This one came very close to escaping me entirely. It isn't necessarily demanding, but it is pretty earwormy for such a quiet conteplative folk album. Earmarking it to give more listens to in 2018.
Best of 2017: 100-91
-100: Florist - If Blue Could Be Happiness
-99: All Them Witches - Sleeping Through The War
Stoner rock is a genre I largely avoided this year, but this is an undeniably fun headbanger of a ride that embraces it's psychedelic tendencies.
-98: The Districts - Popular Manipulations
I may not be the first to think this, but these guys offer a brand of dramatic rock/pop that I always associate with the Killers. This is maybe slightly artier, and a little less polished, but I think that might still be a compliment. Their last album was a mix of loud-quiet-loud dramatic turns, and they've relaxed on that a bit but maintained the same moodiness and dynamism.
-97: Beach Fossils - Somersault
A pretty tight, jangly set of chill pop songs that have just enough little flourishes to prevent from getting lost in the sea of jangly, chill pop bands out there right now.
-96: Grizzly Bear - Painted Ruins
This is an album of subtleties- nice chamber pop, interesting background flourish, evocative lyrics. It doesn't quite "go" anywhere, but if you have the focus you can get lost in it a bit.
-95: Phoebe Bridgers - Stranger in the Alps
This is a heart on your sleeve album that is sensitive and vulnerable without being too subdued and quiet. Love the cover of Mark Kozelek's "you missed my heart". Saw her open for War on Drugs, the songs take on even more vitality when performed live.
-94: Broken Social Scene - Hug of Thunder
The collective's latest effort is a cohesive one. At it's poppiest, reminiscent of recent albums by the New Pornographers, but to me the real strengths are in the quieter moments / open spaces.
-93: Your Old Droog - Packs
This is a throwback to the days of 90's NY hip-hop, with all of the trappings (including terrible skits). But it's also smooth, upbeat and head-noddable.
-92: James Elkington - Wintres Woma
This feels like a very British type of guitar album- a little sarcastic and dry, not going for the obvious big hooky moments and impressively sure of itself. No song truly stands out to me, but I do keep coming back to it trying to diagnose why I keep coming back to it.
-91: Quelle Chris - Being You is Great, I Wish I Could Be You More Often
This is a very unique type of indie rap album that doesn't fit a lot of preconceived subgenre. Obviously, that's a good thing and this is a fun and interesting listen. No killer earworms but it has a nice thread running through it.