Happy New Year, everybody. Now that the year is over with, I can finally post my list of all of my favorite albums, films, games and television shows from 2017 without fear of forgetting anything late to the party. While I didn't get to listen to, play or watch everything that I would have liked to - and this list would probably change months from now once I've caught up with it all - this is where everything sits at this point in time. Hopefully there's something here that you hadn't heard of previously or something you had been putting off for whatever reason and seeing it again gives you the push you needed to check it out because everything below comes highly recommended. So! Without further adieu:
1. Brockhampton - Saturation (Trilogy)
If 2017 belonged to anybody, it would be Brockhampton. These guys collectively toured, recorded three full length albums, aired a television show on Viceland and filmed a feature length movie that will be released next year. In addition, they probably did even more than that but they like to toy with their fans so much that they want you to believe they're breaking up or something. Brockhampton demands your attention and they're doing the best job at it by putting out consistently great tunes at a pace that is unparalleled in today's music industry. Deeming themseleves as "your new favorite boyband", look for Brockhampton to continue their takeover in 2018.
Listen Now: "Heat", "Gummy" & "Boogie"
2. Moses Sumney - Aromanticism
Moses Sumney peaked his head out from the shadows in 2017 with the release of Aromanticism, catching the attention of both fans of his previous work, those that knew his name because of his association with Sufjan Stevens or those that saw that fantastic album art and said "shit I should check this out". Moses Sumney has created a timeless, emotional effort that will speak to fans of Frank Ocean (like myself) and other artists that take pride in a minimalist approach to songwriting to convey as much sincerity as possible. Moses Sumney is a unique artist in a world of too many similarities and Aromanticism is living, breathing proof of that fact.
Listen Now: "Don't Bother Calling" & "Plastic"
3. Kendrick Lamar - Damn
This was the year that Kendrick Lamar proved to the world that he can do no wrong. After To Pimp A Butterfly and the release of his b-sides record untitled unmastered we all started to wonder how Kendrick would ever continue this train of perfectionism for another album. How would he top his previous efforts? In short, he wouldn't - but not at all in a bad way. Instead of building upon the complexity of Butterfly, Kendrick decided to bring it back to the basics and he exceeded everyone's expectations with an album that says "fuck you" to the man - whoever you may consider that man is.
Listen Now: "DNA" & "LOVE"
4. Lorde - Melodrama
Here on Rosemary Media we do a video series entitled Modern Classics where we discuss albums that have come out within the last couple decades that we feel comfortable calling "classics" - even so early on in their lifespan. Lorde's Melodrama, to me, is an album that fits that moniker. Jack Antonoff's production shines, as does Lorde's haunting melodies and lyricism. The album apparently tells the story of a house party and through the use of many callbacks and subsections on the album it surely does feel like a complete and cohesive piece of work. This album will crush you at times, and yet, somehow by the end of it you are left with a sense of hope.
Listen Now: "Liability" & "Hard Feelings/Loveless"
5. King Krule - The OOZ
When this album was first released I said to myself "this is my favorite album of the year" - and for a while, it was. As time went on it dropped a few spots but that's to say nothing about the quality punched into this masterpiece and more so just that initial "wow" factor wearing off. But it's that exact "wow" factor that keeps me returning to The OOZ. It's terribly haunting but not in this "pretty" way that Lorde's Melodrama was. Instead of being heart breaking, this album, I think, is more gut punching - or twisting - or tearing. Regardless, it's doing something to your guts and you just want it to keep doing it.
Listen Now: "Czech One" & "Lonely Blue"
6. LCD Soundsystem - American Dream
LCD Soundsystem returned from purgatory this year with an album as good, if not, better than anything else they had done previously. If at any point this year you had pined for something that sounds as if it came straight out of the 80's yet with a touch of modernism to keep itself relevant, you could have listened to this album. And if you didn't, you fucked up a bit. American Dream is a trip - and an exciting one - that takes you back in time and yet makes you feel right at home. The synths are gorgeous and James Murphy's vocal delivery never misses a beat. I hope David Bowie is somewhere in the clouds sitting cross-legged listening to this with a smile on his face.
Listen Now: "call the police" & "american dream"
7. Rostam - Half-Light
When Vampire Weekend announced that Rostam would no longer be a part of the band I had two initial reactions - the more dramatic "kill me now" and the literal "I can't wait for a Rostam solo record". Thankfully, nothing killed me and the latter half of my reactions was given to me a lot sooner than I had ever expected. Half-Light is both intricate yet subtle and roaring yet peaceful. You might think those analogies don't make sense - and if so, it's because you haven't listened to Rostam's calling. It's a beautiful collection of songs that will remind you of Vampire Weekend in it's production choices but also exists in a space reserved just for itself.
Listen Now: "Half-Light" & "Gwan"
8. Tyler The Creator - Flower Boy
This is Tyler's best album and it's not even close. It's his most mature, most cohesive album of his career thus far and it shows just how much potential this man has and just how bright his future will be. Tyler is an artist that doesn't really answer to anybody - he doesn't grow up because you tell him to, he doesn't stop writing questionable lyrics because you say you're offended by them - Tyler works at his own pace and always does what he feels right without any restrictions. With a successful music career, a clothing line, a cartoon on Adult Swim and his own show on Viceland - Tyler is making sure you know his name and yet he doesn't care if you do or not.
Listen Now: "911/Mr. Lonely" & "November"
9. The National - Sleep Well Beast
At this point I'm pretty sure that it's impossible for The National to write a bad album. Every couple of years we get a new single, followed by a collection of songs they have recorded that serve as both a continuation and advancement of their signature sound. There should be a warning label on the front of every National record that says "Warning: Will Make You Cry" as Matt Berninger has a special way of just making you feeling something for someone multiple times as you listen to them and Sleep Well Beast is no exception. While his songs are clearly about very specific situations and occurrences, they make you feel as if they written about yours.
Listen Now: "Day I Die" & "Carin at the Liquor Store"
10. Sampha - Process
Sampha emerged onto the music scene in early 2017 with the release of his debut album Process and as each month passed, I knew that this album would remain high on this list because I never seemed to forget about it. Traditionally, when an album is released so early on in the year, once everything else starts pouring out in the Summer months I tend to look past those early releases but Process, to me, is the exception to my carelessness in the same way that Anderson .Paak's Malibu was last year. Sampha's twist on the R&B genre feels as if it's being pulled from the silence of the atmosphere - it's calming, it's smooth and most of all it just feels genuine.
Listen Now: "(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano" & "Timmy's Prayer"
11. Jay-Z - 4:44
12. (Sandy) Alex G - Rocket
13. Bleachers - Gone Now
14. Julien Baker - Turn Out The Lights
15. SZA - Cntrl
16. Glassjaw - Material Control
17. Manchester Orchestra - A Black Mile To The Surface
18. Perfume Genius - No Shape
19. The xx - I See You
20. Passion Pit - Tremendous Sea of Love
21. Fleet Foxes - Crack Up
22. Grizzly Bear - Painted Ruins
23. Vince Staples - Big Fish Theory
24. St. Vincent - Masseduction
25. Big Thief - Capacity
26. The War On Drugs - A Deeper Understanding
27. Rex Orange County - Apricot Princess
28. N.E.R.D - No One Ever Really Dies
29. Girlpool - Powerplant
30. Baths - Romaplasm
31. Daniel Caesar - Freudian
32. The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die - Always Foreign
33. Father John Misty - Pure Comedy
34. Mac DeMarco - This Old Dog
35. Phoenix - Ti Amo
36. Japandroids - Near To The Wild Heart Of Life
37. Marika Hackman - I'm Not Your Man
38. Wolf Alice - Visions Of A Life
39. The Menzingers - After The Party
40. Corbin - Mourn
Sufjan Stevens, Bruce Dessen, Nico Muhly & James McAllister - Planetarium
Sufjan Stevens - The Greatest Gift
John Mayer - The Search For Everything
Taylor Swift - Reputation
Francis & The Lights - Just for Us
Brand New - Science Fiction
The Shins - Heartworms
Gorillaz - Humanz
Thundercat - Drunk
Jaden Smith - SYRE
The Japanese House - Saw You In A Dream
Steve Lacy - Steve Lacy’s Demo
Gus Dapperton - Yellow and Such
1. The Disaster Artist
2. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
3. The Big Sick
4. Bladerunner 2049
6. Get Out
7. Baby Driver
8. Lady Bird
9. Spiderman: Homecoming
Have Not Seen Yet But Need To:
The Shape of Water
Call Me By Your Name
The Florida Project
1. Master of None
2. Stranger Things
3. The Good Place
4. Trial & Error
6. It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia
7. American Horror Story: Cult
8. You're The Worst
9. Better Things
11. Great News
12. Nathan For You
13. Epicly Later'd
14. What Would Diplo Do?
15. Rick & Morty
16. South Park
17. Broad City
18. American Boyband
19. Nuts & Bolts
20. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
21. The last Man On Earth
24. The Jellies
Honorable Mention: Desus & Mero
1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
2. Super Mario Odyssey
3. Persona 5
4. Horizon Zero Dawn
5. Star Wars Battlefront 2
6. Sonic Mania
7. Splatoon 2
8. Everybody’s Golf
9. Resident Evil 7
10. Destiny 2
11. Friday the 13th
12. NBA 2K18
15. Last Day of June
16. Golf Story
19. Use Your Words
20. Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp
PlayStation's PlayLink Series
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
South Park: The Fractured But Whole
Super Lucky’s Tale
Nintendo Switch Releases:
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch)
Puyo Puyo Tetris (Switch)
Stardew Valley (Switch)
Rocket League (Switch)