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Alex writesCHIRP Radio Best of 2017: DJ Alex

CHIRP Radio Best of 2017

Throughout December, CHIRP Radio presents its volunteers’ top albums of 2017. Our next list is from DJ Alex.

I enjoy this exercise because it necessitates listening to a lot of fantastic music. Looking back at my lists over the last few years, none are remarkably alike. Varying themes emerge in each. They might represent shifting tides in the musical landscape; simply, what content is out there. What's more likely is that they illuminate something about the undulating context of the listener, me, which is different than any other listener. A recording is a fixed document. How it's received is a function of a lot of other things I couldn't possibly fully appreciate. I hope this music provides you, another listener, moments of enrichment as it did for me.

 

#1   Light Information by Chad VanGaalen (Sub Pop)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Chad VanGaalen Light InformationFolk nose, pop sensibility, garage varnish, psychedelic finish. This guy just gets me.

 

 

#2   All This I Do For Glory by Colin Stetson (52hz)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Colin Stetson All This I Do For GloryManic focus. Experimental sublimity.

 

 

#3   A Deeper Understanding by The War On Drugs (Atlantic)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

The War On Drugs A Deeper UnderstandingResuscitates American nostalgia. The soundtrack of The Heartland.

 

 

#4   DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar (Interscope/Top Dawg Entertainment)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Kendrick Lamar DAMN.Summation of a year marred by horrifying inequity and injustice. I could write endlessly about why I think it's an important record, why it makes me hopeful, why it worries me, why I think I don't fully understand it, why I think this artist is in a class by himself... not going to do that here. My advice: Listen.

 

 

#5   Capacity by Big Thief (Saddle Creek)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Big Thief CapacityFront to back a brilliant exhibition of honesty in song.

 

 

#6   Drunk by Thundercat (Brainfeeder)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Thundercat DrunkI don't know... this artist is so weird and awesome. I've never met him, but I want to believe he's the coolest person on the planet. Does he even live on this planet?

 

 

#7   Compilation (I,II,&III) by Sheer Mag (WILSUN RC)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Sheer Mag Compilation (I,II,&III)Hmmm, this might be cheating as this was all previously released material. They had another full length released in 2017 as well, I just picked this one because I listened to it more, but they are both great. Ah, who cares, I'm blabbering. Slam a few Schlitz, pop the hood of your Trans Am and crank the rockest rock that ever rocked.

 

 

#8   Aromanticism by Moses Sumney (Jagjaguwar)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Moses Sumney AromanticismPerhaps the most sonically interesting album I heard this year. Aromanticism is its own genre.

 

 

#9   Stranger in the Alps by Phoebe Bridgers (Dead Oceans)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Phoebe Bridgers Stranger in the AlpsGut-wrenching and bewitching. Play if you're ready to have feelings. One of my favorite songs of the year, "Motion Sickness," is track 2.

 

 

#10   ken by Destroyer (Merge)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Destroyer kenHazey synth pop overload. It would be belittling and unfair to call this record part of a "movement" recalling the sounds of the '80s. While all that influence seems apparent, it's still undeniably the output of a man with a particular vision that doesn't give a crap about what's trending.

 

Honorable Mentions:

Lift To Experience - The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads 2 (reissue)
The National - Sleep Well Beast
Kamasi Washington - Harmony of Difference
Tim Darcy - Saturday Night
Kelly Lee Owens - Kelly Lee Owens
The Courtneys - The Courtneys II
Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked at Me
Matt Jencik - Weird Times 2
Kevin Morby - City Music
Rostam - Half-Light
WHY? - Moh Lhean
Sylvan Esso - What Now

 

 

 

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Categorized: Best Albums of the Year

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