Marmoset's Top 25 Albums of 2017

As 2017 draws to an end, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to celebrate all the positive things that have happened throughout the year.  Much like the solar eclipse that gathered the nation together for a few short, awe-inspiring moments, it’s no secret that music often wields the power to unite people across all differences. 2017 was no exception, with one artist after another releasing game-changing albums. Although it was near impossible to narrow it down to such a small list, we finally managed to pick out 25 of Marmoset’s favorite albums. Without further ado, we present our top 25 albums for 2017.

1. Capacity by Big Thief 

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Released: June 9, 2017

"Great songwriting transcends genre and era. There are many reasons why Capacity is my favorite album this year: the arrangements, the performances, the tones,  etc. But Adrianne Lenker’s songs are deep and timeless and that’s why this album is so good. She fully channeled through music the indescribable, mysterious, dank, stewy unknown that connects all things."

- Katy Davidson, Original Music Producer

3. Stranger in the Alps by Phoebe Bridgers


Released: September 14, 2017

"When I first heard this record, I fell in love with it. Its one of those records that sounds immediately familiar. Bridgers has a beautiful way of describing heartbreak and loss, without making things feel too heavy. These universal themes turn my mind to contemplating my own loves lost. The simple instrumentation holds up the delicate melodies she weaves, her lyrics feel like my own thoughts. If an artist’s goal is to make work that connects us, Bridgers has done just that."

- Casey Wheeler, Music Licensing Coordinator

5. Process by Sampha


Released: February 3, 2017 

"This Sampha record hits a tender place with me. His electro soul debut is a meditation on grief, adulthood, doubt, and a lot of unfun but real feelings that can’t slide away when it’s just you. This record feels like a friend meeting you on your level, not trying to talk you out but showing up. It’s a quiet storm."

- Jackie Westfall, Music Licensing Creative

7. Ash by Ibeyi


Released: September 29, 2017

"These twins managed to create a record with vastly different sounds, tempos, and energy, yet one unified story. It's the conviction behind their angelic voices and the way the instruments and various dance with the melody that made this one of the more transformative albums for me." 

Katie Seaton, Music Licensing Creative

9. Plunge by Fever Ray

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Released: October 27, 2017 

"Exploratory, political, imaginative and risky! The name of Karin Dreijer's second solo album Plunge is quite fitting - I feel like I've plunged right into a cold tank... left to splash about in shock and in awe each time I immerse my ears with it. And coming up for air feels transformative and freeing."

- Jamie McMullen, Music Licening Coordinator

11. More to Say Versions by The Frightnrs


Released: October 20, 2017 

"One of the hardest things to do musically is to create something new that instantly feels familiar, classic and like it can hold it’s own, no matter the era or audience. The Frightnrs do that for me. And as down tempo as it may be, I’ve yet to spin it at a party or an event where someone doesn’t ask me, with great interest and curiosity, what I’m playing. That’s the true measure of a strong record."

- Ryan Wines, Co-Founder + CEO

13. Forced Witness by Alex Cameron


Released: September 8, 2017 

“My Alex Cameron obsession started when I first heard the single 'Candy May', shared by NPR. It had this Nick Cave-esque delivery, clever, witty lyrics, and it doesn’t hurt that Angel Olsen signs backup vocals. It’s a fun listen, start to finish. Alex Cameron is a weirdo, but the good kind of weirdo. Looking forward to see what else he will be creating in the future.” 

- Ryan Rebo, Software Engineer

15. Everybody Works by Jay Som


Released: March 10, 2017

“I ride the bus to work everyday so Jay Som’s 'Bus Song' is a perfectly cheesy and relatable soundtrack to my mornings. Listen to Everybody Works if you like Carly Rae Jepsen, but you’re too cool to admit you like Carly Rae Jepsen."

- Quinn Kennelly, Sr. Relationships Manager

17. Faye Webster by Faye Webster


Released: May 12, 2017 

"Faye Webster’s voice is amazing, and her vocal melodies are simple in a unique way. The album has natural but vibe-y production throughout, and the addition of a lush, melodic pedal steel totally makes this record for me."

- Tim Shrout, Producer + Audio Engineer

19. Aromanticism by Moses Summary


Released: September 22, 2017 

"If I can listen to a musician acapella and become emotional, you're going to get a big kudos from me. Moses Sumney's voice is pure velvet. His range is insane, making each note that pours out of his mouth orchestral. He's going to be one to watch."

- Alex Gianola, Digital Marketing Strategist

21. Prisoner by Ryan Adams


Released: February 17, 2017 

"Prisoner is chock full of the same reasons that made me fall hard for Ryan Adams' music 17 years ago. The songs are raw and visceral but also easy and approachable. He's given us a lot of variety over the course of his career, but I think this album captures some of his best work yet."

- Nicole Wilson, Producer + Music Supervisor 

23. Fin by Syd


Released: February 3, 2017  

"This album is SEXY. Syd's breathy vocals croon over neo-soul, R&B-influenced tracks that sound effortlessly sensual. The result is something undeniably modern and fresh, and I definitely can't get enough."

- Sarah Crisp, Product Owner + Scrum Master

25. City of No Reply by Amber Coffman


Released: June 2, 2017 

"City of No Reply's greatest accomplishment is how it takes serious issues of breakup, newfound independence, and finding own’s one voice and makes it sound so breezy and positive. This album was the constant theme of a summer full of backyard dinners at our new house and made our new home and space feel blessed. Fusing elements of classic '70s California like Fleetwood Mac and '90s R&B like Mary J. Blige, Amber stakes her claim as an artist whose sound is deceptively complex and somehow goes down so easy."

- Steve Schroeder, A&R Curation Manager

2. CTRL by SZA


Released: June 9, 2017

“I haven’t heard a debut album this deft and intelligent since “Illmatic.” SZA’s long-awaited debut is both raw and ornate, deconstructed and fully-formed. But it’s her delivery of zeitgeist-y femme-forward lyrics conveying sexuality, intimacy and emotional connection that place “Ctrl” squarely at the top of a pack of amazing records this year.”

- Michael Van Pelt, Music Licensing Coordinator

4. DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar


Released: April 14, 2017 

"To say Kendrick Lamar topped his previous work is an understatement. DAMN. was a winner straight out of the gate. The visceral tunes, such as DNA. and FEEL., paint a portrait of a lone wolf making its way in this dog eat dog world, and the songs LOYALTY. and LOVE. bring you nothing but the feel-good elements of love and lust. The album took over the world for a moment – his lyrics and musicality grabs you and you don’t want to let go." 

- Ashley Rountree, Financial Affairs Coordinator

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6. Anti-Socialites by Alvvays

Released: September 8, 2017

"You know when a band's debut record is so astonishingly good that you actually experience anxiety around their impending sophomore release? And 9 times out of 10 it can't possibly attain the absurd level of hype you've built up around it? Well, this is that rare and wonderful 10th time. Antisocialites is dreamier and sadder but every bit as intoxicating as Alvvays' 2014 self titled debut."

- Bob Werner, Producer + Creative Project Manager

8. Slowdive by Slowdive


Released: May 5, 2017 

"Shimmering production and warm vocals made the Slowdive record well worth the 20 year wait. There is a hint of nostalgia to it that makes me feel like i’m catching up with an old friend. This record will be a favorite of mine for years to come!"

- Allison Soule, Production Coordinator

10. A Deeper Understanding by The War on Drugs

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Released: August 25, 2017 

"I was counting down the days for this record to drop and when it did, it didn’t disappoint! Adam Granduciel had full creative control, both as a producer and engineer, which gave him the ability to meticulously construct this album piece by piece. It’s easy to hear that every element was added with a high level of care and intention — like an executive chef orchestrating their signature dish. It doesn’t take a deeper understanding to realize how phenomenal this album is front to back. Something tells me I’ll be spinning this one for years to come!"

- Reid Mackenzie, Associate Producer

12. Melodrama by Lorde

Released: June 16, 2017

"Lorde's 2017 album Melodrama had this fresh new vibe, that had me feelin' all the feels. A more upbeat fave of mine off the album, 'Green Light', just makes you wanna dance, with its funky pre-chorus building into the chorus, and once that hits - it felt like pure freedom (insert image of you in a convertible, top down, flying south on the 5). The maturity of her voice in this album made me nostalgic for bands like Azure Ray and Metric."

- Frankie Simone, A&R Community Ambassador

14. Drunk by Thundercat


Released: February 24, 2017 

"On the surface, Drunk sounds fun and lighthearted but there’s something dark boiling underneath. An exhausting fever dream of sorts. It’s a strange mixture of sweat and tears or something."

- Richard Beardsley, Brand Strategist

16. Gang Signs & Prayer by Stormyz

Released: February 24, 2017

"Grime had a big year this year and of every rapper that released an album, veteran or newcomer, Stormzy’s debut was the only one I had on repeat. It's raw and visceral but had tender elements of soul and gospel. Truly an album that lives up to it’s name."

- Nathaniel Schmidt, Music Licensing Coordinator

18. YOUNG by Overcoats


Released: April 21, 2017

"Can’t think of the last time I knew all the words to an album from first song to last. The sisterly connection between this duo creates harmonies so buttery they’d melt faster than a popsicle sunbathing in August."

- Luisa Jeffery, Executive Assistant + Project Manager

20. Green Twins by Nick Hakim


Released: May 19, 2017 

"Nick Hakim’s 'Green Twins' is both beautiful and haunting at the same time. The songwriting is dense, soulful, and intimate. His lyrics range from vulnerable and deeply personal tales, to more conceptual themes full of vivid imagery and substance. Hakim’s songs explore an expansive sonic palette full of psychedelic, tripped-out soundscapes, and reverb-soaked vocal arrangements, backed by hypnotic grooves and syncopated beats."

- Rob Dennler, Director of Music Production

22. City Music by Kevin Morby


Released: June 16, 2017

"Kevin Morby. Keeps. Getting. Better. For me, City Music is a wholly different musical experience from Singing Saw. With City Music, there’s a distinctive shift in his story and in the vulnerability of his songwriting. He’s an incredible musician and I feel an intense emotional connection to his music. I’m loving and I’m listening."

- Amanda Patterson, Senior Producer

24. Tease by Blossom & Hott 16


Released: July 21, 2017

"Blossom's first full-length debut album, produced by Hot16, had me bobbing my head to its smooth, soulful R&B beats. Her lyrics are female-centric and empower in a feel-good, easy-listening kind of way."

- Fiona Kang, Community Ambassador

Posted on December 18, 2017 .