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Top 25 Records Of The Year (So Far)

With no doubt, 2017 is an absolute banger so far when it comes to releases; we saw bands returning with old glory, promising newcomers and overall many ‘out-of-nowhere’ gems. We had a lot of fun as a team talking about the several contenders for our ‘halftime’ AOTY list, and with no further ado, I’m proud to present you our 25 picks in alphabetical order!

22You Are Creating: Limb1

This band is still kind of a hidden diamond in the prog world, even after their second absolutely fantastic album. Hard to believe that they aren’t the hot shit in the European prog scene. 22 showcased their unique and distinctive style again on You Are Creating: Limb1, and it’s an must-have for every prog fan.

Listen here!

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’68Two Parts Viper

Beautiful in all its fuzzy glory. I adore Josh Scogin and basically all his projects, so witnessing the return of ’68 in form of such a strong, charismatic and integer album is heart-balm.

Listen here!

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Arve Henriksen – Towards Language

I love the sound of fingers moving on an instrument. On Towards Language, you can feel the air coming out of Arve Henriksen’s trumpet, coating you in an incomparable density. Listen to this record with some good headphones and enjoy the world which it invites you into.

Listen here!

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Bent Knee – Land Animal

 A one-of-a-kind band. It’s nearly impossible to label Bent Knee properly, since they’ve created their very own blend of various styles and influences. With this open mindset, Land Animal is surprising and exciting from start to finish and one of the most unique musical experiences of 2017.

Listen here!

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Cameron Graves – Planetary Prince

It seems to be a good idea to follow Kamasi Washington and keep an eye out for all the musicians surrounding him. One of the most significant names has to be Cameron Graves, who threw his hat in the pit of modern jazz with his stunningly fantastic debut album. Featuring the likes of ThundercatRonald Bruner, jr., Ryan Porter, Hadrien Feraud and Kamasi Washington himself (just to name a few), this album is packed with magnificent modern jazz and an incomparable sense of composition.

Listen here!

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Cheer-Accident – Putting Off Death

This might surprise some of you, since I’m sure that only a few of you ever heard of this band at all. I stumbled upon them because this record got released on the US prog/experimental/jazz label Cuneiform Records, which is generally a reason in itself to listen to a band. An outstanding avant-prog release, equipped with the magic and beauty of weirdness.

Listen here!

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Cigarettes After Sex – Cigarettes After Sex

To make things short: This is the most beautiful, intimate and mesmerizing album you’ll hear in 2017.

Listen here!

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DJ Okawari – Compass

Since I have my hands on this list, it wasn’t a surprised that a Japanese record ended up here. Compass is simply beautiful, catchy and uplifting.

Listen here!

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Dodecahedron – kwintessens

You’re searching for a proggy, noisy, dark, obscure, intimidating and nearly avant-garde black metal experience? Your search is over. Dodecahedron is massive and an overall impalpable monster, with kwintessens as their anthem of omnipotence.

Listen here!

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Elder – Reflections Of A Floating World

Yep, it’s that album which even stuns people who aren’t in the metal scene. Reflections Of A Floating World gets praise from the whole music journalism world for a reason. Their blend of stoner, doom, prog and psychedelic is so well-executed, striking the perfect balance between comforting and surprising.

Listen here!

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Endon – Through The Mirror

Filthy and noisy, Japanese black metal/noise/grind band Endon are back after their masterpiece MamaThrough The Mirror is heavy, fast and brutal, but also highly emotional and all-around special.

Listen here!

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Heaven Pierce Her – Zen, or the Means Without Ends

A record which got basically no recognition, and I can’t wrap my head around why. Sure, it’s a 110-minute long droney, doomy beast, but it’s worth every second. Huge and massive, but also one of a kind.

Listen here!

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Heretoir – The Circle

Blackgaze and post metal, combined in beautiful pas de deux of sound. Heretoir are one of the hottest blackgaze bands these days.

Listen here!

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Hundredth – Rare

It can be a real struggle if a band changes their style drastically. It can go horribly wrong, or, like Hundredth, be absolutely perfect. Their progress from one of the freshest, most authentic melodic hardcore bands to an indie/shoegaze outfit with hardcore influences seems like a logical step now, since it sounds so organic, unambiguous and natural. If you are a fan of Nothing, you will love the new Hundredth album.

Listen here!

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Igorrr – Savage Sinusoid

I love Igorrr.

Listen here!

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Junius – Eternal Rituals For The Accretion Of Light

Highly anticpicated, long-awaited. The hopes were high for Junius new record, but they made it look easy and jumped right over them. It’s rare to find such a dense atmosphere, intriguing songwriting and intimate soundscape. A wonderful journey!

Listen here!

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Pallbearer – Heartless

Pallbearer are a band from the US. They play a blend out of doom and prog rock, and they are pretty awesome. They’ve released an album, called Heartless, which is pretty awesome as well.  They are nice guys and some of them have nice beards. They are pretty awesome. You should listen to and love this.

Listen here!

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Persefone – Aathma

What do you do after releasing an album like Spiritual Migration? For everyone who actually knew about Persefone, the task of creating a worthy successor to their 2013 masterpiece seemed to be impossible, but the band managed to create a record with nearly as much depth, stellar songwriting and exciting new elements.

Listen here!

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The Physics House Band – Mercury Fountain

When I claim that this band fills the spot which Battles left, it’s nothing less than an expression of pure respect and appreciation. I was stoked for that record since I first heard Horizons/Rapture, and to finally experience Mercury Fountain was an august experience. It’s crazy, it’s weird and it’s timeless, a rollercoaster through everything what is cool about progressive music.

Listen here!

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Sinkane – Life & Livin’ It

It’s rare to get your hands on a record so joyful, vivid, groovy and organic. Sinkane’s chef-d’oeuvre is music without contemporary boundaries, without following any trends or whims. This is pure artistic fun.

Listen here!

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Sleepy Sun – Private Tales

When I pressed ‘play’ on this record, I didn’t expect the suction effect of it. Or I severely underestimated it, no idea. Private Tales is a beautiful, psychedelic journey with detached and energetic songs.

Listen here!

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The Swan Thief – II

There is this moment in “Moon or Man”, the second song of the album, in which, after five minutes of playtime, the vocals kick in. This is easily one of the best musical moments of 2017. The Swan Thief came out of nowhere for me, and this record is one of the most impressive music discoveries I’ve made in years. I can’t praise this album enough. The production, the pacing, the vocals: This is simply staggering.

Listen here!

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Throttle Elevator Music – Retrospective

Look at this line-up of musicians! Of course it’s great. Masterful jazz with a certain dirtiness and punky attitude.

Listen here!

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Thundercat – Drunk

Thundercat might be one of the most talented musicians in the scene these days. And he proved that in a spectacular way with Drunk, combining r’n’b, jazz, hip hop and soul with such a distinctiveness, creativity and delight.

Listen here!

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Tigran Hamasyan – An Ancient Observer

After the flashy Mockroot, which drew the attention of the prog world to the outstanding pianist which is Tigran Hamasyan, he returns with a much more quiet, intimate and meditative record. As a long-time fan of his music and especially of his artistic contrast, I closed my eyes and trusted this man to take me on a wonderful musical trip. And it worked.

Listen here!

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Thanks for scrolling! Tell us about your favorite records of the year so far in the comments!

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