Best of 2017: The 10 best albums from Seattle this year

December 15, 2017

Ranking things is hard. Especially when you're talking about trying to pick from all the incredible music that came out of the Greater Seattle area this year. Don't even get me started on Portland because we don't have time for that. 

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Every time I sat down to write this list it changed, and if I wrote it tomorrow it would probably look different than today. In fact, I'm changing it again right now.

Here are the ten local releases that I just couldn't stop listening to this year at Locals Only

1. Cataldo - Keepers
From start to finish each song on Keepers is better than the last. The first time I heard this album I thought it was an indie pop masterpiece. All year long I just love it more and more. The storytelling in these songs is amazing. Songs like "Little Heartbeat" and "Photograph" will make you dance while songs like "Straight Up Western" and "America, Goodnight!" will make you nostalgic for those friends you got into all of that trouble with.

2. Perfume Genius - No Shape
After 2014's Too Bright it was unthinkable that Perfume Genius could go next level again. Then came No Shape. From the sonic explosions of "Slip Away" to the gorgeous drama of "Die 4 You" No Shape is perfect.

3. Dude York - Sincerely 
Let's set aside for a moment the fantastic holiday album Dude York just released (Halftime For The Holidays) and talk about how good Sincerely is. This album is full of anthems. I've put myself in danger more than a few times by taking my hands off the wheel and yelling "throw both of your hands up, you've just been maaaaaaade". Wait, was this my favorite album of the year?


4. David Bazan - Care
Yeah Yeah... He is bringing Pedro The Lion back. And yes, that Lo Tom album was really great. But before David Bazan did all that in 2017 he released his synth-driven instant classic, Care. When I got the email about Care I thought "but Blanco was just last year and he JUST released a Christmas album!" I'm so glad this guy doesn't require sleep.

5. Noah Gundersen - White Noise
It shouldn't be a surprise that when Noah Gundersen decided to make a rock album it turned out completely perfect. Gundersen gets heavy on the first single "The Sound" and then takes us through the gorgeous labyrinth that is "Cocaine Sex and Alcohol."

6. John Van Deusen - I Am Origami Part 1: The Infinite Sigh 
Pop magic and tear-jerking honesty. John Van Deusen is just getting started down his solo path and as good as The Infinite Sigh is (and obviously The Lonely Forest) I still think we've only seen a glimpse of what JVD has up his sleeve.

7. SISTERS - Wait, Don't Wait AND Drink Champagne
Did anyone have a better year than SISTERS? SISTERS released two fantastic albums this year. I was trying to decide which of these albums I liked more and I just couldn't come to an agreement with myself. So, both of them! 

8. Hobosexual - Monolith
Crank the volume and buckle up. Monolith is as good as it gets if you're looking for something heavy but also completely beautiful. This album sounds as big as anything you can get your hands on in the PNW and beyond.

9. Dave B - Pearl
Hip-hop at its finest. I just went all the way through Pearl about a week ago and was blown away by how obvious it is that Dave B in on deck for some very big things. If I had more time to live with this it would probably be a lot higher on the list.

10. J GRGRY - Gold Teeth + Glass Eyes
I don't know where the line is crossed between EP and LP. There are either no rules or they don't make sense to me. What I do know is that J GRGRY very clearly announced his arrival with nine great tracks on his Gold Teeth + Glass Eyes EP.

Steven's Favorite Local Song of 2017:

Chastity Belt - "Different Now" from I Used To Spend So Much Time Alone
This song hits me right in the feels in an almost different way every time I hear it. Everyone who hears this will probably get something different out of it. All of our lives are either currently or have recently been in some form of flux. Even when it's a good thing it can be really wild to realize that things changed while you weren't looking and you suddenly feel different, and maybe old.


The Best of The Rest
The reality of the list above is that those were just things I couldn't stop listening to or playing on Locals Only. But there were so many amazing local releases this year that I also loved and could have been on any "Top 10" list.

Here is a list of a ton of other great stuff that came out this year in no particular order:

Maldives - Mad Lives

Sundries - Do You Feel Safe

Pickwick - Love Joys

My Goodness - Scavengers

Great Grandpa - Plastic Cough

Shelby Earl - The Man Who Made Himself A Name

Eastern Souvenirs - Green Valleys 

Silver Torches - Let It Be A Dream

Werewolf Diskdrive - Werewolf Diskdrive

Spirit Award - Endless

Lo Tom - Lo Tom

Taylar Elizza Beth - Fresh Cut Flowers EP

Vince Mira - El Radio

Gibraltar - Let's Get Beautiful

Real Don Music - Dank Zappa EP

Fruite Juice - Eat Me

Lydia Ramsey - Bandita

Among Authors - I Am Become

Oliver Elf Army - Telescope EP

Bread & Butter - Bread & Butter

Soft Sleep - Endless Circles 

Maiah Manser - Second Skin EP

Acid Tongue - Babies

Fuzz Mutt - End Of All Time EP

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WATCH: Noah Gundersen plays a stripped-down, brand new song from White Noise on Locals Only