5. The National – Sleep Well Beast: In all honesty, only the fourth best album from The National out of their last four but they can still pull out the goods many times within the format. The songs individually are not quite as memorable as “Pink Rabbits” or “Apartment Song” but taken as a whole, it all holds together so well. Feeling like the start of something new, it will be fascinating to see how the next few albums go.
4. Lorde – Melodrama: Lorde’s sophomore album topped many best of lists around the world and for good reason. Containing two of the best songs of the year in “Green Light” and “Supercut”, publications are adding many other Lorde tracks to that list. If Kate Bush was reinvented as a pop starlet, this is perhaps what she would sound like. Working with Jack Antonoff, this was the mainstream album to get in 2017.
3. Kelly Lee Owens – Kelly Lee Owens: Possibly the biggest moment of the year in terms of “where did this come from?”, KLO was able to follow up the devastating single “Anxi” with an equally great album. “Evolution” kept us moving while “Cbm” had our heads in space. Breezing through techno, pop, ambient, dance and R and B this was great stuff that we kept recommending to others whether they cared or not.
2. Slowdive – Slowdive: Possibly held off the top spot by the final two songs being a bit of a drag, 80% of this had us walking around the neighbourhood in amazement and wonder. Never having owned a Slowdive record before, the Minor Victories disc from last year perked our ears up for wanting to hear more from Rachel Goswell and the gang.
1. Elbow – Little Fictions: While we’ve enjoyed other Elbow albums and singles but this is the first time it all came together for these ears. The first without original drummer Richard Jupp and with some of the Manchester band now living in different locations, the band sounds locked in on album opener “Magnificent (She Says)” and the understated “Head For Supplies”. We realize there is a certain amount of Dad rock associated with picking this as our favourite album of the year but ball don’t lie, it’s a beautiful album.