Best Albums of 2017
picked by 5 music experts

Arklio Galia <BR> “Antakalnis”

Arklio Galia

Energetic, weird, interesting. This is how “Arklio Galia” and their new album sounds like. Actually, they always did sound this way. It’s been 11 years since a group of friends decided to create a band and sing unexpected absurd poetry, full of inside jokes, served by histericall voice of the band’s vocalist and leader Žilvinas Jagėla.

Sadly, if you’re reading this in English, you probably won’t have any clue what he’s singing about. Everything he sings always has been and still is in Lithuanian. The happy part is – you surely can understand their music. It’s a colourful, fine quality mix of punk rock, blues, jazz, ska and some other unidentified genres. While the most part of their previous albums sounded like a lo-fi record from their neighboor’s basement, this one’s more appealing.

“The previous albums were made without stinting on energy and love. This one’s almost the same, except – we didn’t stint on the money also“, says the band. (Giedrė Nalivaikaitė)

♪♫ Listen: “Antakalnis” + album stream

Arklio Galia on Facebook, Soundcloud, Instagram.

Au-Dessus <BR> “End Of Chapter”

“End Of Chapter”

Four talented musicians in a band Au-Dessus are continuing to reshape local (and not only local) metal scene.

Their name in french means “above” and it’s not the only connection to France band has as they play in France almost as often as in Lithuania.

Their new record called “End Of Chapter” as name implies is a continuation of their debut album. They have developed their own sound of post-black-metal and it would be hard to describe them in other words.

Heavy and ear-catching riffs, subtle song structures, always changing rhythms and different vocal techniques. Serious music that makes you wait for another chapter. (Gabrielius Baranauskas)

Listen: “VI” + album stream

Au-Dessus on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Instagram.

ba. <BR> “Garsiai mąstau”

“Garsiai mąstau”

Do you cry in your sleep that rock is dead? Then listen to this. In a few years ba. became, some may argue, the most important band in our alternative scene. And definitely the one with craziest fans.

Their young leader Benas Aleksandravičius shook up the status quo of local indie music with dramatic lyrics in his native language, middle finger attitude and ‘play till you‘re dead’ shows.
“Garsiai mąstau” (“Thinking Out Loud”) EP marks a shift towards a darker, heavier sound.

The five-and-a-half minutes long post-punk behemoth “Auka” (“Victim”) easily makes the top 5 Lithuanian rock songs of all time. (Emilija Visockaitė)

♪♫ Listen: “Auka” + album stream

ba. on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Instagram.

Brokenchord <BR> “Endless Transmission”

“Endless Transmission”

Ernestas Kaušylas debuted in 2010 with “Bluestar” EP. Since then he has been keeping a solid record with a handful of great singles, the support shows for Bonobo and a remix for Radiohead’s “TKOL RMX 1234567”.

This year marked the another debut for the artist thanks to “Endless Transmission” LP that dropped on UK’s Black Acre Records. The album is full of organic instruments: there are gritty guitars all around that create a mix of garage, shoegaze and even krautrock.

Despite most of the album being a brainchild of Kaušylas, who wrote and performed the whole thing, he invited a jazz drummer Augustas Baronas for tracks “Cliff/Sparks” and “Transmission” and was told to play as mechanically as possible, giving the tracks a some sort of robotic flavor. (Motiejus Ramašauskas)

♪♫ Listen: “Parabola” + album stream

Brokenchord on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook.

Garbanotas Bosistas <BR> “Room for You”

Garbanotas Bosistas
“Room for You”

Having way longer hair as well as younger faces, the band started their journey almost 10 years ago. In this time hair went shorter and so did their songs. Some members left “Garbanotas Bosistas”, others joined the band.

The band’s soul is a tandem of brothers Mantas and Šarukas Joneikiai, who created and remained in the band for all this time. From their laid-back folk tunes and bluesy Led Zeppelin inspired rock ballads “Garbanotas Bosistas” been moving to today’s kind of psychedelia till they finally found a room for themselves. Second album “Room for You”, released both, on vinyl & digital is spreading optimistic vibes even though the lyrics sometimes don’t.

The record sounds more polished, more confident and less complicated than their previous works. Give it a shot, if you want to feel alive, make your friends dance or become a better person. (Giedrė Nalivaikaitė)

♪♫ Listen: “Last Summer’s Day” + album stream

Garbanotas Bosistas on Facebook, Soundcloud, Instagram, Twitter.

Jautì <BR> “Gap Year”

“Gap Year”

You probably heard many stories about friends from small town who start doing music together. One of those bands is Jautì. But it is not your ordinary young indie band.

Their debut EP is called “Gap Year”. Jautì blends upbeat indie rhythms with some math-rockish guitars and ballad style song parts. And those slow parts contain wonderful melodies that make you want to sing with them.

You can feel beautiful little harshness in otherwise very clean vocal and it creates wonderful energy accompanied with occasional screams to hype it up.

This is evidence that gap year makes wonders. We need more of this. (Gabrielius Baranauskas)

Listen: “Atstumai” + album stream

Jautì on Bandcamp, Facebook, Instagram.

Jonas Drėma <BR>“Cabin In The Woods”

Jonas Drėma
“Cabin In The Woods”

Young Lithuanian producer and drummer Jonas Gliaudelis aka Jonas Drema invites you to his cozy “Cabin In The Woods“. In short, this album is a continuous music story, made of jazz, soul and hip-hop.

Jonas Drema & his talented friends experiment with genres, layers and sounds as if he was born somewhere in the hood. Who knows, maybe he was? (Giedrė Nalivaikaitė)

♪♫ Listen: “Brownie feat. Cherry On Top” + album stream

Jonas Drėma on Facebook, Soundcloud, Instagram.

Junior A <BR> “Great Things”

Junior A
“Great Things”

“My name is Junior and I see the silence bending” – this is how new aspiring artist called Junior A says “hi”.

He came as a sudden storm and it shook music scene of Lithuania after his hit “Sleep Machine” and debut album “Born Busy”. But it was not enough for him, as the same year this bedroom producer released his second work called “Great Things”.

Slow beats, easy synths and nice vocals on the top creates wonderful dreamy vibe you would want to play it on repeat. Close your eyes and let it come to you. Or you could feel even more with diy/lo-fi music videos he created for his songs. Great things are coming for him. (Gabrielius Baranauskas)

Listen: “Paper Planes” + album stream

Junior A on Soundcloud, Facebook, Instagram, www.

Migloko <BR> “Sacred Tears”

“Sacred Tears”

A new album by musician-artist-performer Migloko (I swear, I saw her named the ‘Lithuanian Björk’) is like swinging on a rope swing – ups and downs all around. Released in December, it is perfect for a cosy listening with a cup of hot chocolate in the glare of fairy lights as well as dancing around the Christmas tree.

The mixture of genres is impressive, ranging from lounge jazz to EDM; the album fits every purpose and is a great all-arounder. Together with the spectrum of genres, comes Migloko’s vocal range which is shown off in the best possible way. Not to forget the selection of instruments – it starts with soft piano touches and ends with groovy synths.

What differs from the artist’s previous efforts is that this albums feels much more directed. This time Migloko sings in English only and although the album seems to be split into two parts: ‘the jazzy and cosy one’ and ‘the groovy electronic one’ the consistency is superior to her past works, which is very much welcome.

If you like music you will like this record. It probably has your favourite genre slipped in somewhere. (Vainius Stalgys)

♪♫ Listen: “Sacred Tears” + album stream

migloko on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

Oorchach <BR> “Vietos/Places”


2017 was a pretty productive year for Povilas Vaitkevičius. At the beginning of the year he released “hex discotex” as Vilkduja which was followed by “Vietos/Places” and “Ontologia” under his moniker Oorchach.

Although fans are used to Povilas’ tracks that feature vocals and poetic/archaic lyrics in Lithuanian, “Vietos” is a completely instrumental album that is split into two parts: “Šičia/Herein” and “Aure ten/O’er there”.

It is 23 minutes of noise that makes love to your eardrums. (Motiejus Ramašauskas)

♪♫ Listen: “Šičia” + album stream

Oorchach on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook.

Parranda Polar <BR>“Mucho Frio”

Parranda Polar
“Mucho Frio”

Despite the fact that average annual temperature in Lithuania is about 6 °C, three guys called “Parranda Polar” decided that Lithuanians will love cumbia. So they started selling this word and music behind it. And it actually worked.

The first album “Mucho Frio“ is as short as summers in Lithuania. Nevertheless, it’s hot inside. These guys can easily make you feel the heat such as no Nordic country has ever seen. (Giedrė Nalivaikaitė)

♪♫ Listen: “Negra tu” + album stream

Parranda Polar on Facebook, Soundcloud, Instagram.

Patricia Kokett  <BR> “Artefakt”

Patricia Kokett

Even though in the past few years techno scene has become a bit saturated with techno artists, once in a while there comes someone who makes it exciting again thanks to the abandonment of usual “rules” or stereotypes surrounding this type of music.

Gediminas Jakubka’s debut does exactly that. Although it wouldn’t be fair to call this EP a pure techno record, the influence of the latest trends of the genre is undeniable.

“Artefakt” offers a palette of refreshing sounds that intertwine and mutate beautifully with a steady tribal rhythms that hold everything together underneath. (Motiejus Ramašauskas)

♪♫ Listen: “Vulturos” + album stream

Patricia Kokett on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Instagram.

Suicideoscope <BR> “Suicideoscope”


Suicideoscope’s self-titled album is a debut release of bedroom producer Dominykas Niaura. It is a journey through isolation, depression and inner darkness. Despite the seemingly negative emotions surrounding the record, it’s still a considerably cosy listen.

Suicideoscope’s sound is a mostly a blend of lo-fi and indie folk/rock. He does not constrain himself to a particular genre though: there are tracks that flirt with a heavier, almost explosive guitar sound (“Transactions”) and there is even an unexpected techno track (“I’m Not Killing Myself, I’m Faking A Sun Landing II”) that pulls you in and doesn’t let go until you feel as empty as the album’s protagonist.

“Cruising Chapels” is a highlight of the record: a five minute song is as intense as it is emotional – easily one of the best recent tracks from Lithuania’s underground scene. (Motiejus Ramašauskas)

♪♫ Listen: “Cruising Chapels” + album stream

Suicideoscope on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Youtube.

Umiko <BR> “Aftermath”


Solo-project turned band. Founder of this collective, Elena took time and gathered some very talented musicians to join this adventure.

Umiko could not be explained in one word. Their music is diverse, always changing. Subtle mood swings makes it very interesting to listen to. Sometimes it sounds like flowing dream-pop then it suddenly changes to more aggressive trip-hop’ish feel.

The band experiments a lot with their sound, with melodies. Songs differ from each other a lot, but without losing the connection within an album and it feels complete. It is unique project that is hard to compare to. (Gabrielius Baranauskas)

Listen: “Line” + album stream

Umiko on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Instagram.