Tender Textures and Self-Care: Why so many of us got lost in ambient music this year

In uncertain times, soothing sounds have provided a sanctuary for many. Aurora Mitchell maps out the context of ambient music’s resurgence in 2017

New American Heroes: The budding stars who reflected the values of a progressive youth

By both reifying and remixing musical representations of Americanhood, the likes of SZA, Cardi B and Khalid presented a resistance to the uglier aspects of Americanness in 2017

Make Yourself Heard: How a DIY spirit opened doors for PoC in the UK music industry

Yemi Abiade reflects on how, in 2017, people of colour have shifted the momentum from the establishment and inspired change through self-created platforms

Leading Lights: How Kiev and Tbilisi’s dancefloors became hotbeds for social change

From raves under bridges to a club circuit in the Caucasus mountains, historically closed off countries are creating movements with cosmic connections

The Way He Saw Things: Remembering the Emotional Charge of Lil Peep

Niloufar Haidari reflects on the life of Lil Peep who broke a lot of ground – and connected with many young people – in a short time

Visionist: Breaking the Identity Moulds

The electronic producer analyses the dualities of masculinity: from effeminacy, self-deprecation and self-love to validation

The complex cases of macho music and its female fans

‘Under My Thumb’ co-editor Rhian E Jones explores the ways in which women discover, consume and enjoy misogynistic music

The night’s been blessed: Why Wild Beasts mattered

Following the announcement of their split, Angus Harrison reflects on a band who always existed in their own lane

How politics infected the meme, and vice versa

As we watch the world going crazy through social media feeds, Tirhakah Love looks at how meme imitates life and life imitates meme

How LCD Soundsystem’s Sound of Silver defined an era

After the release of American Dream, Robert Bates looks back at Sound Of Silver, itself ten years old this year, and declares it LCD’s masterpiece

The Futures of Music: Metaphors, Robots and Questioning AI

Recently, Spotify announced it was hiring an AI music specialist. Should we be concerned or is it time we ran an update on the man vs. machine narrative?

When did music journalism stop wielding the axe?

In a destabilised music industry, negative criticism is in a decline. But journalists must resist the suppression of honest reviews, argues The Quietus‘ Luke Turner

tyler the creator

Tyler, the Creator’s ‘coming out’ proves the media has a problem with the complexities of queer experience

Jake Hall assesses the response of the mainstream music press after lyrics on a leaked Tyler, the Creator track prompted speculation around his sexuality

Perspective: Standing up to the DUP

In light of the recent developments in UK politics, Anna Cafolla lays out the toxic policies of the DUP party and those fighting against them

Perspective: Seeking Refuge, Respect and Hip-Hop

Liverpool-based Iranian rapper Farhood recalls how his passion for music aligned with his seeking asylum in the UK, and how he’s working to tell others’ stories

The Mandem Need You: Can Grime4Corbyn succeed where Red Wedge failed?

Tom Watson explores a very 2017 movement – and its echoes with pop’s Red Wedge coalition three decades ago