Let It Happen Albums Of The Year 2017

2017 has been year of unprecedented brilliance with incredible bands releasing incredible albums. In a way, we feel gifted. So here are Let It Happens Top 30 albums of 2017, as voted for by the writers.

There are albums that aren’t on this list that we really could not go without mentioning. Some honourable mentions go to the glorious return of shoe gaze icons Ride with ‘Weather Diaries’, Lana Del Rey’s stunning latest offering ‘Lust For Life’ and the battering and crazed sound of Thee Oh Sees with ‘Orc’. 

So please enjoy, our albums of the year 2017.

(voting was achieved by writers sending in their top 10 albums of the year, and votes were tallied from those lists)


30. Gnarwolves – Outsiders

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Released in may, Gnarwolves returned with their 5th studio album ‘Outsiders’ and it did not disappoint. Full of the upbeat, and roaring sound that you’d expect from the band, its sound was also a development that did not fail. One of the best pop-punk/punk albums of the year, and a deserved first entry onto our list.

Stand out tracks include:

  • Wires
  • Straightjacket
  • Shut Up

29. Four Tet – New Energy

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Legendary electronic artist Kieran Hebden returned as ‘Four Tet’ for a truly stunning release. ‘New Energy’ is a progression of ambient beats, electronic wizardry and stands out as a true masterpiece in his catalogue of sounds. The mesmerising ambient soundscapes that fill this album are ones that stand out and captivate you instantly.

Stand out tracks include:

  • Scientists
  • Two Thousand and Seventeen
  • Planet

28. Cloud Nothings – Life Without Sound

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American alternative rock band ‘Cloud Nothings’ released the epic ‘Life Without Sound’ back in January and has been a true favourite of many of our writers since its release. Their lo-fi sound has not been lost, and with that, the band were able to create a record which could be one of their best yet. The drums on this record stick out like nothing you’ll hear from on this list. Its an aggressive, yet melodic record which is loud and full of destruction and we just love it.

Stand out tracks include:

  • Up to the Surface
  • Enter Entirely
  • Realize My Fate

27. Beach Fossils – Somersault

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Beach Fossils are not afraid of releasing the soundtrack to your summer, and they did just that with ‘Somersault’. The bands latest offering is a joyous and upbeat record that compiles everything the band have learnt and then some. ‘Somersault’ features some of the bands most developed material, that also stands out as some of their best.

Stand out tracks include:

  • Be Nothing
  • Tangerine
  • May 1st

26. The xx – I See You

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After 5 years without releasing an album, The xx returned to the frame with the brilliant ‘I See You’. The album has everything you’d want from an xx record, yet with the experiences that Jamie Smith acquired in the space the band were out for, the band progressed their sound with much more influences from house and techno taking shape. The album is essentially a dance record, yet with the below and touching is that we know and love.

Stand out tracks include:

  • Dangerous
  • On Hold
  • Brave For You

25.  Mount Kimbie – Love What Survives 

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The experimental electro/rock band returned with their third studio album and they did not disappoint. Mount Kimbie reentered the frame by producing a record with stunning soundscapes, expert from production and a wealth of excellent new material. With the guest additions including the likes of  King Krule and James Blake,  ‘Love What Survives’ mixes electro beats and acoustic percussion together to create a unique and varied listen, and one that will leave an impact.

Stand out tracks include:

  • Blue Train Lines (Feat. King Krule)
  • Marilyn (Feat. Micachu)
  • Delta

24. The Horrors – V

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Goth heroes The Horrors returned this year raring to go, and the band ended up producing quite possibly their best record to date. ‘V’ is the 5th studio album from the band and features electronic soundscapes, mixed with those earie and crooning vocals from lead singer Faris Badwan. Their experimentation with synths, goth and energy made this record a bold, yet exciting addition into the catalogue of The Horrors.

Stand out tracks include:

  • Hologram
  • Machine
  • Something To Remember Me By

23. Vince Staples – Big Fish Theory

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Vince Staples returned with his sophomore record ‘Big Fish Theory’ this year, and it turned out to be one of the best rap albums of the year. Its stunning beats and captivating rapping style and samples created a terrific, and a must listen for any hip hop/ rap fans. The record steers away from the commercial sounds slightly, with Vince adding his own touch to the record making it a truly brilliant record.

Stand out tracks include:

  • Big Fish
  • Bagbak
  • 745

22. Paramore – After Laughter

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Nashville based American band Paramore returned after 4 years, with their new, pop influenced record ‘After Laughter’. The bands change of style from writing heavy pop punk influenced tracks, to writing upbeat, and cheery pop songs may have paid off for the band. The evolution has been one that fans have grasped, with the band still churning out banger after banger.

Stand out tracks include:

  • Hard Times
  • Told You So
  • Rose-Colored Boy

21. BROCKHAMPTON – SAURATION II

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Yet another stand out hip-hop record from 2017, and ‘SATURATION II’ sees the hip-hop collective hit new highs. After the release of ‘SATURATION’ earlier this year, their second record of the year is the true highlight with eccentric hip hop beats, and stylish approach, ‘BROCKHAMPTON’ are seen to continue their explosion of the seen with the release of their third album, sometime in December…

Stand out tracks include:

  • GUMMY
  • TOKYO
  • SWEET

20. Pond – The Weather

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Psychedelic rock band from (you guessed it) Australia, Pond returned with their 4th record of the year and to critical acclaim. More synth orientated, much like Tame Impala’s currents, Pond use a blend a psych melodies, disfigured vocals and charming melodies to entice that summer feel.

Stand out tracks include:

  • Paint Me Silver
  • Sweep Me Off My Feet
  • Colder Than Ice

19. Thundercat – Drunk

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The third record and first in 4 years from bassist extroadinare ‘Thundercat’ was one of the most anticipated records that was released in 2017. Its smooth, charming and funny, all things that life should be. ‘Drunk’ empowers all these feelings and shows it in a jazzy and just curly stunning way.

  • Show You The Way
  • Friend Zone
  • Walk On By

18. Bonobo – Migration 

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Airy, spacious and truly magnificent. Bonobo’s ‘Migration’ is just that. With its airy and chilled out vibes, the record features some of the artists most diverse and colourful sounds yet. Moments in this record could appear in clubs, chill out playlists, you name it. Its a diverse achievement and a stunning one at that.

Stand out tracks include:

  • Kerala
  • Outlier
  • No Reason

17. Tyler, The Creator – Flower Boy

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Tylers back and he’s made a statement. ‘Flower Boy’ is the most mature offering we have seen from Tyler, yet the record is still as colourful as ever. Tylers visible progression with production, and his songwriting is evidently clear within this record. Its still whitty in places, yet on a more serious note Tyler seems to have shown his creative side even more.

Stand out tracks include:

  • See you Again
  • Who Dat Boy
  • Boredom

16. Mac Demarco – This Old Dog

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Mac Demarco, the prodigal slacker god released his 5th record in 2017. Its a charming, beautiful and elegant record that empowers all that we love about Mac and his elegant ways. Mac Demarco sees himself explore love and passion as he always does. It’s actually a really beautiful and pretty record that slots neatly into our top 30.

Stand out tracks include:

  • Still Beating
  • Moonlight on the River
  • Watching Him Face Away

15. Superfood – Bambino

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Superfood finally returned this year with the release of their sophomore record ‘Bambino’ and the band did not disappoint. The record is fun, explosive and features some truly funky grooves. The birmingham band have explored their sound and created a truly brilliant record that really impresses.

Stand out tracks include:

  • Where’s The Bass Amp?
  • Need A Little Spider
  • I Can’t See

14. Sampha – Process 

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The 2017 Mercury prize award winner now and Sampha’s ‘Process’ is truly an incredible record. The emotive piano driven, electronic sound that is brought to life in this record is like nothing you’ll hear all year. ‘Process’ is an elegant, deep and gorgeous record that blends genres and instruments together to create a truly blissful sound.

Stand out tracks include:

  • Plastic 100.C
  • (No One Knows Me) Like The Piano
  • Reverse Faults

13. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Flying Microtonal Banana, Murder Of The Universe, Sketches of Brunswick East and Polygondwanaland

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Simply choosing one record that King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard released this year was way too hard so we’ve decided that all 4 records deserve a place in our albums of the year. The band set out to release 5 records in 2017, and with four of them out already, it made for simply choosing one of them impossible. Flying Microtnal Banana saw the band explore microtonal tuning in a journey through deserts and wastelands, Murder of the Universe explored a battle of the Balrog and The Lord of Lightning with the help of narrations, making this album seem like a book. Sketches of Brunswick was a mellow and chilled out collaboration with Mild High Club, and Polygondwanaland brought back the crazed sounds of Nonagon Infinity to create a story of epic proportions. Give this band a fucking medal already.

Stand out tracks include:

  • Doom City
  • The Lord of Lightning
  • Tezeta
  • The Fourth Colour

12. Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile – Lotta Sea Lice

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When two slacker giants come together and create a record you’d think it would be good, but this album is purely sensational. Courtney and Kurt (no not that pair) together released the slackers dream. ‘Lotta Sea Lice’ is fun, enjoyable and with the pairs vocals matching perfectly, its hard to not like this album.

Stand out tracks include:

  • Over Everything
  • Let It Go
  • Continental Breakfast

11. Lorde – Melodrama 

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Young pop sensation Lorde returned with her second record and it turned out to be the best pop album of the year. At the age of 21, Lorde has already proved that she is one of the worlds biggest talents, and with the release of ‘Melodrama’ she has truly cemented her position at the top of the world, and in the place of hearts worldwide. Its emphatic and empowering and a true statement in pop.

Stand out tracks include:

  • Green Light
  • Homemade Dynamite
  • Supercut

10. Blaenavon – Thats your Lot

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An album 4 years in the making, from a band who mean so much to so many. Blaenavon finally released their debut album after years of craft, building on heck of a dedicated fan base. Their emotion driven indie sounds create powerful ballads that are relatable, and full of thought. ‘Thats Your Lot’ is one of the best debut albums that 2017 has seen.

Stand Out Tracks include:

  • Lets Pray
  • I Will Be The World
  • Swans

9. The War On Drugs –  A Deeper Understanding  

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Oh and what an album this is. The War On Drugs continue with their search of making tracks that just make you wanna drive into the sunset. ‘A Deeper Understanding’ continues where ‘Lost In The Dream’ left off with sonic guitar riffs, epic choruses and those superb, crooning vocals of lead singer Adam Granduciel, this is the perfect record for roaring down a highway soaked in sunshine.

Stand out tracks include:

  • Pain
  • Thinking Of A Place
  • In Chains

8. Slowdive – Slowdive 

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Slowdives glorious return in 2017 was a true statement that shoe gaze was back and here to stay. Its a sonic adventure of noise, sound and dreamy guitars which, when all blended together create an epic wall of noise which cannot be unheard. It is a truly marvellous record of epic proportions and reverb heavy sound. Stunning.

Stand out tracks include:

  • Star Roving
  • Slomo
  • Falling Ashes

7. Loyle Carner – Yesterdays Gone 

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South London MC Loyle Carner broke onto the scene in 2017 with his incredible debut record. The album was extremely anticipated and it’d easy to see why with some of the years stand out tracks featuring on the album. Its a punchy statement that Loyle Carner has created to share his thoughts, his memories of family and youth. Its creative, melodic, and visionary.

Stand out tracks include:

  • The Isle of Arran
  • NO CD
  • Damselfly
  • A’int Nothing Changed

6. Idles – Brutalism

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The best punk album, debut album, funniest album, goes to Idles. The Bristol 5 piece sprung to life in 2017 with an absolutely mesmerising record entitled ‘Brutalism’. Its a powerful, heavy, and true to the spirit punk album which embodies anger, despair, and charm. A signifying statement from a truly spectacular band.

Stand out tracks include:

  • Divide and Conqure
  • Mother
  • Well Done
  • Heel / Heel

5. LCD Soundsystem – American Dream 

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Yet another glorious return…. LCD Soundsystem returned in emphatic style to produce a record that came to everyones surprise. We knew it was going to be good, but not this good. James Murphy this year has released possibly his album to date and its easy to see why. Its a euphoric adventure of indie dance that shows why this band are so important, and so inventive. The production on the record is intense, and lyrically its deep and empowering. Its a staggering record of epic proportions.

Stand out tracks include:

  • oh baby
  • call the police
  • emotional haircut
  • how do you sleep?

4. The National – Sleep Well Beast

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‘Sleep Well Beast’ is the 7th and most daring record that the band have produce. Yet with that, The National have released one of their best. Reaching Number 1 in the UK, The National still carry on the trend of touching and heartfelt music with Matt Berningers beautifully crafted lyrics, and melodic pianos, yet the band go head-to-head with the electronic sounds of Radiohead, creating a more synth based sound with the record taking in drum machines and electronic instruments. Yet the band still keep to base with their blend of synth and acoustic. It’s heartfelt, emotional and a magnificent effort from a band we all adore.

Stand out tracks include:

  • Nobody Else Will Be There
  • Day I Die
  • The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness
  • Guilty Party

3. Wolf Alice – Visions of a Life

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A true Let It Happen favourite, Wolf Alice released their highly anticipated sophomore record, ‘Visions of a Life’ to great acclaim. The band experiment with shoe gaze, indie pop, and grunge to create an album which is full of treats, noise and depth. The heavier moments introduce a wall of noise like sound, whilst Ellie’s lyrics and vocals have never sounded so vigorous, yet at times touching.

Stand out tracks include:

  • Heavenward
  • Planet Hunter
  • Dont Delete The kisses
  • Visions Of A Life

2. King Krule – The Ooz

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At number two on our list, we have the all talented King Krule. The latest offering in the King Krule project from  Archy Marshall sees the talented songwriter delve deeper into sound and lyrics. ‘The Ooz’ entices a heavier sound and which pulsates through the record. The production, is stunning. Each song seems to include layer after layer of complex sounds to his bedroom esque style of writing, with his crooning style beckoning across each track. A truly deserved number 2 on our list.

Stand out tracks include:

  • The locomotive
  • Dum Surfer
  • Lonely Blue
  • Czech One

1. Father John Misty – Pure Comedy 

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And our album of the year is of course from Father John Misty. ‘Pure Comedy’ is Josh Tillmans third record under the name Father John Misty and it could well be his best. From start to finish, the record is beautiful constructed with enduring lyrics and melodies which flutter throughout the record. It’s a stray away from his sex and drug filled ‘I Love You, Honeybear’ with politics and global affairs taking centre stage in this record. With the 13 minute long, chrous-less power ballad ‘Leaving LA’, the epic and emotional ‘Ballad of the Dying Man’ and the gorgeous ‘So I’m Growing Old On Magic Mountain’ (which bought a tear to my eye live) all leave a lasting impact on your mind. It’s a deserved number 1, and one of the most important records of the decade. Thank you Father John.

Stand out tracks include:

  • Pure Comedy
  • Birdie
  • Leaving LA
  • So Im Growing Old On Magic Mountain

Here’s to 2018. Thank you for reading.

Word by Piran Aston

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