Here’s our list of the best indie albums of 2017. Some of them were nominated and/or won LA Music Critic Awards during the first half of 2017, and most of the rest will be included when the nominations for the second half of 2017 are announced on January 17. Consider this your “sneak peak” of those nominations. Every album on this list has been reviewed in the “Get it or Forget it” column of our Blog. How many of them do you have?
Honorable Mention: Even though we have selected 25 albums for our list, there were a few that didn’t make the list, but deserve mention, including Ride by Marc Berger, Find the Silver Lining by Kelly Fitzgerald, Little Folks Like You and Me by Mike Younger, Small World by Monica Chapman and Honestly by Jay Asher. Definitely check out these albums.
25. The East Pointers, What we Leave Behind – This award-winning Canadian band has what they need to break into the American music scene.
24. Becca Richardson, We are Gathered Here – Check her out at the Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles on January 20.
23. Harper Grae, Break Your Crowns – Definitely check out this rising star from Nashville.
22. Rusty Young, Waitin’ for the Sun – Young was the former lead singer for Poco, and the band has reunited to support his solo artist. This is his first solo effort for Blue Élan Records.
21. The Show Ponies, How it all Goes Down – The band recently announced they would be disbanding and this album was their final one. They were an LA Music Critic Award winner during the first half of 2017.
20. Elizabeth and the Catapult, Keepsake – Check her out when she performs at Sundance this year.
19. Great Willow, Find Yourself in Los Angeles – This band is becoming a player on the Americana circuit. Check them out live if you live near there.
18. Bryan Stephens, Village of Dreams – Another great Blue Élan Records artist.
17. Jeffrey Halford & the Healers, Lo-Fi Dreams – Another LA Music Critic Award multiple nominee from the first half of 2017.
16. Ray Goren, Me – This past LA Music Critic Award winner has a great future ahead.
15. Marina V, Born to the Stars – This Russian-born singer-songwriter is one of a kind. Welcome back to the charts. More than 65,000 worldwide fans can’t be wrong.
14. Chris Daniels and the Kings, Blues with Horns – This indie artist has had a storied career and his latest is one of his best.
13. Chelsea Williams, Boomerang – Another premier act from Blue Élan Records, she will also be performing at Sundance.
12. Jangling Sparrows, 140 Nickels – Watch for these guys near the top of the Americana music scene.
11. Andrea Harsell and Luna Roya, Something for the Pain – This band is a Missoula, Montana staple that is definitely going places.
10. Halladay Quist, self-titled – Another Montana artist with a family legacy of musical excellence.
9. Gina Sicilia, Tug of War – Another Blue Élan Records artist who is at the top of her game. Multiple LA Music Critic Award winner. Watch for her 8th album coming soon.
8. Amilia K. Spicer, Wow and Flutter – Another past LA Music Critic winner, this is one of the best Americana albums released in quite a while.
7. Seasonal Beast – Muscle Memory – One of our best “finds” this year, watch for great things from this New York duo.
6. Breaking Grass, Warning Signs – Another multiple LA Music Critic Award winner, this band is redefining bluegrass music.
5. Wendy Sweetlove, Dirty Sunday – She was nominated for several LA Music Critic awards right out of the gate, She is definitely an artist worth checking out.
4. Janey Street, In my Own Skin – Reigning LA Music Critic Icon Award winner, she is another of the special breed of artists signed to Blue Élan Records.
3. Rod Melancon, Southern Gothic – Multiple LA Music Critic Award winner, he is the last of these artists signed to Blue Élan Records. He is currently touring Sweden.
2. Katie Costello, Twice the Love – This artist has consistently produced award winning albums. She also had one of the Best EPs of 2017.
1. FreeWorld, What it is – The pride of Memphis, this band is redefining American Blues. Check them out the next time you’re in Memphis.