Sunshine's Top 10 Favorite Albums of 2017
10. Content by Joywave
Joywave's synth pop dance tunes have evolved to more ominous tones on their Sophomore effort, Content. It seems that some have issues with the direction this album has taken but to me, it’s a hypnotic journey that is tough to turn away from. Diverse from track to track as it balances harsh, blaring tones with melodic pop. Armbruster’s vocals perfectly float on top of each track when the album finishes you’ll like what you hear. Tracks that stand out are “Shutdown”, “It's a Trip!”, and “Doubt”.
9. Semper Femina by Laura Marling
The musical composition throughout this album is incredibly strong. Everything blends so well together while crafting a mournful tone with an ounce of hope. Marling acts as a siren pulling you in with each track. This British Folk musician has formulated an album that is thought provoking, beautiful, and totally worth several listens. Tracks that stand out are “Soothing”, “The Valley”, and “Wild Once”.
8. Connect the Dots by Misterwives
Misterwives had quite the debut with 2015’s Our Own House and they follow it up nicely with Connect the Dots. There dance-pop songs are still catchy and powerful while filling each track with solid harmonies and blaring horns. Mandy Lee still cranks out beautiful vocals while constantly letting everyone know that Misterwives is a force to be reckoned with. Tracks that stand out are “Machine”, “Out of Tune Piano”, and “Coloring Outside the Lines”.
7. CTRL by SZA
This album acts like an audible diary that is entrancing from the very beginning. The lyrics are unapologetic and raw, all layered on top of tranquil tones that flow from start to finish. The album is soulful in its delivery and shows that SZA in a powerful light. I am excited to see what she does next. Tracks that stand out are “Supermodel”, “The Weekend”, and “20 Something”.
6. Shapeshifter by Knuckle Puck
The Pop-Punk/Emo revival is real and Knuckle Puck is leading the charge. One of the most thoughtful and intelligent additions to this genre is Shapeshifter. The album acts as an in-depth look at change, heartbreak, mental health, and anxiety, while soundtracking these lyrics with strong musicianship and grit. This album is a triumph. Tracks that stand out are “Gone”, “Everyone Lies To Me”, and “Conduit”.
5. Guppy by Charly Bliss
This album came out of nowhere for me. Charly Bliss channels early Weezer and seems to have found its home in quick riffs and tasty distortion. There is a chance that Eva Hendrick’s vocals will push some away as they can get nasally as she beautifully squeals out lyrics and high pitched yelps of excitement, but I dig it. The overall energy makes me want to pop-punk jump all over the place. I’m loving it more and more with every listen. Tracks that stand out are “Percolator”, “Black Hole”, and “DQ”.
4. Damn. by Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick continues to give everything he has to the records that he puts out. Though Damn. is arguably not as strong as previous endeavors, he continues to give a look into his reality through strong, undeniable lyrics and potent samples that lead us through a story of struggle and it’s enchanting. Tracks that stand out are “DNA.”, “XXX.”, and “FEAR.”.
3. Body Language by Junior Astronomers
I am becoming more and more impressed with JA with each new track they release. As they mature and get older, you can hear it throughout their music and the release of Body Language is a testament to hard work and dedication. Riffs are musically smooth while tempo and vocals give each measure a well designed grittiness that helps to define their style of indie/post-punk. They are loud but never overpowering and passion drips from every note and lyric. It is a kick-ass, take names type of record. Tracks that stand out are “Mood Ring”, “Pyramid Party”, and “Gabby”.
2. Flower Boy by Tyler, The Creator
Tyler, The Creator has found a sweet spot with this one. Lyrics are candid and his vulnerability and open-hearted style has found a balance and flow that is arguably the best he has ever been. Songs show maturity in the musicality and writing, while lyrics are a strong balance between the caustic side he’s shown us before and a serene flow that blends with the norm to create a magical experience. Tracks that stand out are “Where This Flower Blooms”, “See You Again”, and “Boredom”.
1. You’re Not as ______ As You Think by Sorority Noise
Sorority Noise brings you an album that is battered and bruised. It’s lyrics push forward a contemplation on life, death, and the purpose of it all. Though that might seem cliche, it is anything but. It is a dark and tragic masterpiece that gives off the feeling that every ounce of energy and pain was left in the recording studio but there is an overarching sense of hope portrayed throughout the melodies. I am absolutely in love with it. Tracks that stand out are “A Portrait Of”, “A Better Sun”, and “Second Letter From St. Julien” .
Check out this massive Spotify Playlist featuring every album covered throughout The Ark of E Staff's Year End Top 10s...