Here it is, our top 10 records of 2017, which by all accounts has been an absolutely incredible year for music!
10: Harry Styles – Harry Styles
Without a doubt the most surprising record of 2017. Harry Styles, 1/5 of pop juggernauts One Direction, released his first solo record in early May, and it’s safe to say it’s different to what everyone expected. A mainly soft rock collection of tracks, the real winner on this is the euphoric Sign of the Times, which has subtle notes of Bowie in its instrumentation and booming chorus. Kiwi and Woman are other tracks that are definitely worth a listen.
9: RAT BOY – SCUM
SCUM is the debut record from new indie sensations RAT BOY, a record which flows into each track and overall has a great feel to it. We went into this one with low expectations, however, came away completely blown away, mainly by frontman Jordan Cardy’s songwriting talents, shown off in tracks like the political REVOLUTION and record highlight LAIDBACK. The band are one to watch in the future if SCUM is anything to go by.
8: Everything Everything – A Fever Dream
The Mancunians are at it again with another astonishing and thought-provoking record, arguably their best to date. The record kicks off with the incredible Night of the Long Knives which blasts straight into the electro-indie of Can’t Do. A Fever Dream has clear political undertones to it, not only in the record opener but in the tracks Run The Numbers and title track A Fever Dream.
7: The National – Sleep Well Beast
It’s safe to say that not all of The National’s discography is instantly likeable, but to me, Sleep Well Beast is a record that I enjoyed right from the start. Lead vocalist Matt Berninger’s melancholy take on topics like marital anxieties and social issues shines through on this record, with great tracks like Day I Die and Turtleneck. This isn’t as good as Alligator, but this is definitely up there with the best.
6: Wolf Alice – Visions Of A Life
Britain’s biggest band of 2017 lit up the alternative music scene with Visions of a Life, the follow-up to 2015’s My Love Is Cool. The band have taken inspiration from their first record in tracks like Formidable Cool and Sadboy, but they’ve also shown off a different side to them. The heavy rock of Yuk Foo and the cinematic Don’t Delete The Kisses proves that they are not only the most versatile but overall the best band that Britain has to offer.
5: Stormzy – Gang Signs & Prayer
2016 was the year of Skepta, and this year was easily the year of Stormzy. The grime artist shot to fame when his 2015 hit Shut Up went viral, and we get more of the same on his debut Gang Signs & Prayer. The record opener First Things First is a smooth but heavy tune, which sets the tone for the rest of the record. The incredible Blinded By You Grace Pt 1 & 2 are definitely tracks you need to hear. If you’re new to grime music, listen to this record first. A classic.
4: Sampha – Process
Having collaborated with some of the biggest names in music like Drake and Kanye West, it was time for Sampha to release a debut record of his own in 2017. He deservingly won the Mercury Music Prize for the record which is a huge achievement and it’s easy to see why. His mature approach to songwriting blossomed tracks like the emotionally raw (No One Knows Me) Like The Piano, and hectic Blood On Me has won over critics and music lovers alike. A break=out star of 2017.
3: Gorillaz – Humanz
Everyone’s favourite virtual band made an important comeback this year with their flawless record Humanz. A wealth of talent featured on the record, with notable names being Vince Staples on the track Ascension, reggae star Popcaan on Saturnz Barz and the incredible Jehnny Beth on the feelgood track We Got The Power. A great record, and with another reportedly set for next year, 2018 is already looking great.
2: Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.
The greatest rapper around. After his last two major label releases garnered exceptional critical reviews, Kendrick came up trumps again with the incredible DAMN. His lyricism and flow are without a doubt the best around, further proven by the incredible tracks on this record like the anti-gun U2 collaboration XXX, and the absolute smash hit HUMBLE. If you thought Kendrick was going to play it safe after To Pimp A Butterfly, think again.
P.S. Listen to it in reverse, it’s even better.
1: Lorde – Melodrama
Our Record of the Year is the breathtaking Melodrama by Lorde, in fact, it’s one of the best pop records of the past decade.
Lorde shot to fame in 2013 with megahit Royals and has been in the public limelight ever since. This record deals with her sharp rise to fame. Melodrama kicks off with the epic bouncing pop number Green Light but takes a darker turn with the atmospheric, synth-based tracks Sober and Homemade Dynamite.
Huge choruses are the make-up of this record, with the choruses of Green Light and Supercut packing a really sharp punch in the world of pop music. However, The Louvre‘s dark, subtle synth-laden chorus is one of the best you’ll hear this year.
With most tracks full-frontal and exposing, the tracks Liability and Writer In The Dark bring a cooling presence to Melodrama and shows off some of Lorde’s best ever songwriting.
An incredible record from an incredible artist.