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



Have you listened to Orb’s album ‘Naturality’? From the same stable as the Gizz

Also worth checking out the Buried Feather album from this year, another Melbourne fuzz psych band


i haven’t, i must check those out! there was a Bandcamp Daily feature recently about other Australian psych that i think i have bookmarked to dive into, as well as a Spanish one the other day.


I am surprised not to see Big Fish Theory on this list.

It was a Recommended Record on DiS receiving 9/10. DiS’s own Christopher T. Sharp proclaimed: “Because, in short, Big Fish Theory is the album of 2017.”

It is a quite brilliant album full of witty lyrics and tight production. Vince Staples is doing something different to lots of other Hip Hop artists and I love it. His UK underground dance music inspired production particularly appeals to me and is a very refreshing change from the identikit production on lots of US mainstream Hip Hop. This album should really be in the top 20 of this list.


Big fan of the top 10, good work.

My favourite album of the year is probably the Laura Marling album. Bought it on a whim in the spring and just played it over and over and over. Took me by surprise how much I liked it, it’s clever and funny and tuneful and angry; one of those records you’re happy just to start all over again once it’s finished. Not sure there are any indie points on offer in making Laura Marling your album of the year, but I can live with that.

Other favourites were Lorde, Jane Weaver, Kelela, Courtney Barnett and Alex Lahey


Well, none of my probable top 10 are here, but always interesting to see what you’re digging, @sean

FWIW, Everything Everything should be number 1. It’s a soundtrack for the times, as noted by the glowing DiS review. Also surprised to see Julie Byrne outside the top 100 given the love she’s been getting on here.


Does everybody hate the Japandroids album now? I love it. It stays on the right side of the line between big dumb passionate fun and embarrassing cheese in the same way a Springsteen show does, and makes me want to jump up and down and shout all the words.


This poll just keeps on giving


If I can briefly indulge in BUT WHAT ABOUT THIS ALBUM I LIKED-ery, while it’s cool to see so many female artists it’s a shame Waxahatchee isn’t one of them, that album was really great


Why is the top 10 exclusively white? I don’t buy or one second that the best 10 albums were made by caucasian artists.


Wolf Alice’s debut album was nowhere near as good as their early EPs either. The remixed version of Bros is really weak compared to the original.

I think only KLO from the full list would be in my personal top 20 (if I could be bothered to do one) but I don’t think I’m representative of yer average indie fan these days. I’d take part in a vote though.

EDIT Oh yeah, Laura Marling would be on my list too…


Sean’s not claiming this at all. ‘Best’ implies a measure of objectivity. These are Sean’s favourites. He strikes me as someone who is very conscious of social issues, prejudice, and so on, so to call him out on this seems pretty unfair. I suspect it just reflects a lack of diversity in folks making genres he particularly likes. Of course, that probably speaks to some wider social justice issues, but these are just the records he loves. Give him a break!


Really nice explanation, thanks Incandenza.

The album’s take on cancer and death is just too raw for me unfortunately. With someone close fighting a terminal condition I spent a long time psyching myself up to give it a listen on the basis of the praise it was getting - made it three tracks in and had to give up. Not sure I could ever conceive revisiting it and listening to that amount of heartbreak in the words enough times for the musical side to reveal itself.

People want different things from music. At the moment I generally want to listen to records and watch films/tv series that are a little less direct, have some degree of escapism and are absorbing rather than harrowing. I don’t think it’s disrespectful to say that A Crow Looked At Me did nothing for you.


But he packages them as ‘Drowned In Sound’'s favorite. Drowned In Sound was built by Sean, yes, but Drowned In Sound is also a community. And I would’ve rather seen discourse beforehand than after the fact, and a result reflective of that discourse. But as an individual list, I have totally no gripes against it, I agree with most of his picks. But there are some glaring omissions too.

But to plaster the DiS name on top of it, doesn’t seem very principled nor reflective of the work/writing/research on the site that’s been done this past year. I respect Sean a lot, but I wish the AOYT-list was concocted by bit more measured. Or let’s say democratic. Then you can really own up to the result. Even if the writer admits being a dictator this one year, sure, that’s okay to try out. But I’m talking about a general sense of fairness.


Came here to whinge about the lack of Japandroids as well


You’re right about the community but there’s always a yearly user-best-of list, which will give a better diversity of views (though still very likely white male dominated of course …)


This year, rather than put out some democratically totted up list, I have embraced the era of the dictator

Think he’s being pretty up-front about it being more ‘his’ list.

If this is your issue, then that’s fine (I have no beef with it, personally), but don’t conflate that with a point about a lack of racial diversity in Sean’s top 10 - those are two very different points.


I don’t know tbh. Let’s say you concoct a list from all the contributor’s picks, and it turns out the final list is white straight male dominated, then it may not be the desired result, but at least that forces you to take an honest, hard and good look at yourself in the mirror. At least that’s fair. But frankly, I don’t believe that would be the case, especially being a writer here myself and having read most of the content this year. Generally speaking, the most impactful albums this year were done by artists who were neither white, straight or male. And the work we’ve done I think, backs that up for the most part.


Music is music It has no colour. Some music is good. Some music is bad. He listened to the music of 2017 and decided what were his top 10. If you listen to music and think about the colour of the person making it in order to compile a list you aren’t really basing that list on the music are you? Music is the only factor. End of.


You’re right, that IS my personal gripe. But it wouldn’t have been if it was Sean Adams’s list and not Drowned In Sound’s list. And again, it’s still HIS child and he has all the right to do things a certain way. But that course of action should also elicit some constructive critique from community members who feel connected to the Drowned In Sound-name in some meaningful way. I understand that completely as well.

It’s good to bring up discussion to who should make it in and who shouldn’t. I just want the AOTY to reflect some hard work in some shape of form as well, instead of just a single opinion putting the cherry on top. I guess I shouldn’t get too worked up about it. I can only say what I feel personally.


It does says its the Editors List though? I don’t disagree with everything you’re saying but I think it’s about as clearly Sean’s own list as it could be without it being published on a site totally separate from DiS