Mandy’s Top 5 Albums Of 2017

Featured Images via Sundara KarmaNothing But ThievesCoastsKnox Hamilton and Foster The People 

With 2017 coming to a close, I wanted to take a look back at some of the incredible music that has been released this year. It wasn’t easy to pick only five best albums, but here are the ones that stand out from the rest of the pack to me: 

5. Sacred Hearts Club by Foster The People

Foster The People did not disappoint with their third studio album. They dabbled in a lot of new sounds (check out “Loyal Like Sid & Nancy”) that took me by surprise at first, but quickly grew on me. And of course the album comes complete with brilliant lyrical work from the genius that is Mark Foster.

Top 5 Tracks

  • “Pay The Man”
  • “Sit Next To Me”
  • “Lotus Eater”
  • “I Love My Friends”
  • “Static Space Lover”

4. The Heights by Knox Hamilton

Knox Hamilton didn’t disappoint with their debut album. The Heights is track after track of pop-rock goodness. Each track has its own unique sound, from the bright pop of “Rightfully So” to the grungy rock vibes of “Call Me Up.” 

Top 5 Tracks:

  • “Rightfully So”
  • “Sight For Sore Eyes”
  • “Washed Up Together”
  • “The Heights”
  • “Call Me Up”

3. This Life, Vol. 1 by Coasts

The Bristol boys’ second album was anything but a sophomore slump. Coasts explore more complex themes and display a sense of musical maturity throughout this album. From the feel-good “Take Me Back Home” to the heartwrenching “Born To Die,” Coasts deliver an album full of single-worthy tracks.

Top 5 Tracks:

  • “Heart Starts Beating”
  • “Let Me Love You”
  • “Born To Die”
  • “Chase The Night”
  • “White Noise”

2. Broken Machine by Nothing But Thieves

Nothing But Thieves’ sophomore album is nothing short of a masterpiece. The topics that they touch on are so incredibly deep and relatable. It’s hard to find words to describe the feeling of belting out these lyrics along with frontman Conor Mason, but the closest I can come is to say that it’s a cathartic experience. From start to finish, this album is truly a work of art.

Top 5 Tracks:

  • “Amsterdam”
  • “Broken Machine”
  • “Sorry”
  • “Particles”
  • “Live Like Animals”

1. Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect by Sundara Karma

Sundara Karma quickly became one of my favorite bands with their debut album. Their music has so much packed into it. The raw emotion of “Happy Family” that never fails to bring me to tears. The beautiful lyrics of “Loveblood.” The deep meaning paired with the funky beat in “Explore.” Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect has everything you could ever hope for in a debut album and more. This is easily the best debut I’ve ever heard, and certainly the best album of the year.

Top 5 Tracks:

  • “Happy Family”
  • “Flame”
  • “Explore”
  • “She Said”
  • “A Young Understanding”
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Album Review: “The Heights” by Knox Hamilton

Featured Image via Knox Hamilton

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Knox Hamilton, so needless to say I was thrilled when they released their debut album, The Heights, on March 10th. It was a great feeling to finally be able to listen to the studio versions of the songs I’d heard live so many times.

But enough about me. Let’s talk about this stunning debut album from my favorite Arkansas boys. The Heights is comprised of thirteen tracks of indie rock goodness. Each song has its own unique feel. Some tracks are pure feel-good pop, such as their single “Washed Up Together,” while other songs have more of a grungy rock vibe, like “Back Porch.” While I do love every track on this album, I want to point out some of my personal favorite moments:

  • The lyrics in “Washed Up Together,” especially in the chorus
  • The intro to “Rightfully So” that will never fail to make me smile
  • The chorus in “Sight For Sore Eyes,” not to mention the killer guitar solo at the end 
  • The gritty guitar riffs in “Back Porch” (this track is so incredible live)
  • The “floaty” feeling of “Barely Missed You”
  • The tearjerker that is “The Heights”
  • Boots’ vocals. I seriously cannot stress enough how amazing the vocals on this album are. Light and angelic in “Barely Missed You,” deep and resonating in “Call Me Up,” soft and sweet in “The Heights.” Always perfect.

If you’re short on time and want to check out a few tracks before committing to the whole album (although you definitely should give it a listen start to finish), I suggest checking out “We Get Back,” “Washed Up Together,” “Rightfully So,” and “Sight For Sore Eyes.” You won’t regret it.

Check out The Heights below!