Friday, 5 January 2018

What 2017 Sounded Like

girl make-up headphones earphones music listening

2017 was definitely a year of music for me, and better yet, it was a year of good music. I can't speak for the mainstream or the charts, as I am often miles behind in what's popular at the moment, and if I'm honest, a lot of 2017 releases did nothing for me. But as I am so far behind, it means that this year I finally bought albums I'd been looking forward to listening to for years

In this post, I thought I'd share a playlist of some of my favourite tracks from the albums that I listened to. I had a lot of favourites, so it is quite long, but I couldn't think of a better way to share the music that brightened up my life in 2017, as writing about it all became very drawn-out and samey. I also added some singles that I'd listened to to the playlist.

So, go on, give it a listen at the bottom of the post, and here's a list of what I listened to and when.


I kicked off the year with Charli XCX's second studio album, Sucker, a rock n' roll filled, Ramones-influenced, girl-power gem.


Although it dropped a month earlier, I finally got around to listening to the 80's-vibing bubblegum pop sounds of Lovestarrs with their debut album Planet Lovestarr.


Who knew Joe Jonas sang Cake by the Ocean? Not this gal. Imagine my shock when I decided to buy the whole album and found a fun, infectious treasure that doesn't take itself too seriously and is comparable to the early works of Maroon 5? (Previously one of my fave bands but now they're shit?) Yup, I was pretty fucking surprised. DNCE was a fantastic debut by the band of the same name.


Foxes' dreamy, summery sounds with notes of dark and moody romance are, I hope, going to be a trademark of hers. Her debut album Glorious doesn't fall short, and has to be considered one of my favourite albums of all time. She's a lot more than Let Go For Tonight would lead you to believe.

I'm not often one for Scottish musicians, as I find the accents of Biffy Clyro and Twin Atlantic grating on me, but I can safely say that Chvrches really changed the game with their blend of synth-pop and indie, which mixes to create a faultless album, The Bones of What You Believe. Reminiscent of The Good Natured (AKA the early days of Lovestarrs), it's no wonder rock stars like Muse are making covers of their music.


The opening of Marina & The Diamonds' third album, Froot, was not what I expected. A piano-driven ballad, it had me almost in a ball on the floor in floods of tears. Even when the mood shifts to a more positive outlook, I always find Marina's voice giving me goosebumps and making me feel the things that she does. Her previous album, Electra Heart, would definitely be a difficult one to follow up, but I think Marina executed it well. Electra Heart is a very special album to me as I was in my late teens when it released and I grew a lot with it, but Froot is well worth plenty of listens and curates an amazing mesh of music and lyrics.

The most surprising album I listened to this year, though, had to be the Kaiser Chief's seventh studio album. I emphasised seventh because I am baffled at the amount of fans who don't like this latest offer from KC because it isn't the same old stuff. Rocking 80's pop and retro vibes from the likes of the Pet Shop Boys and the Bee Gee's (in my opinion), this album was an unexpected treasure. I first heard their lead single, Parachute, on Absolute Radio (the only station Jack listens to) last summer and I'd been keen to hear more since - especially since Absolute Radio evidently decided it was too mainstream and they didn't play it after that!


July marked my dad's 60th birthday, where I bought him the latest offering from Blondie, named Pollinator, which had come out just a few months prior. It turns out that I like the album more than he does - he hasn't listened to it once so I've officially taken it for car journeys, whilst listening to it on repeat on my phone, too. Although it's not the strongest of albums and there are a few tracks that I admit I don't totally love, I still enjoy the album and there are some songs I really adore.

Later in the month I returned to my pop-punk roots and grab the Palm Trees and Powerlines album by Sugarcult. I have a good handful of Sugarcult songs on my phone, my enjoyment of their music having stemmed from discovering Stephanie Meyer's playlists for the Twilight books, but I admit that this album didn't really blow me away like I thought it would've. I didn't bop my head or dance around much and ultimately, it didn't make me feel amazing. Not a bad album - but I think I've somewhat grown out of the pop-punk thing. You know - to an extent, anyway.


Kesha's latest album was in my hands just days after its release. I was always a fan of several Kesha singles, but never really paid too much attention to the albums. Obviously, the abuse she'd endured for years at the hands of Dr. Luke got me to take notice, and I was excited for the album upon watching the video for the single Prayer. The album, Rainbow, is an unusual mix of country and pop that Kesha makes work. Naturally, the lyrics contain themes of empowerment, self-worth and letting go, as well as a few love songs. It's an emotional roller-coaster, so brace yourself.


In September I returned to one of my favourite artists, Sia, to pick up her latest offering This is Acting. I got the Deluxe album which contains lots of extra tracks, but the main album is my favourite part of it, anyway. Expect much the same as 1000 Forms of Fear, with infectious notes, gorgeous ballads, and stunning vocals.

The Killers returned with their fifth studio album Wonderful Wonderful and it is nothing short of being just that. It's a perfect album, in my opinion, and one of my favourites of all time. I'd go as far as to name it my favourite album of 2017, actually. Some songs sound like they should be on Peaky Blinders (Wonderful Wonderful, The Calling), whilst some are just fun and upbeat to listen to (The Man) whilst others will have you about to cry (Some Kind of Love). It's an emotional album and it was executed beautifully.


I finally got myself a copy of an album I'd been waiting to hear for years - Beauty is Pain by Swedish DJ duo Rebecca & Fiona. It's everything you need to get your butt on the dance floor, while even their most serious of lyrics are put atop a fun beat. If you're a fan of the likes of Calvin Harris, then I highly recommend giving these ladies a shot.

There For Tomorrow released their final EP, Nightscape, in 2014, and I finally got my paws on it in November of last year. Some tracks are very much TFT, but several seem like the beginning of AFTHR, the band lead vocalist, Maika, and drummer, Chris, have now formed. Either way it's a fantastic EP, and if anything, I wish it was a full album because it's that good. Tomb is my favourite track, and the one you need to listen to ASAP.

What albums made your 2017?


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