Top 30 Albums of 2017

This post was originally published on this site

Gathering our favorite albums of the year is always such a challenge. 2017 was a year where our society may have taken a few steps backwards – exclusionary politics threatened personal freedoms and made some of us feel unwelcome within our own homes. It was 2017’s music – a combination of bright newcomers and longtime favorites – that kept us going forward. Moses Sumney made his eclectic debut with Aromanticism, a genre-defying collection of strummed guitars, twisting synth lines and buzzing harmonies. St. Vincent reworked her labyrinthine tendencies into chrome-clad future pop and Julien Baker exposed the darkest shadows of her psyche to give us all appreciation for every beam of light. Meanwhile, Kendrick Lamar and Bjork invited us into their unique and awe-inspiring worlds. 

And though this pursuit was a challenge, looking back on this year’s music has been quite therapeutic for us. The Wild Honey Pie has come together to list the albums that allowed us to escape to places where each one of us felt welcome and understood. There’s no theme to this year’s list, but our top albums do have one thing in common: in their own special way, each of these artists broke down boundaries to remind us that we are all more similar than we might think.

We’d like to invite you into some of these places, where we hope you’ll feel welcome, too. These are our favorite albums of 2017.

Playlist

30. (Sandy) Alex G – Rocket

29. Tyler, The Creator – Flower Boy

28. Jessie Ware – Glasshouse

27. Priests – Nothing Feels Natural

26. Jay Som – Everybody Works

25. Ryan Adams – Prisoner

24. Perfume Genius – No Shape

23. Slowdive – Slowdive

22. King Krule – The OOZ

21. Sylvan Esso – What Now

20. LCD Soundsystem – American Dream

19. Julie Byrne – Not Even Happiness

18. Vagabon – Infinite Worlds

17. Vince Staples – Big Fish Theory

16. Henry Jamison – The Wilds

 

15. Fleet Foxes – Crack-Up

14. HAIM – Something To Tell You

13. alt-J – Relaxer

12. SZA – Ctrl

11. Cigarettes After Sex – Cigarettes After Sex


10. Mount Eerie – A Crow Looked at Me


Phil Elverum of Mount Eerie recently lost his wife, fellow musician and comic-book artist Geneviève Castrée, to a heartbreaking battle with cancer. This concept album is dedicated to her, and does not shy away from painful details of their story. A Crow Looked at Me is not just about the way sickness and death infiltrate life, but it is an exploration of what it means to carry on. Elverum says, “there is an echo of Geneviève that still rings, a reminder of the love and infinity beneath all of this obliteration.” This album so beautifully captures that echo.

9. Overcoats – YOUNG

Young is a folk-pop testament to friendship, built from the tightly wound voices of Hana and JJ, and fortified in their dancy and electronic production. This album is about what happens when an unhealthy relationship slowly eats away at who you are. Hana and JJ show us that in friendship and harmony, we can find ourselves again and help to build each other back up. Watching these two grow has been an honor for us, whether they were performing in front of a campfire at our very own Welcome Campers or embracing each other on stage in front of a sold-out audience at Bowery Ballroom.

8. Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.

Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. is a statement piece — an effort that not only showcases the rapper’s immense talent for spitting rhymes that tackle complex social issues, but one that also sets aside Lamar from his contemporaries as a brave voice never lacking honesty in its approach. DAMN. is as bombastic as lead single “HUMBLE.”, as tightly coiled and cutting in meaning as standout track “DNA.” and as expansive as its collaborations with Rihanna, Zacari and U2 might suggest. DAMN. is a much-needed, explosive force, as conspicuous and unabashed as the caps lock and requisite punctuation of its title.   

7. Julien Baker – Turn Out the Lights

This album by Julien Baker is a special one. Baker so candidly shares stories of addiction and what it means to be truly consumed in darkness. However, as she brings us into this place, she infuses it with beauty and grace, delivering so many chilling moments of release. She does not sugar-coat the repeated moments of pain and disappointment, but she does find hope within them, belting out her words so powerfully as if they themselves contain the source of the light (and maybe they do). This album has meant so much to us and I’m sure it has to so many others as well. 

6. St. Vincent – MASSEDUCTION

Prefaced by the gently ridged heartbreak and teetering chords of “New York,” St. Vincent’s fifth studio album served as a concentrated break into pop music. Masseduction is a rollercoaster filled with twists and turns that allow Annie Clark to extend her repertoire — slipping into the role of abandoned lover, disco queen, enabler – all without sacrificing her love for rougher edges. Behind the iron-clad pop hooks lies an album full of complex emotional and social machinery, where Clark can convincingly rouse adrenaline-driven love, or evaporate the shadow of a lover between the swelling of a string orchestra and her own breath.  

5. Lorde – Melodrama

If any moment captures the tender heartbreak behind Melodrama best, it’s the exact midpoint of the album, where, in the midst of the outro to the first part of “Hard Feelings/Loveless,” the song kicks back into one last verse. “Three years loved you every single day, it made me weak…Now I’ll fake it every single day ‘till I don’t need fantasy, ‘til I feel you leave,” Lorde sings, as memories of the rush of first love well up involuntarily. Melodrama is about accepting these pieces as they come back to you, even when doing so is so difficult. The album serves as a beautifully constructed, often pained reminder that even after momentous loss, you are still whole.

4. Bjork – Utopia

It’s no surprise that Bjork made this list, as her innovation has essentially changed music forever. But what does “utopia” sound like for Bjork? This is an album of love songs, a romantic journal containing flutes, choirs and birds that elevate us beyond the reality that we know. She sings of paradise after healing, giving and receiving love unabashedly. She feels lighter here, which is reflected in the airy instrumentals. Bjork sings, “loss of love, we all have suffered / how we make up for it defines who we, who we are” a realization that seems to be the centerpiece of Utopia.

3. Phoebe Bridgers – Stranger In The Alps

Phoebe Bridgers is one of our favorite new artists of the year. Every song on this album feels like a late-night conversation with a trusted friend. Bridgers drops us directly into her world, tackling feelings of unexplainable sadness, friendship and death. Bridgers has a true gift for finding the right words and remaining brutally honest, transforming the mundane into the alluring, making a “stack of mail and a tall can” sound so profound. This album contains echoes of intimacy and morbidity, reminiscent of her emo/folk predecessors Elliot Smith and tourmate/collaborator Conor Oberst. Ultimately, this is an album that we have found so soothing, so inescapably truthful and so reflective of the times. 

2. Moses Sumney – Aromanticism

This debut LP from Moses Sumney stretches wide across space and time. Sumney transcends genre in Aromanticism, weaving together ambient synths, acoustic guitars and soulful melodies. The songs on this album take on many different forms – some just a few sentences spoken above a horn section and some with no lyrics at all, just winding melodies cradled in Sumney’s silky voice. Contrary to many of the albums on this list, this one is not about love but rather the lack thereof. Sumney writes in pure poetry about the relationship to the body and its role in romance and identity. He turns the body to liquid and wings to plastic, disassembling it until it becomes clear that we cannot be defined by our bodies, nor can we be defined by our relationships or our past. Aromanticism may be showing us that we are not meant to be defined at all, but rather, we are just meant to be.

1. Big Thief – Capacity

We chose Capacity as our number 1 album of the year because it is the one we’ve had on repeat since it came out, and it has personally meant the most to us this year. Big Thief continues to amaze us, whether it is the tactful and imagistic storytelling of Adrianne Lenker or the pure magic they create on stage, this band is truly hypnotizing, and Capacity is an excellent portrait of their strengths. I remember the first time I heard the lyrics “there are no enemies / we’re make-believing everything” from the title track. Capacity is a storybook containing several of these wisdom-filled moments. This record is imaginative, emotional and timeless, and we hold it very close to our hearts here at The Wild Honey Pie.

The 5 Best Videos Of The Week

This post was originally published on this site

Someone really let Billy Corgan direct his own 40-minute silent film, the thing he decided to do rather than making a bunch of actual music videos. I dare anyone not related to Corgan to sit through the entire thing. Just scrubbing through Pillbox so I could post about it was a painful experience. As a … More »

Watch Alt-J’s “Pleader” Short Film

This post was originally published on this site

“Pleader,” the closing track on Alt-J’s recent album Relaxer, is based on How Green Was My Valley, Richard Llewelyn’s book set in a small mining town in 19th century Wales. Today the song becomes the basis for a short film by director Isaiah Seret, the latest in a long line of interesting Alt-J music videos. More »

Bestival expands to Bali, reveals eclectic lineup and venue

This post was originally published on this site

Bestival, one of the U.K.’s top boutique music festivals, has consistently hosted some of the best acts in dance music at the Isle of Wight and Toronto iterations of the event. The festival is now excited to announce that they will be expanding to Bali, Indonesia for the first time this fall.

It’s difficult to decide which is more impressive: Bestival Bali’s lineup or the venue. Rudimental and Pendulum will headline with DJ sets, alongside what is sure to be an outstanding performance from alt-J. The festival looks to the legends for support, bringing in hip-hop gurus De La Soul and funk music’s spiritual leader George Clinton. Purity Ring, Bag Raiders, and Bestival creator Rob da Bank round out the lineup, with more acts to be announced soon.

Lineup

Bestival Bali is set to take place over 240 acres of tropical land at Indonesia’s Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park. Surrounded by 80-foot high cliffs, the breathtaking venue may be worth the trip alone. Taking place on September 30 and October 1, the festival promises to be a truly unique musical experience.

Read More:

Over $40,000 worth of drugs were turned in at Bestival

Major Lazer, Hot Chip top Bestival’s 2016 lineup

Rob Da Bank talks festivals, Daft Punk rumors

Stream Kaskade, Slushii, NGHTMRE & more LIVE from Lollapalooza

This post was originally published on this site

Can’t attend Lollapalooza this year but don’t want to miss any iconic performances? The Chicago festival has once again partnered with Red Bull TV to stream the weekend’s live sets.

On Friday, catch performances by Phantogram, Run the Jewels, San Holo, Slushii and more. Saturday’s electronic performances include alt-J, 3LAU, NGHTMRE and Kaskade, and the festival wraps up on Sunday with Tove Lo, Sylvan Esso and Little Dragon.

Check out the full lineup below. With multiple channels going simultaneously, viewers are sure to find sets that appeal to them at any time over the course of the weekend.

 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 4

Channel 1

2:05pm –Mondo Cosmo

2:50pm – White Reaper

3:40pm – Temples

4:45pm – Phantogram

5:45pm – Liam Gallagher

6:50pm – Tegan and Sara

7:50pm – Run the Jewels

Channel 2

2:05pm – Kweku Collins

2:35pm – Harriet Brown

3:05pm – The Districts

5:15pm – Cloud Nothings

6:00pm –George Ezra

7:00pm – Majid Jordan

8:45pm – blink – 182

Channel 3

2:30pm – San Holo

3:30pm – Ookay

4:15pm – Slushii

5:15pm – A-Trak

6:15pm – Baauer

7:30pm – Lil Uzi Vert

9:00pm – Crystal Castles


SATURDAY, AUGUST 5

Channel 1

2:00pm – Lollapalooza Pre-Show

2:05pm – The Shelters

3:00pm – Alvvays

4:15pm – Glass Animals

6:20pm – Vance Joy

7:25pm – The Head and the Heart

Channel 2

2:00pm – Lollapalooza Pre-Show

2:05pm – San Fermin

2:50pm – Hippo Campus

4:50pm – LÉON

5:30pm – Whitney

6:15pm – alt-J

7:30pm – BANKS

8:45pm- Muse

Channel 3

2:00pm – Lollapalooza Pre-Show

2:05pm – Kweku Collins

2:35pm – Harriet Brown

3:50pm – Ephwurd

4:50pm – 3LAU

5:50pm – NGHTMRE

6:50pm – Gramatik

8:50pm – Kaskade


SUNDAY, AUGUST 6

Channel 1

2:00pm – Lollapalooza Pre-Show

4:30pm – Tove Lo

5:30pm – London Grammar

7:30pm – The Shins

Channel 2

2:00pm – Lollapalooza Pre-Show

2:05pm – Barns Courtney

3:05pm – Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness

3:45pm – The Pretty Reckless

5:00pm – Milky Chance

6:00pm – Sylvan Esso

6:45pm – Little Dragon

7:45pm – Mac Demarco

MUST LISTEN: Baauer’s alt-J flip is heavy trap savagery

This post was originally published on this site

Baauer has followed up his huge remix for Flume with a heavy trap rework of alt-J‘s “In Cold Blood.” The producer prepares the listener for his colossal track with a foreboding introduction. Daring, brassy horns and the English band’s sultry vocals make the perfect lead-up to the colossal trap drop.

Though Baauer’s flipped the original song into a bold, bass-y remix, the original song simmers just underneath the surface. The New York producer has taken the sturdy bones of the original track and magnified them, heightening the intensity and creating a dance-floor masterpiece in the process.

Read more:

Baauer gives Gorillaz ‘Saturnz Barz’ a trap tune-up

Oshi and Skrillex’s upcoming collaboration is almost done

RL Grime and Baauer to perform at ACLU benefit show