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



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


That one made it in actually.


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.


oh yeah, totally understand (it was yer man wonton who suggested it would be disrespectful etc). it’s not for everyone, and I can imagine it being far too much in your circumstances.

I mean, the thing is, Phil pretty much admits that going through this kind of thing for real makes music, art, etc, seem dumb. and you know if this wasn’t his grieving process, he wouldn’t listen back. some of the songs he can’t even play live because it’s too much.

so… yeah.


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.


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.


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.


Top 10 for me - would advise checking out Bola and Onsy which are my other fave techno albums this year.


No love for Fleet Foxes either? Thought it was a great record, certainly worthy of top 100 at least!


Yeah I’m quite surprised by this one too. Didn’t expect it to be high up, but in there at least (AT LEAST OVER ARCADE FIRE)


My only comment is;

SZA - CTRL should be WAY higher, like maybe #1


Katy Perry made the top half, but poor old METZ, Converge, Oh Sees, Tyler the Creator and Los Campesinos! didn’t get a look-in


I’m happier with it being a Sean-orientated list than the horrible passive aggressive slugging matches of ages past when it was all like ‘that is a faaaaaaaarking number one over my dead body’ and we ended up grumpily choosing everybody’s tenth favourite as a grudging compromise.

I think there is some idea that the list will end up getting revised, which is an interesting idea that I haven’t quite got my head around how it’ll play out.

I think if I did have a quibble it’s that I’m generally a bit iffy about lists of 100, it just seems a bit much, and perhaps suggests of an all encompassing, comprehensive nature that a top 20 or 50 wouldn’t. I mean my main job is reviewing plays and the idea of listing your top 100 plays of a year sounds like madness.


Lists aside, the most fun I had reviewing this year were the (pretty crap) Katy Perry album, and the (stellar) Soulwax one. Interesting to see them both on the list, but can see why people would disagree with my two pence worth.