The best albums of 2017

To begin the New Year, we have put our brains together and compiled a list that reflects the best of what was released last year. We’re going to look back at the records that captured our hearts, souls, minds and ears in 2017. From returning mega stars, long-awaited follow-ups, returns to form, stunning debuts, hidden gems and rising talent, 2017 was packed with terrific, life-affirming music. So, here it is- Secret Meeting’s Top 20 Albums Of 2017.

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20. Nadia Reid – Preservation

‘The New Zealander has proven to exceed expectation with her sophomore LP, Preservation, which shows off her enchanting and often haunting vocal prowess. Musically bright and rich, the album’s sound is juxtaposed with the loneliness, heartbreak and melancholy presented in the lyrical content. Together, the mix is one that is a compelling and captivating listen.’

19. Laura Marling – Semper Femina

‘A classic collection of songs concentrated in the heart of the English folk tradition. However, subverting the folk tradition is the album’s subject matter that intelligently celebrates femininity and allows the artist to creatively question her own sense of womanhood.’

18. Big Thief – Capacity

‘A truly memorable, autobiographical album that’s full of mythological beauty.’

17. Ryan Adams – Prisoner

‘The ‘break-up’ album has become something of a genre of its own. And, Prisoner follows on from where Adams’ previous eponymous LP left off-  exposing himself at his most vulnerable over a lush, guitar-driven stadium rock soundtrack.’

16. St Vincent – Masseduction

‘Annie Clark goes balls out pop and, in parts, it’s her best record yet.’

15. Aldous Harding – Party

Party is an eerie, unsettling, gothic folk record, woven with Kafkaesque humour. Thirty-eight minutes of claustrophobia- a beautiful and arresting testament to paranoia, desire, addiction intimacy, loss.’

14. King Krule – The Ooz

‘Archie Marshall – the Sheriff of South London – takes us on a genre-blurring journey through his twisted mind. A staggering, sprawling third album under the King Krule moniker!’

13. Conor Oberst – Salutations

‘Conor Oberst is one of the great songwriters of our generation. And, Salutations is another record in his cannon that is filled with brilliant song after song, wonderful lyric after wonderful lyric and tune after tune filled with rich imagery and beautiful melodies.’

12. The War On Drugs – A Deeper Understanding

‘As one of several ‘Indie’ acts who have made the jump to major labels recently, this major-label debut will certainly please fans of their previous work, whilst also winning over new converts.’

11. LCD Soundsystem – American Dream

‘A majestic, emotional return from one of the noughties most loved bands. This truly is Murphy as his enigmatic best.’

10. Mount Eerie – A Crow Looked At Me

A Crow Looked At Me is the best album of Elverum’s career. Full stop. But, it’s one he’ll wish he never had to make.’

9. Mac DeMarco – This Old Dog

‘Mac’s longest and most mature record to date finds him in self evaluative, reflective mode. However, it is still hook-laden and still quintessentially Mac DeMarco.’

8. Slowdive – Slowdive

‘After a twenty two year hiatus since their last studio album, Slowdive return with a record that’s full of shimmering guitars, mesmeric vocals and thundering production.’

7. Father John Misty – Pure Comedy

‘It would be easy to tag Pure Comedy as a reaction to Trump’s election victory, but, in reality, it is an album about a world where it is possible for a morally-bankrupt, reality TV star to be elected ‘Leader of the Free World’ and Tillman’s struggle to find a place in it.’

6. Ian Felice – In The Kingdom Of Dreams

‘The former Felice Brothers’ front man goes solo, releasing his most personal set of songs, as he starts a new family in the uncertainty of Trump’s America.’

5. Bjork – Utopia

Utopia is a mesmeric collage of orchestral electronics, drum machines, harps and birdsong; a kaleidoscope of joyful emotion where the picture becomes clearer through repeated spins.’

4. Kendrick Lamar – Damn

‘To Pimp a Butterfly was a tremendously difficult act to follow, but Damn. is every bit as good. Kendrick Lamar is an artist who transcends his genre.’

3. Perfume Genius – No Shape

No Shape, the fourth album from Seattle native, Perfume Genius, is a joyous, colourful collection of songs which celebrate that you should be proud to be you.’

2. Fleet Foxes- Crack-Up

‘After a six year absence, Fleet Foxes return with a collection of carefully crafted, intellectual, narrative songs that are psychologically far deeper and more musically rich than either of their previous records.’

  1. The National – Sleep Well Beast

    ‘Musically more stark, but lyrically just as heavy – Sleep Well Beast is another gem in their collection of fine albums, and another reason why they are rightfully considered the blueprint for modern alternative music.’