The Best Albums Of 2017 So Far

2016 blessed us with incredible new music. From Kanye’s The Life Of Pablo, to Chance The Rapper’s Coloring Book, and to in my opinion, the greatest album to have ever been produced, Frank Ocean’s Blonde, it was just a great year for music.

We’re three months into 2017, and the new music is starting to pour in. The year is still young, but here are some of the best new albums that have been released so far:

American Teen – Khalid 

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Khalid’s debut album, American Teen, is just the very beginning to the successful music career glowing in front of him. At only 18 years old, Khalid has made huge waves with his single, ‘Location,’ which can be found on American Teen. This album is emotionally crafted with soulful 90’s vibes and smooth vocals. American Teen is one of those rare albums that you can listen to from start to finish, without skipping any songs, and you’ll never get tired of hearing it. Highlights include: ‘Saved’, ‘Location’, and ‘Shot Down’

Mansionz – Mansionz

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Mansionz is a new duo featuring singer-songwriter, Mike Posner, and singer-producer, Blackbear. The self-entitled album consists of electronic-based hip-hop and R&B pop. It’s a unique combination that deserves more attention. The transitions from each song are flawless, and blends perfectly. Highlights include: ‘The Life Of A Troubadour’, ‘I’m thinking about horses’, ‘nobody knows’, and ‘My Beloved’

CollXtion II: Unsolved – Allie X

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Canadian singer-songwriter, Allie X, has been working on her second studio album, and it’s for sure a bop. Her sound can be described as edgy electronic pop, and it’s just different than anything else. Highlights include: ‘That’s So Us’ and ‘Too Much To Dream’

I See You – The xx

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I See You is The xx’s junior album, and in my opinion, their best. The xx have always been known for their calming and soothing vocals, and they lived up to expectations yet again. The production of their third album has been a step up from their past work, and it’s honestly beautiful. Highlights include: ‘Lips’, ‘Brave For You’, and ‘Performance’

Process – Sampha

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Heavy emotions can be found in Sampha’s debut LP. Process contains R&B roots, and vocals that sound almost haunting. Sampha rediscovers himself through his work, and you can hear the vulnerability in his LP.  Highlights include: ‘What Shouldn’t I Be?’, ‘Plastic 100ºC’, and ‘Take Me Inside’

I can’t wait to hear what else is yet to come in 2017, and I do have high expectations

Our Lord And Savior Lorde Has Returned!

Lorde – queen of dark pop – has returned with a new single and suddenly my skin is clear, the sun is out, I have been rebirthed  and I am ready to pop off!

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In 2013, Lorde released her debut album, Pure Heroine, which landed her two Grammy awards, keep in mind she was only 17 when this happened. 17.

Pure Heroine was a genius record. It was dark and dreamy, and different from any other pop music at that time. The writing was so mature and deep, and again I repeat, Lorde was only…17. 17. My biggest accomplishment at 17 was the ability to get out of bed each morning and sit through six hours of public school. Amazing.

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Anticipation has been boiling up since 2013 as we all have been waiting for Lorde to serve us with new music, and today, Thursday March 2nd, 2017, she has finally given us a glimpse into her newest work.

Her new single, “Green Light,” lived up to all of our expectations. It was a long wait, but it was totally worth it. The single and the music video itself single handily saved 2017, being the heartbreak anthem of the year, and I cannot wait to hear the rest of her sophomore album.

Lorde tweeted, “I am so proud of this song. It’s very different, and kinda unexpected. It’s complex and funny and sad and joyous and it’ll make you DANCE.”

And she’s not wrong. “Green Light” does hold an unique sound to it, different from anything off of Pure Heroin, but it’s normal for artists to grow and switch up their sound, and try new things. And most of all, this song is for sure a bop, and it WILL make you want to dance.

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Lorde has received so much support on Twitter from fellow artists such as Troye Sivan, Dua Lipa, and Katy Perry, and she deserves all the love.

Lorde is unbelievably talented. She’s unique, and there’s no other pop artist quite like her. We might as well give her sophomore album all of the Grammys right now.

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She Say That She a Wanderlust…

“She say that she a wanderlust, but she ain’t seen the world

So much to do at 21, you feel invincible”

Blackbear by far makes the cut in my top five favorite artists list. His music has a certain sound that stands out from any other r&b artist or rapper. He is just a goofy guy with a big heart that I am hella soft for.

One of his songs in particular that has always resonated within me is Wanderlust. This song is basically about a girl who is a wanderlust, but is also pretty clueless about the world.

Not to sound cheesy or basic, but, I feel highly connected to the wanderlust girl.

If you’re not familiar with the term wanderlust, it means to have a strong desire or impulse to travel. To wander and roam the planet.

I wasn’t raised in a wealthy family. There were no Disney World trips in the summer, or ski trip vacations in the winter. I’m 19 years old and I’ve never been on a plane and I’ve never been outside of the Midwest. And it is driving me insane.

I like to think of myself as cultured. That I know a lot about the world, and music, and the arts. That I am a free spirit. An indigo child. A wanderlust.  But… yet I have never left the cornfield states?

I’m kidding myself. I cannot be cultured if I haven’t seen the world. There is so much out there I haven’t seen or experienced, and I really am just a clueless college freshman from Chicago, Illinois at the end of the day.

Think about all the cities you’ve never been to. Or all of the states, countries, and continents. Think about the 7 billion people on this planet you have yet to meet and learn from. All of the things you have yet to try and to do. It makes my head spin just thinking about it.

I have high hopes and aspirations though. Just like Blackbear’s wanderlust girl who “wants to be an actress and a singer like Selena,” so do I. I have dreams of creating and travelling and growing.

I’ve recently purchased plane tickets to California and Florida this summer. While I’m beyond grateful for these future experiences, I don’t plan on stopping there.

I want 2017 to be my year of growth. I plan to travel as much as I can. I plan to meet as many unique individuals as possible. I want to make something out of myself and live my life the way I have always wanted.

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19 is such a strange age. It’s an age where you don’t really know yourself or know where your future lies, and I don’t think I’ll be able to figure it out if I remain in the same place.

Though I have not physically traveled much, my soul is definitely a wanderlust. I have that yearn to find something higher in life, and I promise I will find it before Earth and Nibiru collide. I mean, none of us live forever, so why not make the most of life and see what the world has to offer while we can.

There is so much undiscovered beauty in this world; let’s not take it for granted. I do not want to be caged up or tied down while the rest of the world is going on around me. And who knows, maybe I’ll find myself partying it up with the legend Blackbear himself during my future endeavors.

 

 

BLEAK WEEKS, MAN

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The weather’s been gloomy. Cloudy. Cold. Gray. Donald Trump is actually president. I’m having an internal crisis regarding my major and future, and to top it all off, the coffee I just spent $2.79 on, tastes god awful. It’s just one of those days. So, here’s some songs I’ve been playing to soundtrack this bleak week. Feel free to listen to this playlist as you dramatically stare out the train window, watching the dark city skyline pass by, as you contemplate every life decision you have ever made as you’re on your way to whatever places life takes you this week. Enjoy.

DUA LIPA! DUA LIPA! DUA LIPA!

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Words cannot begin to describe my love for the new up and coming dark pop artist, Dua Lipa. This morning Lipa announced the dates for her U.S headlining tour, and you KNOW you’ll catch me at her Chicago show on February 24th at Lincoln Hall.

Dua Lipa is a 22-year-old musician from London, who is musically influenced by artist such as Kendrick Lamar and Nelly Furtado. She began her career by uploading covers to YouTube, and then started to write original music, her first song being, “Hotter Than Hell,” which is a total bop.

Lipa has a nineties vibe to her style, with a unique and poised personality, which makes it impossible not to adore her.

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In the past year, Lipa has released new music, played shows in Europe, and was an opening act for Troye Sivan during his Suburbia Tour. On January 6th, Lipa released a new single, “Thinking ‘Bout You,” which serves as a soulful ballad. Later this year Lipa will also be releasing a new album, that I so look forward to hearing.

Lipa’s most popular song, “Blow Your Mind (Mwah),” has been catching the airwaves, and has been a major jam for the clubs. In case you need any more persuasion to love Dua Lipa as much as I do, here are some of her best live performances:

  1. “Blow Your Mind (Mhaw)” – from BBC

2. Cover of Mark Ronson’s “Somebody To Love Me” with Troye Sivan

3. “Hotter Than Hell” – at Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball

Artist To Listen To: Gordi

I’m all for promoting small artists who I truly and deeply believe deserve more attention. This past week, I’ve had the artist, Gordi, on repeat.

Sophie Payten, also known as, Gordi, with only about 240,000 listeners on Spotify, is a 23-year-old musician from a small farming community in Australia.  Her EP, Clever Disguise, was released earlier this year, and boy is it a piece of art.

The tracks on the EP, are simple acoustic guitar and piano pieces that she had written on her own in her college dorm room; a sound similar to the artist, Bon Iver. With warm indie tones and tender lyrics, Clever Disguise has found a special place in my heart.

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“Can We Work It Out,” has been the most popular track off of the debut EP, which I totally understand. It’s a beautiful song that makes me feel like I’m waking up on a Sunday morning and drinking coffee with the one I love the most.

Out of the five tracks on the EP, I would have to say, “Wanting,” is my favorite. “Wanting,” has been my emotional crutch this week. When I first heard the song, it hit me like a bag of bricks because of how much it relates to my feelings at this particular time in my life. Actually, I am listening to it as I write this, and wow, my poor little heart.

Overall, if you have a tender heart, like bonfire music, or in need of music to play while you drive on to the highway and into the sunset, Gordi’s Clever Disguise is the EP for you. It is crafted together so delicately, and I highly suggest you check it out.  Genuine music that comes from a genuine place is rare these days; don’t pass it up.

You can find Gordi here:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6UBMFaCTZnL1Hr1nTOEblM

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GordiMusic

New Music Friday

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Hello there, music lovers! Tuesdays will still be the day I upload new articles, but additionally, every Friday I will now also be uploading a nifty little playlist for you all to check out! Songs will include mostly new releases, or just songs that I have been diggin’ that week that I feel could use more love. Hope you all enjoy it and find something new to vibe to, happy weekend!