2017 Year-End Roundup

Alright, so the big album-related lists from 2017 are out of the way (Best Albums & “Worst” Albums), so let’s jump into some more year-end lists! Let’s start with best songs. We’re gonna blow through the majority of these and then talk about the list-toppers a bit more in detail. Keep in mind this is all my personal opinion and you’re free to disagree! Let me know your favorite songs of 2017 down in the comments below.

Best Songs of 2017

  1. “All the Land Glimmered” by Julie Byrne
  2. “No Halo” by Sorority Noise
  3. “Main Attraction” by Sincerely, Me
  4. “Hiccups” by WATERS
  5. “Get By” by Real Friends
  6. “All” by Joseph
  7. “Better Off” by 7 Minutes in Heaven
  8. “Cannot Do This Alone” by Colony House
  9. “New York” by LEDGES
  10. “Take What You Want (feat. 5 Seconds of Summer)” by ONE OK ROCK
  11. “Feel Good” by Neon Trees
  12. “Apartment” by Seaway
  13. “The Last of the Real Ones” by Fall Out Boy
  14. “Paradise” by Broadside
  15. “Okay” by As It Is
  16. “Certainty” by Seasonal
  17. “What’s Wrong” by PVRIS
  18. “Sold” by Heavy Things
  19. “Caroline” by A Will Away
  20. “Everything You Want Me to Be” by Coldfront
  21. “Young for the Summer” by DALES
  22. “Celebrate the Reckless” by Magic Giant
  23. “The Fog” by LAYNE
  24. “Kids” by The Gospel Youth
  25. “Feelings” by Hayley Kiyoko
  26. “Don’t Take the Money” by Bleachers
  27. “Last Young Renegade” by All Time Low
  28. “The Breakup” by LANY
  29. “Slow Burn” by State Champs
  30. “Lookers” by The Menzingers
  31. “Fire” by The Dangerous Summer
  32. “In the Middle of It All” by Citizen
  33. “Sign of the Times” by Harry Styles
  34. “Tiger Teeth” by Walk the Moon
  35. “Daylily” by Movements
  36. “Hiding With Boys” by Creeper
  37. “Liability” by Lorde
  38. “Beautiful Things” by Grayscale
  39. “Black Butterflies & Déjà Vu” by The Maine
  40. “Fake Happy” by Paramore

That’s it! My top choice is “Fake Happy” by Paramore because I found myself constantly coming back to this song and loving it more and more every time. The lyrics are amazingly well-written and give such an awesome commentary, and the melodies in this song are absolutely stellar. “Black Butterflies & Déjà Vu” is my second pick because this song is so emotionally-charged and “gives me all the feels,” if you will. The instrumental is fantastic and the guitar melody is always stuck in my head on repeat. “Beautiful Things” by Grayscale is next on the list due to its heartfelt lyrics and spectacular vocal performance, along with that catchy hook! “Liability” by Lorde is a song that I can personally relate to and is such a moving piano ballad, which is quite out-of-the-ordinary for Lorde. “Hiding With Boys” is an epic rock tune outlined by smoky nostalgia and heart-rending lyrics that makes me feel some type of way. “Daylily” by Movements also makes me … feel something … and is such a poignant song between its raspy, impassioned vocals and raw instrumentals. I’ve been waiting for a studio version of “Tiger Teeth” by Walk the Moon for AGES and we finally got it! It definitely lives up to and even surpasses the live recordings of this atmospheric, emotional tune. “Sign of the Times” by Harry Styles isn’t what most fans expected from him, but my God, this monumental power ballad the best thing we could’ve ever dreamed of getting from this former boy band member. All of my top picks have something in common: they all made me feel. I don’t mean to get sappy, but that’s why I love music, it makes me feel things.

Best EPs of 2017

  1. Fade by Cold Climb It
  2. Likes Me Like That by Over Atlantic
  3. Aesthetically Pleasing by Sincerely, Me
  4. Do You Feel the Same Way Now? by Forbidden Envy
  5. Best When In Motion by Life Lessons
  6. Bloom by Seasonal
  7. Symmetry by 7 Minutes in Heaven
  8. Hard by The Neighbourhood
  9. Without You by pineview
  10. Wednesday by LAYNE

Click the links to read what we have to say about these EPs!

Best Debut Albums of 2017

  1. Totem by Welman
  2. AM/PM by The White Noise
  3. Lovely Domestic Bliss by Guide Dog
  4. Prosper by Gold Route
  5. Love Jail by Julia Louise
  6. Tasha Sits Close to the Piano by Jaws of Love.
  7. Homecoming by LEDGES
  8. Busybody Lazybones by Woolbright
  9. Landmark by Hippo Campus
  10. Red, Green, or Inbetween by WSTR
  11. Fail You Again by Can’t Swim
  12. Float Around by Coldfront
  13. Overexposed by Sleep On It
  14. Coast Modern by Coast Modern
  15. Always Lose by The Gospel Youth
  16. The Heights by Knox Hamilton
  17. Dreamcar by Dreamcar
  18. Cigarettes After Sex by Cigarettes After Sex
  19. Greatest Hits by Remo Drive
  20. Here Again by A Will Away
  21. In the Wind by Magic Giant
  22. Eternity, In Your Arms by Creeper
  23. LANY by LANY
  24. Feel Something by Movements
  25. Harry Styles by Harry Styles

Click the links to read what we have to say about each of these albums!

Most Underrated/Overlooked Albums of 2017

  1. Apprise. Assemble. Arise. by Concealed in Clouds
  2. Enjoy the Great Outdoors by Spencer Radcliffe & Everyone Else
  3. Odyssey by The Accidentals
  4. Swear I’m Good At This by Diet Cig
  5. Fever Dream by Everything Everything
  6. Sincerely by Dude York
  7. Telephone by Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas
  8. Waiting on the Sun by Jule Vera
  9. Bear Your Mind by Free Throw
  10. come out, you’re hiding by flor
  11. Connect the Dots by MisterWives
  12. Make the Best of It by Have Mercy
  13. For Posterity by Dryjacket
  14. Overexposed by Sleep On It (ironic title)
  15. Vultures by Dead Leaves
  16. Orc by Oh Sees
  17. Chew by Muskets
  18. Hurts So Good by The Polarity
  19. The Same View With a New Light by WATERMEDOWN
  20. Easy by The Weeks
  21. Homecoming by LEDGES
  22. The Love You Let Too Close by Thousand Below
  23. The Good Life by Makeout
  24. Stranger in the Alps by Phoebe Bridges
  25. Tasha Sits Close to the Piano by Jaws of Love.
  26. Waiting for Morning to Come by Being As An Ocean
  27. Totem by Welman
  28. Not Even Happiness by Julie Byrne
  29. Always Hope by Forever Starts Today
  30. Float Around by Coldfront
  31. Camp Cope by Camp Cope
  32. Busybody Lazybones by Woolbright
  33. Metaphysical by The Technicolors
  34. Landmark by Hippo Campus
  35. Content by Joywave
  36. The Heights by Knox Hamilton
  37. Goner by Heavy Things
  38. Dreamcar by Dreamcar
  39. Volcano by Temples
  40. In the Wind by Magic Giant
  41. Awkward Phase by Eternal Boy
  42. Coast Modern by Coast Modern
  43. Here Again by A Will Away
  44. Back to Beautiful by Picturesque
  45. Diverge by Hawking
  46. Something More! by WATERS
  47. All These Countless Nights by Deaf Havana
  48. Synesthesia by Courage My Love
  49. Origami by Vinyl Theatre
  50. After the Party by The Menzingers

Click the links to read what we have to say about each of these albums!

Those are all the lists we have for 2017! Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below. Thanks for reading!


December 2017 Alt Col Picks

Some great records were released in December, so here are our favorite albums and EPs of the month! We are doing a shortened version of our monthly picks in this post due to the holidays and small amount of releases. Thank you! (In no particular order.) Want a Spotify playlist? Click here!

  • Pacific Radio – Pretty, but Killing Me

Cut-loose indie rock with overflowing energy. Standout tracks include “Camaro,” “Katie,” and “Tight Jeans.” Pretty, but Killing Me is for fans of The Noise FM, Catfish & the Bottlemen, and Grouplove. Click here to listen.

  • Keep It Quiet – Lonely Weather

Poignant, hard-hitting rock with infectious riffs. Standout tracks include “Black & Blue,” “Too Far Away from Me,” and “Screaming With No Sound.” Lonely Weather is for fans of Under Fire, Sum 41, and A Day to Remember. Click here to listen.

  • So Soon, the Truth – Familiar Violence

Emotional rock with seasoned musicianship and well-crafted songwriting. Standout tracks include “Exit Wounds,” “Separation Anxiety,” and “Perfect Star.” Familiar Violence is for fans of Stolas, Too Close to Touch, and Hail the Sun. Click here to listen.

Extended Plays
  • Eat Your Heart Out – Mind Games

Standout tracks include “Conscience (feat. Patrick Miranda),” “Better Late Than Never,” and “Cellophane.” Mind Games is for fans of Sincerely, Me, Knuckle Puck, and Man Overboard. Click here to listen.

  • The Oh Hellos – Notos

Standout tracks include covers of “Torches,” “On the Mountain Tall,” and “Constellations.” Notos is for fans of Twin Forks, Drew Holcomb, and Great Lake Swimmers. Click here to listen.

  • Forget Your Friends – Spells.

Standout tracks include “Comfortably Uncomfortable” and “California Gloom.” Spells. is for fans of Eat Your Heart Out, The White Noise, and Greywind. Click here to listen.

  • Bootstraps – To Each His Own

Standout tracks include “Younger and “Dyed in the Wool.” To Each His Own is for fans of EDEN, The xx, and LANY. Click here to listen.


  • The Dear Hunter – All Is As All Should Be

Standout tracks include “The Right Wrong,” “Shake Me (Awake),” and “Blame Paradise.” All Is As All Should Be is for fans of Coheed & Cambria, Forgive Durden, and Circa Survive. Click here to listen.


Featured Singles
  • Guide Dog – “Egos With Genitals”

“Egos With Genitals” is for fans of Glass Towers, Car Seat Headrest, and Remo Drive. Click here to listen.

  • The Tates – “Water”

“Water” is for fans of COIN, Scavenger Hunt, and Walk the Moon. Click here to listen.

  • Bedroom Talk – “Complacent”/”Worried”

“Letters to Our Former Selves” is for fans of The Story So Far, Knuckle Puck, and Sleep On It. Click here to listen.

  • ARGRPH – “Llosgi Me”/”Llawn”

“Llosgi Me”/”Llawn” is for fans of Yellow Ostrich, Half Moon Run, and Local Natives. Click here to listen.


Let us know what you think of December’s releases down in the comments below!

“Worst” Albums of 2017

2017 offered up some amazing albums (click here to check out our best albums list), but the year also regurgitated some less-than-stellar releases. While we have no definitive list for the “worst” albums, we do have a handful of picks for the most disappointing and most overrated full-lengths. As always, this is just my personal opinion, and keep in mind that theses lists are in no exact, particular order since my views fluctuate relatively frequently.

Most Disappointing Albums of 2017

These artists have set some pretty high standards with their past discographies, but their albums unleashed in 2017 did not live up to those expectations. These albums are not necessarily terrible by any means but are simply underwhelming compared to the artists’ earlier releases.

8. Ultralife by Oh Wonder

Alt-electropop singer/songwriters Oh Wonder’s self-titled debut in 2015 was atmospheric, stirring, and entertaining. It put them on the map as an up-and-coming indie pop act, but Ultralife failed to pack the same punch with its forgettable melodies and poor, overcrowded production quality.

7. Gossip by Sleeping With Sirens

Sleeping With Sirens loosely maintains their rock edge for certain tracks on Gossip but just ever so slightly. A vast departure from their previous efforts, Gossip loses everything that gave the band their “melodic hardcore” or even “rock” label … and credibility in the scene. I don’t even know if “pop rock” is remotely suitable here; it’s pop, I think. It’s something.

6. Something to Tell You by HAIM

2014’s Days Are Gone delivered energy, vibrancy, and angst, proving that HAIM was a promising newcomer in the alternative pop scene. With their ’80s throwback sound and youthful attitude, we expected their follow-up to be even better, something more mature and expansive. But Something to Tell You didn’t really leave us with much to say after all. The emotion and sonic gusto felt muted, to say the least, and nothing kept me coming back to this album, which was frankly a let-down.

5. Going Grey by The Front Bottoms

Going Grey marks a change of pace for The Front Bottoms, signifying a tonal shift to a more colorful array of electronic tinges throughout their indie pop rock blend. Still retaining their organic instrumentation, The Front Bottoms crafts a savory kaleidoscope of sounds begging for repeated listens. … However, I just wasn’t truly impressed. After a couple spins, none of the melodies or lyrics really stuck with me. The sound didn’t work for me after going back and listening to their earlier releases, and I’m ultimately disappointed by Going Grey. Seems as if Fueled By Ramen is attempting to transform another rough-around-the-edges band into a more pop-friendly act, and I’m honestly not here for it.

4. Evolve by Imagine Dragons

Imagine Dragons burst onto the alternative pop scene in 2012 with their debut LP Night Visions. It scored them multiple hits and also big points with me personally. (“Selene,” “Amsterdam,” “Hear Me,” “The River,” all amazing, timeless songs.) 2015’s Smoke + Mirrors put them on rocky ground among critics, including myself, but most let it slide as the almost inevitable sophomore slump. I didn’t have high hopes for Evolve upon listening to the singles, but I held out a little longer and wished for a return to form, a revival of the sincerity, passion, and exploration of Night Visions. But no. It’s an uninspired pop record. A big skip for me.

3. Pacific Daydream by Weezer

For me, Weezer has always been a hit-or-miss kind of band. One year they put out a fantastic album and then they put out a mediocre album the next. Their discography is like a checkerboard of alternating qualities, but after 2014’s exceptional Everything Will Be Alright In the End and 2016’s self-titled “white album,” I actually set my standards pretty high for Rivers & Co. Really, I can’t say I was immensely surprised that Pacific Daydream was relatively second-rate considering my past experiences with their other releases. (And the fact that I’ve never been one to favor yearly full-lengths.) Still, I was expecting Weezer to keep up their positive winning streak and yet…

2. Last Young Renegade by All Time Low

Pop rock veterans All Time Low transition to a more electropop rock vibe for their seventh studio album Last Young Renegade. The band clutches on to their organic instrumentation for a number of tunes, but many are dazzled by synth-driven melodies and artificial beats. While there were some outstandingly redeeming songs on this record, Last Young Renegade overall is a weak, unoriginal outing for All Time Low. If this was a debut effort from a new band, I’d be pretty impressed and interested to hear more. But taking into account All Time Low’s history, this is a veritable misfire in their catalog.

1. ÷ by Ed Sheeran

From our full review of the album: “Ed is acclaimed for his diversified styles, from upbeat hip-hop to syrupy sweet love ballads to acoustic campfire singalongs. His earnest lyricism and authentic intimacy is one of the many reasons to love this amiable redhead. ÷ is a typical Ed Sheeran album, a mixture of those various approaches and then some. But unfortunately, ÷ plays it extremely safe in personality, although he does tiptoe outside of his comfort zone on a few moments. This is his most noticeably commercial record to date, which thus sacrifices risk-taking and is ultimately underwhelming. After 2014’s phenomenal ×, touring the planet, and taking a year off social media, we set the bar high for Ed. We expected something more personal, something introspective and astonishing, but ÷ really does not meet those standards. It’s the same-old-same-old but yet not as stunning and gripping as his earlier material. Of course, ÷ is alright; it’s not a terrible release by any means, but it certainly is disappointing in multiple categories.” Continue reading the review here.

Most Overrated Albums of 2017

Before we finally delve into what I think are the most overrated albums of 2017, let’s discuss what it takes to make this list. For me, a record must have garnered positive ratings or mainstream attention when it was not entirely deserved. These LPs have some decent songs sprinkled throughout (well, some of them do) but the quality of the albums as complete works is overall weak and contradictory to mass reviews or public perception.

4. hopeless fountain kingdom by Halsey

Is this even alternative? Halsey’s edginess and blatant desire to make some kind of, um, statement has always crept on my nerves a bit, but at least I could enjoy a few moments throughout 2015’s Badlands, like “Castle,” “Drive,” and even bigger hits like “Hold Me Down” and “Colors.” But hopeless fountain kingdom aims to be a Romeo & Juliet-influenced concept album with all the edgy, modern-day melodrama. Her vocal delivery sounds like a poor man’s Ellie Goulding impression, and the atmospheric production seems so overblown. It’s a cringe-worthy record, but yet it seems to be faring pretty well in the “alt”-pop circle.

3. Evolve by Imagine Dragons

Imagine Dragons utilizes their knack for creating bombastic, robust tunes with pounding percussion and over-the-top energy like on “Believer,” which was the prevailing lead single for their third album Evolve. While this track isn’t terrible, it does grow to be quite grating after multiple listens. “Thunder,” the other big hit, is artlessly annoying between its pitch-shifting and lyrical repetition. The clumsy experimentation on Evolve causes it to fall flat on its face and conjures a feeling of disjointedness throughout the record.

2. The Click by AJR

I mean, this album isn’t too overrated considering most critics perceive it to be infernal excrement and it didn’t seem to be a popular success, but yet, AJR fans will fiercely defend The Click as some of their best material to date. The Click, the sophomore effort from those guys who somehow incorporated a SpongeBob sample in their biggest single in 2014, is a mixed bag of electronic “indie” pop music and God knows what. Supposedly (messily) drawing influences from Jon Bellion and fun., AJR tries to be experimental and fresh but The Click really just doesn’t click. The lyrics are mediocre and at times childish and the production sounds like it was done in their living room. Oh, wait. It was. I’m not against that DIY, homemade attitude, but God, couldn’t it have been executed better than this? (Especially on that Warner Brothers budget.) I will give them credit where it is due; I did find myself getting some of the more enjoyable melodies stuck in my head. But when the best thing I can say about an album is, “Well, some of the hooks were nice,” does it really deserve to be espoused as a masterpiece? (Also, those high-pitched vocal harmonies sound like a bunch of crooning cats in an alleyway.)

1. ÷ by Ed Sheeran

(Read my full review of ÷ before you decide to tear me apart for this.) Listen, I’m not saying Ed doesn’t deserve his success. He’s crafted a very accessible, easily listenable, pop-oriented record, arguably his most commercial outing to date. He’s scored big #1 hits from ÷ and all of the tracks charted in one way or another. But I think that coupled with my personal disappointment is why I find ÷ to be overrated. “Shape of You” and “Perfect,” the two prominent chart-toppers, are some of my least favorite tracks on the full-length. While most critics are predominantly lukewarm on ÷, a major portion of Ed’s fanbase touts this record as his magnum opus. For me, I always enjoyed Ed at his most vulnerable and authentic. I adored cuts like “The Man,” “Nina,” “Runaway,” and “Afire Love” from his antecedent × largely due to their intimacy and personal subject matters. They felt like pages from his diary, snapshots of his deepest thoughts and experiences. However, those songs were unfortunately overlooked by mainstream casual listeners, and Ed even regrets including “The Man” on × because it was “too personal.” So I can’t say I was exceedingly shocked to realize that ÷ was brashly insincere, disingenuous, and slanted for a more pop-desiring, widespread audience. So yeah, I guess Ed accomplished what he loosely set out to do: take over the charts and earn some monstrous radio hits, sell millions of copies, and capture that general audience. But from an artistic standpoint, ÷ is hugely underwhelming and frankly overrated. I’m not saying Ed “sold out,” but he really didn’t hit the mark concerning the true quality and potential of his songwriting, especially in comparison to his previous releases.

Keep in mind this is all my personal opinion. Let us know your most disappointing or overrated albums of the year down in the comments below!