A year in the making. Of adding and subtracting, one song at a time. Of nudges, big and small, in one direction or the other. Here is my playlist concerning my favorite albums and songs of 2017.
A little elaboration: the first 101 songs are my picks for the best albums, in order. After that, after Beck's "Dear Life", the ranking stops and a mix of 2017 songs begins. From 102 to 222 or so you'll find singles as well as many songs from albums that did and didn't make the top 101. I tried to keep this whole thing limited to two songs per artist, but in a few occasions I couldn't help myself. Why did I stop at 101 and not find a spot for the Thurston Moore or Lee Renaldo album? I don't know. Why are only two of the three Moon Duo albums from this year on the list? And why is Occult Architecture Vol. 2 so much higher than Vol. 1? I don't know. At any rate, you'll still find around 150 artists on this playlist, and hopefully some of them will be exciting new discoveries for you. I'm sure there are some great ones that are missing simply because I wasn't aware or I just never found the time to sit with them. For that, I'm not going to apologize -- that's fodder for my What Did I Miss? playlist.
I'm not sure if it was a matter of having my antennae more intently attuned to the new releases every week this year or just a matter of timing, but it felt like 2017 was an especially strong year for new music. There are big stretches in this list that are essentially a tie, and picking one over an other feels pretty arbitrary, but I suppose that's why making such lists is rather nonsensical anyway. Some days the Jack Cooper album will sound better than Julie Byrne -- other days there's no beating "Sleepwalker", period. The real point here is that it's all good, and by December 31st I can finally stop messing with it and start a new playlist to futz with.