50 Best Albums of 2017 So Far

Including Kendrick Lamar, Lorde, Ed Sheeran, Drake, Harry Styles, Roger Waters and more

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Jay Som, 'Everybody Works'
Jay Som, Everybody Works42/50

Jay Som, 'Everybody Works'

Like Liz Phair by way of Brian Eno, 22-year-old Oakland songwriter Melina Duterte is the rare lo-fi rocker who prizes sonic pleasure as much as confessional immediacy. Her second album ranges from garage-rock to dream-pop to neon-Eighties art-cheese, awash in the newness of sound just as the Jay Som seems gobsmacked by the experience of creation itself: "Once I was very brave/I stepped on the stage/Took my breath away," she sings on "(BedHead)." The highlight is "Bus Song," which finds private world reinvention in the everyday, just as this music builds something gingerly majestic out of muted bedroom rumination.

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