1) Moses Sumney – Quarrel
Moses Sumney’s Aromanticism is as strong a debut as they get. Quarrel is one of the album’s greatest tracks, and an undeniably beautiful one, taking influence from fellow singer-songwriter James Blake. Moses’ cosmic, smooth tones are excellently blended with tinkling strings, deep basses and ethereal sounds, creating a 6-minute odyssey of pure bliss that shimmies in and out of genres with ease.
2) Young Martha feat. Meek Mill – Homie
Young Martha, the collaborative effort of rapper Young Thug and producer Carnage, sounds as good in reality as it did on paper. Carnage sets standout track Homie in motion with a powerful gothic organ, ranging through tempo as Thugger and Meek’s rapping becomes increasingly frantic. Always a boundary-pusher, Thug here goes a step futher, savagely growling the chorus before flipping between flows throughout the beat. If this wasn’t enough, Homie’s music video is an absolute work of art, moving away from unimaginative ‘flexing’ videos used by many of Thug’s contemporaries.
3) Iglooghost – Bug Thief
Iglooghost is fantastic. This is fact. Another success story from Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label, Iglooghost combines elements of wonky, footwork, UK Bass, dofflin and grime to produce thrilling, thoroughly diverse music. On Bug Thief he sounds somewhere between a maximalist SOPHIE and Flying Lotus, but even this fails to fully describe the track, let alone the album. Bug Thief is just something you have to hear for yourself.
4) Post Malone feat. 21 Savage – rockstar
Let’s face it: if you haven’t heard rockstar by now, you probably live in a cave. Post Malone has always been a chart-success, and Rockstar follows this trend, taking over mainstream music with a melodic-trap approach done to perfection. Post, much like on his debut Stoney, blends rap and singing to create an earworm of a hook which easily finds massive success. 21 Savage brings his A game too – whilst renowned for his monotone delivery, he colours his verse with fantastic vocal inflections.
5) Protomartyr – The Chuckler
Amidst all the bland anti-Trump anthems and dreary political doomsayings, it’s very hard to find anyone saying anything interesting about the state of the world. Protomartyr are one of the few bands that succeed in this, however, bringing a blend of bleakness and hope that so few groups manage to pull off. The Chuckler is an absolute highlight from their latest album, featuring unique guitarwork, despondent lyrics and a fantastic use of tone. If 2017 had a soundtrack, this would be an essential part.