Drowned in Sound's albums of the year 2017 - commentary and conjecture

Hand Habits - Wildly Idle (Humble Before The Void)
Oh Sees - Orc

Hand Habits is a beauty. Oh Sees is a beautiful beast.

That’s the royal ‘our’ :wink:

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“Our”. Yup. But again, it’s good that the discourse is happening now, even IF it’s after the fact.

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Interesting to see Julie Byrne’s album coming up. I really love a couple of tracks on the record but the album itself doesn’t seem to engage with me. Will give it another go.

Musical 2017, I meant of course. Heck I’m looking ahead already.

Wolf Alice is also Dom Gourlay’s album of the year and Derek our features editor loves it too. So this isn’t just my list or else Paramore would probably be number 1.

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Happy to say it’s one of my favourites albums of the year (although I did prefer their debut).

Of my other faves there hasn’t been a clear AOTY standout, I wouldn’t consider any of them 10/10s - The National, Protomartyr, Phoebe Bridgers, Lana Del Rey, Japandroids, Marika Hackman, Alvvays. Not including those that my label has released as obviously I’m inclined to think they shit on everything else.

2017 has kind of felt like a year of disappointments - The Cribs, Ryan Adams, Paramore, QOTSA, Arcade Fire, Cloud Nothings, Los Campesinos, The Horrors all not quite hitting their mark.

But why didn’t you say that from the outset? I have absolutely no qualms with an Editor’s list. Neither with Wolf Alice being number one, for that matter, even if I don’t like that album.

no love for Hannah Peel’s ‘Mary Casio: Journey to Cassiopeia’? It’s utterly joyous. Analogue synths backed with a brass band. Wonderful.

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That one made it in actually.

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There has been discourse. There was to-froing with editors. There were predictions. There were monthly polls. There was looking at our best reviews. There has been discourse all year on the forums. I have tried to act as a human filter for all of this discussion and spent the time listening to and revisiting hundreds of albums. I think maybe I should do my personal Top 20 to show how different (and similar) it is to this list.

This that’s a whole lot better explanation than the whole ‘dictator’ narrative. Makes it sound like it’s your personal list, which apparently isn’t the case. I think you can clear up a lot of misunderstandings if you just said this in the article itself.

WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST SAY SO YOU DORK playful elbow to the ribs

Given your musical leanings, I’m really surprised this didn’t click for you. Obvs that’s find if it doesn’t, but it’s possibly top 10 of the decade for me so I’d definitely recommend diving back in.

Anyway, this eliminates about 90%, if not more, of my previous criticism.

I haven’t noticed any explicit male-bias in DiS. I would agree that a majority of the standouts this year have been female artists (Jesca Hoop, Julie Byrne, Jane Weaver, Julien Baker). Basically any woman whose name begins with a J. OK, on that basis, I am clearly alphabetist.


No Julien Baker? That’s quite surprising.

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I agree totally - after Moaning Lisa Smile (still their best in my view) I was very underwhelmed by their debut, and they certainly fall well outside what most people on the rolling shoegaze thread would class as shoegaze. TBH, that tag is getting thrown around so many records now (Kelly Lee Owens?) that it’s entirely misrepresenting a fairly limited genre in terms of sound. I am going to give the new one a listen anyway.

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It’s not by any means a perfect list IMO, but if it’s accumulated with the best of intent, a valid one at least. So there you go. There’s a lot to like in there too, as previous said by other posters.

Few big omissions for me…

Have to add my voice for Julie Byrne. Quite enjoyed it when it was 1st released at the start of the year, but didn’t really connect with it until the past couple of months. Maybe it’s a great autumnal record. Undoubtedly in my top 5.

Work by Nick Hoppner has been one of my most played records this year, outstanding stuff.

AZD by Actress - yet another excellent album to add to his canon

Hot Thoughts by Spoon - not their best album, but a really enjoyable indie rock album none the less. Is the Arcade Fire album better than this?

Gargoyle by Mark Lanegan - Again, not his strongest work, but it’s still a very fine album & has gone ridiculously under the radar.

The War On Drugs at 96… Really? I know they’re not everyone’s cup of tea on here but that album is a top 10 for me & I can’t wait to see them live again next summer.

Oh and the Godspeed album should be listed too.

Otherwise… lots of great stuff on the list (like every year)
I don’t get Wolf Alice, but that’s okay.

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Shit, I hadn’t noticed Julie Byrne was missing - expect to see it in the top 20 users’ poll (if not top 10), loads of people on here like it.