Nashville-based alt-rock musician, J. Marco, issued his dynamic second solo album, Days of Surrender, on September 29th (stream it below) and if you haven’t already heard at least a bit of it, then shame on you. An incredible release, the album takes Marco’s fuzz, punk, and even pop music influences and weaves them into his own blend of just-the-right-amount-of-grit-and-polish rock. Speaking of great music and influential recordings, Marco was kind enough to whip up this list of his contenders for TOP 10 albums of 2017!
10. Future Islands – The Far Field
– Nobody can do what Future Island is doing. Combing synthpop with tremendous lyrics and the unavoidable dance moves, screams, and heart of frontman Sam Herring. They are without a doubt one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen. The Far Field doesn’t cover any new ground for them, but if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.
09. White Reaper – The Worlds Best American Band
– I was a big fan of White Reaper’s previous two records leading up to The World’s Best American Band, and I love the direction they’ve taken things. It still sounds like them, but with this big power pop infusion that really works.
Whether you agree or not, White Reaper aim to be The Worlds Best American Band.
08. Ty Segall – Ty Segall
– The newest self-titled Ty Segall record has the feel of a live show, and contains some new sonic exploration for Ty. It still has the usual Segall freak out songs, but I think what makes this record really stand out from the rest are the quiet almost folk-like songs that Segall is turning out. It really shows his development as a songwriter, and has me very excited to see what the future holds for Ty Segall.
07. Ryan Adams – Prisoner
– What can you say about a guy that can do everything? From releasing punk and metal records, to quiet singer songwriter records, it’s all good. Prisoner definitely has the signature Ryan Adams sounds and feelings in it that came about on his 2015 solo record. You just can’t argue with good songwriting, and Prisoner is great songwriting.
06. Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit – The Nashville Sound
– All I have to say about this record is, you can’t beat good songwriting. You just can’t. No amount of production or glitter is going to cover up bad songwriting. The Nashville Sound by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit needs no glitter, it’s just a flat out great record full of great songs.
05. Queens of the Stone Age – Villains
– Queens of the Stone Age are a force of nature. I think they’re pretty close to rock royalty at this point, and Villains is another great installment of their catalog. Catchy, different, heavy at times, soft at others. You really can’t lose with Villains.
04. Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile – Lotta Sea Lice
– OK, as I write this, Lotta Sea Lice is not out yet. But, I don’t care. From the singles that have been released, this collaboration is long overdue and absolutely amazing. They just work so well together, vocally and musically. It’s almost like they share the same brain. It makes sense to bring two people that sound like nobody else, two people who are really doing their own thing together to create something truly unique. I think that as 2017 comes to a close, Lotta Sea Lice will be in a ton of “Best Of” lists.
03. Thee Oh Sees – Orc
– Granted, as I write this, Jon Dwyer of Thee Oh Sees has probably completed 4 other albums to be released in 2017, but I feel compelled to add Orc to my list. Orc has all of the fun of a Thee Oh Sees record, crazy guitar sounds, high energy songs, interesting experimentation. It’s not breaking new ground for Thee Oh Sees, but again, if it’s not broke don’t fix it. Thee Oh Sees are one of the most consistently good bands out there, with pulse pounding live shows to match. Orc is a great installment in their constantly growing catalog.
The video for the single “Nite Expo” off the Thee Oh Sees’ album Orc.
02. Metz – Strange Peace
– In my opinion, Metz is the best band out there right now doing the noise rock/punk thing. Their stuff sounds modern and classic at the same time, hearkening back to the older days of hardcore punk and noise rock. Strange Peace follows the same footsteps as their previous records, but with a tinge of tightened production that really brings the songs to life, in an all out sonic assault sort of way.
01. The War On Drugs – A Deeper Understanding
– As of right now, A Deeper Understanding is my album of the year. From cover to cover, it’s just gorgeous. It’s by far their most “Hi-Fi” record to date, probably due to signing with Atlantic, but the band doesn’t get lost in the tightened production. If anything, the band’s sound evolves and flourishes through these means of production. A Deeper Understanding feels simultaneously layered and separate, while remaining infinitely relatable. The songwriting and arrangements are top notch. Hands down, A Deeper Understanding is one of the most gorgeous records I’ve heard in years.
If you haven’t already, stream J. Marco’s entire Days Of Surrender album here.