The contributors assigned for this list, fortunately, all have vastly different music tastes. Each writer was assigned to include two albums, as well as listen to the suggestions by other writers, and contribute accordingly. The result is a shared collective view of ten albums in 2017 that provide the most evocative, genuine, and interesting listening experiences. Due to the nature of the collaborative piece, albums are not ranked numerically. Each record is considered a number one, so to speak, and are presented alphabetically with the respective writer credited for their contribution. Here's to a new year that's louder than the last.
2017 was, in almost every way, a calendar year, that occurred. Things happened, which was cool. Some things did not happen, that was also fine. The things worth mentioning though, the important stuff; that stuff resides on your phones, tablets, and desktops. Because 2017, in addition to being another profound year for music streaming, was a great year for music in general. So many artists are stepping out of their comfort zones, hungrier than ever to produce evocative music often influenced by the sociopolitical struggles we've come to be immersed in these days. We here at Daily Lobo Music are big fans of lists, calenders, and innovative music, so we decided to all band together like a tag-team squad of transatlantic Captain Planet music junkies and document what releases made us laugh, cry, jam, mosh, scream, wonder, and go: "oh dang, yeah I like that" this year. Here is part one of our two part Best of 2017 series: the honorable mentions that didn't make it to the top 10.
As passionate as our local scene here in Albuquerque is, there aren't many bands that take the "less is more" philosophy to heart or, simply, a more chill approach to songwriting. And not as in a "slow-the-beat-down-during-the-bridge-clap-your-hands" kind of chill. More of like a cosmic intergalactic wave of stardust orbiting Alpha Centauri at the pace of your own soul's rhythm.. chill. Indie neo-soul trio Eugene is the closest thing to that daydream and they present themselves with wit and poise; an amalgamation of feverish melodies, slick licks, and lyrics that poetically illustrate the human experience. Filled to the brim with three musically-trained guitarists: - Emmanuel Catanzariti on lead, keys, and vocals: - Kendal Jones on bass - Marshall Broyles on drums The group re-adapted themselves to play whatever instrument was needed to realize a certain core sentiment. One that is, for the most part, channeled through Catanzariti's songwriting.
Deltron 3030 is a reaction of ingredients, the result that occurs when the environment is just suited for righteousness. A passionate multi-genre producer, a DJ that doesn’t sleep without a vinyl player, and a rapper may or may not have a use for inhaling. The boys teamed up and made something out of the ordinary, a space odyssey: easily one of the most definitive records in the past two decades. You can still feel the waves of their debut release from seventeen years ago, as it was the first science-fiction hip-hop effort ever, essentially one of the first concept albums in the genre at all.
The main issue with modern gaming culture resides within its connotation as a juvenile pastime for preteens who enjoy shooting each other online, ad infinitum, whipping vulgar language and racist slurs like a United States president-elect. To see past this rather horrible first impression of gaming is to see the most immersive artform in existence. That’s not an overstatement. The audience is being given the controls to fire-start monumental moments of visual art, music, writing, and filmmaking. A multimodal experience. If done correctly, gaming brings out the best in many forms of art and, in turn, is extraordinarily immersive. Good game design implies good music. It’s what accounts for those footsteps in the grass or the soft-humming of a spaceship’s engine in neutral. A dynamic world demands the appropriate amount of aural animation to define it, and some musicians have formed some unparalleled works of sound in the past few years.
Talk to any music fan about Radiohead, and chances are they will be familiar with OK Computer and Kid A, and possibly even Pablo Honey (strictly for its inclusion of “Creep”). They might even be a Radiohead obsessive, and will want to debate how the subtle nuances of “The National Anthem” make Thom Yorke the greatest musical genius to ever live; they probably even dream of drinking Thom’s tears as he performs in hopes that they may attain some of that genius. Personally, while I consider myself a music fanatic, something about Radiohead has always felt impenetrable. After hearing the near-universal acclaim this band receives, I am left befuddled as to why I am unable to feel the same way. I can barely tolerate beloved records such as Kid A and Hail to the Thief. These albums, known for their experimentation, seem to be totally lacking in any quality that could make a song enjoyable. It is for this reason that I am stunned by how much I love In Rainbows, which turns ten years old this year.
David Sugalski donned the pseudonym of “The Polish Ambassador” by mixing and scratching records together in his free time, one of which included a skit of two show hosts making fun of a fictional representation of the European diplomat. Since his start in Boulder back around 2007, Sugalski has gone on to release a wide array of funk, hip-hop, breakbeat, EDM and glitch, as well as form his own label, Jumpsuit Records — a reference to his snazzy work attire when dropping beats on stage. You may be familiar with his songs “Superpowers” and “Let the Rhythm Just”, both of which utilize powerful melodic hooks to decorate the sonic environment. The label is a force of nature in advocating the use of green energy, using their platform to form non-profits and raise awareness for all things sustainable.
There are a few things you need to know about hip-hop in 2017. Firstly, Texas-based self-proclaimed American boy band Brockhampton, led by openly gay rapper Kevin Abstract, have elegantly vanquished all rival artists from the scene. Brockhampton released their first full-fledged album Saturation earlier in June, and followed the record up with a sequel in August to critical and commercial acclaim. The collective has plans, allegedly, to release Saturation III in October: making it one of the most hyped records of the year; projecting to hoist up the Brockhampton flag over all of 2017. Secondly, Brockhampton announced Jennifer’s Tour: 23 stops across the mainland United States, with every single show selling out in a matter of days. This is the most important part. Brockhampton completely underestimated how popular they became after Saturation. Almost every venue was a bar, or small theater, or glorified living room, all of which were the catalyst for the most intimate, aggressive, passionate, overwhelming series of shows in the past decade.
Queens of the Stone Age were forged out of the eastern California desert sands almost two decades ago, and have been consistent in whipping up dust devils around rock-enthusiasts heads since the group's beginning. Guitarist/lead vocalist Josh Homme has spearheaded the band through various ups, downs, and line-up changes and despite the struggles, which includes almost dying in 2013, the man himself has given us the Queen's latest record, Villains, released last month on August 28th.
Adult Swim’s animated comedy series Rick and Morty made an appearance at the University of New Mexico and again at Meow Wolf in Santa Fe last week. Now that Adult Swim has rolled out the show’s third season, it’s catering further with the Rickmobile — a van shaped as Rick Sanchez, the show’s main character — and selling merchandise across the United States. When the Rickmobile stopped by the UNM SUB and Meow Wolf, New Mexico’s fanbase responded accordingly. Enthusiasts had the opportunity to snag promotional gear ranging from psychedelic apparel, featuring the titular characters, to Meeseeks toy boxes.