13th January: The xx got happy
I See You was album number three for the London trio. They themselves have stated that the record has a more distinctive sound and a more positive, open and “expansive” concept than the previous two albums.
It keeps within the fragile, intimate themes yet this time it’s a bit brighter. They seem more relaxed with themselves giving them a warmer, richer sound, poppier even, and it works goddammit.
1st March: Stormzy opened up about depression
Like man’a get low sometimes, so low sometimes,
Airplane mode on my phone sometimes,
Sitting in my house with tears in my face,
Can’t answer the door to my bro sometimes.
Lyrics from Lay Me Bare off Stormzy’s debut record Gang Signs And Prayer.
In a candid interview with Channel 4 Stormzy opened up about his struggles with depression. For such an influential public figure as Stormzy to speak out about this is gargantuan. Depression affects all of us yet we don’t give mental health the attention it so badly needs. Young people will listen to Stormzy more than any healthcare professional, politician or government-funded campaign. Go Stormzy – this is brilliant.
May 12th: New Jackson released a really cool album
There’s a song on this album titled Put The Love In It and that seems to be what New Jackson did with this enchanting album.
For eleven songs Earth losses gravity leaving you weightless while you ebb and flow around the boogie and beats. The feelings felt from this album belong somewhere between dusk and dawn, after the midnight hour, perhaps.
June 4th: One Love Manchester
On 22 May as fans exited an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena a suicide bomber blew himself up killing 22 concert-goers – the youngest an eight-year-old girl.
Two weeks later love began to mend a city’s broken heart when 50,000 people united for One Love Manchester, a charity concert, led by Grande who was joined by all-star line-up including Coldplay, Pharrell Williams and Niall Horan.
More than £10 million was raised for the families of the victims of the terrorist attack and Manchester showed the world that day that love conquers hate.
September 1st: LCD Soundsystem release laughable album artwork
Art designers everywhere balked at the lazy artwork from probably the most anticipated album of 2017.
The fact that it’s a decent album kind of made up for the crap cover. Was it intentional? Is it a joke? Has James Murphy become a Scientologist? Cause it looks hilarious.
September 14th: Sampha won the Mercury Prize
“You would show me I had something some people call a soul,” sings Sampha on (No One Knows Me) Like the Piano, a heartbreaking and beautiful ballad from his powerful debut album Process.
In 2016 the south London producer and singer employed guest presences on big records by Drake, Kanye, he danced with Solange in the video for Don’t Touch My Hair. But 2017 saw him take home the Mercury Prize beating the likes of The xx and Stormzy.
Process navigates through tender terrain exploring illness, death and grief, but that doesn’t make it a downer. It’s a finely crafted and dignified album well worth processing.
September 23rd: Later With Jools Holland celebrated its 25th anniversary
After more than 350 shows, Later celebrated its 25th birthday at the Royal Albert Hall. Performers included included Van Morrison, Paul Weller, Foo Fighters, Dizzee Rascal, Van Morrison and American jazz vocalist Gregory Porter among many others.
This show is one of the most important music shows on television. It’s an institution. Happy anniversary, Jools – here’s to another 25 years!
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