Favourite Albums of 2017

Another year of discovering new music! Lots of Folk & Americana as always, but this year I also branched out to discover some different types of music. So you’ll see albums here that are hard to classify – new classical, new weird, drone folk, ambient – that mix it up a bit. There are artists here from Canada, US, Tunisia, Mali, Algeria, UK.

Along with Spotify recommendations and NPR Music, I enjoyed The Quietus and Headphone Commute for pushing my listening boundaries.

So here’s my list. I had to make some tough decisions to limit it to 20… so just left it at 23. It includes albums that I’ve had on high rotation all year, along with some recent discoveries that I’m just starting to listen to now. Feel free to listen to my whole Best of 2017 playlist on Spotify.

Happy listening.

  1. Rûwâhîne / Ifriqiyya Electrique – new discovery, crazy music from Tunisia
  2. The Underside of Power / Algiers – industrial electronics and gospel
  3. Elwan / Tinariwen – another great one from Mali
  4. Kidal / Tamikrest – call it ‘world music’, whatever, this one rocks
  5. The Navigator / Hurray for the Riff Raff – best US album this year
  6. A Deeper Understanding / The War on Drugs – lush, lyrical folk-rock
  7. The Nashville Sound / Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit – just great songs
  8. The Wild / Rural Alberta Advantage – one of the best Canadian bands today
  9. The Weather Station / The Weather Station – gorgeous folk music
  10. This Sweet Old World / Lucinda Williams – a reworking of a classic, 25 years later
  11. We All Want the Same Things / Craig Finn – underrated, exceptional songwriting
  12. Not Even Happiness / Julie Byrne – quiet, beautiful songwriting
  13. Hallelujah Anyhow / Hiss Golden Messenger
  14. Postcards / Pieta Brown – quiet sometimes bluesy folk
  15. All American Made / Margo Price – the good kind of country
  16. Tradition & Public Domain Songs / Marisa Anderson – gorgeous electric guitar
  17. Waterworks / Glenn Jones – ‘American Primitive’ style acoustic guitar, live
  18. A Pink Sunset for Noone / Noveller – cinematic, hypnotic electric guitar
  19. Noplace / Aidan Baker – experimental ambient music
  20. Escapement, Feathers, Sketches / Poppy Ackroyd – neo-classical minimalist piano
  21. All My Circles Run / Sarah Davachi – minimalist experimental strings
  22. Hunter Huntress Hawker / Laura Cannell – more experimental strings!
  23. From a Room (Vols 1 and 2) / Chris Stapleton – classic, straight-up country rock
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