CMU Approved

Approved: Favourite Artists Of 2017

By | Published on Sunday 24 December 2017

In the final five editions of the CMU Daily in 2017, Editor Andy Malt selected his five favourite artists from the last twelve months.

You can read more about each of them below, and while you do that check out this Spotify playlist of (nearly) all the music we approved in the CMU Daily in 2017.


Back in 2013, the sixteen year old Ella Yelich-O’Connor was hyped to what felt like the point of oblivion from the release of her debut single as Lorde onwards. It seemed unlikely that her debut album, ‘Pure Heroine’, could live up to all those expectations. Somehow though, Lorde rode the wave that she had been placed upon, came down without a wobble on the other side and strode off into the sunset. | MORE

Kelly Lee Owens

I always approach the debut album release of an artist whose early tracks I really liked with mixed feelings of excitement and trepidation. Excitement that they might deliver an album that truly makes good on that early promise. Trepidation that they only actually had a couple of really good tracks in them. | MORE

Jhene Aiko

There’s been a trend in recent years towards longer albums, particularly in R&B and hip hop. Often this can feel like a cynical move. As if the artist is packing in as many different trendy production styles as possible to maximise potential airplay. Or maybe it’s some attempt to game chart rules for how streams are counted. | MORE


When Kelela released her hugely acclaimed mixtape – ‘Cut 4 Me’ – in 2013, it placed her high upon a wave of new artists shifting R&B into new places. Listening back to it now, compared to her 2017 debut album proper ‘Take Me Apart’, it’s remarkable how rough it sounds. Not that it wasn’t (and still isn’t) a slick, innovative piece of work, but ‘Take Me Apart’ is so meticulous, and takes her ideas so much further. | MORE

St Vincent

Listening back to Annie Clark’s first solo album as St Vincent – 2007’s ‘Marry Me’ – it’s amazing how much of a blueprint of the sound and character she has developed over the last decade is in there. But looking at it the other way around, I don’t think there’s anyone who would have predicted the route Clark’s career would have taken by 2017. | MORE