Twelve great albums of early 2017.

After listening to 87 hours of new music, these are my picks.
CTRL
SZA

A beautiful R&B album that hardly falters, elegantly handling themes of sexuality, relationships, and femininity.

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Peasant
Richard Dawson

A narrative folk album taking place in a Medieval England countryside. Most likely contender for my album of 2017.

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Being You is Great, I Wish I Could Be You More Often
Quelle Chris

Decidedly weird and often laugh-inducing lyrics only add to the impressive wordplay and themes of self.

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Brutalism
Idles

Aggressive and witty post-hardcore punk, concerned with working-class plights and the current political climate.

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The Orbiting Human Circus
The Music Tapes

Heartwarming lo-fi indie songs and renditions of classic standards, led by Julian Koster of Neutral Milk Hotel.

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Packs
Your Old Droog

Plain good hip hop, led by consistently strong wordplay from Droog and supported by a guest list to match.

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Mental Illness
Aimee Mann

Wholesome yet bittersweet folk, perfect to accompany a sunrise after rain.

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Dirty Projectors
Dirty Projectors

A meditation on a failed relationship, augmented through left-field songwriting and catchy R&B sensibilities.

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Process
Sampha

Sensuous, heartfelt electronic R&B debut from this already fully-formed songwriter and producer.

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DAMN.
Kendrick Lamar

It’s Kendrick Lamar, of course it’s good. Pop rap explorations of fame and self-identity.

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Disappeared Behind the Sun
Angles 9

A loud, noisy, and mostly upbeat jazz band affair that shines in its progressions and instrumental chemistry.

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Melodrama
Lorde

Stronger songwriting and her continued self-awareness of young adulthood make for a standout sophmore album.

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These are pretty good too.

Paradiso
Chino Amobi

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A Crow Looked at Me
Mount Eerie

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First Opus
Sinjin Hawke

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World Eater
Blanck Mass

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Here are playlists.

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Originally published 08 July 2017. Last edited 12 November 2017, re-published 15 April 2018.