December 31, 2017

Nightrain's Top 15 Albums from 2017

Matthew Logan Vasquez - Does What He Wants         
MLV does whatever he wants... and it almost always turns out really good! Delta Spirit's frontman is a funny, talented dude and this album spans the full spectrum from playful electric to touching acoustic. Do yourself a favor and absorb it all now!

Ha Ha Tonka - Heart-Shaped Mountain 
I have no idea how these guys continue to fly under the radar. They write fantastic songs and are extremely accessible. All-American backyard barbecue music at its best!

Japandroids - Near to the Wild Heart of Life   
I was already a fan, but this album accentuated my fondness. Fuzzy rock-punk perfect for (mostly) uptempo runs and impassioned sing-a-longs. A recipe for awesomeness!

Black Pistol Fire - Deadbeat Graffiti      
Heavy, bluesy guitar riffs, distorted vocals, big hooks… these are a few of my favorite things!

Ryan Adams - Prisioner   
This is a relatively tame Ryan Adams, but the songs are extremely well-crafted like his other content and I think reflects a new tone for the long-time rocker. Perhaps he gets some extra points for releasing a "B-Sides" version that has as many or more good songs as the "A-Sides" album.

The Weeks - Easy   
I found The Weeks through Kings of Leon, but I think my interest in The Weeks may have surpassed my interest in KOL. Solid southern indie rock -- real music made by real people.

Portugal. The Man - Woodstock 
I liked Portugal. The Man before they sold out... but I still like this album.

The National - Sleep Well Beast  
Dark & brooding (with a few exceptions). Just how I like my The National albums.

Future Islands - The Far Field    
Sometimes the album feels like you are listening to one long song, but sheeeet, when it hits it really hits!

alt-J - RELAXER       
Quirky and unique, but also extremely addicting. Songs that sound good as originals and remixes.

Wolf Parade - Cry Cry Cry
Very happy that these guys got back together. Yep, still good.

Craig Finn - We All Want The Same Things      Finn looks like someone you would be more likely to trust with your taxes than trust with writing kick-ass rock songs, but The Hold Steady front man does just that with this album. A solid collection Finn's unique storytelling and sound.

The White Buffalo - Darkest Darks, Lightest Lights   
This album came out late in the year, so I don't feel like I have given it a fair shake yet and committed to the songs in the way I usually do. But, as always, this is a fun collection of Americana.

Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit - The Nashville Sound    
Long time Isbell fan here... the dude writes thoughtful songs and has a pretty sounding voice and guitar. Unlike some people, he deserves his GRAMMY Awards.

Leopold and His Fiction - Darling Destroyer   

Guitar heavy, hot-blooded rock and roll.