BBC Radio 6 Music reveals its 6 Music Recommends: Albums of the Year

BBC Radio 6 Music has announced Thundercat’s album, Drunk, as their Number 1 Album of the Year, as chosen by the station’s presenters.

The Number 1 choice will be celebrated tonight (27 November, midnight-1am) in a special 6 Music Recommends: Album of the Year show presented by Mary Anne Hobbs, where Drunk will be played. This show will also be available to download and listen to at The station’s 21 presenters each select their top five choices which are collated to create a Top 10.

Paul Rodgers, Head of 6 Music, says: “The 6 Music Recommends: Albums of the Year is a list that encapsulates the wealth of music that our brilliant DJs bring to 6 Music each and every day from the most eclectic range of artists and genres on music radio.”

The 6 Music Recommends: Albums of the Year 2017 are:

1. Thundercat - Drunk

Such is Thundercat’s - AKA Stephen Bruner - prowess as a bassist that he’s appeared on records by Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus, Kamasai Washington and Erykah Badu to name but a few. On his Gilles Peterson and Mary Anne Hobbs championed third album Drunk his personal grooves know no boundaries, while Kendrick, Pharrell and even Kenny Loggins supply guest spots. With tracks from this record appearing on the 6 Music playlist all year it’s no wonder when all their votes were counted, Drunk is 6 Music Recommends' Album Of The Year.

On being named 6 Music’s Number 1 album of the year, Thundercat says: “It’s pretty intense, man. It’s awesome, it’s very overwhelming. I would never have expected anything like this to happen. It’s really trippy.”

Mary Anne Hobbs says: “6 Music’s Album of the Year, Drunk, is a complex modern soul record with a beautiful flow despite its fragmentation into 23 pieces. The record is unique in its lyrical narrative that feels like a personal conversation with Thundercat, and loaded with striking collaborations with Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell, Kamasi Washington, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, co-producer Flying Lotus, and Thundercat’s young daughter.”

2. alt-J - RELAXER

From the Mercury Prize to 6 Music's Album Of The Year in 2012, alt-J have achieved much early in their career, but pleasingly they show no signs of burning out. Augmenting their harmonics with strings, guest vocals from Wolf Alice’s Ellie Rowsell and old friend Marika Hackman, plus lyrics about Anne Boleyn, the band’s third album demonstrates that their powers are still growing, as they proved during their 6 Music Live set in October.

alt-J say: “We're really honoured to be so high up on the list. RELAXER isn't an easy album, and so it seems fitting to have it recognised by a station that is home to music, DJs and listeners of all genres, tastes and tribes... Thank you.”

Guy Garvey says: “This is an amazing record. It’s experimental, it’s inventive, it’s really free creatively, using the words to exist in songs alongside completely original thoughts and feelings, and deeply honest without being overly earnest. It’s playful in places as well. The scope of it and the different places it takes you… it does what a perfect album should do. It picks you up in one state and drops you a completely different person at the end of it.”

3. Sampha - Process

This year’s Mercury Prize winner received approving nods from our own Mary Anne Hobbs, Gilles Peterson and Lauren Laverne, who has hosted Sampha in session, long before the jury made its decision. A meditation and catharsis around the loss of his mother to cancer, Sampha’s personal ruminations and unique arrangements have a compelling, widespread appeal.

Sampha says: “I’m so grateful to BBC 6 Music for recognising my debut album Process... It’s been an absolutely amazing year and I feel very fortunate to have the chance for my music to connect with so many people, not least BBC 6 Music listeners. Thank you very much.”

Lauren Laverne says: “One of the best releases of 2017. Is he the best songwriter in Britain at the minute? Certainly feels like it to me; doing the most incredible work. As well as making his debut album, he’s been working behind the scenes with people like The xx, FKA twigs, Frank Ocean, Drake, Kanye West, Solange. He’s one of the most in demand songwriters in the world, and you can tell why.”

4. Father John Misty - Pure Comedy

Father John Misty says: "Thanks 6 Music for your largely questionable taste and unwavering commitment to playing the unplayable - without which I would be truly lost.”

Don Letts says: “It's an exquisite record that immediately struck me as piece of crucial vinyl. With deep, thoughtful and yet humorous lyrics, soulfully delivered by a voice that at times sounds like a young Elton John, it's music to die for - absolutely brilliant.”

5. IDLES - Brutalism

IDLES say: "What a joy. I can confidently say we have got to where we are by not focusing on what others think, but BBC 6 is an institution we've grown to truly relish and admire, so this is something we won't forget. Thank you”

Steve Lamacq says: “I remember saying at the time when the record came out I genuinely doubt that anyone will make a better record than this during the rest of the year, or at least a record which I’ll find as inspiring as this. It’s incredibly powerful, it’s melodic, it’s at times slightly cynical, it’s sarcastic, but it’s very funny at the same time. And it’s full of love.”

6. Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile - Lotta Sea Lice

Kurt Vile says: “It’s such an honour to be named as an Album of the Year by 6 Music.... To have the chance for us as artists to collaborate, put a record out and for a station like BBC 6 Music to fully get behind it means the world” 

Jarvis Cocker says: “In a way, this album sounds exactly as you might expect it to… but with two artists of this calibre that is most definitely a win-win situation. Innit.”

7. Nadine Shah - Holiday Destination

Nadine Shah says: “The support from 6 Music for this album has been above and beyond what I'd hoped for. I'm well chuffed... Regarding the nature of my album’s subject matter, it means that much more."

Tom Robinson says: “It’s a brave, bold, uncompromising record by one of this country’s most underrated and inspiring musical talents. And I take my hat off to Nadine. It’s brilliant. And it’s musically adventurous, but it’s got all the rough edges left on. There’s always been a kind of edge of anguish in her song-writing, but this is rougher and rawer and much more visceral. At times it’s a kind of howl of protest.”

8. Big Thief - Capacity

Big Thief say: "We are grateful to everyone who has supported our music at BBC6. Thanks for including us on this list." 

Mark Radcliffe says: “An understated masterpiece. The songs are almost reduced to their bare bones at times which makes them all the more affecting. It sounds like we’re eavesdropping on Adrianne Lenker’s innermost thoughts, and in Mary they released one of the top five songs of the year. A quietly insistent classic.”

9. Tom Williams - All Change

Tom Williams says: "The love and support from the presenters at 6 Music has always meant the world to me. I can’t tell you how happy this has made me and the band. Thank you so much BBC 6 Music.” 

Huey Morgan says: “I remember hearing this record before it was finished… I fell in love with those songs, man. I love Tom’s song-writing craft. I know he goes about it in a specific way; there’s always some good story and subject-matter there. There’s also amazing production on this new record. I love this dude more than any artist out there and I think this record’s fantastic.”

10. Phoebe Bridgers - Stranger In The Alps

Phoebe Bridgers says: "I'm happy that my sad record and I made it into the top 10. Love You BBC" 

Shaun Keaveny says: “Introspective acoustic-based singer songwriters are ubiquitous, but not many are as affecting as Phoebe Bridgers. She has a haunted and melancholic quality that’s rare, quite Elliott Smith, but very Phoebe Bridgers.”


The 6 Music presenters that picked their top 5 albums were: Cerys Matthews, Chris Hawkins, Craig Charles, Don Letts, Gideon Coe, Gilles Peterson, Guy Garvey, Huey Morgan, Iggy Pop, Jarvis Cocker, Lauren Laverne, Liz Kershaw, Marc Riley, Mark Radcliffe, Mary Anne Hobbs, Matt Everitt, Nemone, Shaun Keaveny, Steve Lamacq, Stuart Maconie, Tom Ravenscroft and Tom Robinson.

Drunk is the third album from the Californian bassist and singer, featuring guest performances from five-time Grammy Award-winning Steely Dan and Doobie Brothers singer Michael McDonald, Academy Award-nominated American singer-songwriter Kenny Loggins and seven-time Grammy Award-winning American rapper Kendrick Lamar, with whom Thundercat shared the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration Grammy in 2016 for the track These Walls from Lamar’s album To Pimp A Butterfly. Former No. 1 albums of the year include BadBadNotGood’s IV (2016), The War On Drugs’ Lost In The Dream (2014), and Arctic Monkeys’ AM (2013).

Now with its highest ever reach of 2.43m listeners (RAJAR Q3, 2017), 6 Music is the largest digital-only radio station in the UK. It celebrates the alternative spirit of music and culture, bringing together the cutting-edge music of today and the iconic and ground-breaking sounds of the past 50 years.


November 27, 2017 6:23am ET by BBC Radio 6 Music  

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