The 10 Best albums of 2017

Mauro Giusti
4 min readJan 5, 2018

My friends and I always shared the best albums of the year with each other.

We have been doing this since the 90’s: we did not wanted to miss what the year had to offer… Back in the 90’s (and the 00’s) there were so many new records and artists that we could not cover them all.
A recommendation from your friends, the ones that drove with you for a hundred miles on a Tuesday night through the fog, just to see an obscure indie band with a total audience of fifty, was invaluable.

Over the years we used different means to communicate the list to each other. We made mix tapes with it, we wrote it down, we texted it, then we emailed it and now we are posting it on a Facebook group or on a WhatsApp chat.

When the list is done, I always listen to all the records they recommend — I know their tastes and what to expect, but I still find something I forgot or I did not listen with enough care, and I am always excited when the year ends so I can share my favorites back, with them.

This year, I decided to write it on Medium, so that it is engraved for posterity. Who knows, someone else might also find it interesting, or find some good music in my list, that can break through this wall of mediocrity that rock music is on these days.

Lost in the ether of all you can YouTube, rock music is trying to find an identity, a reason to be, a motivation to carry on, a rage to scream about.

Well, 2017 brought us many political events that can make a generation upset and the “youth” revolt. Well I hope this anger can produce some good music because I need some.

The UK reflected some of this: the coexistence of BrExit and new British artists cannot be a coincidence, and you will find some bands from the UK in my list (which would have been hard to find in the 90's).

So, from my Spotify playlist, here are, my favorite 10 albums of 2017:

#10 Cloud Nothings, Life Without Sound

The slanted, enchanted and clear sounds of a classic alt/emo album from Cleveland, OH make for a fresh spring day between the memory lanes of Pavement and Death Cab For Cutie.

#9 Ride, Weather Diaries / Slowdive, Slowdive

Did I mention bands from the UK from the 90's? Well Ride and Slowdive introduced me to the 90’s, they opened the decade right before the grunge took over. They must be missing the good music, like I am, and decided to gift us with these two pearls of melancholy.

#8 Mastodon, Emperor of Sand

A somehow accessible semi-math metal album from the Atlanta, GA veterans. Not a new band, but a solid record made with heart and sweat and a couple of surprising upbeat songs like Show Yourself.

#7 Afghan Whigs, In Spades

Well, what can I do, I can’t stay away from Greg Dulli’s voice and his band’s energy. Piano intro, classic indie rock, screaming your heart out for your love: that’s what it’s all about.

#6 Beaches, Second of Spring

God, thank you woman! Shoegazing from down under, they don’t give an actual … I support the sex parity in rock! Come on girls, show those wimpy boys how to do it!

#5 Then Comes Silence, Blood

Here the hopes are starting to get really high. Europe, please save US from mediocrity. Flanger effect to the max, rythm, dark voice: the children of Ministry and Sister’s of Mercy come to save us all, from Sweden. More, please!

#4 The War On Drugs, A Deeper Understanding

Sweet indie rock from the veteran Adam Granduciel’s band. Dreamy and mellow, will touch your heart like a child, and then you will feel all beaten up, and weak.

#3 IDLES, Brutalism

I am an anarchist? IDLES represent working class, dirty blue collars, from the UK. Punk like it is 1977, they don’t give a damn, and they will let you know. Mother..

#2 B Boys, Dada

Talking about people that don’t give a… They are B class, they play low-fi, they have a lot of fun doing it. A new hope for the US indie bands, together with like fellow Parquet Courts and Meatbodies, from Brooklyn.

#1 AUTOBAHN, The Moral Crossing

Mature, modern, bold, daring. A statement, built on the wings of 80’s electro-punk, 90’s Nirvana and Trail of Dead, 00’s Interpol’s Turn On the Bright Lights. I am ready for the 2010’s to finally take off, it’s about time. Thank you, Leeds UK.

And yes, you guessed it, ALL CAPS BANDS ARE A THING NOW.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Uniform, Wake in Fight
  • Spectres, Condition
  • The Black Angels, Death Song
  • Kane Strang, Two Hearts and No Brain
  • Ron Gallo, HEAVY META
  • Sextile, Albeit Living
  • Meatbodies, Alice