2017 Year In Review

2017 brought us indie heads a certain kind of satisfaction that some hadn’t felt since the golden age of classic indie artists. Some of my personal favorites had finally returned to the scene after being MIA for a couple of years.

Some album highlights include: Portugal. the Man’s Woodstock, The Drums’ Abysmal Thoughts, Homeshake’s Fresh Air, and Mac Demarco’s This Old Dog. Portugal. the Man and The Drums hadn’t released anything new in while, leaving fans anxious for more. Homeshake and Demarco were holding true to their one year on, one year off pattern— following the pattern, Homeshake released a new album this year and I imagine Demarco will drop one sometime this Spring, but more on that later.

Interestingly enough, both Woodstock and Abysmal Thoughts dropped on June, 16 2017. I remember exactly where I was when they had finally been released, and I couldn’t decide which one to listen to first! Both Portugal and The Drums released strong singles leading up to the summer projects. I’m sure you couldn’t escape the familiar infectious bassline of “Feel It Still” through out 2017, whether it was blasting in a department store, on the radio, or in a commercial, “Feel It Still” was everywhere. The breakout track even landed the classic indie rock group a Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.

I met the lead singer of Portugal. the Man, John Gourley, in Dallas at the Bomb Factory.

However upon listening to Woodstock, I was left thinking, “really that’s what y’all produced after your 4 year silence?” The project in general felt formulaic and over produced. It didn’t stand out against the clutter of radio alt pop-rock. I will say, however, Evil Friends was and still is such a solid and perfect album, it’s a hard act to follow. There were a few songs including “Number One”, “Noise Pollution”, and “So Young” that stood out among the others because they felt more thoughtful and true to Portugal’s sound.

There were also some surprising singles that dropped in 2017 that provided a promising taste of what was to come in 2018. MGMT dropped their dark synth pop track “Little Dark Age” in October and it quickly gained popularity. The album Little Dark Age finally put MGMT back on the scene after they released a few experimental albums that flopped in the early 2010s. Generationals also teased fans with a string of singles in 2017, but failed to follow up a full album. They ended 2018 with a single compilation project titled State Dogs that was comprised of both their 2017 and 2018 singles. I was disappointed the duo didn’t follow through with a full album.

A couple break out artists of 2017 include The Marias, Temporex, Wallows, and Club Kuru. It’s amazing to see the popularity these groups have gained in just two years and it is certainly well deserved.

One thought on “2017 Year In Review

  1. My mom was apparently just turned on to Feel It Still and was raving about it this weekend just as I never want to hear it again because I’m so sick of it.

    Liked by 1 person

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