Trampolene

Top 20 Albums of 2017

20. Ride – Weather Diaries

The Oxford quartet’s first album since 1996’s ‘Tarantula’ saw them on mixed form. At it’s best though, ‘Cali’ and ‘Lannoy Point’ deliver their brand of melodic shoegaze.

19. Cast – Kicking Up The Dust

The Scouse legends deliver their best album since the 1995 classic ‘All Change’. Flitting between their free flowing blues and spritely pop numbers, John Power has hit a purple patch of song writing once more

18. Noel Gallagher – Who The Built Moon

The old mongrel shed a few coats for his latest album. When he nails it, as he does on ‘Holy Mountain’, it’s magnificent. It’s big bold and new. Alas, when he doesn’t, its because the leaps are not big enough or he doesn’t remain in his big key change comfort zone. Nevertheless, with plans to make another record with David Holmes, this could be the start of a glorious journey.

17. Public Service Broadcasting – Every Valley

Those clever clever bastards have churned out the goods once more. Getting to grips with pit life in Wales this time round. The guest vocals from Camer Obscura’s Tracyanne Campbell and Manics’ James Dean Bradfield were welcome additions to their sound. However, the standout track comes from the rage

16. GospelbeacH – Another Summer of Love

The West Coast veterans channel their inner Byrds spirit and deliver exactly what it says on the tin. As the cold sets in and all that’s left to eat is cold meat, this blast of sunshine will see you through to your next holiday.

15. Alvvays – Antisocialites

Molly Rankin’s sublime vocals should be saved for a long journey staring out windows at vast landscapes. Everything this band do sounds life changing or affirming.

14. Girl Ray – Earl Grey

With the single of the year ‘Touble’ on its books, Girl Ray were always making this list. Brilliant melodies, unique vocals and a sense of humour unrivalled, they are band with magic at their fingertips.

13. Tom Williams – All Change

History has always proven the poet can achieve far more than social comment. Nevertheless, the social commentary here is smothered such warming pop music vibes, it’s hard to picture this not reaching even those who disagree.

12. Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band

There is nothing we can say, that the genius John Dorman hasn’t about Michael Head already: https://noisey.vice.com/en_uk/article/3ka349/the-british-masters-michael-head Nevertheless, we love this album, we love that Head is in a good place and long may it continue.

 11. Liam Gallagher – As You Were

To quote Jurassic Park, “clever girl”. Did anyone see this album coming? All the money was on a flailing Beatles via psyche album. What we got was, big emotive albums with remarkably honest and humble lyrics from the icon.

 10. Shed Seven – Instant Pleasures

Sixteen years was well worth the wait. All the pain and bitterness felt by band and fans alike when they were shunned by the industry has dissipated. Emerging from the fog are the unsung heroes of Britpop. This new offing is packed with great choruses, wit, and a charming underdog spirit. Business as usual!

 9. The Moonlandingz – Interplanetary Class Classics

This supergroup was always going to deliver wasn’t it? Whether it’s the Mary Chain inspired ‘The Strangle of Anna’, the Gary Numan-esque ‘The Rabies are Back’ or Earl Brutus via The Horrors ‘Black Hanz’, everything sounds so fresh!

 8. Idles – Brutalism

Wry, sarcastic and effing hilarious. This pitiless body of work will stop at nothing to take the piss and provide punk rock nirvana.

7. Johnny Flynn – Sillion

The one true genius of the nu-folk era returned from acting to prove he is still the master. No one in the folk world can touch him for sincerity of song writing. Everything he delivers has a warmth and depth of emotion to be admired.

6. British Sea Power – Let The Dancers Inherit The Party

Is this the first ‘Remainer’ album? Quite possibly. It has overarching sense of together is better and, inevitably, a sense of loss.

Forever consistent, BSP have risen their pop sensibilities to ‘Open Season’ standard and, on leadoff single ‘Bad Bohemian’, surpassed it. Despite the “half glass empty” and “what’s done is done” lyrics, it’s as defiant single your likely to hear. Effortlessly free, it tumbles and swirls with abandon.

Elsewhere, ‘Don’t Let The Sun Get In The Way’ is a sauntering rock behemoth which will stop you dead in your tracks to ponder life as you know it.

5. Daniel Wylie’s Cosmic Rough Riders – Scenery For Dreamers

Proving age is but number, Wylie, 59, as delivered a masterpiece. No one thought it was possible for him to ever reach the heights of the Cosmic Rough Riders’ ‘Enjoy The Melodic Sunshine’ but, this Teenage Fanclub via Neil Young offering just does that.

4. Theatre Royal – And Then It Fell Out My Head

Comfortably the pop record of the year. Smart, funny and always brave in its song writing topics. The heartfelt ‘Standing in the Land’ just grows in resonance the more the British press turns away from atrocities of Syria. To wrap such a subject in a achingly beautiful acoustic number is the very reason why so many people think Ed Sheeran is shit. This is the pinnacle of a simple song!

‘Locked Together on the Lines’, ‘Port Bou’, and ‘Will Somebody Please Write Me a Song’ ooze a carefree spirit that demands instant affection.

3. Ryan Adams – Prisoner

Mr Prolific is back, and his back with the most brutal of break up records. This is the sound of a crushing divorce and searing unseen pain. Channelled through big rock riffs and dream pop production, Adams is at his scintillating best. 

2. Wolf Alice – Visions of Life

The hottest property in the UK right now, and rightly so. They’ve combined a sense of experimentation with punk and pop immediacy on an album that is forever shape shifting in sound. Rock music might not be dominating the charts right now but, Wolf Alice have taking a big stride towards making it relevant again and, they’ve done it with the utmost integrity.

1. Trampolene – Swansea to Hornsey

What a year these boys have had. As if supporting The Libertines and Liam Gallagher wasn’t enough, all the promise from the early EPs has been followed up with an instant classic. There's the aching beauty of ‘Gangway’ and ‘Beautiful Pain, the vitriolic social comment of ‘Dreams So Rich, Life So Poor’ and William Blake poetry scattered throughout, it has it all

The Final Five: A New Hope

5. Pete Astor - Spilt Milk

Astor's foray into his past delivers richness and warmth much, which, in year beset by iconic loss, is needed ever so badly. 'Really Something', 'Mr Music' and 'My Perfect Life' act as a holy trinity of alternative pop music. Simplistic tunes to warm the heart but with complex discourse. Bravo!

4. Savages - Adore Life

‘Adore Life’ is an album that delivers on the potential of the debut and explores new possibilities simultaneously. They have gone from being an exciting post-punk band to one threatening greatness on this record.

3. Hooton Tennis Club – Big Box of Chocolates

The slackers from Wirral have emerged from their debut album with astonishing results. Their follow up has invoked several new styles including fuzz, rock n roll and an all round more emotive edge. 'Statue of the Greatest Woman I Know' has put The Vaccines on notice for rock n roll kings. 2017 is theres to take on the live circuit.

2 Boxed In - Melt

From the early days of Keith, Oli Bayston has been threatening this kind of breakthrough. This album will hypnotise you and gently release you onto a sun kissed wave of bliss. Boxed In were once Annakin Skywalker to Hot Chip's Obi Wan. Now they are the masters!

1. Trampolene – Pocket Album Five (Divided Kingdom)

Yes this may be an EP but, we've not heard anything over a longer format that compete with these 4 songs and poem. Divided Kingdom's glorious social comment is set to devastating guitars. This is a real single of the year contender.

'Dreams So Rich / Life So Poor' continues the rich vein of British cultural observation. It wraps itself up in Strokes-esque rock n roll but, crucially, has personality oozing from every pore.

'Blue Balls & A Broken Heart' suggests the brilliance of the Libertines wasn't lost on a fashion of trilby hats and lies about being at Filthy McNasty's. This ballad encapsulates Blake, Morrissey, Doherty and anyone who ever dreamt of Arcadia in Albion.

Like the aforementioned Blake, head honcho Jack Jones can self reflect beautifully in his natural surroundings. Even with a slug. Today's political climate is so centered around on burying 'the other', well, this finds beauty in the outsider and encourages everyone to embrace the different.

Closing this glorious EP is 'She Is A Nice Girl'. A sprightly Libertines via The La's acoustic number which relays the fondness of yet another who is misunderstood. 2016 has been a year of misunderstandings on a monumental level, let this track guide us back to humility in 2017.