Along with a round-up of what I was reading last year, I also spent today rummaging through Last.fm's handy-dandy charts to prepare a run-down of my favourite music of the last twelve months.
Top 10 artists listened to in 2017
- Afghan Whigs
- Forest Swords
- The New Pornographers
- Juana Molina
- Cold War Kids
- Aimee Mann
- Run the Jewels
- Andrew Lloyd Webber
- Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes
Every artist on this list apart from Andrew Lloyd Webber are there because they released a new album this year, with almost all of them making the next list too. I also managed to see two of the top three (Afghan Whigs and The New Pornographers) live in 2017 as well, both in Amsterdam.
Top 10 albums listened to in 2017
- Forest Swords — Compassion
- Cold War Kids — La Divine
- Afghan Whigs — In Spades
- Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes — Modern Ruin
- Aimee Mann — Mental Illness
- The New Pornographers — Whiteout Conditions
- Slowdive — Slowdive
- Juana Molina — Halo
- Run the Jewels — Run the Jewels 3
- Spoon — Hot Thoughts
My tastes seem to swing between genres year by year. Last year was all indie, the year before was more hip-hop; in 2017 I discovered a preference for experimental ambient electronica, with albums like Forest Swords' Compassion and Juana Molina's Halo (and others, such as Iglooghost's Neo Wax Bloom) getting a lot of play while I worked. I found that the lyric-free (or, in the case of Halo, entirely Spanish lyrics) allowed for easier concentration and better focus.
The new Afghan Whigs album, In Spades, was head-and-shoulders above its predecessor (2014's underwhelming Do To The Beast), and nearly as good as their original 90s releases. Another 90s throwback, Slowdive, were not even on my radar during their initial stint in the spotlight, but their reunion album was excellent.
I've compiled a playlist of selected tracks from these (plus a few other) albums on Spotify—you can listen to it here.
Track of the year
It doesn't feature on any of my top 10 lists, probably because I've mostly listened to it via YouTube rather than Spotify, but one track I came back to again and again was Gift of Gab's Freedom Form Flowing, mainly for A-F-R-O's guest spot. He's been consistently incredible since he burst onto the scene as a teenager just a few years ago; here's hoping for an album from him in the new year: