Satchmi Picks Best of 2017

2017 was a year for discovery, for return of veterans, for expansion of tastes, and second/nth chances to artists you thought would lose their touch. What a great year!

Here’s a list, in no particular order, of our favorite albums in 2017.

N.E.R.D. – No_One Ever Really Dies
The latest of Pharrell’s side project with Chad Hugo and Shay Haley is liberating, most especially for Pharrell who made political sound cool in this abum’s funk and prog-rock tunes. – R.E.M.
Soon/Currently looking. Request/reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

Arcade Fire – Everything Now
Arcade Fire goes back to basics and proves once again what makes them one of the best bands in the indie rock scene. – K.C.
Soon/Currently looking. Request/reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

 

Tyler, the Creator – Flower Boy
Tyler at his softest, most sincere and colorful. Very refined, Flower Boy takes notes from The Gap Band, Janet Jackson, Roy Ayers and has guest artists like Pharrell Williams, Frank Ocean, A$AP Rocky. What’s more to need? – R.E.M.
Soon/Currently looking. Request/reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

Paramore – After Laughter
These former pop punk heroes go on an 80s spree and try out some new sounds built around ideals of the era. – K.C.
Soon/Currently looking. Request/reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

Lana Del Rey – Lust for Life
Lana is smiling on the cover—which already makes this album iconic. Behind the pastel paradise in the seemingly more pop tracks is a good balance between depressive Del Rey and happy Lana. Also has Sean Ono Lennon in here somewhere. – R.E.M.
Soon/Currently looking. Request/reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

Brand New – Science Fiction
The final album from the band with a massive cult following delivers some of its darkest, most enthralling material. – K.C.
Soon/Currently looking. Request/reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

Thundercat – Drunk
What do you expect from the creative architect of Kendrick’s To Pimp A Butterfly? More robo-funk and jazzy elements in his own album, of course. Drunk is about living, struggling through, and pondering on life on top of meowing noises and falsettos. This guy totally has it in him to raise the bar again and again. – R.E.M.
Soon/Currently looking. Request/reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

Slowdive – Slowdive
The first album from the band after 22 years sees a return to form, delivering much-awaited, powerful walls of sound that bring justice to the shoegaze name. – K.C.
Soon/Currently looking. Request/reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

LCD Soundsystem – American Dream
The return of the New York punk-disco crew is as out-there as it can be. American Dream is a turmoil of electro tunes and bass that still sounds quite familiar. – R.E.M.
Available in stores and online. If sold out, reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

Knuckle Puck – Shapeshifter
Still as powerful as their previous releases, Shapeshifter captures the feeling of wandering through streets in the middle of cold, lost with nothing but a heavy heart. – K.C.
Soon/Currently looking. Request/reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

Father John Misty – Pure Comedy
If there’s anybody who perfected the singer-songwriter formula, that’s Josh Tillman aka Father John Misty. Pure Comedy is glum, so to speak, but is a good stepping stone to what could be a brilliant novel (“When the god of love returns/ there’ll be hell to pay”). – R.E.M.
Available in stores and online. If sold out, reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

Turnover – Good Nature
The latest effort from the emo turned dream pop rockers is reminiscent of the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, but on a more spiritually conscious level. – K.C.
Soon/Currently looking. Request/reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

Real Estate – In Mind
Clean guitar riffs. Tranquil emotions. Lustrous and clever melodies. Name anything that sounds pleasant and dreamy, and this guitar pop band has mastered it. While it made it to our best of the best list, we’re hoping for a bit of reinvention in their next album—especially now that Matt Mondanile has parted ways! – R.E.M.
Available in stores and online. If sold out, reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

Yomi No Kuni – Horrors
These progressive rockers (complete with a violinist!) take you on a journey through their dark, often freeing, underworld. – K.C.
No LP. CD currently looking. 

Charlotte Gainsbourg – Rest
Not only is this album mostly in French, but it’s the product of Gainsbourg’s grief. She prowls through sadness while surrounding it with that very cinematic feel and silky synths. – R.E.M.
Soon/Currently looking. Request/reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

Linkin Park – One More Light Live
An intimate live album featuring sixteen tracks from Chester Bennington’s final tour with the band, shortly before he committed suicide. – K.C.
No LP. Non-live version currently looking. Request/reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

SZA – Ctrl
R&B will no longer need to struggle to remain relevant with the likes of Frank Ocean, Miguel, Syd, and SZA. Ctrl is a gentle and honest album that’s hard to turn away from. From body image issues to revenge and sharing his man, she’s all about taking the risks personally and musically. – R.E.M.
Soon/Currently looking. Request/reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.
A record that consistently challenges the status quo. Showcasing some of Lamar’s best writing, these songs come from a place of complete and utter disappointment in the world. – K.C.
Available in stores and online. If sold out, reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

Lorde – Melodrama
Melodrama is a snarling album full of bursts of energy at well-calculated moments. After Carly Rae’s Emotion, we think this is the pop album that we’ve been waiting for. We wonder if it has anything to do with producer/co-writer/one of our favorites Jack Antonoff (who also worked closely with Carly). – R.E.M.
Soon/Currently looking. Request/reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

Code Orange – Forever
Packed with surprises, this is a modern, influential headbanger that fuses together different elements of metal and hardcore. – K.C.
Soon/Currently looking. Request/reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

Perfume Genius – No Shape
I’ve had the honor to hang out with Mike Hadreas of Perfume Genius, and I’d say he’s exactly how he is in this album: direct, bold, and fabulous. No Shape is a powerful, shimmering protest of love and of being a queer artist.. – R.E.M.
Available in stores and online. If sold out, reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

Calix – The Lesser of Your Greater Friends
Calix packs a lot of punches on his sophomore release. Being an album that concerns everyone in the country, it calls on us to stand and start embodying the change we long to see. – K.C.
No LP. CD currently looking. Request/reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

Alvvays – Antisocialites
It’s punk and perky. It’s time travelling to the 60s and to the last time you were in a long, winding road. The entire album is a hive of imagination and flashbacks of your recent heartbreaks, existential problems, and drunk memories embedded in the band’s fuzzed-out guitars. – R.E.M.
Available in stores and online. If sold out, reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

People Like You – Verse
Here we have indie rock meeting jazz, with hints of American Football in between. This is an album about escape, made for people trapped in a superficial world. – K.C.
Soon/Currently looking. Request/reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

Rex Orange County – Apricot Princess
If there’s any album that sounds like floating in love, it’s Alex O’Connor’s aka Rex Orange County’s Apricot Princess that’s packed with piano ballads and gorgeous, unpredictable arrangements. – R.E.M.
No LP.

John Mayer – The Search for Everything
This album is a return to what we loved about John Mayer way, way back in Room for Squares. It has the emotions in Continuum and the pop sensibilities of the debut. – R.E.M.
Available in stores and online. If sold out, reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

Fleet Foxes – Crack-up
More than just a regular folk album, Crack-Up is a progressive record best enjoyed with focus and an openness to be swept to new locations in the natural world. – K.C.
Soon/Currently looking. Request/reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

Calvin Harris – Funk Wav Bounces Vol.
Are you surprised? Us, too! This album is where Calvin belongs! It’s ol’ good retro fun and a dance party starter. But instead of EDM festivals, you’ll find this being played at parties of the mighty Frank or Migos. The sound of summer 2017. – R.E.M.
Soon/Currently looking. Request/reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

Citizen – As You Please
An angry, atmospheric record that feels like something straight out of the 1990s. – K.C.
Soon/Currently looking. Request/reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

Eyedress – Manila Ice
This sounds like Idris Vicuña’s daydreams and nightmares whipped into songs. It’s mostly about being a father, being lovesick, and his hometown. Welcome back, Idris. Your formidable fanbase is proud. – R.E.M.
Soon/Currently looking. Request/reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

Coma Cinema – Loss Memory
The final release from Coma Cinema (brainchild of Mat Cothran, aka one-half of Elvis Depressedly) delivers powerful, honest songs about topics like death and desolation. – K.C.
No LP.

Taken by Cars – Plagues
The band’s new album has a dreamy air about it with its shoegaze approach. It’s less raw and rough than their previous releases, showcasing more of Sarah Marco’s intense vocals. – R.E.M.
Available in stores. If sold out, reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

Del Paxton – All Day, Every Day, All Night
Much in the vein of bands like the Promise Ring and Texas is the Reason, Del Paxton’s debut full length is an emo masterpiece with tracks that beg to be screamed along to. – K.C.
Soon/Currently looking. Request/reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

Ang Bandang Shirley – Favorite
What do you expect from a band that could make a good number of people in a room cry? Probably their best album to date. It has all the best-album-worthy elements from the emotional power of their storytelling to their signature fluid and decorative melodies. – R.E.M.
No LP. CD is available in stores. If sold out, reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

 

The World is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die – Always Foreign
As if their previous releases weren’t good enough as they were, this ambitious band surpasses itself yet again with another killer album that tackles issues not often talked about—topics such as xenophobia and abuse. – K.C.
Soon/Currently looking. Request/reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

Cheats – Before the Babies
There’s nothing quite as energetic as Cheats’ Before the Babies. The album has punk undertones that naturally fit well with the overall raspy, pop sound. – R.E.M.
No LP. CD soon/currently looking. Request/reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

Girlpool – Powerplant
Taking cues from indie rock and post-punk outfits, Girlpool’s sophomore release (and the first with a drummer) is still as raw and sincere as ever. – K.C.
Soon/Currently looking. Request/reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

She’s Only Sixteen – Whatever That Was
You can’t really rush a good album. She’s Only Sixteen made sure their debut would be transitional. Compared to the EP, Whatever That Was is more intricate, semi-psychedelic and lets you zone out and into delicate emotions you probably never knew you had when you hear lyrics like “God made me to never leave you alone.” – R.E.M.
No LP. CD is available in stores. Request/reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

Gorillaz – Humanz
The most diverse album from Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett’s masterpiece. Apocalyptic in feel, futuristic in sound, and political if you listen intently. – R.E.M.
Available in stores. If sold out, reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

Jay Som – Everybody Works
Admitting to being influenced by Carly Rae Jepsen’s Emotion, Melina Duterte shows the same promise but in the sphere of “bedroom pop.” On her sophomore album, she experiments and moves beyond the fuzzy and dreamy aesthetic. Worked out right. – R.E.M.
Soon/Currently looking. Request/reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

Bjork – Utopia
If Vulnicura is a breakup album, Utopia chronicles the goodness you get from the post-breakup. Of course, when it’s Bjork, it just really feels like being suspended in air courtesy of her flutes. – R.E.M.

Tove Lo – Blue Lips
The sequel to Tove Lo’s Lady Wood. It’s packed with 70s dance pop influences, trendy trap beats that makes for a convincing club album. – R.E.M.
Soon/Currently looking. Request/reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

King Krule – The Ooz
Archy Marshall is back as King Krule in The OOZ. The atmospheric album takes us all on a musical journey only this English artist can execute seamlessly. – R.E.M.
Soon/Currently looking. Request/reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

Daniel Caesar – Freudian
Listen to the gospel as sung by Daniel Caesar. This Toronto-based R&B artist hits the right notes in his heart-tugging debut album, Freudian. Perfect for any laid-back occasion. – R.E.M.
Soon/Currently looking. Request/reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

St. Vincent – Masseduction
Annie Clark’s vitality and complexity always capture—not to the point of alienating or intimidating. Rather, the complexity intrigues. And once you give in to it, you’ll drown in moments of sharp vocals, squiggling guitars and synths. – R.E.M.
Currently looking. Request/reserve a copy for the next shipment here.

Listen to our playlist with some of the tracks from these albums here. #SatchmiStreams

Words by Kurvine Chua and Reena Mesias

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