Depending on how social you are, you may or may not have an ample amount of time to yourself this long weekend — and the worst thing you can do is spend it in silence. We’ve rounded up five of our favourite albums from 2017 to keep you company, from the low-key haunting to the unabashedly loved up.
Sampha — Process
Long weekends are all about enjoying the finer things in life, and Sampha’s stunning 10-track debut Process fits the bill perfectly. The 29-year-old Briton uses the lightest of strokes and the richest of colours to reminds us that music is art. Each song feels eerily placed together, made smokier with Sampha’s rich, modulated voice and an experimental tinkle of instrumentals. The result is a refined, languid record that hears Sampha create music on his own terms.
Los Campesinos! — Sick Scenes
Turn your dial up to 11 with Los Campesinos!’s full-on 2017 record, Sick Scenes. It’s messy, angry, fun, loud and sensitive, with the band sounding like they needed to get something — or several somethings — off their chest in as short a period as possible. Thankfully there are a few songs here and there that act as breathers, like A Slow, Slow Death. Sick Scenes is the kind of record that will make you wish you had a drop-top just so you can boom it down the highway whilst taking the scenic route.
Beck — Colors
Colours might be the last thing you’d expect from an artist like Beck, especially after he bagged Album of the Year at the 2015 Grammy Awards with his melancholic effort Morning Phase. Meanwhile, Colors is unadulterated pop. It’s relentlessly upbeat and makes for compelling background music that doesn’t distract or overwhelm. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. The record feels nostalgic at times and youthful at others, but it’s consistently bright and danceable. The third track is titled I’m So Free, which kind of sums up the vibe we get from Beck here — no chains, no expectations, just bliss.
St. Vincent — MASSEDUCTION
St. Vincent is a master of her craft. By now, she knows she doesn’t have to rush to pull her listeners in, taking her time to craft 13 masterfully slick and emotive tracks. She pairs incongruously pretty electropop melodies with dangerous, tongue-in-cheek lyricism about addiction, decadent city life and hopeless relationships. Occasional ballads like Slow Disco bring out a much-needed humanness.
LANY — LANY
LANY put out one of the best albums of the year with their self-titled and full-length debut. The alt-pop trio deliver a bouquet of sticky sweet love songs that could have easily been deep cuts from your favourite ’90s boy band. And yet, they have a deeper, more sincere vulnerability, capturing the kind of young love that keeps you up all night without mincing words or acting tough. Required listening for hopeless romantics.