Albums Of The Year 2017 - Top 20

Albums Of The Year 2017

Each year we pick our top 100 Albums Of The Year. The list is a reflection of an album’s experience within the world of Rough Trade - it’s informed by what our customers talk to us about, what’s been in most demand across our shops, and what we’ve been playing instore throughout the year - with the ultimate aim of championing the future as well as celebrating the present.

1. Aldous Harding - Party

Echoing the likes of Joanna Newsom, Kate Bush and Jesca Hoop, Aldous Harding’s album title should be taken with a sizeable grain of salt. Instead of energetic pop anthems, understated vocals make you quieten down and nestle into your speakers to catch every word. The lasting spell of this album will leave you enraptured, keep your ear to the ground for Aldous Harding.

Rough Trade Exclusive - Live At KEXP (Limited to 500 copies)

2. Ryan Adams - Prisoner

Instantly catchy choruses and booming guitar chords welcome us back to the first original songs by Ryan Adams since his 2014 self-titled album. Cementing his status as a heartbreak documentarian, Adams shows off his full emotional range, and we’re all the better off for it.

Rough Trade Exclusive - Live At Rough Trade East (Pre-order)

3. Björk - Utopia

Arriving from the emotional journey of 2015’s Vulnicura, her highly anticipated new album finds a recovered and reinvigorated Björk, echoing all the fight and defiance of her previous works. A favourite in the Rough Trade office and currently in heavy rotation, we’re sure that it will land highly on most top 100 lists.

Worldwide Exclusive - Colored Vinyl Edition

4. Big Thief - Capacity

A favourite amongst the Rough Trade team, Big Thief return with their second album on Saddle Creek Records. Flying under the radar, the success of the coloured vinyl edition took everyone by surprise. It’s not hard to see why with breathtakingly intimate vocals from singer Adrianne Lenker, tight melodies and intricate guitar work, an infinitely replayable album.

Rough Trade Exclusive - Bonus 7" with Colored Vinyl Edition

5. Colter Wall - Colter Wall​

In demand by some of the world’s finest record labels, Colter Wall’s eponymous debut album proves why. As authentic as an artist 40 years his senior, his rumbling baritone and storytelling lyrics are reminiscent of Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings. If this is the genesis, we can’t wait for the evolution.

Rough Trade Exclusive - Vinyl release of Imaginary Appalachia

6. Cigarettes After Sex - Cigarettes After Sex

A debut album to remember from the El Paso dreampop quartet, delivering on the promise of their much lauded 2012 I. EP. Sleepy, lovely androgynous vocals accompany floating synths and heavenly keyboard work to bring you a step closer to utopia.

Rough Trade Exclusive - Bonus Signed Art Print (Limited to 300 Copies)

7. The Big Moon - Love In The 4th Dimension

As far as long-awaited debut albums go, The Big Moon landed it like falling off a log while taking candy from a baby with their eyes shut. Produced by Catherine J Marks and boasting dulcet, burnt-sugar tones, bouncy bass and fuzzy-wuzzy lilting guitar, The Big Moon beckon you in and invite you to a party kicking off on your record player.

Rough Trade Exclusive - Acoustic EP (Limited to 500 copies)

8. Jane Weaver - Modern Kosmology

Eight albums in and Jane Weaver continues to carve her own path on Modern Kosmology. Only describable as a unique blend of cosmic krautrock, acid-singed, space throbbing psych and gorgeous folk vocals, the album is a fitting follow up to another Rough Trade favourite, 2015’s The Amber Light.

Rough Trade Exclusive - Bonus Live EP CD

9. Thundercat - Drunk

Thundercat grooved his way into our hearts with the follow-up to 2013’s Apocalypse. Drunk is the funkiest of the funky, the jazziest of the jazzy and the smoothest of the smooth. Glitchy hip-hop beats smothered in classy honey-tones, lavish keyboards and plenty of glossy soul.

Rough Trade Exclusive - Drank Bonus Remix CD

10. Here Lies Man - Here Lies Man

Afrobeat with a dose of punk thrown in, super fuzzed-up bass and guitar will vibrate the cerebral cortex and ensure that you don’t forget Here Lies Man any time soon. A brilliant, hazy, psychedelic, hook-laden 8-song groovy-as-fuck masterwork.

Rough Trade Exclusive - 4-track 12” (inc Fela Kuti cover & new music)

11. Childhood - Universal High

12. Sampha - Process

13. Holly Macve - Golden Eagle

14. The National - Sleep Well Beast

15. IDLES - Brutalism

16. Daniele Luppi & Parquet Courts - MILANO

17. Bedouine - Bedouine

18. Hand Habits - Wildly Idle

19. Kelela - Take Me Apart

20. Baxter Dury - Prince of Tears

Also check out: Rough Trade Top 100


Product type


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Album artwork for Process by Sampha



$13.99 - $25.99

Album artwork for Utopia by Björk



$11.99 - $34.99

Album artwork for Take Me Apart by Kelela

Take Me Apart


$12.99 - $32.99

Album artwork for Brutalism by IDLES



$14.99 - $28.99

Album artwork for Drunk by Thundercat



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Album artwork for Party by Aldous Harding


Aldous Harding

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Album artwork for Capacity by Big Thief


Big Thief

$8.99 - $34.99

Album artwork for Bedouine by Bedouine



$12.99 - $24.99