As the year winds down, we’ve been asking some artists what their favorite albums of 2017 were, and here’s two more lists from two acts who come from ’90s emo. One is Racquet Club, the new Knapsack/Jealous Sound offshoot who released their great debut album this year. The other is from SNST, the new project of Chris Broach of Braid and Steve Znavor.
Racquet Club’s list was made by Bob Penn and Ian Smith, who included commentary and chose albums by Slowdive, Ride, Japandroids, Cloud Nothings, The National, The War On Drugs, and more.
Chris Broach and Steve Znavor’s list has some overlap with Racquet Club’s but also includes rap/pop like Kendrick Lamar, Calvin Harris, G-Eazy, and Charli XCX, classic rocker Roger Waters, and more.
See both lists, with videos and album streams from Racquet Club and SNST, below.
Racquet Club’s Top Albums of 2017
Slowdive – Slowdive
This record front to back is flawless. It’s a slow trot into a colorful and complex world much like Alice In Wonderland. Loved them from the start and love them more now! “Star Roving” is the gem; probably listened to this one over 100 times.
The War On Drugs – A Deeper Understanding
Another masterpiece front-to-back. As a kid I have always loved the ease that Tom Petty brought classic tunes by focusing on simplicity. This carries that ideal 100%. The guitar tones are really amazing – low in gain, but heavy in punch. The bass player in this band is so tasteful and creative. It’s probably on many peoples’ lists but well deserving.
Cloud Nothings – Life Without Sound
This band just gets better and better. The opening track holds so much grit and heart. I saw them a few years back and they filled the room with only the three of them. A+
Communions – Blue
This record kinda came out of the “blue” for me. Their last one was really good with elements of goth and shoegaze. However, on this one they have turned more to Brit-rock (with almost some Noel G. elements). Super catchy choruses.
Ryan Adams – Prisoner
It’s somewhat easy to mark your favorite album of the year when you instantly know what you’ve reached for the most in 2017. I’ve loved Mr. Adams from his early releases and this album definitely reminds me just how special Ryan can be. The songwriting is flawless and so is the musicianship throughout the record. He just seems to care about the spacing and overall construction of the songs and I really appreciate that. This album is undoubtedly a classic and I believe his best work to date.
Spoon – Hot Thoughts
This band is always incredible with super-tasty riffs and vocals. They got a little bit back into using noise and heavy reverb again. The whole record sounds like it was recorded in the red in the studio. Love.
Japandroids – Near To The Wild Heart of Life
Brian King is such a great guitar player – he doesn’t overplay, he just plays what’s needed. Well-crafted, big pop-rock songs that leave ya humming them for days!
The National – Sleep Well Beast
Well, it’s the fucking National…Should I say more?
Ride – Weather Diaries
Ride have always been one of my favorite and most influential artists. Nowhere blew my mind when I first heard it and is still amazing. I appreciate the maturation and development of this record. They tried new things that really worked. All the songs don’t punch the way they did in some of their previous records, but still happy to have them making good music.
LCD Soundsystem – American Dream
This record fucking rocks. Great live band with honest, pulsing songs.
SNST’s Top Albums of 2017
Kendrick Lamar – “DAMN.” (Chris Broach)
Calvin Harris – “Funk Wav Bounces Vol.1” (Chris Broach)
Roger Waters – “Is This the Life We Really Want?” (Steve Znavor)
G-Eazy – “The Beautiful & Damned” (Chris Broach)
Phoenix – “Ti Amo” (Steve Znavor)
Beck – “Colors” (Chris Broach)
The Killers – “Wonderful Wonderful” (Chris Broach)
LCD Soundsystem – “American Dream” (Steve Znavor)
Spoon – “Hot Thoughts” (Chris Broach)
Arcade Fire – “Everything Now” (Chris Broach)
Runner Up for 2017:
Charli XCX – “Number 1 Angel” (Chris Broach)