Chris DeFlitch disregards DAMN. for all the other hit records of the year (List Week 2017)
Favorite Records of the Year
5. Slaughter Beach, Dog - Birdie
The moniker for Jake Ewald (guitarist in Modern Baseball), Slaughter Beach, Dog continued on the “Philly DIY Path-to-Success”; Sign with Lame-O Records and release a purely introspective record. Since Ewald has been itching to mature out of MoBo’s college power-punk, SBD deserved higher fidelity in tandem. Birdie takes him through his usual 30th Street Station troubles and woes, of course, but on top of a sound fit for Amtrak rides home through the fields of westbound PA. Charmingly crooning through his usual “point-and-see” lyricism, Ewald’s signature hooks, expanded with the all-too-pleasant country-spritzed makes for nothing more than a record that makes you want to go home and hug your parents as much as it makes you want to move into a 4-roomer on Walnut. I sure hope this record gets the band the Pitchfork Festival spot it deserves.
Favorite Tracks: "Gold and Green", "Acolyte", "Shape I Know"
4. Mac DeMarco - This Old Dog
The Mac Daddy himself is back, baby. One of the records I was most anxious about hearing this year, it took a while to grow on me. At first, the acoustic-accentuated sound made me miss the good ol’ Mac days of trippy synths and bolder instrumentation. Interestingly enough, after being lucky enough to see him live in September, I realized something: this is his live record. The lack of modification to his instrumentation shined through on the stage, allowing Mac and the Gang dance around the basic phrase. Furthermore, this is Mac at his most transparent, finally tackling his Dad’s abandonment and subsequent childhood, thrown in with his usual lovesick ballads. Put this record on, do something illegal, and enjoy.
Favorite Tracks: "One More Love Song", "Moonlight on the River", "On The Level"
3. Super American - Disposable
Holy early-2000s this is a great record. Birthed from Buffalo, Matt and Pat’s debut 7-tracker on Take This to Heart Records flew under my radar until early November. Luckily for me, their nostalgic power-pop (that wouldn’t be totally out of place on the Disney’s Extreme Skate Adventure soundtrack) caught my ear. Hooks-a-plenty fill the record, as the duo makes sweeping observations of hindsight, lamenting and trying to collect the broken pieces of millennial love. The broadness of the boys’ grievances is wide-spread, yet somehow hits so close to home. So thanks for making me regret breaking up with my ex, guys.
Favorite Tracks: "Dearly Beloved", "Dumb", "Feeling Better"
2. Remo Drive - Greatest Hits
Three boys from Minnesota break out on their first full-length, making you dance, move, and contemplate deep emotional trouble for 37-minute. It’s rare that a record that just doesn’t quit for its entire length, but oh boy, we’ve got one. Riffs galore, high-energy manic drumming, lyricism perfect for 19-24-year-olds in a form of secondary education: it’s all there! I was lucky enough to catch the band on their first headliner in early September, and all though they didn’t play my record favorite (still slightly salty), it was a definite highlight of this gig-packed year. Regardless, Greatest Hits will become an emo staple. Believe it, buddy.
Favorite Tracks: "Summertime", "Strawberita", "Crash Test Rating"
1. Paramore - After Laughter
After a plethora of personal and band-related turmoils, our favorite scenemo’s did the last thing anyone expected them to do; make a synth-pop record. And my god, is it damn near perfect. Bringing back old drummer Zac Farro really makes the difference, as his energy takes the band’s sound to a whole new level, on top of Miss. William’s “cry hard, dance harder” mantra put forth in every song. William’s lyricism and arrangement creates tight, tight pop tunes centered around taking time to better yourself, a phase William’s unfortunately endured yet again. Regardless, for a 20-something figuring out life, this record came at the perfect time. Is it pessimistic at times? Absolutely, I mean, she is a better pessimist than an optimist. But her blatantly honesty comes across therapeutic, helping every ear it happens to hit. And I sure had two of them.
Favorite Tracks: "Caught in the Middle", "Told You So", "Hard Times", "Forgiveness", "Fake Happy" (screw it, they’re all my favorite)
Favorite Songs of the Year
10. "Real Thing" by Turnstile (from Real Thing - Single)
9. "The Story of OJ" by Jay-Z (from 4:44)
8. "The Opener" by Camp Cope (from The Opener - Single)
7. "Surfer Rosa" by The Obsessives (from The Obsessives)
6. "Be There 4 Ya" by Chris Farren (from Be There 4 - Single)
5. "Daylily" by Movements (from Feel Something)
4. "1-800-273-8255" by Logic (from Everybody)
3. "On + Off" by Maggie Rogers (from Now That the Light is Fading - EP)
2. "In Bloom" by Neck Deep (from The Peace and the Panic)
1. "XO Tour Llif3" by Lil Uzi Vert (from Luv is Rage 2)