2017 Halftime: Albums

A list of 21 of my favorite records of the year so far

Nostalgia loosely ties these 21 disparate records from many different scenes. A majority of artists here look to the past for inspiration, whether by borrowing popular sounds of a previous decade, exploring a particular turning point in their life, or often times both. A few, like Playboi Carti’s or Wednesday Campanella’s, might not fit this rule, though they’re still records that hesitate to move forward in favor of the now, itself partly a remembrance to how the past got them there. Bad as it sounds, I suppose I preferred to find comfort in the familiar when it came to music this year so far.

Here’s a list of 21 of my favorite records of the year so far, all in alphabetical order. There are still a lot of albums I’ve not gone through. Recommendations are always welcome.

City of No Reply by Amber Coffman | folk pop

“No Coffee”

Tourist in This Town by Allison Crutchfield | indie rock/synth pop

“I Don’t Wanna Ever Leave California”

BBC Radio 1: Essential Mix by Helena Hauff | industrial techno

Stream the full mix

Palette by IU | pop & ballads

“Dlwlrma”

SweetSexySavage by Kehlani | R&B

“Undercover”

Eden by Jonny Nash | ambient

“Police Bribe”

A Pink Sunset for No One by Noveller | post-rock

“A Pink Sunset for No One”

Where Are We Going? by Octo Octa | deep house

“Move On (Let Go) (De-Stress Mix)”

kitixxxgaia by Seiko Oomori | rock

“Dogma Magma”

Playboi Carti by Playboi Carti | rap, Atlanta

“Magnolia”

Nightmare Logic by Power Trip | thrash metal

“Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe)”

Remember by S.E.S. | pop, ‘90s

“Paradise”

Satellite Young by Satellite Young | pop, ‘80s

“Don’t Graduate, Senpai!”

Slowdive by Slowdive | shoegaze

“Star Roving”

You’re Not as ____ as You Think by Sorority Noise | indie rock

“No Halo”

Yes? No? by Suzy | R&B

“Yes No Maybe”

Pink by Asako Toki | city pop

Preview the album

ukg by t q d | 2-step/UK garage (naturally)

“Vibsing Thing”

Mono no Aware by various artists | ambient, PAN records

Stream via Bandcamp

Superman by Wednesday Campanella | dance pop/future house

“Aladdin”

Yaneura Ju by Kayoko Yoshizawa | folk pop

“Jigoku Taxi”


Some more favorites:

  • Aye Nako: Silver Haze | indie rock
  • BFlecha: Kwalia | electronic/R&B
  • Mary J. Blige: Strength of a Woman | R&B
  • Charli XCX: Number 1 Angel | pop
  • Feist: Pleasures | soft rock
  • Geotic: Abysma | soft IDM
  • Herva: Hyper Flux | IDM
  • Hey Violet: From the Outside | brat pop
  • Ibibio Sound Machine: Uyai | electro-pop
  • Jay Som: Everybody Works | indie rock
  • Jens Lekman: Life Will See You Now | pop, Sweden
  • Jlin: Black Origami | footwork
  • Kodak Black: Painting Pictures | rap, Florida
  • Natalia Lafourcade: Musas | folk pop, Mexico
  • Lovelyz: Now, We | idol pop
  • The Menzingers: After the Party | indie rock
  • Nite Jewel: Real High | dance pop
  • Paramore: After Laughter | synth pop
  • RaeLynn: Wildhorse | pop country
  • Sam Outlaw: Tenderheart | country
  • Thundercat: Drunk | jazz/funk
  • Wiley: Godfather | grime
  • Zora Jones: FACT Mix 592 | bass/hip hop
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