Album Reviews News

TLMT Reader’s Top 20 Albums of 2017

Stephen White

The Last Mixed Tape

The votes have been counted and from over 30 nominees the Last Mixed Tape readers have chosen what was their Top 20 Albums of 2017. See the full list and Spotify playlist below. 

20. Come On Live Long – In The Still
What TLMT had to say: 
“In The Still is an album built from a clear sense of space and depth. A quietly ambitious record, Come On Live Long’s sophomore outing is cast across a great widescreen production, populated by echoing beats and reverb-drenched vocals, and punctuated by large jolts of dynamism. All of which works to move the group’s electronic alternative-pop sound forward in the years since Everything Fall.”

19. And So I Watch You From Afar – The Endless Shimmering
What TLMT had to say: 
“And So I Watch You From Afar’s The Endless Shimmering is an album that seeks to evoke rather than impact. You take from it what you bring into it. Nothing is explained, there is no hand holding, all the inherent drama that the music creates is given further context by the listener.”

18. James Vincent McMorrow – True Care
What TLMT had to say: 
“True Care is dreamlike. Beautifully textured and bathed in a glistening haze, James Vincent McMorrow’s fourth outing is the culmination of what has come before it and what is happening now. On this record, everything has come together.”

17. Lankum – Between The Earth and The Sky
What TLMT had to say: 
“Between The Earth And Sky isn’t an ode to traditional Irish music, it simply IS. A natural result of experience and inspiration, Lankum’s debut is authentic. The inherent atmosphere of the music takes hold right from the beginning, and like all good records runs right through the heart of it. A landmark for modern Irish trad music.”

16. Fangclub – Fangclub
What TLMT had to say: 
“A big loud love letter to post-grunge, Fangclub’s debut doesn’t disappoint. Delivering on the hype-filled build-up to its release, the trio side-step the industry artifice by doing what they do best.”

15. Ships – Precession
What TLMT had to say: 
“Brilliant in its execution, Ships’ Precession is truly impressive to behold. Shirking my expectations from the start, the record is as wide as it is deep while also keeping the central sound that makes clear Ships synth-pop sensibilities and delivers several stand-out tracks that will make their way into “press play and repeat” territory. Precession is a self-assured start from Ships.”

14. Candice Gordon – Garden of Beasts
What TLMT had to say: 
“There can be no doubting the ambition and epic scale seen on Garden of Beasts. On this record, Candice Gordon holds nothing back and ultimately delivers an album filled with flickers of absolute brilliance. Feeling like a deep dark road trip on miles of empty highway, this debut never plays it safe and is all the better for it.”

13. Alien She – Feeler
What TLMT had to say: 
“Feeler is garage-punk that finally gets the punk aspect of the term. While the music of Alien She’s rough and ragged debut certainly has the chanting thrash of a garage record, the trio also adds some much-needed backbone and atmosphere to the album’s overall sound.”

12. Frankenstein Bolts – Aglow & Spark
What TLMT had to say:
 “There will certainly be more bombastic, attention-grabbing albums released this year. So much so that the subtle soundscape building of Aglow & Spark may get lost in the shuffle. However, this would be a pity as the record is definitely deserving of considerable attention and time. Indeed for those with the patience and appreciation for the tranquil characteristics of dream-pop, the deep textures and gentle nature of Frankenstein Bolts will make for a wholly satisfying experience.”

11. Columbia Mills – A Safe Distance To Watch
What TLMT had to say: 
“Built from ambition and drive, A Safe Distance To Watch is a scene setter for Columbia Mills. The culmination of years of work, the result is exactly what they have been journeying towards since day one, a large-scale stylisation of their own music. Emotive, powerful and affecting, A Safe Distance To Watch holds nothing back.”

10. Party Fears – Party Fears
What TLMT had to say: 
“To-the-point and unashamedly different. Party Fears are a band who have thrown many of the affectations that go along with the art-pop scene out the window and instead focused on creating a music that stands alone. A truly individual new album, from a truly individual group.”

9. Bear Worship – Was
What TLMT had to say: 
“Oddities, Curios and the unexpected all shape Was. The album is not afraid of its stylization, nor is it afraid to fail. The entirety of the record feels like a journey led by Bear Worship into a world of his own invention, and a worthwhile one at that. Slightly manic, partly baffling, but fully charming.”

8. Edel Meade – Blue Fantasia
What TLMT had to say: 
“From the production to the songwriting, everything about Edel Meade new record feels like it’s in the right place, comfortably positioned with care.”

7. Otherkin – OK
What TLMT had to say: 
“I adored OK for all the things it is, and all the things it is not. The fact the album tries so hard to entertain and the band give their all into each track to make it as memorable and catchy as the last is wholly impressive.”

6. Ye Vagabonds – Ye Vagabonds
What TLMT had to say: 
“As organic an album you’re likely to hear this year, Ye Vagabonds debut is an uncluttered offering that moves with deft songwriting rather than bombast. Making for an intricate, handcrafted listen. While they don’t add anything new to the folk milieu, the duo captures the best aspects of the genre they so clearly love craft a record that is a joy to experience. Subtle but beautiful.”

5. Marlene Enright – Placemats and Second Cuts
What TLMT had to say: 
“Why Placemats and Second Cuts seems so utterly relatable is because it is just that, relatable. The emotions conveyed by Marlene Enright on her debut are by no means new, but how Enright is portraying them and how real to her own life they seem is what makes them sound fresh to our ears. We’ve all felt distant or the need to breathe and take stock of our lives, and hearing that in Enright’s music is compelling because of its honesty. And you can’t ask for much more than that from a songwriter.”

4. Talos – Wild Alee
What TLMT had to say: 
Wild Alee is monolithic. An imposing body of sound that reaches right into the depths of its creator’s music, and delivers an atmospheric tour de force. In short, Talos has arrived.”

3. Our Krypton Son – Fleas & Diamonds
What TLMT had to say: 
“Fleas & Diamonds leaves with a long-lasting impression. The sprawling melodic-pop via the indie-folk music of Our Krypton Son is nicely cast across the group’s twelve-song run-time. The album moves and turns its shape throughout making for a compelling gem of a record.”

2. Emma Langford – Quiet Giant
What TLMT had to say: 
“Much like its title would suggest Quiet Giant is a rustic, soft-spoken album with a hint of size and weight to it. A debut offering from Emma Langford, the album twinkles with just enough style and sense of self to separate it from the pack.”

And the TLMT Readers’ Album of the Year 2017 is…


1. Jiggy – Translate
What TLMT had to say: 
“Communication characterizes Translate. The overarching theme of language through sound and rhythm defines Jiggy’s debut and is felt through every movement the music makes. Using traditional roots flourishes to convey this, the group widen their own sonic scope with a fusion of influences.”

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