Sunshine's Top 10 Favorite Albums of the Year, So Far...
It’s getting hotter and the sun is staying out longer and we know that June is gone and July is finally here. That means, whether we want to admit it or not, we are halfway through 2017 and for that reason, here are my Top 10 Albums from the first 6 months of 2017.
10. Humanz by Gorillaz
This is such a strongly produced album from our animated friends. It’s not the best work from Damon Alburn but it’s a strong outing. It’s haunting, hypnotic, and keeps the listener on the line for the full 69 minute runtime with its star-studded vocalings. Tracks that stand out are “Saturnz Barz”, “Carnival”, and “The Apprentice”.
9. Bear Your Mind by Free Throw
I got to see these guys on tour this past spring and was thoroughly impressed. Their sophomore LP is a candid and dynamic. This emo-punk outfit throws out some fast riffs and hoarse vocals that will perfectly soundtrack your 2:00am highway drives as you scream along at your dashboard. Tracks that stand out are “Weight On My Chest”, “Hope Floats”, and “Dead Reckoning”.
8. America, Location 12 by Dispatch
The Americana indie rock 3-piece continues to bring solid jams with the latest addition to their arsenal. They continue to push forward strong musicality, catchy choruses, and beautiful harmonies. Dispatch always impresses with their storytelling ability and this album has an aura of purity around it that I dig. Tracks that stand out are “Only the Wild Ones”, “Midnight Lorry”, and “Windylike”.
7. Shouts to Durham by G Yamazawa
Filled with jazzy snips and lyrical rips, G Yamazawa paints an elaborate picture of growing up in North Carolina. The album is diverse and filled with solid hooks and mass amounts of personality. It’s an incredibly solid hip-hop album and it’s all about a city that I love. G Yamazawa does not disappoint. Tracks that stand out are “North Cack”, “1990 (Interlude)", and “Leather Seating”.
6. 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 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”.
5. 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”.
4. 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 and squeally 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”.
3. 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.”.
2. 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”, “An Idea”, and “Gabby”.
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 and this will be a tough one, if not impossible, to knock off of my #1 spot. Tracks that stand out are “A Portrait Of”, “A Better Sun”, and “Second Letter from St. Julien”.
And there you have it...
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