Pure Comedy is the perfect name for an album like this; one that trades in seemingly serious evocations, but ultimately reveals itself to be a farce. After 74 minutes of self-congratulatory back-slapping, proselytising, hand-wringing and relativising, Tillman reinforces his belief in man's ineffectuality and weakness amid cosmic indifference.
While stylistically The War on Drugs have never released anything revolutionary, A Deeper Understanding lacks that spark that their previous releases had, which could well be due in part to their move to a new major label home.
Take Me Apart may not appear as immediately interesting and unique as Kelela's previous work but there are layers upon layers of elements to be explored.
For all Season High’s exuberance, the record never pitches too hard. Little Dragon sense when to turn it down just as well as they know when to ramp it up, and tracks like Butterflies and Strobe Lights deal in emerald lights and moody ultraviolet.
This is Alvvays pushing the jangle pop envelope, and the perfect album for when sunny summer turns to antisocial autumn.
World Eater is ferocious and intense, but it's also thrilling and bristling with life – and it’s these contrasts that make it such a blast to listen to.
Barnett and Vile have managed to perfectly sync up their idiosyncrasies; Lotta Sea Lice is a joyful, ambling product of two connected creative minds.
Brick Body Kids Still Daydream offers everything you’d expect from an Open Mike Eagle album and rivals Dark Comedy for the best in his catalogue. But it’s also his most thematically coherent work yet.
Although Baldi has more observations to share than his previous records – and makes them with snarling passion and versatility – that added maturity isn’t quite matched by his songs yet.
Its compact eight tracks, running at a mere 40 minutes, offer controlled segments of medidative horizons and wry alt-pop – sequenced like binary code.
Compassion may not feel complete yet, but it’s an exciting portent of what may yet come.
The finished product is articulate and bubbling with energy and positivity – much like Lekman himself.
Pleasure is easily Feist’s most difficult album, far from the immediate accessibility of The Reminder, but she's a captivating performer and it may well be her richest statement.
Mostly, What Now is intent on being bigger and brasher than its predecessor, perhaps to avoid politely slipping into the background quite so easily.
The strained clarity of Zauner’s voice is what makes this album so beautiful, particularly during the contemplative balladry of This House. Moving and inspired, Soft Sounds From Another Planet is yet another lesson in guitar pop perfection.
It doesn’t quite have anything as immediately appealing as Afterlife here, in fact it’s much more of a grower, but over time Multi-task proves itself to be a triumphant lesson in post-punk authenticity.
An album that functions seamlessly as a listen-in-one-sitting affair, with enough memorable stand-alone moments to keep the club contingent happy, Bicep's debut is a clear front-runner for best house record of the year.
Migration is the acid test for electronic music in 2017, and sets a standard that will be undeniably difficult to beat, let alone match.
Big Thief aren’t the sort of band that will always hit you suddenly, such is their subtlety and restraint, but on Capacity they prove that when they do it’s powerful and memorable.
For their third LP, Mount Kimbie have lost that previously razor sharp focus. Love What Survives offers a scattergun approach to ideas, sounds and voices, and it could be their greatest record yet.
A stoner’s wet dream, Drunk is a true oddity that meanders along for 50-plus minutes with the narrative levity of a hallucination. Patchy and unfiltered, but charming as all hell, it’s a candid reflection of its creator.
Equal parts red-hot fire and cold hard reality, Killer Mike and El-P’s third album as Run The Jewels is a muscular call to arms.
American Dream feels like Murphy's darkest record to date, and like previous LCD records, only gets better with repeat listens. In short, it's fucking glorious.
Process is an exercise in catharsis, a deep breath in that lays Sampha’s soul bare through gorgeous vignettes of his life. He worries, he regrets, he aches. He’s human.
Perfume Genius’ magic lies in transforming struggle into folklore, mythologizing a daily endurance against patriarchal bullshit. These are vital hymns to unite and strengthen.
Melodrama is overblown sensationalism, and the sound of exposing every single thing without flinching. Every dark thought, every secret hope, every lurking fear, all soundtracked by uncompromising pop maximalism.