#AlternativeFacts Podcast: Here Are 2017's Rock & Alternative Albums You Need to Hear

Brendan Walter


We’re halfway through the year and in music writing land, you know what that means -- being bombarded with guilt over the life-changing music you’ve slept on!

We kid, we kid and in fact, we’re here to help on that matter. Along with Billboard’s 2017 mid-year best albums collection, our colleagues at Stereogum dropped a standout list, highlighting the realms of punk, indie, alternative pop, folk, and experimental music -- in other words, the world of the #AlternativeFacts podcast. 

On this week’s episode host Chris Payne is joined by Stereogum assistant editor Gabriela Tully Claymore and staff writer James Rettig for a candid look at putting their list together, and at what 2017’s best records have meant to us over such a tumultuous year.

The opening salvo features a lot of love for Priests, the D.C. punk band that placed 6th on Stereogum’s list. “They destroyed our [SXSW] show,” Claymore says. “Katie Alice Greer has one of the biggest voices I’ve ever heard.”

But there’s a lot else to love on this year’s debut Nothing Feels Natural -- guitar shredding from GL Jaguar, ominous, driving bass lines from Taylor Mulitz, and a tornado of percussion -- sometimes delivered alongside spoken-word tirades -- from drummer Daniele Daniele. “They’re a great example of a rock band where all the attention isn’t immediately laid on the front person," Claymore explains.

Rettig shouts out Perfume Genius and Girlpool, while pointing out Lorde’s Melodrama would have been prominent on Stereogum’s list, had it dropped a little sooner: “The Lorde album [has been blasting in my car] basically non-stop.”

We’ve also got love for Muna, Feist, Juana Molina, Julie Byrne, Vagabon, Half Waif, Bing & Ruth, and a challenge for Father John Misty. And justification for why, well into our twenties, we’re still blasting certain albums from our car stereos, trying to convince people we’re cool.

#AlternativeFacts is a weekly Billboard podcast devoted to all things alternative music. Click here to subscribe to the #AlternativeFacts Podcast on iTunes. Let us know what you think on Twitter (@cpayneonaplane) and by rating the podcast on iTunes. 

A new episode normally posts each Thursday, but we’re taking next week off because of the long Fourth of July weekend. Check back on July 13 for the next installment!