Sorry this is kind of late, have been traveling a ton for the holidays, and thats just how life goes sometimes.
Alas, I felt obligated to still give you guys my top 10 albums of 2017. It's never too late to get in touch with fantastic music. A lot of people are saying 2017 was a shit year, I couldn't agree more in some regards but personally I had an amazing time and was down for the ride. Also the music that came out was utterly magic. Here are some of my faves, I hope some of these you've never heard before so I can totally BLOW YOUR MIND DUDE!
1. Tryphème - Online Dating
This album was sent to me by a dear friend of mine who's music taste I very much have always admired from afar. I was honored that this album made them think of me as it is EXACTLY what I love. People kept asking me who my favorite breakthrough artist of 2017 was, and there are SO MANY it's hard to chose from, but I kept returning to Tryphème. Something about it really pushed the boundaries of techno and electronic music as a whole for me. The lyrics are very pop but don't venture too far into that realm. Enjoy, this album will change your life!
Listen to Tryphème "Mélo Dramatique"
2. Blue Hawaii - Tenderness
Anyone who knows me very well knows I LOVE POP MUSIC. And I love pop music even more when I find it when I'm least expecting it. Blue Hawaii has always been an artist in the back of my mind. I saw them perform a couple years ago at Noise Pop and even though it wasn't my favorite performance ever I've had my eye on them. I knew they were capable of something really special and I think this album is where it happened for them. Something clicked and it all came together and I think for that they deserve to be high on my list of top albums of the year. When I heard it I knew this was the sound they were going for this whole time and I'm so stoked they finally achieved it! They even teamed up with one of my favorite producers from this year Project Pablo on a few tracks, and they ROCK!
Listen to Blue Hawaii "Versus Game"
3. Kelly Lee Owens - Kelly Lee Owens
I'm starting to realize now that all my top artists are women this year, I swear I'm not doing this on purpose... just these ladies especially kicked ass for me this year. Number 3 obviously has to go Kelly Lee Owens, a new live electronic act that just blew my mind when I heard her album. I wouldn't necessarily label it as pop music even though a lot of the tracks are vocal heavy. She uses her voice just as another means to create sound textures in her performance, similar to Bjork. Really looking forward to getting the chance to hopefully see her live in 2018!
Listen to Kelly Lee Owens' epic cover of Aaliyah's "More Than a Woman"
4. Joe Goddard - Electric Lines
Joe Goddard! What can I say, he's a hell of a producer! His lastest album is just plain fun, and I think there is something to be said about that. This album is feel good, it's quirky, and most importantly makes you bounce in your seat. Reminds me of early electro house updated for 2017. I wish I saw him when he played in SF at Public Works this past year, but I was out of town... you win some you lose some I guess. I first was introduced to this album with Morgan Geist (of Metro Area)'s remix of "Home" one of my favorite tracks from the album. Check it out, let me know what you think!
Listen to Joe Goddard's "Home"
5. Pierre Kwenders - MAKANDA at the End of Space, the Beginning of Time
I made it a point in 2017 to really start diving in to more contemporary world music. My explorations took me to none other than Pierre Kwenders, an Afro-Canadian producer and songwriter that takes influence from gospel music to his Nigerian roots. Kwenders sings nd raps in four different languages, English, French, Lingala and Tshilub, sometimes even in the same song! This album as a whole really embraces his influences as he creates a sound I have never heard before. Hailing from Montreal, I think Kwenders is definitely an artist to keep a watch on for 2018.
Listen to Pierre Kwenders' "La La Love"
6. Jadu Heart - Ezra's Garden
Alright, so technically this album came out at the end of 2016 but it definitely was a big influencer for me in 2017. You know when you listen to a song and it automatically takes you back to a specific time and place, you can feel the exact way you felt the first time you listened to it, smell the same smells. Look down and you're can even imagine you are wearing the same clothes. Jadu Heart's Ezra Garden album does this for me. Justin Martin and I were lost in the National Forest where they were hosting the Oregon Eclipse this past year. The time leading up to this had been a total shitshow. We didn't have any cellphone service and all of a sudden the paved road we were on turned in to dirt with no signs for the festival in sight. We were totally stuck but this album kept us calm. This song below in particular I could play on repeat for hours, wish it would never end.
Listen to Jadu Heart's "Galaxy Surfing"
7. Laurel Halo - Dust
Laurel Halo is another female artist doing really interesting things in the genre of experimental electronic music... obviously I know there is a bit of a trend with that in the music that really stood out for me this year. She incorporates jazz influence from her past experiences in jazz ensembles growing up. Overall an intersting album with a lot of different sounds happening. It's got a great flow and is an easy listen. Enjoy!
Listen to Laurel Halo's "Moontalk"
8. yaeji - EP2
Pulling from hip hop, 2step, and most importantly Korean pop music. yaeji is one of the most exciting up and coming producers in the electronic realm in my opinion right now. Though her first full length album is only 5 songs, each one hits super hard and is a total banger. It's been my go to airplane music. Looking forward to seeing what is coming up next for her.
Listen to yaeji's "Drink I'm Sippin' On"
9. Ghostpoet - Dark Days + Canapés
If you are looking for some next level R&B (if you even want to call it that) look no further than Ghostpoet's Dark Days + Canapés. It's pretty fucking weird, I'm not going to lie. It definitely took me a few listens to really get in to it but if you keep with it I promise it's worth it. It kind of reminds me of an old western film gone completely wrong. It's very dark, definitely has a lot of goth influences such as Nine Inch Nails, Bauhaus, and Massive Attack. I would go ahead and just listen to the album in it's entirety before making any judgements. There is something very wild about it, it takes you on a journey and at the end it's like you've been holding your breath for the entire 45 minutes of the album. It's demanding of your attention and makes you really think about the lyrics he is throwing in your face. It's epic in a I hate the world sort of way.
Listen to Ghostpoet's "Many Moods at Midnight"
10. Shigeto - The New Monday
And last, but certainly not the least, Shigeto's latest release on Ghostly is something I need to throw in to the spotlight. It's awesome, and I don't really have much else to say besides that. Partly because I've already written a lot and I feel like I should just shut up so you can enjoy the music. But please check this out, love it, leave it, do what you will! XOX
Listen to Shigeto's "Barry White"