This year I spent some days running full speed towards music and some days running away. Many days it was both. I sure managed to make a lot of it.
I'm certain I'm forgetting about A LOT of new music I loved this year, but nevertheless, here's a list of songs and albums in no particular order. If I remember more, I'll update this post. Scroll to the bottom for a list of the music I had a hand in making. Here's to 2018 being a year of healing. It's possible, I think.
Circuit Des Yeux - Paper Bag
I haven’t heard the entire record yet, but this track is amazing.
JD McPherson - On the Lips
Killer song. A big songwriting leap forward for the young rockabilly fetishist. The rest of the album is occasionally very good too.
Beck - Dear Life
Beck’s occasionally embarrassing attempt to make a modern pop record is salvaged by this pretty piano thing. Dreams is also a legitimate banger. Hail Xenu.
A Savage - What Do I Do
The whole album is really good, but this song is a religion. One of my absolute favorite pieces of music of the year.
Perfume Genius - Just Like love
Perfume Genius - Slip Away
Two of the most gorgeous tracks made by anyone this year.
The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Resist Much Obey Little
The best track off the newest BJM record. You’re allowed to make as many albums as you want. Anton Newcombe keeps ‘em coming and occasionally strikes black gold.
Slowdive - Don’t Know Why
Slowdive - Sugar For The Pill
Two of the best songs they’ve ever done. I’m so glad to have them back. (The whole album is great, but I haven’t totally digested it yet).
Nine Inch Nails - The Background World
The decimation/fadeout on this track is one of the best musical moments of the year. Insane.
Morrissey - In Your Lap
Morrissey - I Bury The Living
Morrissey - Spent The Day In Bed
These three tracks are exactly like the man himself: beautiful, ridiculous, melodramatic, embarrassing, insightful, romantic, sad, stupid, puzzling.
Quicksand - Illuminant
Sounds exactly like what you’d hope a new, great Quicksand song might sound like. I am 15 again.
King Krule - Dum Surfer
I haven’t even begun to digest this entire record but this song is a masterpiece.
Skeletons on Vacation - Blast Chiller
What a song. Excellent EP released by the great label Pale Blue Records.
Diners - Dear Diane
If you don’t actively search for new music, you might miss a song that you will love for the rest of your life. I’m so glad I still dig deep.
Snoop Dogg - Swivel
This is my favorite hip hop track of 2017. I don’t know what to tell you.
Bjork - Arisen My Senses
The whole album is startlingly good, but I haven’t listened to it much because I keep playing this track over and over.
Famous Problems - Riot Reunion
This is my favorite song of 2017. It swept me up and took me away. It’s so hard to write a song like this. This band is made up of ex-members of The Butterflies of Love and I can’t wait for their full length LP in 2018.
Ariel Pink - Feels Like Heaven
Say what you want about the guy, but he knows how to do stuff like this.
Cough Cool - Tulips
Standout from the killer new album. Love these dudes.
Robert Plant - Bones of Saints
Plant’s solo career is full of overlooked gems. This is the best track on his great new record. Your opinion about him/Led Zeppelin is probably annoying. Just listen to the music.
Chad VanGaalen - Mind Hijacker’s Curse
Kind of funny how it takes all 14 Arcade Fire members to make a song like this and they still usually can’t make it work without embarrassing themselves. Chad plays every instrument on this perfect track.
Queens of the Stone Age - Villains of Circumstance
The new album is mostly a drag, but this is one of the best songs Homme has ever written.
Guided By Voices - Goodbye Note
Guided By Voices - Overloaded
Guided By Voices - Circus Day Holdout
GBV had plenty of bangers this year. No surprise there. Two of these classics were written by someone other than Bob Pollard which is just so cool that they are going through a super-collaborative phase. Long live GBV. August By Cake is a good record. Bob’s 100th, in fact.
Cairo gang - Untouchable
Another classic rock/jangly beauty from one of the most underrated bands in the world.
Elliott Sharp - The Hidden Variable
Great pieces for prepared acoustic guitar. Compelling and really far-out.
Tongue Depressor - Null Set
Duo violin abuse by visionary bassist Zach Rowden and composer Henry Birdsey.
Skullflower - The Spirals of Great Harm
When I think about the horror of this year/this “presidency,” this “culture,” this world in 2017, I think about this album. Brutal, austere, nihilistic, painful.
The War on Drugs - A Deeper Understanding
The Furors - Psychozoic
The Furors are absolute legends in New Haven and in many ways encapsulate what the New Haven music scene is all about: hard working, stubborn, funny, virtuosic, bizarre, self-sufficient, welcoming.
The Magnetic Fields - 50 Song Memoir
The batting average is high on this massive collection by one of our best songwriters. The highs aren’t as high as they are on 69 Love Songs, but the lows aren’t nearly as low. The highlights are BRILLIANT:
They’re Killing Children Over There
Have You Seen It In The Snow
Be True To Your Bar
Ghosts of the Marathon Dancers
Foxx and I
Lee Noble - The Hell of You Come In
Beautiful and mysterious album that should be treasured and revisited monthly for the rest for your life.
Kelly Moran - Bloodroot
Brilliant compositions for prepared piano.
Godflesh - Post Self
As good as anything they’ve ever done. Crushing and unforgiving.
Rostam - Half-Light
Really lovely sounding record with surprising and new production techniques. It’s now obvious what made the last Vampire Weekend record sound so visionary: Rostam. There’s not a whole lot in the way of songs on this record, but the sounds make up for it. Really engaging stuff.
Alan Vega - IT
Seems like everyone slept on this fantastic final statement by Alan Vega. An important record. Thank you, Alan.
Colleen - A flame my love, a frequency
Just gorgeous and austere. Really special and beautiful synthesizer and voice pieces. Fine art.
Bill Orcutt (self-titled)
One of the best solo guitar albums ever made and the finest moment in Bill’s long, beautiful career. Hero.
Mark Lanegan - Gargoyle
It was time for him to make a solid record. Lot’s of great tunes on this album, which is his finest since 2004’s Bubblegum. Godspeed, Lanegan.
Bob Dylan - Triplicate
If you don’t like it, don’t listen to it. If you think you know what Bob Dylan should or shouldn’t be doing at this point, please stop. Enjoy the ride. It’s almost over.
Lawrence English - Cruel Optimism
I still don’t know what to make of this album, but it scares me, and it’s really hard to scare me.
David B. Applegate - The apparatus, the apparatus
Magnificent, malfunctioning music by the maestro.
Gunn-Truscinski Duo - Bay Head
Solid as hell guitar/drum explorations.
Ben Frost - Threshold of Faith
Brutal and arresting. Still wrapping my mind around this EP.
Things I made: