2017 top 20

warofnature’s top 20 albums of 2017.

Conflict, hatred, posturing self-love, immorality – and that’s just the government. Who knows what the best reaction to a world like this is – we’re in uncharted territory. Kick against it, sure. Act. Organise. Reflect. Laugh at the absurdity of it all. Or just do the ‘la la la’ thing, pretend it’s not happening, and make some killer tunes. All these approaches and more in the music of 2017.

This is the Top 20 (warofnature’s first – a continuation of the annual lists previously compiled on the now dead skinnywhiteboy website). There were loads of great debuts (Declan McKenna, Snapped Ankles, Idles, Mammoth Penguins, Flat Worms). Some old hands (Michael Chapman, Slowdive, Jane Weaver, Ted Leo, Deerhoof, Andrew Weatherall). And some continued growth and maturity (Protomartyr, Thee Oh Sees, Irma Vep, Do Make Say Think).

My personal favourite new find, other than the debutantes, was Michael Chapman – a ridiculously prolific Cornish folkie whose first release was in 1969. ’50’ marks this history with his first state-side recording and it’s very special in a Leonard meets Mark Lanegan kind of way.

But best of all this year was Jane Weaver‘s ‘Modern Kosmology’, her 8th album. It showed all the perfection that you would expect with this amount of experience – not a note out of place – but also won on its sheer variety, depth and joy. Immediately accessible, its deep space voyages get better and better with every listen. A modern klassik.

Here is a Spotify playlist of the best of this lot, and a whole load more. 

20. Andrew Weatherall – Qualia

AW Qualia

19. Deerhoof – Mountain Moves

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18. Floating Points – Reflections Mojave

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17. Thee Oh Sees – Orc

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16. Flat Worms – Flat Worms

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15. Do Make Say Think – Persistent Illusions

14. Jlin – Black Origami

13. Slowdive – Slowdive

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12. Ted Leo – Hanged Man

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11. Zola Jesus – Okovi

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10. Irma Vep – No Handshake Blues

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9. Michael Chapman – 50

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8. Sleaford Mods – English Tapas

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7. Idles – Brutalism

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6. The XX – I See You

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5. Declan McKenna – What Do You Think About The Car?

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4. Snapped Ankles – Come Play The Trees

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3. Protomartyr – Relatives in descent

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2. Mammoth Penguins and Friends – John Doe

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1. Jane Weaver – Modern Kosmology



10 years ago…these were the tracks of the year

From the archive – skinnywhiteboy’s best tracks of 2007. Seems neat – 10 tracks 10 years ago and all that.

10. For Reverend Green from Animal Collective – Strawberry Jam

9. Pompeii am Götterdammerung from The Flaming Lips – At War with the Mystics

8. This Thing About You from Miracle Fortress – Five Roses

7. The wreck is not a boat from Sons of Noel and Adrian – Sons of Noel and Adrian

6. Honest James from Thurston Moore – Trees Outside the Academy

5. You Don’t Know What Love Is (You Just Do What You’re Told) from The White Stripes – Icky Thump

4. Guyamas Sonora from Beirut – The Flying Club Cup

3. Sea Horse from Devendra Banhart – Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon

2. Ihabibi from A Hawk and a Hacksaw and the Hun Hangar Ensemble – A Hawk and a Hacksaw and the Hun Hangar Ensemble

1. The Perfect Me from Deerhoof – Friend Opportunity

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skinnywhiteboy’s best albums of 2011 – flashback

my old blog died. here’s a post I managed to recover.

10. The Mountain Goats – All eternals deck

9. Björk – Biophilia

8. Deerhoof – Deerhoof vs Evil

7. The Dodos – No Colour

6. Gil Scott Heron vs Jamie XX – We’re new here

5. Timber Timbre – Creep on Creepin on

4. EMA – Past Life Martyred Saints

3. Suuns – Zeroes QC

2. Battles – Gloss Drop

1. The Antlers – Burst Apart


Bubbling under:
Panda Bear – Tomboy
Toro Y Moi – Underneath the pine
Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost
Oneohtrix Point Never – Replica
PJ Harvey – Let England shake
Euros Childs – Ends
Crystal Stilts – In Love with Oblivion
Atlas Sound – Parallax
Alaska in Winter – Suicide Prevention Hotline
The Bigger Lovers – How I Learned to Stop Worrying (Reissue)


Spotify playlist of some of the year’s best tunes.

And here’s the countdown, 10 to 1, and on to 20.

10. Landlady – Upright behaviour

Shrewd, energetic, wonky, surprising, Brooklyn-inflected pop.

9. Bob Mould – Beauty and Ruin

An absolute return to form – straight as a die indie rock, and none the worse for it.

Bob Mould Beauty and Ruin

8. Caribou – Our Love

Dan Snaith done and grown up – this is beautiful, soulful, dare I say mature dance music that grows and grows.

Caribou Our Love

7. Sun Kil Moon – Benji

I doubt anyone else’s diary would read like this: big, painful events mixed with irrelevances in Mark Kozelek’s distintive poetic, charismatic style.

6. Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels II

5. Deerhoof – La Isla Bonita

Getting back into a room together has worked for Deerhoof – the last album was made by members remotely, strung out across the globe and communicating by ones and zeros. A good record, sure, but this is a great one. Stuck in Ed’s basement, they’ve made an accessibile (in Deerhoof terms) record thanks to a greater lead from Satomi…more bass-led, more linear, more danceable. Danceable in a way that doesn’t tie you up in time signature-change knots like a complete idiot. It’s not going to bother the Top 40 anytime soon, there’s still some glorious noise to go with the tunes, but this feels like a coherent, complete pop album. One of their (13) best I’d say. Lucky for some.

4. Swans – To Be Kind

3. The Bug – Angels & Devils

I nearly wet myself when I heard this album for the first time. It’s filled a hole I didn’t know I had – a dark, evil hole for sure, but one pulsating with a manic, angry energy. This is archetypal modern city music. Superlative guests (Gonja Sufi, Death Grips, Manga etc). It’s just so perfectly pitched I nearly bobbed my head right off my neck.

2. Gazelle Twin – Unflesh

I’m not a fan of horror films, so the first time I heard this I was doing the aural equivalent of peeping through my fingers. This is dark shit – I know Brighton has an underbelly that ain’t all peaches and tofu, but local resident Elizabeth Bernholz obviously gets her inspiration from within…this is full of self-loathing, violence, lyrical sinew and blood. In short, it’s angry, detached lyrics set to brilliant, twisted, electronic funk. There’s something of the Fischerspooner about the production, but nothing of their pomp and doves. Hide behind the sofa if you have to, but listen to it.

1. Deptford Goth – Songs


11. Lucius – Wildewoman This is the vinyl equivalent of aural crack. A little too polished maybe, but 7 years of practice have honed a ton of killer tunes in here. A big, fun, percussive attack live, along with dirty de-tuned guitar and pop/soul vocals.

12. Young Fathers – Dead  Not Tape One or Tape Two…but still a great record. And you won’t see a better live band at the moment.

13. Vince Staples – A load of different stuff. Lots to choose from this year – mixtapes Shyne Coldchain Vol 2, Stolen Youth EP with Larry Fisherman, and the Hell Can Wait EP. As the man says, he’s proved he can rap, this is all about the songs

14. Kate Tempest – Everybody Down Strong poetry, great stories, killer production from this amazing woman. Can’t wait to see what she does next.

15. Aphex Twin – Syro Good old Aphex…but I wanted new Aphex. .

16. Eagulls – Eagulls Squalls of angry, gritty punk pop. I hope they take a new direction in future but for now, this is just the job.

17. Gold-Bears – Dalliance

Like Neutral Milk Hotel and other Elephant Six bands? Like your indie pop to include the kitchen sink? This will fill your duffle(coat)bag for the year. Brings back good memories.

18. Andy Stott – Faith in Strangers.

More strong, intelligent dance music from the Mancunian master. With the ubiquitous drum ‘n’ bass tune thrown in halfway through.

19. Clark – Clark.

20 The Antlers – Familiars Slight and understated, there is real haunting beauty in this one .


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