Despite all of the hardships people are experiencing locally, nationally, and around the globe in 2017, the year has offered a wealth of impressive albums from Bay Area musicians.
Jay Som followed up 2016’s buzzed-about Turn Into with her first proper LP, Everybody Works. It’s a terrific album of layered indie rock that has deservedly landed high on many critics’ year-end lists. Berkeley’s Rexx Life Raj returned in November with Father Figure 2: Flourish, a sequel that surpassed its remarkable 2016 predecessor.
Longtime local musicians also reached new heights in 2017. Lil B may no longer be as prolific as he once was, but his 27-track album Black Ken made a major statement about his talent as both a rapper and, perhaps more surprisingly, a producer. The She’s also showcased their artistic growth this year, as 2017’s All Female Rock and Roll Quartet paired the band’s skill at crafting killer melodies with impressive sonic depth.
As much as 2017 continues to sink spirits during its final days, this mixtape also offers hope for new music to look forward to in 2018. Club Night impressed the hell out of us with their unpredictable debut EP, and the group is reportedly releasing an LP next year. There’s also a forthcoming album from Ah Mer Ah Su, following her stellar 2017 EP, Rebecca, as well as Nef The Pharaoh’s long-awaited Big Chang Theory.
Listen to the mixtape to learn more about eleven artists included in this mix.
Jay Som, “1 Billion Dogs”
Madeline Kenney, “Big One”
Rexx Life Raj, “Lowkey Lovesong (feat. Iman Europe)”
Once & Future Band, “Tell Me Those Are Tears of Joy”
Rays, “Theatre of Lunacy”
Lil B, “Free Life”
The She’s, “Ashes”
Ah Mer Ah Su, “Klonopin”
Club Night, “Well”
Nef The Pharaoh, “Spice (feat. Yhung T.O.)”
Pardoner, “Pivot Fakie”
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