support many, if any, of President Trump's policies). And while 2016 was the year your favorite artist died, 2017 might have been the year your favorite artist became dead to you, thanks to the various sexual assault allegations lobbied at high profile men in the music industry, film industry, journalism, politics, and elsewhere. But it was a damn fine year for music, which helped get us all through the anxiety of the daily news cycle. Here we present our favorite 100 albums from the tens of thousands full-lengths released in the last 12 months.

Many celebrated bands returned in 2017 after long hiatuses with new albums that nearly matched or even topped their creative peaks (we're looking at you Grizzly Bear, Fleet Foxes, Broken Social Scene, LCD Soundsystem, and Slowdive). And in this "Me Too" era it's encouraging that nearly half the artists in our Top 100 Albums of 2017 list are either female solo artists or bands fronted (or co-fronted) by women (which is of course how it should be). We're looking at you Julien Baker, St. Vincent, Wolf Alice, Japanese Breakfast, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Alvvays, Big Thief, Rose Elinor Dougall, Jay Som, Kelly Lee Owens, and many others. There were fruitful collaborations (Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile produced an intercontinental album that played to both their strengths, meanwhile Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner, and James McAlister all teamed up for a concept album about the planets). And some of 2017's best albums were promising debuts (Moses Sumney, Girl Ray, Midnight Sister, Bedouine, Alex Lahey, and more). The year's saddest album, Mount Eerie's A Crow Looked At Me, was also one of its most compelling. And Father John Misty once again held up a slightly skewed mirror to the craziness of the modern world with Pure Comedy.

Now to the behind-the-scenes mechanics of how we put our Top 100 list together. Each of our writers was asked to submit a list of their 45 favorite albums of the year. Then their lists were all combined to make up our final master list, with their #1 album getting 45 points and so on down to their #45 album getting one point. In all 25 of our writers and editors voted, including my co-publisher/wife Wendy and myself. There were enough strong albums released this year that we certainly struggled to narrow it down to just 100, as our Honorable Mentions list featuring an additional 42 albums illustrates (check it out here). It also wasn't easy this year to determine our #1 album of the year. Really any of the Top 5 could have been our #1, so we had a second vote to determine which of the Top 5 should be our #1. When that proved inconclusive we narrowed it down to The War on Drugs' A Deeper Understanding and Julien Baker's Turn Out the Lights. A further tiebreaker vote ended in a... tie. Since it was higher on the personal lists of both Wendy and myself, and also because it charted slightly better in the initial vote, we went with A Deeper Understanding. But you could almost say we have a joint #1 this year (or even a five-way tie between The War on Drugs, Julien Baker, St. Vincent, Slowdive, and Wolf Alice). We also had a separate vote to work out our #99 and 100 albums, from the list of honorable mentions.

2017 is going to be a tough act to follow, musically speaking. With so many notable artists releasing new albums this year, who's left to wow us in 2018? Luckily we've already heard some impressive albums from the first quarter of 2018 and no doubt come next December we'll once again be left fretting over how we could possibly narrow down the list of great LPs to only 100. Let's just hope that 2018 is a brighter year. That President Tweet settles down and no more of our favorite musicians and actors are revealed to be scumbags who can't keep it in their pants. But until the next year comes into full view, here are 100 albums worth discovering, digesting, and revisiting. By Mark Redfern

1.

The War on Drugs

A Deeper Understanding

Atlantic

Life in 2017 was instantaneous, everything available at a moment’s notice, whatever one desired no further away than a flick of the finger. What made A Deeper Understanding stand out in a year of such disposable and forgettable entertainment was the sheer amount of work visible just beneath its considerable polish.

A Deeper Understanding functions like a fine timepiece, with every gear and spring calibrated to exacting standards. The textures and layers emerge over dozens of listens, representing Adam Granduciel and company’s thousands of accumulated hours in the studio. Nothing is out of place. No note, no flourish of a guitar, or dying echo of a vibraphone is without intent.

This all sounds very exhausting and overstuffed, but A Deeper Understanding is a relaxed affair, incorporating Granduciel’s influences better than the also brilliant, rawer Lost in the Dream (Under the Radar’s #1 album of 2014) and offering far more complexity and musicianship than his first two albums, Wagonwheel Blues and Slave Ambient.

There are few albums in this era—or any—that are equally up to the task of being turned up loud with the windows down or played through headphones in a darkened bedroom, as Granduciel himself describes, “living in the space between/the beauty and the pain.” By Jim Scott

2.

Julien Baker

Turn Out the Lights

Matador

These are moments we need to feel. For being such masters at acting out of our feelings, we rarely sit with them, allowing our confusion, our frustration, our bitterness, our anger to simply be until emotions find their proper place or channel. This ability to be present in her pain is what makes Julien Baker a profound artist and trusted friend for the journey. Her spiritual hope and emotional scars are, once again, front and center on Appointments, another album steeped in sparse melodies and personal tension. Baker’s songs aren’t necessarily pleasant, but neither is the world around us. We need someone to show us how to grieve and believe in the same breath, and Baker is beautifully doing just that. By Matt Conner

3.

St. Vincent

MASSEDUCTION

Loma Vista

For an artist whose tool of choice is usually an electric guitar, St Vincent sounds blissfully at home behind a piano. On her fifth album, Annie Clark reckons with ballads on keys as much as she does the raucous guitar riffs with which she has made her name, and it is glorious.

MASSEDUCTION really is seductive as much as it is heartbreaking: from the hypnotic backbeat of “Pills,” with its tantalising suggestions of addiction and an unlikely vocal feature from ex-girlfriend Cara Delevingne, to the heart-rendering “New York,” where she spits out lyrics of loss over a sombre piano line, Clark’s sense of defiance stands resolute. For all the co-writing and co-production from Jack Antonof—who has also helped swerve the pop narratives of Taylor Swift and Lorde—MASSEDUCTION is every bit St Vincent’s story, and her dramatic figure reigns.

Clark pulls apart what it is to live and lose, sidestepping cliché to instead fill a record with wit and tenderness. On MASSEDUCTION she is at once sharp and affectionate, her music never complacent, always exhilarating. The lurid yet enticing colors of its artwork fit just right. By Ellen Peirson-Hagger

4.

Slowdive

Slowdive

Dead Oceans

Though it’s been 22 years since Slowdive last released an album, the British shoegaze legends are in prime form on their eponymous 2017 LP. It features highlight after highlight, from “Star Roving,” with its anthemic, yearning guitar jangle and frontman Neil Halstead’s smoothly soothing vocals to “Sugar for the Pill,” which epitomizes its title with a staccato guitar riff and sweetly tingling synths coating Halstead’s deeply melancholy vocals about jealousy. Such tracks are moody and atmospheric enough for shoegaze diehards while also being deftly balanced with more accessible elements for the masses, which helped make fans and critics rave about the LP ever since its release this past May. But there’s also plenty here for the strictly shoegaze set, especially midway track “No Longer Making Time.” It’s vacuously quiet at first, save for a hissing high hat, faint riffing, and then the occasional, jolting strum, all teetering on the brink of becoming another anthemic onslaught à la “Star Roving,” that instead remains enthrallingly atmospheric and suspense filled. Such mastery of suspenseful slow burners and more unabashed euphoric number helped make Slowdive one of 2017’s very best LPs and a clear standout in the band’s storied discography. By Kyle Mullin

5.

Wolf Alice

Visions of a Life

Dirty Hit/RCA

Building on the glowing promise of 2015’s My Love Is Cool, the English band Wolf Alice effortlessly expand their scope while never seeming to step out of character. The two-minute scorch of “Yuk Foo” was the album’s first single, but the sing-along pop heart of “Don’t Delete the Kisses” and lush, textured rock binding “Planet Hunter” only scratch the surface of these new Visions.

“I’m sorry; I lost myself for a minute,” says singer Ellie Rowsell during a pause in “Sky Musings,” but don’t believe her. Rowsell and company clearly know exactly what they’re doing, and growth suits them. By Hays Davis

6.

Kendrick Lamar

DAMN.

Top Dawg/Aftermath/Interscope

A lot of albums spoke to the anxious messiness of 2017, but nothing felt as up-to-the-moment or as present as Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN.. Through production from Mike WiLL Made-It bangers (“DNA.” and “HUMBLE.”) to Alchemist’s timeless funk riffs (“FEAR.”), Lamar’s ample skill and magnetic personality hold DAMN. together as both a cohesive narrative and a singular vision. Like other generational mouthpieces from Ice Cube to Kurt Cobain, Lamar makes his global observations through an intensely personal lens, and the result is as electrifying as it is enlightening. By Jim Scott

7.

The National

Sleep Well Beast

4AD

Anyone dismissing The National as a mopey melancholy troop never heard “Day I Die.” The highlight from the Cincinnati band’s seventh LP features pummeled punching bag percussion and clenched molar guitar riffing that rocks as hard as any indie rock tune released this year. Same goes for the all the more raucous “Turtleneck.” Then there’s the revving guitar riff and war drum percussion of “The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness,” which is elevated all the more by frontman Matt Berninger’s declarative delivery. And while the LP is by no means short on the downcast fare akin to the heart wrenching anthems that made their breakthrough, 2010’s High Violet, such a success, those moodier numbers are more textured and complex this go around. “Walk It Back,” has an intermittent synth knot that sounds like a short-circuiting fuse spitting sparks, while the piano laden “Born to Beg” begins conventionally acoustic before adopting an oscillating drum loop undercurrent and a moaning synth that’s as plaintive and soaring as the refrain of a gospel choir. By taking what they do best and pushing it forward in these assuredly unexpected directions, The National are sure to break past any naysayer’s accusations of being a band of heartstring clinging sentimentalists, and instead being heralded as the indie rock innovators that the more discerning among us have long known them to be. By Kyle Mullin

8.

Grizzly Bear

Painted Ruins

RCA

It’s been five years since Grizzly Bear last released an album, but after listening to 2017’s Painted Ruins it becomes immediately clear why such a long break was needed. Painted Ruins follows in its predecessor’s steps as an impeccably arranged album, but is twice as lush and refined as 2012’s Shields, coming together seamlessly for a richly layered collection of songs. Recorded between New York and Los Angeles, Painted Ruins has a decidedly more West Coast essence to it than Veckatimest or Yellow House; tracks like “Mourning Sound” or the keyboard studded “Glass Hillside” feel like the sonic equivalent of squinting into the sunset while cruising down the Pacific Coast Highway. This is the more confident, relaxed side of Grizzly Bear we’re witnessing at play. On album standout “Three Rings,” Ed Droste’s melodic lilt laces together with the kinetically intricate drum patterns of Chris Bear, swelling into a heartbreakingly gorgeous climax. Painted Ruins is arguably the most digestible album of the Grizzly Bear discography, even without the help of a “Two Weeks” level hit, and is the most rewarding listen from Droste and crew yet. By Natasha Aftandilians

9.

Father John Misty

Pure Comedy

Sub Pop

Even when the music of Pure Comedy is particularly engaging, the lyrics are always steering the songs, as is often the case with Josh Tillman’s work. The result is an album that rewards hearing from start to finish, with Tillman’s alternately amusing/bleak narrative abruptly turning self-aware at times. “Sometimes I miss the top of the food chain,” he sings in “Things It Would Have Been Helpful to Know Before the Revolution.” “Where’s the single?” one might imagine antsy label execs whispering in a different scenario, but those looking for a thrill in this intriguing Comedy might sadly miss the (dark) joke. By Hays Davis

10.

Japanese Breakfast

Soft Sounds From Another Planet

Dead Oceans

Michelle Zauner (Japanese Breakfast) looks to space for her second solo album. But while Soft Sounds From Another Planet is fuelled by observations of an otherworldly nature, its buoyant synths and careful guitar lines allow it to hover on the warming side of personal too, as songs supposedly about extra-terrestrial beings pleasantly squirm into urban human territory. “Boyish” is a rolling romantic lurch of a song, while the brushed drums and muted horns of “Till Death” make for a lullaby, as Zauner opens up about “PTSD, anxiety, genetic disease, thanatophobia” in a swirling plea for a human embrace amidst planetary disturbances. Soft Sounds From Another Planet exemplifies beautiful yet understated music. By Ellen Peirson-Hagger

11.

Broken Social Scene

Hug of Thunder

Arts & Crafts

If ever the name of a record summed up a band, it’s this one. Kevin Drew, Brendan Canning, and their ever-changing line-up of the great and good, are the aural equivalent of an out-of-control steam engine clad in velvet. They hit hard and soft, mixing experimentation with out and out rock.

Hug of Thunder is a more restrained record than we’re used to seeing from the Canadian collective, although it’s hard to remember as it has been seven years since we heard anything from them. The impulse to stretch songs is reigned in, early exuberance stripping down to bare emotions. In the process juddering guitars give over to gentle loops and rhythmic bass, seeing out a very good record from a band yet to produce a bad one. By Stephen Mayne

12.

LCD Soundsystem

American Dream

DFA/Columbia

It certainly seemed final when James Murphy’s electro-rockers took to the Madison Square Garden stage for a goodbye show in 2011. A documentary capturing that night appeared a year later and that seemed that. Then rumors came drifting over the silence, a returning single appeared, and American Dream followed in the second half of 2017.

Their comeback is the sound of a band stumbling into middle age, aware much of what came before is gone, and uncertain what comes next will be able to adequately replace it. In amongst the excellence of “Oh Baby,” “Tonite,” and “Call the Police,” it’s the title track that best captures this lament for a past that never quite delivered on all it promised. Even as Murphy grapples with lost vitality, this return proves he hasn’t lost it at all. By Stephen Mayne

13.

Spoon

Hot Thoughts

Matador

When earlier this year it was suggested that Spoon had digressed from their trademark sound by employing electronics flourishes, restless rumors of Flaming Lips-like psychedelia surfaced. With the addition of David Fridmann, who has helped to produced some of the Lips’ greatest works, the anticipated move was welcomed with open arms. Instead, tight songs coupled with well-intentioned orchestration illuminated yet another collection of great songs. No one song overshadows the band’s ninth album, but the collaborations with Sharon Van Etten and Blair Robbins signal a possible shift toward even more complex sounds and alluring compositions in the future. By Stephen Wyatt

14.

The Horrors

V

Wolftone/Caroline

There’s a remarkable staying power to The Horrors that seemed unlikely when they first came to attention a decade ago. Their 2007 debut saw them arriving as one of the lesser lights in a British scene dominated by the Razorlight’s of this world. There was even an appearance as cynical, thin-legged hipsters on surreal sitcom The Mighty Boosh to cement them as an entertaining sideshow.

A full 10 years later and somehow this group fronted by Faris Badwan is still going when others have faltered. Even more impressively, they are better than they’ve ever been before. V, their fittingly titled fifth full-length, is a post-punk tour de force, full of echoey grandeur built around tight melodies and climatic builds. Layering in synthesizers over guitars, they end on the best song they’ve ever released. “Something to Remember Me By” is a peak for the band, and the highlight of an album full of them. By Stephen Mayne

15.

Charlotte Gainsbourg

Rest

Because

Charlotte Gainsbourg is one offspring of a legendary musician, Serge Gainsbourg, who more than holds her own. Her fourth album in 20 years, Rest, is a catharsis of sorts, aiding Gainsbourg in grieving the death of her half-sister, Kate Barry. Even so, Rest is not the somber work one would expect. Instead, Gainsbourg, singing for the first time in both English and French, and her own penned lyrics, another first for her, opens an intimate window that makes Rest all the more vulnerable. No matter what the language, Gainsbourg’s breathy tone and whispery delivery are the lynchpins for the album. In addition to primary producer SebastiAn (Ed Banger Records), Rest also boasts lofty collaborations with Paul McCartney on the twinkling “Songbird in a Cage” and Daft Punk’s Guy-Manual de Homem-Christo on the lullaby-like title track. Part sophisticated lounge, part fizzy Euro-pop, Gainsbourg shines blindingly bright on the tumbling “Deadly Valentine.” And “Silvia Says” is the closest she’s come to conventional pop, which is worlds better than its chart contemporaries. By Lily Moayeri

16.

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile

Lotta Sea Lice

Matador

Courtney Barnett’s sun-baked Australian rock meets Kurt Vile’s downcast Philadelphia stoner folk, and the results are happily just as good as anyone could hope. The musical partnership began as an intercontinental friendship, and contemplative, friendly vibes saturate the entire album, Lotta Sea Lice. Across five originals and four covers (including two that find the pair covering each other’s older songs), Kurt and Courtney trade musings on modern life, solitude, and family. The two singles, “Over Everything” and “Continental Breakfast,” are perfect examples of the comforting chemistry these two songwriters share. We needed this in 2017. By Scott Dransfield

17.

Fleet Foxes

Crack-Up

Nonesuch

Fleet Foxes’ pursuit of the clean, perfect, and beautiful notes has not come to an end. Crack-Up expanded the Seattle quintet’s search, revealing longer, more sweeping songs that allude to and plays on Cicero’s “The more you squeeze” paroxysm and a subtle nod to Knut Hamsun. Each song meditates on everyday subjects we often take for granted, veiling them in metaphysical nautical searches that never come to an end. “Kept Woman” betrays its own sentiment covered in alluring textures that smother shores like fog. “Fool’s Errand” sounds claustrophobic and liberating at the same time. The band’s finest album bares a tiny glimpse of the band’s apparent limitless potential. By Stephen Wyatt

18.

Perfume Genius

No Shape

Matador

The fervent art pop of Mike Hadreas shows no sign of stopping. His fourth album as Perfume Genius is his most vulnerable—but also most danceable—yet, relishing in everything from the soft piano tinkers which begin on opener “Otherside” to the whirling celebration of “Wreath.” The album celebrates the love of Hadreas and his long-term boyfriend and musical collaborator Alan Wyffels, as Hadreas bathes in the ferocity of love with his quick-witted lyrics. “If you never see them coming/You never have to hide,” he sings on “Slip Away.” On “Just Like Love” it’s “They’ll talk/Give them every reason/For child you walk,” a rallying cry for self-determination on an album which makes you spin with urgency. By Ellen Peirson-Hagger

19.

Mount Eerie

A Crow Looked At Me

P.W. Elverum & Sun

Sharing grief is difficult enough; turning it into a physical manifestation that is shared openly and offered as a musical eulogy is nothing short of overwhelming. Phil Elverum’s lyrical approach sounds like 2 a.m. reflections when sleep is impossible. His musical lamentations depict his deceased wife Geneviève not as an afterthought, but a continuation of his own life marching forward to raise his child without her mother. Like Lou Reed’s Magic and Loss and The Flaming Lips’ The Soft Bulletin, grief cannot be avoided. On here more than any of his illustrative works with The Microphones, life cannot be hidden by metaphors. Elverum’s uncomplicated compositions confront death with an open heart and a contrite spirit. It bares more than just random memories; it embraces life. By Stephen Wyatt

20.

Alvvays:

Antisocialites

Polyvinyl

The late, great Tom Petty once sang that “the waiting is the hardest part.” While that may be true, the three year wait between Alvvays’ excellent, well-received, eponymous debut from 2014 and 2017’s Antisocialites was well worth it. Doubling down on the self-titled debut’s strengths of big hooks, big jangly guitar leads (by Alec O’Hanley) and Molly Rankin’s wonderful vocals (now mixed higher in the mix and less distorted), and festooned by new drummer Sheridan Riley (along with keyboardist Kerri MacLellan and bassist Brian Murphy), Antisocialites is an unmitigated triumph. Plus, you will not hear a catchier song this year than “Plimsoll Punks.” By Matthew Berlyant

21.

Big Thief

Capacity

Saddle Creek

Capacity is Big Thief’s second album in as many years, and it’s another document of frontwoman Adrianne Lenker’s passionate, emotional songwriting. While their debut’s songs felt like sketches of real life, Capacity’s songs are full-blown epic tales. “Mythological Beauty,” one of the best songs of this year, is a tribute to Lenker’s mother: “You lie in bed at night and watch the lines of headlights through your screen/There is a child inside you who’s trying to raise a child in me.” Knockout lyrics like that litter the entire album, backed by a lush, tasteful folk-rock musicality. Every song feels intensely personal, especially the stunning penultimate track, “Mary,” making this one of the can’t miss indie rock albums of the year. By Scott Dransfield

22.

Rose Elinor Dougall

Stellular

Vermilion

Rose Elinor Dougall is a gifted songwriter with a penchant for making simple melodies out of complicated circumstances. Stellular understands the plights of hopeless romantics, but she approaches the subjects that turn them into irrational beings with a touch of logic. “Space to Be” galvanizes the perils of not being able to let go. Her minimalistic use of synths enhances her forlorn nature. And her maturation following her time with The Pipettes has taught her to embrace it all, love’s ugly and beautiful, while pushing onward without regret. By Stephen Wyatt

23.

Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner, and James McAlister

Planetarium

4AD

Already hyper-ambitious and over-achieving artists in their own respective places, Planetarium is not, thank the Heavens, a Travelling Wilburys Vol. 1, where mediocrity meets a sort-of artistic mid-life crisis in the form of slickly produced nostalgia. No, Planetarium originated from the Netherland’s Muziekbouw Eindhoven, an organization dedicated to avant garde and jazz music, when they commissioned Nico Muhly to compose a piece in line with the institution’s artistic ethos. Muhly enlisted Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner (The National), and McAllister, each of whom share Muhly’s musical aesthetics and adventurous spirit. The result manifested itself into a 76-minute meditation on the planets of our solar system. Coupled with resplendent orchestration and Stevens’ lithe vocals, Planetarium exceeds expectations and begs for future collaborations from these four well-respected artists. By Stephen Wyatt

24.

Moses Sumney

Aromanticism

Jagjaguwar

Otherworldly Los Angeles singer/songwriter Moses Sumney has been hovering on the edge of our radar for a few years now, so it’s no surprise that his long-awaited debut album Aromanticism should end up on this list. What is surprising, though, is how remarkably self-assured and stunning the end result turned out to be. Sumney uses his beautifully tender voice to thoroughly explore the concept its title suggests: is it possible to live fully and not need love? From the aching dismissal of “Don’t Bother Calling” to the dynamic centerpiece/mission-statement “Lonely World,” this is the best debut album of 2017, and a sure sign that Moses Sumney is a true artist to watch. By Scott Dransfield

25.

Jay Som

Everybody Works

Polyvinyl

It takes courage to create an album that possesses sonic flourishes reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive only to combine the sound with pointed sincerity and heartfelt wonder. Jay Som’s Melina Duterte does just this by creating an imaginarium in solitude. Everybody Works addresses the anxieties of adulthood while holding onto the limerance of adolescence. She reflects on intimate exchanges with peculiar illustrations on “Lipstick Stains,” stating “I like the way your lipstick stains/The corner of my smile.” Her voice reminds us of the tacit and understated influence Moe Tucker and Georgia Hubley possess on today’s indie rock. At the end of “The Bus Song,” Duterte displays glimpses of growing comfortable with her newly found status as an up-and-coming songwriter gloriously indebted to shoegaze and bedroom pop without becoming an artist reliant upon pastiche. By Stephen Wyatt

26.

Wolf Parade

Cry Cry Cry

Sub Pop

27.

Foxygen

Hang

Jagjaguwar

28.

King Krule

The OOZ

True Panther/XL

29.

Kelly Lee Owens

Kelly Lee Owens

Smalltown Supersound

30.

Feist

Pleasure

Interscope

31.

Björk

Utopia

One Little Indian

32.

Fever Ray

Plunge

Mute

33.

Future Islands

The Far Field

4AD

34.

Elbow

Little Fictions

Concord

35.

Yumi Zouma

Willowbank

Cascine

36.

Algiers

The Underside of Power

Matador

37.

Jens Lekman

Life Will See You Now

Secretly Canadian

38.

Girl Ray

Earl Grey

Moshi Moshi

39.

The xx

I See You

Young Turks

40.

Midnight Sister

Saturn Over Sunset

Jagjaguwar

41.

The New Pornographers

Whiteout Conditions

Collected Works/Concord

42.

Marika Hackman

I’m Not Your Man

Sub Pop

43.

Protomartyr

Relatives in Descent

Domino

44.

Mount Kimbie

Love What Survives

Warp

45.

Bedouine

Bedouine

Spacebomb

46.

Alex Lahey

I Love You Like a Brother

Dead Oceans

47.

Phoebe Bridgers

Stranger in the Alps

Dead Oceans

48.

Chilly Gonzales and Jarvis Cocker

Room 29

Deutsche Grammophon

49.

Baxter Dury

Prince of Tears

Heavenly

50.

Goldfrapp

Silver Eye

Mute

51.

SZA

Ctrl

Top Dawg/RCA

52.

Kevin Morby

City Music

Dead Oceans

53.

Temples

Volcano

Fat Possum

54.

Waxahatchee

Out in the Storm

Merge

55.

Vince Staples

Big Fish Theory

Def Jam/Blacksmith

56.

Lorde

Melodrama

Republic

57.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Luciferian Towers

Constellation

58.

Laura Marling

Semper Femina

More Alarming

59.

Ride

Weather Diaries

Wichita

60.

Kirin J Callinan

Bravado

Terrible

61.

alt-J

Relaxer

Canvasback Music

62.

Thundercat

Drunk

Brainfeeder

63.

Zola Jesus

Okovi

Sacred Bones

64.

Sampha

Process

Young Turks

65.

Ted Leo

The Hanged Man

Self-Released

66.

Dirty Projectors

Dirty Projectors

Domino

67.

Nick Hakim

Green Twins

ATO

68.

Grandaddy

Last Place

30th Century

69.

Phoenix

Ti Amo

Glassnote

70.

The Afghan Whigs

In Spades

Sub Pop

71.

Jessie Ware

Glasshouse

PMR/Friends Keep Secrets/Interscope

72.

Julie Byrne

Not Even Happiness

Ba Da Bing!

73.

Jane Weaver

Modern Kosmology

Fire

74.

Madeline Kenney

Night Night at the First Landing

Company

75.

Destroyer

ken

Merge

76.

Deerhoof

Mountain Moves

Joyful Noise

77.

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings

Soul of a Woman

Daptone

78.

Tricky

ununiform

False Idols/!K7

79.

The Weather Station

The Weather Station

Paradise of Bachelors

80.

British Sea Power

Let the Dancers Inherit the Party

Golden Chariot

81.

Girlpool

Powerplant

ANTI-

82.

Saint Etienne

Home Counties

Heavenly

83.

Austra

Future Politics

Domino

84.

The Mountain Goats

Goths

Merge

85.

Nadine Shah

Holiday Destination

1965

86.

Priests

Nothing Feels Natural

Sister Polygon

87.

Mogwai

Every Country’s Sun

Temporary Residence Ltd.

88.

Beach Fossils

Somersault

Bayonet

89.

The Flaming Lips

Oczy Mlody

Warner Bros.

90.

Run the Jewels

Run the Jewels 3

Self-Released

91.

Blanck Mass

World Eater

Sacred Bones

92.

POND

The Weather

Marathon Artists

93.

Little Dragon

Season High

Loma Vista

94.

Kamasi Washington

Harmony of Difference

Young Turks

95.

Mac DeMarco

This Old Dog

Captured Tracks

96.

Cut Copy

Haiku from Zero

Astralwerks

97.

Sondre Lerche

Pleasure

PLZ

98.

Fazerdaze

Morningside

Flying Nun

99.

EMA

Exile in the Outer Ring

City Slang

100

This Is the Kit

Moonshine Freeze

Rough Trade

Comments

Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published

URL

Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

Troy
December 31st 2017
2:23am

Perfect result!

Psychskier
December 31st 2017
6:56am

You should listen to the Black Angels Death Song, it would have made your top 100 if you had. Strong album start to finish and arguably their best.  Oh Sees Orc is also missing, or perhaps psychedelic/garage rock is just not your bag baby, yeah.
Otherwise its still the best list on the web, again.

Paul Allegrone
January 2nd 2018
3:47pm

Everything Everything’s Fever Dream is the album that I have been listening to the most.  I relate to the words, music, and vocals more than any other anti-Trump offerings of other artists.

mochilamilitar
October 13th 2018
11:45pm

I love this list, and i think that it’s so correct <3