Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Best Albums of 2017 (so far)


So, here we are at mid-year, and it's time to recognize some of the excellent releases that have come out in the first half of 2017. As always, I've enlisted the help of some of my friends and family to provide some additional coverage. I've also collected tracks from each release - chosen by all of our contributors - in a huge Spotify playlist. You'll encounter that all the way at the bottom of this post. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and opinions, so feel free to leave some feedback (and even your own lists) in the comments section below - or interact at the Life On This Planet Facebook Page. Okay, let's get to it. - Bret

Bret Helm
Life on this Planet | Audra
(albums are in alphabetical order)

Chris Stapleton - From A Room: Volume 1
Desperate Journalist - Grow Up
Future Islands - The Far Field
Jade Jackson - Gilded
Modern English - Take Me to the Trees
Pumarosa - The Witch
Ride - Weather Diaries
Robyn Hitchcock - s/t
Ryan Adams - Prisoner
Slowdive - s/t

Sarah Quarrie
Life on this Planet

Alexandra Savior - Belladonna of Sadness
Cigarettes After Sex - s/t
Desperate Journalist - Grow Up
Elbow - Little Fictions
Future Islands - The Far Field
Mark Lanegan Band - Gargoyle
Perfume Genius - No Shape
Pumarosa - The Witch
Resistance Radio: The Man in the High Castle Soundtrack
Slowdive - s/t

Ron Marrs
New Orleans, Louisiana

The Afghan Whigs - In Spades
Austra - Future Politics
Black Lips - Satan's Graffiti or God's Art?
Bleib Modern - Antagonism
Cafe Tacvba - Jei Beibi
Emma Ruth Rundle & Jaye Jayle - The Time Between Us (split EP)
The Jesus and Mary Chain - Damage and Joy
Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band - Front Porch Sessions
Shannon Wright - Division
Slowdive - s/t

Rob Clark
Rockford, Illinois

Clan of Xymox - Days of Black
Desperate Journalist - Grow Up
Father John Misty - Pure Comedy
Ibibio Sound Machine - Uyai
Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit - The Nashville Sound
PVT - New Spirit
Robyn Hitchcock - s/t
Throwing Snow - Embers
Todd Rundgren - White Knight
Ulver - The Assassination of Julius Caesar

Tim Brown
London, England

The Big Moon - Love in the 4th Dimension
Father John Misty - Pure Comedy
Future Islands - The Far Field
Glen Campbell - Adios
Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.
Laura Marling - Semper Femina
Loyle Carner - Yesterday's Gone
Milky Chance - Blossom
The Shins - Heartworms
Stormzy - Gang Signs and Prayer

Jesse Deitermann
Saturday Night Music Club

The Charlatans - Different Days
Froth - Outside (briefly)
Jay Som - Everybody Works
Novella - Change of State
Phoenix - Ti Amo
The Proper Ornaments - Foxhole
Ride - Weather Diaries
Slowdive - s/t
Temples - Volcano
Terry vs. Tori - Leap Day

Todd "Opie" Kelley
Englewood, Colorado

Chris Stapleton - From A Room: Volume 1
Cold War Kids - L.A. Divine
Elliot Moss - Boomerang
Elbow - Little Fictions
Harry Styles - s/t
Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.
Ryan Adams - Prisoner
Sampha - Process
SOHN - Rennen
The xx - I See You

Sierra Anna Jones
Okinawa, Japan

Beach Fossils - Somersault
Cigarettes After Sex - s/t
Drab Majesty - The Demonstration
Hoops - Routines
King Woman - Created in the Image of Suffering
Molly Burch - Please Be Mine
Perfume Genius - No Shape
Pharmakon - Contact
Slowdive - s/t
TOPS - Sugar at the Gate

Jason Jones
Okinawa, Japan

Depeche Mode - Spirit
Drab Majesty - The Demonstration
Feist - Pleasure
Hoops - Routines
King Woman - Created in the Image of Suffering
Lorde - Melodrama
Molly Burch - Please Be Mine
Pharmakon - Contact
Slowdive - s/t
TOPS - Sugar at the Gate


Jaymz Todd
Saturday Night Music Club

The Afghan Whigs - In Spades
All Them Witches - Sleeping Through the War
Goldfrapp - Silver Eye
Helado Negro - Private Energy (Expanded)
Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.
Little Dragon - Season High
The Prids - Do I Look Like I'm in Love?
Shy Girls - Salt
Sinkane - Life & Livin' It
Tei Shi - Crawl Space

John Magness
Uttoxeter, England

Astralasia - Oceania
Depeche Mode - Spirit
Future Islands - The Far Field
Lindsey Buckingham / Christine McVie - s/t
Maximo Park - Risk to Exist
Paul Weller - A Kind Revolution
Roger Waters - Is This the Life We Really Want?
Steve Hackett - Night Siren
Sun Kil Moon - Common as Light and Love are Red Valleys of Blood
The xx - I See You

STATS
80 different albums appeared in this feature
Which ones made it onto the most lists?
Slowdive (6), Future Islands (4), Desperate Journalist (3) and Kendrick Lamar (3)


If you're a vinyl enthusiast, check out our feature on the Spin Clean Vinyl Record Cleaning Machine (click image below)
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Friday, June 16, 2017

Planet Rotations #239: Single Suite 3

In the age of digital music, we tend to skip through albums, listening to one or two tracks - missing some of the deeper cuts that may be brilliant. We are huge fans of the album format, and love to experience the entire collection the way the artist intended. Listening to one or two songs is like randomly reading a few chapters of a book and expecting to understand the completed work. Like all music lovers, we love to share what we're listening to and discover some new things from friends.

In this week's edition of Planet Rotations, Sarah and I handpicked some great singles that have been released in advance of their respective albums. This is part of an ongoing series designed to keep you up-to-date on new releases that should be hitting your ears. All tracks are collected in the Spotify player at the bottom of this post.


(text version below image)

Trentmoller feat. jennylee of Warpaint - Hands Down
from the one-off digital single on In My Room

Radiohead - I Promise
from the 20th anniversary special deluxe reissue of OK Computer, OKNOTOK - out June 23rd on XL Recordings

Black Grape - Nine Lives
first new album in 20 years - from Pop Voodoo - out July 7th on Universal

Annie Hart - Hard to Be Still
from Impossible Accomplice - out July 14th on Cryptic Whispers

Japanese Breakfast - Boyish
from Soft Sounds from Another Planet - out July 14th on Dead Oceans

Frankie Rose - Trouble
from Cage Tropical - out August 11th on Slumberland

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark - Isotype
from The Punishment of Luxury - out September 1st on White Noise

Zola Jesus - Exhumed
from Okovi - out September 8th on Sacred Bones

Alvvays - In Undertow
from Antisocialites - out September 8th on Polyvinyl

Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton - Fatal Gift
first new album in 10 years - from Choir of the Mind - out September 15th on Last Gang

Chelsea Wolfe - 16 Psyche
from Hiss Spun - out September 22nd on Sargent House

The Horrors - Machine
album title and release date TBD - on Wolf Tone


Listen to our ongoing Spotify Planet Rotations Playlist!

If you're a vinyl enthusiast, check out our feature on the Spin Clean Vinyl Record Cleaning Machine (click image below)

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Saturday, June 10, 2017

Planet Rotations #238

In the age of digital music, we tend to skip through albums, listening to one or two tracks - missing some of the deeper cuts that may be brilliant. We are huge fans of the album format, and love to experience the entire collection the way the artist intended. Listening to one or two songs is like randomly reading a few chapters of a book and expecting to understand the completed work. Like all music lovers, we love to share what we're listening to and discover some new things from friends.

This week, Sarah and I each highlighted 6 albums that we played in full. Make sure to tune into the Spotify player at the bottom, which features a song from each album. This is an ongoing playlist that you can follow directly on Spotify. Please put your own lists in the comments below, or interact at the Life On This Planet Facebook or Twitter. 


(text version below image)

Bret's 6
Michael Jackson - Thriller
Chromatics - Kill for Love
Imelda May - Life Love Flesh Blood
Roger Waters - Is This the Life We Really Want?
Soft Kill - Choke
The Ventures - Walk Don't Run

Sarah's 6
The Mountain Goats - Goths
Mark Lanegan Band - Gargoyle
The Black Angels - Death Song
Temples - Volcano
Blondie - Pollinator
Shadow Band - Wilderness of Love

Listen to our ongoing Spotify Planet Rotations Playlist!

If you're a vinyl enthusiast, check out our feature on the Spin Clean Vinyl Record Cleaning Machine (click image below)
Follow us on Facebook / Twitter / YouTube