Okay, so it's nearly March, which probably makes this the world's most untimely 'Best of 2017' list! First I'll get to the music, but there's a personal note at the bottom of this post explaining why I'm sometimes much later with posts than I'd like, and why I think they're still worth doing anyway.
Wow, I was really blown away by the musical offerings from last year! There's some truly spectacular music being made by incredibly creative artists who are dedicated to their craft. and to making brilliant music for the sake of it. Though it's easier than ever to find music from all over the world to suit your particular tastes, I'm pretty convinced there's also just more and more amazing music being produced. This playlist features a song from each of my favourite 2017 albums. It's pretty long, with fifty-five tracks, coming in at around three hours and forty minutes of listening. I heard so much great stuff, this was as much as I could narrow it down! And you'll notice this is only Part One....
- Lucky Soul - One Touch Is Enough (Hard Lines)
- Rose Elinor Dougall - Colour of Water (Stellular)
- Tristen - Partyin' Is Such Sweet Sorrow (Sneaker Waves)
- Robert Finley - Medicine Woman (Goin' Platinum!)
- The Green Flamingos - The Silver Voice On Doomsday Drums (The Southern Oracle)
- Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - Rumors (Soul of a Woman)
- El Michels Affair - Tearz (feat. Lee Fields and The Shacks) (Return to 37th Chamber)
- Carla Morrison - Azúcar morena (Amor Supremo Desnudo)
- Anna Ternheim - Dreams Of Blue (All The Way To Rio)
- Jane Weaver - Did You See Butterflies? (Modern Kosmology)
- Judy Dyble & Andy Lewis - My Electric Chauffeur (Summer Dancing)
- Saint Etienne - Out Of My Mind (Home Counties)
- Kumisolo - Pop Girl (Kabuki femme fatale)
- Magic & Naked - The Night That I Found Out (Human Expression)
- Shadow Band - Endless Night (Wilderness of Love)
- Tracy Bryant - Forever Certain (A Place for Nothing and Everything in Its Place)
- Dogu Blok - Beyaz Çiçekler (Şeytan Hazretlerinin Son Yolculuğu)
- Eloïse Decazes & Eric Chenaux - Le deuil d'amour* (La Bride)
- Satellite Jockey - Opacity (Modern Life, Vol. 1)
- Miranda Lee Richards - Lucid I Would Dream (Existential Beast)
- Bedouine - Nice and Quiet (Bedouine)
- Le fruit vert - Jour nuit jour* (Paon perdu)
- Sospetto - Mancanza Di Sonno* (Il Sonno Eterno)
- Nana - Gato é Crime, Denuncie (CMG-NGM-PDE)
- Catherine Leduc - Rien comme le froid (Un bras de distance avec le soleil)
- Triptides - Moonbeams (Afterglow)
- H. Hawkline - Love Matters (I Romanticize)
- The Cats Never Sleep - Whales in the Clouds (Massage)
- Juniore - L'accident (Ouh là là)
- Serpent Power - Jekyll & Hyde (Electric Looneyland)
- L.A. Witch - You Love Nothing (L.A. Witch)
- Juliana Hatfield - You're Breaking My Heart (Pussycat)
- Margo Price - Do Right By Me (All American Made)
- Molly Burch - Try (Downhearted)
- Reptaliens - If You Want (FM-2030)
- Froth - Show A Flower A Candle And It Will Grow (Outside (Briefly))
- OCS - On and On Corridor (Memory Of A Cut Off Head)
- White Poppy - Love Molecules (The Pink Haze of Love)
- Julie Aubé - Quand j'dors pas (Joie de vivre)
- Jake Bugg - Every Colour In The World (Hearts That Strain)
- The Greek Theatre - Stray Dog Blues (Broken Circle)
- The Church - Another Century (man woman life death infinity)
- Gun Outfit - Cybele (Out of Range)
- Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble - Galactic Emergence* (Find Me Finding You)
- Sahara - Bouleversement (Colibris)
- Forever Pavot - Hutre (La pantoufle)
- Nadah El Shazly - Palmyra (Ahwar)
- Cosmic Analog Ensemble - Après vous* (Les Sourdes Oreilles)
- Keith Seatman - Mr Metronome (feat. Douglas E Powell)* (All Hold Hands and Off We Go)
- Tara King Th. - Cosmoscillations (Stellar Fantasies)
- Art Of The Memory Palace - Voiture Blanche Dans Le Noir* (Voiture Blanche Dans Le Noir)
- Calypso Valois - Le Jour (Cannibale)
- Charlotte Gainsbourg - Rest (Rest)
- Colleen - The stars vs creatures (A flame my love, a frequency)
- Hampshire & Foat - The Solar Winds (and Cadenza) (Galaxies Like Grains of Sand)
*Not on Spotify.
A quick note about the 8tracks playlist: I really prefer using 8tracks because I can add any song rather than relying on content on streaming services, but I realise it's restrictive for many users. I've also made a Spotify version below, but you'll notice it's missing several songs from the list, so I encourage you to give 8tracks a try with the tips you'll find under the player. Shorter version: I find it a smooth experience using 8tracks with the free, very easy-to-use VPN program Psiphon, set to a Canadian IP.
There are also links in the list above to play each song indivdually (Bandcamp, Soundcloud or Youtube).
Now for the excruciatingly hard part where I try to pick my absolute favourite albums from this list!
Top 10 albums:
- Lucky Soul - Hard Lines (Crystal Paris Records) – My album of the year!
- Tristen - Sneaker Waves (Modern Outsider)
- Rose Elinor Dougall - Stellular (Vermilion Records)
- Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - Soul of a Woman (Daptone Records)
- Jane Weaver - Modern Kosmology (Fire Records)
- Saint Etienne - Home Counties (Heavenly)
- Kumisolo - Kabuki femme fatale (Alter K)
- Juniore - Ouh là là (Le Phonographe)
- Eloïse Decazes & Eric Chenaux - La Bride (three:four records)
- Miranda Lee Richards - Existential Beast (Invisible Hands Music)
Other standouts include Juliana Hatfield, Bedouine, Judy Dyble & Andy Lewis, Jake Bugg, Keith Seatman, Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble, The Church, Satellite Jockey, Sospetto, Nana... okay, I'm on the verge of listing everyone again, so I'll just say: every album in the playlist is worth checking out!
If you're looking to buy any music from this list, I suggest trying out my Music Search page, which lets you search for digital or hard copy releases from multiple stores around the world.
A few thank yous to those who introduced me to some of the artists here: Sheila B. on her WFMU show Sophisticated Boom Boom, Ashley from Pop Junkie (check out his fantastic 2017 list here), Tim from Powerpopulist, The Active Listener, Pretty Odd Authority, SteveJinSoCal, Rhid, Matt, and Jens.
So onto that personal note: I have severe Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, which makes blogging very challenging for me most of the time. If you're interested in learning more about it, I'd recommend checking out the acclaimed film Unrest. Unfortunately, I also have particularly bad stretches where I can't manage to blog at all, as has happened the last couple of months. But I've often started working on an idea, and it's too heartbreaking to simply abandon something I've already put a lot of love and effort into – so I'd rather put it up late than not at all.
I really appreciate that people still support these posts and still drop by at this late stage, or even later, to listen to what I've shared, and sometimes to let me know they've been enjoying it. And even though I'm self-conscious about the delays, I also know it doesn't really matter because music is there to be discovered at any time. I doubt my readers care about set times to post things or think something not brand spanking new is passé. I think many of you live in the same time warp I do where musc from fifty years feels completely fresh! Anyway, I don't particularly like to get into personal stuff on this blog, but I did want to explain the delay and I wanted to be honest about it. If you've read this far, an extra thanks for your time and your understanding.