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!

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Best Albums of 2017

2017. What a year. The time has now come to evaluate the releases of the past twelve months and pick the cream of the crop. While this year did not offer a large amount of truly amazing records, the few that did catch my attention are undeniably stellar albums. So let’s jump into it. Like last year, when it comes to year-end lists, I tend to be a bit more personal, relaxed, and interject my opinion more honestly, so strap in. (Keep in mind that these lists are in no exact, particular order since my views fluctuate relatively frequently.)

Honorable Mentions

Before we dive into the top full-lengths of 2017, let’s survey some honorable mentions, some albums that came close and yet so far.

10. Synesthesia by Courage My Love

Courage My Love expertly pulls off a stark stylistic shift on Synesthesia, transitioning from gutsy hard rock to synth-dazzled pop rock. The catchy hooks and smooth vocals stick the landing and make this album consistently replayable.

9. Good Nature by Turnover

Another change in sonic attitude, Turnover’s daydreamy record Good Nature showcases the band treading new territory into a hypnotically mellow trance. Sweet, heartfelt lyricism and liquidy guitar timbre gives this LP its undeniable charm and allure.

8. Okay. by As It Is

The album title doesn’t accurately describe this record since Okay. is more than just okay. This addicting slice of pop punk displays As It Is developing as songwriters and musicians exploring different styles and subject matters. (And Patty Walters’s vocals certainly improved.)

7. Broken Machine by Nothing But Thieves

Nothing But Thieves strikes yet again with the thunderous Broken Machine. Between soaring vocal performances from frontman Conor Mason and heavy-hitting guitars, Broken Machine is a phenomenal rock record for 2017.

6. LANY by LANY

The glistening synths, erratic guitar flares, and earnest libretto causes LANY’s self-titled debut full-length to instantly deserve repeated spins. With inspiration from the ’80s and a modern knack for relatable lyrics, this album will appeal to just about everybody.

5. Eternity, In Your Arms by Creeper

Creeper’s theatrical songwriting and dark rock demeanor gives their debut album a stage-filling presence and moody atmosphere. Their dramatic character and instrumental sensibility makes Eternity, In Your Arms nothing less than fascinating and enjoyable.

4. What If Nothing by Walk the Moon

While Walk the Moon’s self-titled album is still their best in my eyes, What If Nothing combines the glittery ’80s-esque vibes of its predecessor and the curiosity and wide-eyed wonder of the band’s debut, making for a well-rounded and ever-interesting listen.

3. As You Please by Citizen

Emo revivalists Citizen recrudesce with their third full-length titled As You PleaseAs You Please is nothing short of expressive and cultivated through heartfelt lyrics, enticing vocal delivery, and poignant melodies, demanding you to listen again and again to catch every detail.

2. Adornment by Grayscale

Grayscale’s sophomore full-length Adornment testifies to the band’s engaging songwriting and stellar musicianship. With animated choruses and tireless libretto, Adornment doesn’t need to be adorned with enhancements—it’s already amazing.

1. Turn Out the Lights by Julien Baker

Emotional lyricism and morose melodies define Julien Baker’s second studio effort named Turn Out the Lights, displaying the solo performer examining new instrumental territories within a more piano-driven realm. It’s eerie, emotive, and undoubtedly memorable.

Best Albums of 2017

Before we finally delve into what I think are the absolute best albums of 2017, let’s discuss what it takes to make this list. For me, a record must be consistently replayable, rarely ever trite or stale after every listen. I should be able to look through the track-listing and enjoy (or, well, at least admire) every song present. With all that being said, 2017 didn’t produce a ton of best-worthy albums for me personally, so here’s my somewhat short list.

6. Feel Something by Movements

Movements’ debut album Feel Something will certainly make you feel something. This long-player hurts in the best way possible. As the artwork implies, Feel Something is haunting, dark, and raw, destined to keep your head spinning for hours to come when the closer ends.

5. After the Party by The Menzingers

The Menzingers explore the struggles of growing up and maturing through vigorous alt-rock and spirited songwriting. Impassioned lyricism melds with musical brio to produce a delectable listen from start to finish bound to hit you right in the gut with its raw relatability and emotion.

4. Lovely Little Lonely by The Maine

Catchy hooks, slick guitar melodies, and earnest lyrics characterize The Maine’s sixth studio album, Lovely Little Lonely. The band offers up some of their best material to date and tiptoes outside of their comfort zone on multiple tunes blanketed with atmosphere.

3. Harry Styles by Harry Styles

I never thought I would be writing about Harry Styles on an alternative music website but here we are. Styles delivers his debut solo album with grandiosity and charm. From thunderous, rocking choruses to calm, sincere acoustic serenades, Styles proves he’s more than just a typical (former) boy band member.

2. Melodrama by Lorde

Four years after her groundbreaking debut album, Lorde returns more lyrically mature and musically expansive than ever. Youthful yet mellow, Melodrama doesn’t hold back its emotions. Between songs of break-ups, struggles in the industry, and friendly endeavors, Lorde has certainly grown, and this record was well worth the wait.

1. After Laughter by Paramore

Irresistible melodies, smooth guitar riffs, and heartfelt lyrics define Paramore’s fifth studio album titled After Laughter. The band leans into a colorful new sound gilded by the ’80s and pop sensibility, continuing to push the envelope of their musical range and variation. This album never grows stale with each song offering up something fresh while still maintaining its throwback attitude.

Keep in mind this is all entirely my personal opinion. Let us know your favorite albums of the year down in the comments below!

January 2017 Alt Col Picks

janpicks

A bunch of great albums appeared in January, so here are our favorite releases of the month! (In no particular order.)

  • As It Is – Okay.

As It Is expertly avoids a sophomore slump with Okay., a pop punk album that evidently displays the band’s maturation and improvement in lyricism, musicianship, and vocal delivery. Patty Walters has toned down the nasal aspect of his voice, and guitarist Ben Biss also contributes some stellar vocals throughout the record. Standout tracks include the singles, “Hey Rachel,” “Soap,” and “Until I Return.” Okay. will appeal to fans of State Champs, Real Friends, and Neck Deep.

  • Starset – Vessels

The galactic, cinematic style of Starset is expanded upon in their second full-length, Vessels. The four-piece efficiently blends rock, electronic, and orchestral inflections to create an interstellar masterpiece that transports listeners out of this world. Vessels is mesmerizing and captivating and reaches for the stars. Standout tracks include “Monster,” “Satellite,” and “Die For You.” Vessels is sure to attract followers of Crown the Empire, Falling In Reverse, and Red.

  • Dryjacket – For Posterity

Dryjacket’s first long-player For Posterity is a solid debut characterized by twinkling guitar melodies and energetic percussion with soaring brasswinds. It offers enough angst to be labeled pop punk and enough eccentricity to be considered indie rock. Standout tracks include “Epi Pen Pals,” “Misused Adrenaline,” and “Two Toasters.” For Posterity will capture listeners of Driver Friendly, Glass Towers, and Bayside.

  • Colony House – Only the Lonely

Alt-rockers Colony House return for a smashing sophomore album that proves their musical prowess and lyrical aptitude. Only the Lonely provides danceable rock anthems and earnestly heartfelt ballads defined by amped-up guitars and boisterous drumming. Standout tracks include “Cannot Do This Alone,” “1234,” “You & I,” and “I Want It All.” Only the Lonely is sure to interest fans of Fatherson, Relient K, and Finish Ticket.

  • WSTR – Red, Green, or In Between

The debut full-length, Red, Green, or In Between, from WSTR (pronounced Waster) is sure to fit in the music library of any pop punk fan. While the similarities to other acts *cough* Neck Deep *cough* are painfully evident, WSTR does bring their own flavor to the classic formula and sound. Standout tracks include “Featherweight,” “Footprints,” and “Lonely Smiles.” Red, Green, or In Between will appeal to followers of Neck Deep, Face Value, and State Champs.

  • One Ok Rock – Ambitions

After touring with the wildly popular 5 Seconds of Summer, One Ok Rock, a Japanese rock band, has put out a fabulous LP outlined by elements of rock and ardent libretto. Ambitions implements fiery orchestral articulations and lofty vocals to craft a delightful rock album with plenty to offer. Standout tracks include “Take What You Want,” “Taking Off,” and “We Are.” Ambitions is bound to attract listeners of Sum 41, A Day to Remember, and Rise Against.

  • The xx – I See You

The xx return to craft their third ethereal indie pop record that melds euphoric production and a dark aesthetic together for one enjoyable listen. With nearly five years separating I See You from its predecessor Coexist, The xx have surely matured and reached a point of self-transcendence musically. Standout tracks include “Say Something Loving,” “I Dare You,” and “On Hold.” I See You will capture fans of Oh Wonder, Lorde, and Broods.

  • Deaf Havana – All These Countless Nights

Image result for deaf havana all these countless nights

Nostalgic songwriting and savory musicianship are highlighted on Deaf Havana’s latest long-player, All These Countless Nights. Catchy as hell melodies coupled with impassioned lyricism makes for an infectiously delectable record from start to finish. Standout tracks include “Trigger,” “Like a Ghost,” and “Ashes, Ashes.” All These Countless Nights is sure to satisfy followers of Mallory Knox, The Gaslight Anthem, and Lonely the Brave.

  • Palisades – Palisades

Palisades’s self-titled album proves the band has certainly matured and found an alluring balance in their musicality. The assertive style and atmospheric rock is embellished all throughout the record and underlined by the mix of clean vocals and vigorous screams. Standout tracks include “Let Down,” “Aggression,” and “Memories.” Palisades will surely entertain listeners of Issues, Crown the Empire, and Bring Me the Horizon.

  • Greywind – Afterthoughts

Enticing vocal performance and captivating choruses shape Afterthoughts, the audacious full-length debut by rock duo Greywind. Enchanting guitar refrains and luscious percussion show Greywind is here to make a name for themselves, and they’re off to a fantastic start with this refreshing debut. Standout tracks include “Afterthoughts,” “Forest Ablaze,” and “Car Spin.” Afterthoughts is bound to please fans of Fort Hope, Mallory Knox, and Hey Vanity.


Honorable Mentions
  • As Lions – Selfish Age

Standout tracks include “Aftermath,” “Deathless,” and “World On Fire.” For fans of I Prevail, Memphis May Fire, and Of Mice & Men.

  • Clouds Nothings – Life Without Sound

Standout tracks include “Modern Act,” “Enter Entirely,” and “Up to the Surface.” For fans of Wavves, Neon Indian, and Local Natives.

  • Foxygen – Hang

Standout tracks include “On Lankershim,” “Follow the Leader,” and “Avalon.” For fans of Real Estate, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and Woods.

  • Horse Thief – Trials & Truths

Standout tracks include “Another Youth,” “Empire,” and “Mountain Town.” For fans of Glass Oaks, Fossil Collective, Half Moon Run, and Gideon Grove.

  • Under Fire – Blackout (EP)

Standout tracks include “Blackout,” “Paralyzed,” and “Set Adrift,” but the whole EP is fantastic! For fans of State Champs, The Story So Far, and Knuckle Puck. Keep an eye on this band!

  • Bitter Thieves – Alluvium

Standout tracks include “Parade,” “Dissolution,” and “Lore.” For fans of … well. You’re just gonna have to check it out for yourself because Alluvium is really something else.

  • Gone Is Gone – Echolocation

Standout tracks include “Sentient,” “Dublin,” and “Echolocation.” For fans of Big Business, Deftones, and Redfang.


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