Ladies and germs, it’s that time again. As we put another year in the trash heap of history and start anew, looking forward with hope and fear, let us reflect on all that we have. One beautiful thing on this earth is music and there was a lot of good music this year. This list has country, metal, hip hop, ambient, electronic, experimental and all sorts of hard-to-pin-down sonic explorations. Click around on stuff you’ve never heard of or try some genres you rarely listen to.

Compiling lists is always kinda arbitrary and silly but it’s also fun so here are the 50 albums (and 50 honorable mentions) that made me feel something in my heart, my mind or my boogie shoes.


50.
Rosali – Trouble Anyway


49.
Sarah Louise – Deeper Woods


48.
Adrianne Lenker – abysskiss


47.
Mouse On Mars – Dimensional Peopele


46.
Kali Uchis – Isolation

45.
Beach House – 7


44.
Father John Misty – God’s Favorite Customer


43.
Meg Baird & Mary Lattimore – Ghost Forests


42.
Janelle Monáe – Dirty Computer


41.
Noname – Room 25


40.
Rhye – Blood

39.
Deafheaven – Ordinary Corrupt Human Love


38.
Doug Paisley – Starter Home


37. 
Leon Bridges – Good Thing


36.
Dungen & Woods – Myths 003


35.
Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour


34.
Saintseneca – Pillar of Na


33.
Kamasi Washington – Heaven and Earth


32.
Yo La Tengo – There’s a Riot Going On


31.
Nathan Salsburg – Third


30.
E Ruscha V – Who Are You


29.
Scott Hirsch – Lost Time Behind the Moon



28.
ROSALÍA – El Mal Querer


27.
Sam Wilkes – WILKES


26.
Khruangbin – Con Todo El Mundo


25.
Jennifer Castle – Angels of Death


24.
Jon Hopkins – Singularity


23.
Bugge Wesseltoft & Prins Thomas – Bugge Wesseltoft & Prins Thomas


22.
Arp – ZEBRA


21.
Bonny Doon – Longwave


20.
Haley Heynderickx – I Need to Start a Garden


19.
Anna St. Louis – If Only There Was A River


18.
Cut Worms – Hollow Ground


17.
S. Carey – Hundred Acres


16.
Oneohtrix Point Never – Age Of


15.
Hop Along – Bark Your Head Off, Dog


14.
Grouper – Grid of Points


13.
Nathan Bowles – Plainly Mistaken


12.
Prince – Piano & A Microphone 1983


11.
DJ Koze – Knock Knock


10.
Amen Dunes – Freedom


9.
Gia Margaret – There’s Always Glimmer


8.
Low – Double Negative


7.
Mitski – Be the Cowboy


6.
Wild Pink – Yolk in the Fur


5.
Mary Lattimore – Hundreds of Days


4.
Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino


3.
Against All Logic – 2012 – 2017


2.
Foxing – Nearer My God


1.
Nils Frahm – All Melody



50 More Albums That I Really Enjoyed This Year, Kinda Sorta in Order

Hailu Mergia – Lala Belu

Steve Hauschildt – Dissolvi

Richard Swift – The Hex

Natalie Prass – The Future And The Past

Wye Oak –  The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs

boygenius – boygenius

Lucy Dacus – Historian

Bibio – PHANTOM BRICKWORKS (IV & V)

Dirty Projectors – Lamp Lit Prose

Big Red Machine – Big Red Machine

Earl Sweatshirt – Some Rap Songs

Sleep – The Sciences

Marisa Anderson – Cloud Corner

Julian Lage – Modern Lore

Nap Eyes – I’m Bad Now

Gang Gang Dance – Kazuashita

serpentwithfeet – soil

Tommy Guerrero – Road to Knowhere

Damien Jurado – The Horizon Just Laughed

Chini and The Technicians – Arriba Es Abajo

Mount Eerie – Now Only

Mind Over Mirrors – Bellowing Sun

Daniel Bachman – The Morning Star

Yves Tumor – Safe In The Hands of Love

Natalia Lafourcade y Los Macorinos – Musas (Un Homenaje al Folclore Latinoamericano en Manos de Los Macorinos), Vol. 2

John Prine – The Tree of Forgiveness

Makaya McCraven – Universal Beings

Courtney Marie Andrews – May Your Kindness Remain

The Milk Carton Kids – All the Things That I Did and All the Things That I Didn’t Do

Phosphorescent – C’est La Vie

Colter Wall – Songs of the Plains

Phil Cook- People Are My Drug

The Dead Tongues – Unsung Passage

Vince Staples – FM!

Spiritualized – And Nothing Hurt

Robyn – Honey

The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships

How To Dress Well – The Anteroom

Kurt Vile – Bottle It In

Blood Orange – Negro Swan

Toby Hay – The Longest Day

The Amazing – In Transit

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Hope Downs

Mutual Benefit – Thunder Follows The Light

Johanna Warren – Gemini II

Shy Layers – Midnight Marker

The Modern Folk – Modern Folk 666

Thom Yorke – Suspiria

R+R=NOW – Collagically Speaking

King Tuff – The Other

  • Cooolin

    You turned me on to a lot of awesome music this year, Saul. Saintsenenca, Nathan Salsburg and Nap Eyes in particular. You’ve got your finger on the pulse, not sure exactly what pulse that is but it’s a damn good one.

    • Saul Wright

      Thanks, man! That’s great to hear. Right back atcha!

  • DFrye

    Damn sorry so late! I just saw this. Great list, Saul! We have an awful lot in common on the Americana/folk/country front and I have to thank you for expanding my horizons in this area. Also, E Ruscha V (I got beef with your placement here, even if I wouldn’t have found it without your rec ;). I fucking LOVE that album). Wild Pink in the top 10? God damn right.

    Hope you’re digging that Hyways album. An absolutely stunning psych country album, in the book of Frye.