Welcome, esteemed people of the Internet, to the twelfth and final episode of The Summer Jam 2: Beat The Heat! As last week saw the publication of the final artist-chosen list, you were probably able to guess what would be coming next. And you were right (if you even tried to guess, that is)! I’m here this week to tell you about some records that I personally deem THE summer jams of this year.
Aside from three exceptions, I’ve tried not to include stuff we already covered in reviews etc. on this site. I’m convinced you’ll notice those exceptions without a problem. But without further ado, here are my 15 (+2) favorite summer records of 2017!
Zeitgeber – Heteronomy
I found this band and record out of pure serendipity, and boy am I glad I did! The mixture of jazz, world music, prog rock, and electronic on display is gorgeous, and their drummer/hang player Evan McGregor was nothing but a wonderful person to work with on my The Summer Jam series. Big ups to these guys, especially for catering to my extremely specific hang fetish.
Kehlani – SweetSexySavage
One of the absolute best mainstream r’n’b albums to come out in the last couple of years. The beats are dope, the production is top notch, and would you just look at Kehlani? She’s badass!
Heretoir – The Circle
Read my review. Nothing more needs to be said.
Toro Y Moi – Boo Boo
Chaz Bear brought back shades of his earlier chillwave material to mingle it with funk, indie rock, and more of his later influences, creating one of the essential listens for the summer of 2017.
James McAlister, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, Sufjan Stevens – Planetarium
Now this is one of those gems I would’ve missed out on if I had followed my first instincts and dismissed it as merely a Sufjan Stevens record. Well, it isn’t (if the list of other contributors wasn’t an easy indication). Instead, it’s an immersive experience to get lost in over and over again. I bloody love it.
Teen Daze – Themes for Dying Earth / Pacific Coliseum – Ocean City
Yup, these are two separate records, but since they’re both by the same guy (albeit under different monikers) and both fit in nicely into the ‘summery’ category, I think it’s justified to have them on here. Whereas the former is more of an introverted ambient pop album, the latter features some nice elements of Balearic house music and is way more danceable.
Trapped Under Ice – Heat Wave
I’m normally not into hardcore, but I couldn’t help but to enjoy this short, fun record by Trapped Under Ice.
Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah – Ruler Rebel / Diaspora
With the third album of the trilogy yet unreleased, I wondered if I should include the first two here, but in the end, I simply couldn’t resist their charming take on both old school jazz fusion-era vibes and modern nu jazz.
Eternity Forever – Fantasy EP
Sadly, this project is on hold as of now, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop singing their praises, right? This EP is chock full of awesome math rock/jazz/soul music, don’t miss out on it.
Soundscape – Earthlings
Strange. Beautiful. Otherworldly. All these denominators could be used for Soundscape’s new record Earthlings. Definitely one of the most special releases this year.
Eddie Palmieri – Sabiduría
What would a summer be without a little salsa music? Probably still a summer, just with less dancing. Luckily, one of the old maestros of the genre delivered this brilliant LP for you to make your bodies gyrate to this year.
Moonchild – Voyager
Neo soul has become a household genre in my listening habits in the past two years, and Moonchild are a great example as for why that is: lush instrumentation, amazing vocal lines, and a chill atmosphere come together to form one impressive whole.
Peter Silberman – Impermanence
Again, one of those records to get lost in. Absolutely beautiful and serene.
Com Truise – Iteration
There’s no need to introduce this man. A true legend of the now bustling synthwave scene, and his new album is every bit as brilliant as you would’ve expected.
Contrarian – To Perceive Is To Suffer
Quick, catch the curve ball before the article is over! Jokes aside, progressive death metal isn’t exactly what you’d call a summer genre, but I have to say that I had a lot of fun with this, and the vocalist’s Masvidal-ian cleans are highly nostalgic for me.
And that’s it for this year! Perhaps you found a few cool albums to spin on this list. Before we end things off here, why don’t you tell us what your summer records of 2017 are? Leave ‘em in the comments! You can find the other episodes of The Summer Jam 2: Beat The Heat here, in case you missed some. It was a blast putting them together, so I hope you liked them too.
See you around for more reviews, features etc. on It Djents! Stay safe, and as always…
…thanks for reading!