Locals Only: Best new albums of 2017 (so far)

June 29, 2017

Photo courtesy of Matador Records

We are already half way through 2017 there has been no shortage of fantastic local music released this year. It's been so good that if this were the year end list I would feel great about what we got out of 2017.

There are still a number of exciting local records due to be released this year from bands like Pickwick, Cumulus, The Hollers, Ruler and more. But for now, in an effort to celebrate all the great music we've already gotten this year, I wanted to pull it all together in one place. Here are 21 of my favorite local releases of 2017 (so far).

Hit play, then continue down and see why we love each of these new albums. 

Perfume Genius - No Shape
I've been waiting for this one since the day I saw the video for "Queen" from the last Perfume Genius album. This will be on "Best of" lists from all around the world. 

Cataldo - Keepers
So far, this is my favorite album of the year (not just local) and I don't see anybody bumping Cataldo from that #1 spot. I don't care how many months are left in 2017. From start to finish Keepers is full of perfect pop songs and the songwriting somehow gets better with every song. 

SISTERS - Drink Champagne
The first full length from SISTERS is full of radio-ready singles and is further proof that nobody is having more fun than Emily and Andrew.

My Goodness - Scavengers 
I didn't know there was still a step forward for My Goodness to take, but they did it with Scavengers. The title track is one of the best songs I've heard all year.

Bread & Butter - Bread & Butter
People have been telling me about Bread & Butter for a while now but they somehow still slid by me. Then I saw the video for their single "Desperation". Bread & Butter, you have my attention.

Maiah Manser - Second Skin EP
The debut EP from Maiah Manser has been long-awaited and it did not disappoint. Not even a little bit. These are some dark songs with massive, arresting vocals.

John Van Deusen - The Universal Sigh
Losing The Lonely Forest a few years ago was a bummer. But now here comes frontman John Van Deusen with a new solo record and apparently several more on the way. This is indie-pop perfection. 

J GRGRY - Gold Teeth + Glass Eyes
It's always great when you like the music a band or artist releases. But when you meet that artist and find out he's the sweetest human around it makes everything even better. Big things on the horizon for J GRGRY.

Fuzz Mutt - End Of All Time EP
What these guys are doing is impressive at any age, but for a bunch of high school kids this is just absurd. I'm expecting a deep Sound Off! run from these guys real soon. If Fuzz Mutt keeps this going they are undoubtedly the future of the Seattle rock scene.

Oliver Elf Army - Telescope EP
"Black Nikes" is a very rad and beautiful song. Wait, it's about a mass cult suicide? I'll unpack that while singing "all I wanted to do was to explore space with you" over and over and OVER.

Dude York - Sincerely 
My favorite Dude York song is "Tonight". No wait, it's "Black Jack". No.... it's "Love Is". Ok, it's definitely "Something In The Way". That's how good the new Dude York album is. For real though, "Tonight" might be my favorite local song of the year.

Chastity Belt - I Used To Spend So Much Time Alone
"Different Now" was the first single from the new Chastity Belt album, which it was pretty telling because that's how they sound. Different now. And it works so much.

David Bazan - Care
This man continues to just crank out amazing content. Blanco was one of my favorite albums released in 2016 and then early this year David Bazan gave us some beautiful and fun in Care. For his next trick, Bazan has a new band called Lo Tom and their debut single "Overboard" also happens to be incredible. Watch for that later this year.

Porter Ray - Watercolor
What Porter Ray is doing is really unlike anything that has come before him in the Seattle rap scene. On his Sub Pop debut, "Watercolor," Porter Ray shows off some of the most poetic storytelling around, and he sure has a story to tell.

Shelby Earl - The Man Who Made Himself A Name
The whole album is full of songwriting that is as interesting a story as the title suggests and Shelby's voice still sounds incredible.

Eastern Souvenirs - Green Valleys
Got a road trip through the city, the forest, the middle of nowhere? Green Valleys has got you covered. Is the late night chill session with all the homies at your house? Green Valleys HAS GOT YOU COVERED. This is a seriously beautiful album and I already can't wait to see what Brian Fisher does next.

The Maldives - Mad Lives
This release has been many years in the making and it was well worth the wait. Mad Lives is a masterpiece and "The Fight" is one of my favorite songs of the year.

LeavaThe Lovely Grind
Simon Nicol only needed two tracks on The Lovely Grind to make sure people are still talking about Leava. He played "Impressive Waste" live on Locals Only months ago and I knew something good was coming but the studio version is really exceptional.

Gibraltar - Let's Get Beautiful
At first listen I was like "this is a great rock record". The more you dig into their latest release the more you have to acknowledge the incredible range of Gibraltar. 

Soft Sleep - Endless Circles
This might be one of the more underrated albums to come out so far this year. Soft Sleep is as polished a project as you are going to find and their debut full length is dripping with proof.

Among Authors - I Am Become
From my first listen to their single "Imitation House" I fell in love with these dudes and their Explosions In The Sky vibes. This album from Among Authors really doesn't sound like anything else happening in Seattle right now.

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