Aswin Sivaraman

Favorite Music of 2017

Last Updated: Dec 15, 2017 3 min read — Tags: lists music


Here's a quick list of all my favorite albums and EPs from this past year1. There's no denying that the mainstream sound of 2017 was by and large hip-hop. It was pretty inescapable—infectious even. In a year filled with constant political tumult, rap served to be the most potent form of venting frustrations and struggles. Arguably, the bassy and dancey sounds of the mainstream served as a public means of escapism. Not only that, but rap dominated the hype cycles: projects like BROCKHAMPTON2 and Run the Jewels 3 were built up by fans with such anticipation, and the resulting songs exceeded expectations. It's crazier even, that so much good music is still being pumped out in these last few weeks before 2018.

Unsurprisingly, I listen to tons of hip-hop and electronic music, but I did make an effort to squeeze in more folk and experimental music this year. Need to incorporate more punk and jazz in the future. My listens were tracked through my Last.fm profile.

Any albums or EPs that I missed on these lists are probably really good, I just didn't get around to them.


Most Listened Albums

These are the albums listed in order by how much I listened to them in 2017. They were easy to go back to time and time again.

  1. Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 3
  2. BROCKHAMPTON - SATURATION
  3. Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.
  4. Vince Staples - Big Fish Theory
  5. Tyler, the Creator - Flower Boy
  6. Thundercat - Drunk
  7. St. Vincent - Masseduction
  8. Jens Lekman - Life Will See You Now
  9. Cashmere Cat - 9
  10. Clark - Death Peak tied with Lunice - Moving Parts

Gotta Listen More Albums

These are albums where I really liked what I heard but I either just heard about it or didn't give it enough time.

  1. Father John Misty - Pure Comedy
  2. N.E.R.D - NO ONE EVER REALLY DIES
  3. Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked At Me
  4. Julien Baker - Turn Out the Lights
  5. SZA - Ctrl
  6. LCD Soundsystem - American Dream
  7. Big K.R.I.T. - 4eva Is a Mighty Long Time
  8. Ibibio Sound Machine - Uyai
  9. The xx - On Hold
  10. Lemuria - Recreational Hate

Under The Radar Albums

These are albums which I thought not enough people really talked about, but I loved them, so you should give them a shot!

  1. Baths - Romaplasm
  2. Iglooghost - Neo Wax Bloom
  3. Japanese Breakfast - Soft Sounds From Another Planet
  4. Ryuchi Sakamoto - async
  5. Perfume Genius - No Shape
  6. Jay Som - Everybody Works
  7. Kirin J Callinan - Bravado
  8. Kelly Lee Owens - Kelly Lee Owens
  9. OVERWERK - State
  10. Guerilla Toss - GT Ultra

Noteworthy EPs

These are extended plays which I loved this year. These are super short, but super great, front to back!

  1. Kamasi Washington - Harmony of Difference
  2. Rina Sawayama - RINA
  3. Dusky - Cold Heart EP
  4. Yaeji - EP2
  5. No Mana - 11UP
  6. Virtual Self - Virtual Self EP
  7. Nine Inch Nails - Add Violence
  8. Alice Glass - Alice Glass
  9. Greta Van Fleet - Black Smoke Rising
  10. Death Grips - Steroids (Crouching Tiger Hidden Gabber Megamix)

There are tons of electronic dance music singles that I loved this year as well; those will be eventually cataloged in my "Was Good?" Spotify playlist. In it, I cover some of my favorite releases in the deep / progressive / funky / tech house genres.


  1. I should clarify that "Run the Jewels 3" was digitally released at the tail end of 2016 but then was physically released in 2017. So I'm counting it for 2017. 

  2. I'm just going to list the first album from the SATURATION trilogy on here, as that's what I listened to and liked the most, but the whole thing is seriously incredible.