The GILM Awards 2017 Favorite Music (Album)


Most of the besties have already been named, I’ll throw out a last minute nom to 4:44. I continue to be surprised by how much I like this album cuz I’m not really a solo Jay-Z fan. But I keep coming back to it.

Also just because it hasn’t been mentioned, you should check out the new Mavis Staples album, If All I Was Was Black.


I would have nominated DAMN. if it didn’t recently get seconded, so I think I’ll do 4:44 now.


I’m surprised I ended up going back to Hey Colossus - The Guillotine as often as I did. What’s more surprising is that it’s straight-up psych rock, a genre I didn’t think I liked very much. The guitars are heavy, the atmospherics are dark, and the lyrics are pretty funny when they’re not furious about British politics. For my money, one of the best British rock albums of 2017.


Seconding Vince Staples - Big Fish Theory
I’ve liked a lot of his earlier music, but none of it has been as exactly what I’m into as this is.
Here’s one track he’s put on youtube


Father John Misty - Pure Comedy


Since it hasn’t been seconded yet: ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADA$$ by Joey Bada$$

It’s been an amazing year for hip-hop, and most of my faves this year have already made it through, but I HAVE to give props to Joey for creating this amazing album, a road-trip through troubled America for your ear-holes. When this album was released, it blew me away. Mostly because I initially dismissed it because of his name, as shallow as that may be. But damn if I didn’t feel like a fool after it turned out to be an album with layer upon layer.


Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah - The Centennial Trilogy

There’s a lot of good music that came out this year, but this one hit a spot I didn’t know I needed. It’s a thick collection of experimental jazz whose beats and brass notes swirl around and fill me with hope each time I sit down with it. There’s so much to chew on here and in the end I’m just so thankful for what feels like a truly soulful experience.


For me it’s Turtle - Human. For those who like Bonobo, Lorn, and Massive Attack, Turtle’s debut just swims along, creating an aural soundscape that manages to dig into your subconscious. It’s really pretty special.


I’ll second Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked At Me - one of the most emotionally raw, stripped-back, crushingly sad albums I’ve maybe ever heard, it’s so minimal and unpoetic and yet so beautiful, emotionally evocative, moving, even surprisingly super morbidly funny at times. It’s a tough listen, there’s something a bit voyeuristic and exploitative about it at times even, but so rewarding - a diluted shot of intimacy, completely lacking in artsy flourish, that even the best singer-songwriter-y folk only gestures towards usually.

Also I met Phil at a show a couple of months ago and he was incredibly nice so I’d feel bad this not being on here just for that.


I’m gonna abandon my vote for Raskit and second Gas’ Narkopop


Superman by Wednesday Campanella.
I know I should be seconding nomations now, but in almost every category the ones left I’ve never heard of, or at a minimum have no feelings for. Instead I’d like the mention the main album released by Wednesday Campanella this year (I already mentioned the stand-alone single, Melos, in thes ong category).

Superman took a long time to grow on me. It’s a blur of multiple styles from EDM and Brit-Pop, to Jazz and Rap, all in a J-Pop framing. I now love most of the songs on the record, and wish I’d given it more chances earlier (after a friend with more knowledge of J-pop suggested it to me). The instrumentation and mastering is especially stunning with some pieces heavy on percussion, while others are subtle on piano. Horns, electronic beats, indie electric guitar, traditional japanese instruments, and string sections, all make an appearance while somehow feeling cohesive.
The singles Aladdin and Ikkyu-san are definitely the most popular, however it is the unique sounds of Ghenkis Khan and Ame-no-Uzume which stay with me most.
Ghenkis Khan begins with the sounds of community chanting, only to rest neatly on a calming Dance piano and rap which. The binding thread throughout being the percussion from the start, which keeps the piano melody from getting stale. Ame-no-Uzume is extremely dance-focused, however the sample of the british woman in contrast to KOM_I’s verses is instantly memorable.

I really hope people try out the album, especially if they have otherwise skipped on the oft-misrepresented “J-Pop genre”. I honestly didn’t even know that “J-Pop” included music like this.


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