Jack River is in the hot seat for this today’s edition of our ‘Top 10 releases with..’ feature!
In the face of a wild political year, strangely the music I loved in 2017 was grainy and slow. I felt like I needed a place to rest in music, where last year was lived around albums that were bold and badass. I would be lying if I said I didn’t see a huge shift in my listening toward female artists, something that felt like it was coming up through the middle of the earth as part of a continual shift toward equal forces of male and female in music.
I like that pop continually seems to be shifting toward voices like Lorde and Kendrick Lamar who write and create from real, personal places. The radio feels more and more ready for reality and grit in its waves. I am hoping 2018 continues to make rage against a certain American political establishment, and mess with the power structures and old ideals that we are clearly going to extinguish as we live through these times of mass political, culture and social change.
RELAXER – ALT J
this track is like taking a holiday to a cabin in the snow on the beach and walking solo as slow waves wrap the shoreline.
PARTY – ALDOUS HARDING
my go to inner power track of 2017. i dont know if any other song has articulated this emotion so clearly. aldous is like ‘here the fuck i am, here is everything you ever needed, what are you going to do about it’
TEETHING – BRIGHTNESS
TRACK > QUEEN BEE
brightness’ teething is one of the most brilliant albums of 2017. its rusted riffs and lyrics to kill or cure a broken heart have made it my rainy day sound track, and it rained heaps this year.
PHASES – ANGEL OLSEN
Phases is only a couple of weeks old, but I have already played it as much as any of the albums in this list.
This track is a little life track, reminds me of a Neil Young or Joni Mitchell b side. It’s full of that virtuous talk that writers on the road do best.
PERENNIAL – VERA BLUE
TRACK > PRIVATE
Finally a proper witch track. Every year in music needs a dose of inner witch. Vera packages a perfect pop vision with the brilliant insanity you feel when you’ve accidentally imagined 99% of a relationship before it has started.
SZA – CTRL
This track is everything that good music should be, but its mostly, lyrically so fucking real and brilliant and I really hope this is the way music is heading. It’s real, it’s vivid and the lyrics don’t hide. Shoutout to Love Galore ft. Kendrick Lamar.
TRACK>WRITER IN THE DARK
Lorde delivered an album set in the deep and shallow waters of a midnight youth party, an album that any woman or man in pop will reference as we make our albums for release in 2018 and beyond. It went deep enough to the level that I could listen to it every day. This was my favourite track, Lorde delicately falls into strange heartbreak but rises out of the ether gilded in gold, singing ‘I am my mother’s child/I’ll love you till my breathing stops/I’ll love you till you call the cops on me’. I found this chorus to be brilliantly feminine – it’s so delicate but so strong all at once, a theme of the times.
LUST FOR LIFE> LANA DEL REY
TRACK> 13 BEACHES
Lana’s ‘Lust For Life’ felt quite different from the other albums, falling more into the realm of a cinematic summer soundtrack, less of a pop driven blockbuster affair. 13 beaches is the track that grew on me and plays in my head when I’m not noticing. Shoutout to the Love film clip – that was one of my favourite clips this year.
DAMN > KENDRICK LAMAR
TRACK > HUMBLE.
no words really needed