UNIQUE LULLABY'S FAVOURITE ALBUMS OF 2017 - Unique Lullaby
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UNIQUE LULLABY'S FAVOURITE ALBUMS OF 2017

- Thursday, 28 December 2017. to read...
Music lovers stood as one this 2017! This year we have seen a fantastic year of music and a year which brought a lot of unity to many and a huge sense of community through some very difficult times. We have seen big comebacks from hugely loved artists such as the electric reissue of 'FEVER TO TELL' - Yeah Yeah Yeah's, No_one Ever Really Dies - N.E.R.D - the first album from this trio in seven long years, The Killers - Wonderful Wonderful, after a five year hiatus, four years after the release of '...like clockwork' QOTSA come back with Villains. And Eminem hits back with 'REVIVAL'. We have seen Grime at the absolute top of its game with Stormzy firmly at the head of the table. And of course, as always, some big festivals appearances and lineups. With a whole year of music comes an incredible string of albums that will have been sure to fill up your playlists.

Here are a few of Unique Lullaby's favourite albums of 2017.
These are in no particular order, just a few of my highly commended albums of the year. 
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TYLER THE CREATOR - FLOWER BOY
Tyler The Creator's Grammy Award Nominated album Flower Boy is absolutely bursting with personality.  It's the perfect record to follow on to 2015's Cherry Bomb. This instrumentally tantalising album shows us a bitter sweet flip side to this rapper. Combining some wonderful collaborations with R&B's finest including Estelle, Frank Ocean and Jaden Smith, it's an accomplishment of tranquility melodious laid back summer compositions mulched in with bold fire. In particularly in tracks like Garden Shed Ft Estelle, Where The Flower Blossoms Ft Frank Ocean and Droppin' Seeds Ft Lil Wayne. The album switches to its grittier side through collaborations with A$AP Rocky - Who Dat Boy. Superbly crafted album!

           UNIQUE LULLABY LOVES:
                                                                                                                      1. GLITTER
                                                                                                                            2.  PORTHOLE
                                                                                                                                  3. GARDEN SHED
                       
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THE XX - I SEE YOU
The XX came back once again this year with their highly anticipated third studio album I SEE YOU. This record packed more of a production punch than we have previously heard from the trio. In true tradition of The XX, the album is still breezily intertwined with Oliver and Romy's mellow verses and sweet-sounding chorus lines. 
Seeing The XX back in 2012 during the birth year of the debut record, you can hear the musical progression with a much more sample driven taste and heavy synthesizers verging on dancefloor buildups. Jamie XX swinging his  EDM flavour to this album but still sprinkled with Romy's tangy guitars. 

UNIQUE LULLABY LOVES:
1. I DARE YOU
                                                                                                         2. SAY SOMETHING LOVING
                                                                                                   3. ON HOLD

  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ASTROID BOYS - BROKE
Astroid Boys have had a mammoth year after the release of this album. Touring the UK and Europe with Enter Shikari to massive crowds as well as announcing a headline UK tour for 2018  and just announced another European tour in support of Hollywood Undead. Broke is an album written with honesty and sincerity, it takes you on a journey as it hits heavy for the first 3/4 of the album with a realisation as the  album comes to an end. Mashing up big genres of high energy with slammers 'DIRT' and 'Money'. The sense of the word 'broke' in this record is more than just its literal meaning, there are themes beyond the sense of the word. There are themes of education, lifestyles and communities heavily showcased in 'Foreigners', 'Lost', 'Dazed' and 'Ghost'. It's a brilliantly arranged record.

UNIQUE LULLABY LOVES
1. DIRT
2. LOST
3. KILL
 
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THE NATIONAL - SLEEP WELL BEAST 
This is one album that really took me by surprise this year. Having been an avid follower of The National since 'Alligator', this is an album that you would have thought Jamie XX had something to do with on a few tracks, especially 'I'll Still Destroy You' and 'Empire Line'. Wandering away slightly from the traditional 'The National' guitar sequences, we are still met with Matt Beringer's intricate songwriting and melancholy flourishes. I admire the refreshing flavour this album is alluring and I think it works. We are distilled with some big guitar driven records like 'Turtleneck' and 'Day I Die'. This album offers everything and a wonderful way to round it off, is with piano ballad 'Carin At The Liquor Store' towards the end, it takes you back to those Alligator soft, melodious sentiments. I really dig this album! 

UNIQUE LULLABY LOVES:
1. TURTLENECK
 2. GUILTY PARTY
                              3. CARIN AT THE LIQUOR STORE
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HER'S - SONGS OF HER'S
Her's are one of my favourite finds of 2017. Speed Racer was one of my most played songs this year without a doubt. Very rarely do I get hooked to an artist purely by one song. As soon as I heard this and listened to it numerous times, I had to go digging. I missed earlier releases of Marcel and What Once Was the previous year so to find these were also a treat. Her's released their 'collection of songs' and eight track mini-LP this year, which is full of dreamy twangs and popping basslines. This dynamic duo bring something really special that sharpens the ears to be ready for more. The album, musically takes you floating up and down the musical waves with the array of musical arrangements. The album kicks off the pace with 'Dorothy' to then move you into a slower lackadaisical track 'Cool With You'  into super sunkissed 'Marcel'.  The eight tracks are split down the middle with upbeat wavy single 'Speed Racer' before finishing with falsetto painted record 'I'll Try'. 

UNIQUE LULLABY LOVES:
1. Speed Racer
2. You Don't Know This Guy
3. Cool With You


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SAMPHA - PROCESS


Since listening to SBTRKT's debut album back in 2011, I have been infatuated with Sampha's compellingly velvety vocals. This year, he of course, won a Mercury award for this crunchy soulful album. This album has the perfect blend of beautifully penned ballads sandwiched with voluminous production. (Noone Knows Me) Like The Piano and Take Me Inside slot wonderfully at the heart of the album. I absolutely love when the beat kicks in for Blood On Me and the quick pace of Kora Sings. I also love how this album has some R&B undertones mulched in especially in tracks like 'Incomplete Kisses'. An absolutely awesome album and well deserved of that Mercury Prize. 



                                                                                               UNIQUE LULLABY LOVES: 
                                                                                    1. (NO ONE KNOWS ME) LIKE THE PIANO
                                                                                                  2. TIMMY'S PRAYER
                                                                                                  3. INCOMPLETE KISSES
                       -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                                                                                                   STORMZY - GANG SIGNS AND PRAYER

This album was possibly my most played this year. He was absolutely everywhere this year and rightly so, from features to storming awards shows, Stormzy is an artist that grasped 2017 firmly by its horns. There is a really honest and relatable sense to his writing and emotion through the records on this album. It goes from the perils of growing up to the appreciation of his family and its put across perfectly. I love the use of archive audio for the most part but the way he introduces 100 Bags with his mum and the gorgeous admiration he relays to her in the track is wonderful, to Crazy Titch which, is just plainlyspot on. Blinded By Your Grace Part 2 has that spine tingling tone from the church choir that just sets a gorgeous sense of strength. The pace of the records and that he spits some pure Grime onto overlap charmingly on the album, Mr Skeng, Cold and of course the belter Big For Your Boots. There are also some fantastic collaborations with huge chart topping artists including Wretch 32, MNEK & Lily Allen. An absolute fireball of an album which will be hard to follow, but, lets be honest, I'm sure he'll smash it. 

UNIQUE LULLABY LOVES:
1. Big For Your Boots
2. Cigarettes & Cush
3. Shut Up
                  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                                                                                 THE AMAZONS - THE AMAZONS 

The Amazons have had an amazing year. This Reading quartet are an ambitious bunch who just want to create music that packs a punch and on their debut album they have done just that. Most tracks on this record are absolute belters, that when you go and catch them live you'll come back with a whisp on the old vocal chords. There is a nice diversity on this album, from big sing-a-longs tracks like 'Ultraviolet', 'Black Magic', 'Junk Food Forever' to the wonderful piano ballad to round the big riffs and infectious chorus lines with 'Palace'. These guys are a super tight live band and absolutely fill the space. It's only up from here for these guys and I sense more music on the way next year! 

UNIQUE LULLABY LOVES:
1. ULTRAVIOLET
2. SOMETHING IN THE WATER
3. IN MY MIND
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
KENDRICK LAMAR - DAMN. 
Kendrick Lamar is one of the finest lyricists of our generation. The flow of this album in particular is just outstanding. The themes targeted lift the records out of your headphones and into the physical truths staring you in the face. Especially in XXX which features Bono from U2 expressing everything that is happening in America right now. We also see more collabs on the album with Rihanna in Loyalty. Its an album filled with absolute gems that just, once again, set this artist apart as one of the greats. The world needed another Kendrick Lamar album and it couldn't have come at a better time. I love the arrangement of this album, kicking off with BLOOD  and DNA. its teaming with interesting musical arrangements and archived sound bites. Lamar's tones and and flow on this album pack an emotional punch as always. 

UNIQUE LULLABY LOVES:
1. HUMBLE
2. ELEMENT 
3. DNA
                 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                                                                                 HURRAY FOR THE RIFF RAFF - THE NAVIGATOR
There's a real 70's feel to this album that I love. The Folk-Blues and Americana feel this band allude comes to a prominent head on this particular record. It follows frontwomans Alynda Segarra alter ego Navita as she embarks on a journey of self discovery through her hometown. As concept albums go, this one is brilliantly  teaming in New York imagery. There are strong cultural and political themes within the walls of the lyrics too, it encompasses everything she can. Wonderfully produced and arranged, especially on tracks such as Nothings gonna change that girl, Rican Beach and Hungary Ghost. There is a real middle eight in Pa'lente that reeks of the Beatles, it's great! It's a well encapsulated sixth album from HFTRR and definitely well worth a listen if it slipped your radar this year!  

UNIQUE LULLABY LOVES:
1. RICAN BEACH 
2. PA'LENTE
3. HALFWAY THERE
               --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                                                                                         PUMAROSA - THE WITCH 
As debut albums go, The Witch, is an intriguing one. This one may have slipped under the radar but this record has an insanely hypnotic flow and if you're about to give it its first spin, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. It's a heavily electronically built album with elements of grunge tinged throughout which you hear on tracks like 'Honey' and 'Lions Den'. Diversely dispensed throughout the record comes spell-casting captivator 'Priestess' which breaks to the electronically deriving psychedelic beat. It's verging on a real anthemic feel. A super impressive debut album, the musiciality and musicianship that is happening here is admirable. I recommend you check this one out if you missed it this year! Fantastic live too. 


UNIQUE LULLABY LOVES:
1. PRIESTESS
2. DRAGONFLY
3. HONEY
             -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                                                                TRAMPOLENE - SWANSEA TO HORNSEY
Trampolene have had an ace year. Championed by both The Libertines and Liam Gallagher, Trampolene have played to some mammoth crowds over the past couple of years. Debut album, Swansea To Hornsey encompases everything you need from Trampolene. Beginning with my favourite spoken word title on the record Artwork Of Youth with its slightly comical approach, it sets it all up nicely. Further into the record, its split up wonderfully with more neatly dispersed spoken word titles such as Ketamine and Poundland.  It's an album with a journey, taking you right through Jack Jones' early beginnings to the bands current activity. Blue Balls and A Broken Heart comes alongside an awesome video, filmed at a Libertines' gig and shows the whole stage slow dancing with the audience also participating. Well worth a watch. 

UNIQUE LULLABY LOVES: 
1. ARTWORK OF YOUTH 
2. BEAUTIFUL PAIN
3. ALCOHOL KISS 
      -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                                                                                   PURE COMEDY - FATHER JOHN MISTY
Father John Misty's album has been one of the most talked about albums from what I could here. Following on from I Love You, Honeybear  it's a wonderfully constructed album with the 13 minute melodious ballad 'Leaving LA' sitting at the heart of the album. It is a really flavourful album again held strongly through intertwining Josh Tillman's powerfully designed songwriting and penned emotions with soft inflections. There is an ease of diversity in this record starting with title track 'Pure Comedy' setting up the albums aesthetic right the way through to thought provoking Ballad of a Dying Man and finishing strongly with So I'm Growing Old On Magic Mountain. A wonderful album, Father John Misty once again shows his music to be timeless.


UNIQUE LULLABY LOVES:
1. LEAVING LA
2. SO I'M GROWING OLD ON MAGIC MOUNTAIN 
3. SMOOCHIE

          -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                                                      MAC DEMARCO - THIS OLD DOG


Mac Demarco meets us once again with an album drenched in laksadatical melodies and intricate lyricisms. Demarco charmingly creates his records that just leave that trace of enchantment through each song. This 13 track album is extremely easy listening right the way to the final minutes. Produced marvelously, this album feels ageless and is impressionably his most personal album yet. With those summer twangs in true Mac style on 'One Another' and 'On The Level' and harmonica ripples through 'A Wolf Who Wears Sheeps Clothes'  this album is complete with little gems sitting within its musical walls. 




UNIQUE LULLABY LOVES:
1. FOR THE FIRST TIME
2. ONE ANOTHER
3. A WOLF WHO WEARS SHEEPS CLOTHES 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  LORDE - MELODRAMA
One of the unconventional pop artists of this generation and this is why I love Lorde. This album is packed full of big toplines and tangled versus which follow a different route to most pop tracks. The record is broken up wonderfully with a piano ballad that resonates as a stand out track alongside her distinctively sunken vocals, Writer In The Dark is wonderfully strong. Melodrama  is a pop statement that well and truly stuck out this year. From strongly written feelings in La Louvre, Hard Feelings/Loveless and Sober II (Melodrama) all comprising to the end with upbeat 'Perfect Places'. This record is very well produced and perfectly laid out as a stand out pop album which continuously sets Lorde apart. 



UNIQUE LULLABY LOVES:
1. LA LOUVRE 
2. WRITER IN THE DARK
3. SOBER
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------      
LCD SOUNDSYSTEM - AMERICAN DREAM 

LCD SOUNDSYSTEM is back again with anthemic and euphoric musical tendencies. The master of Indie Dance is back and is to be following with some live dates for 2018! It's always refreshing to have the electronic pioneers back on the scene and this album brings some real musical nuggets. Infectious beats fill the earwaves on tracks like tonite and emotional haircut and of course anthemic belters which will go down an absolute treat in a live environment as fans will no doubt be belting and dancing along to other voices which has a real post punk infused feel to it, oh baby and i used to. 
Splendid comeback in true LCD fashion! 



UNQIUE LULLABY LOVES:
1. OTHER VOICES 
2. TONITE 
3. CHANGE YR MIND 

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QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE - VILLAINS 

One of the most anticipated records this year. QOTSA return after four years with the huge album Villains. There are some huge serges of power on this record which are neatly dispersed between grungey charged epics like Hideaway. Kicking off the album with anthemic and animated footprint The Way You Used To Do alongside fellow foot stomper Head Like A Haunted House.  Its an album with everything you could want and no doubt will go down a treat at live shows all over. 


UNIQUE LULLABY LOVES:
1. THE WAY YOU USED TO DO 
2. HEAD LIKE A HAUNTED HOUSE
3. UN-REBORN AGAIN 


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-----                                                          THE WAR ON DRUGS - A DEEPER UNDERSTANDING
                                                                               
This is a magnificent record that is just wonderfully produced and fantastically written. A live artist I am yet to see and I cannot wait. A Deeper Understanding is packed full of gorgeous melodious guitar ensembles alongside a labyrinth of sophisticated lyrics. Thinking Of A Place holds a lovely ghostly trail of instrumentals, Holding on has a slightly more upbeat repertoire and final record You Don't Have To Go  finishes on a lackadaisical musical musing which finishes the album off perfectly. It's a triumph of an album and a wonderful addition to this year of music! 





UNIQUE LULLABY LOVES:
1. THINKING OF A PLACE 
2. IN CHAINS
3. HOLDING ON 


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