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World Cafe's Best Of 2017 (So Far)

Sylvan Esso performed back-to-back sold-out shows at Union Transfer in Philadelphia, Pa., in May.
Jeremy Zimmerman
Sylvan Esso performed back-to-back sold-out shows at Union Transfer in Philadelphia, Pa., in May.

We're almost halfway through the year, so we here at World Cafe decided the time was ripe to look back on the best of 2017 so far. In case you haven't noticed, it's been a pretty stellar year for new music. The War on Drugs gifted us with an 11-minute opus off its highly anticipated upcoming album, LCD Soundsystem released a couple tracks from its first new album in seven years and we got to meet LA-based up-and-comers Lo Moon with some early singles from its future debut.

We also got to feature a lot of our 2017 favorites on World Cafe — from Chicano Batman, who played music off the super funky breakout album Freedom is Free, to The New Pornographers, who moved our bodies and our brains with songs from Whiteout Conditions, to Hurray for the Riff Raff, who inspired fists in the air with the triumphant and soulful album The Navigator. Leif Vollebekk and Laura Marling made us feel enough feelings to last the rest of the year, Father John Misty took the personal and the political to new depths on Pure Comedy and Gorillaz gave us a rip-roaring post-apocalyptic dance party.

Suffice it to say, 2017 has been kind to our ears. We hope you enjoy this playlist filled with some of our favorites from January until June, and we're pretty stoked to see what the rest of this year has to offer all of us music lovers.

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Talia Schlanger hosts World Cafe, which is distributed by NPR and produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. She got her start in broadcasting at the CBC, Canada's national public broadcaster. She hosted CBC Radio 2 Weekend Mornings on radio and was the on-camera host for two seasons of the television series CBC Music: Backstage, as well as several prime-time music TV specials for CBC, including the Quietest Concert Ever: On Fundy's Ocean Floor. Schlanger also guest hosted various flagship shows on CBC Radio One, including As It Happens, Day 6 and Because News. Schlanger also won a Canadian Screen Award as a producer for CBC Music Presents: The Beetle Roadtrip Sessions, a cross-country rock 'n' roll road trip.