2017 Shoegaze and Dream Pop Albums of the Year

2017 may have been the biggest year in the last 20 for amazing albums in our chosen genre. Not since the heyday of Ride and Slowdive (wait, isn’t this their heyday? -Ed.) have we seen such a crop of fresh and classic sounds. And there was a lot to choose from. Having conducted our largest listener poll to date, we also put the capstone on 2017 by letting our tastemakers weigh in. None of these folks are infallible, yet all of them are. Especially when they disagree, which is all of the time. So let’s make some folks angry, shall we?

DJ HERETIC: Civilian, Pedestrian

5-up

Nope, not me, not THIS year. You can take any one of my top five LPs from my cold, dead hands, I’m giving up none of them. Each is a win for different reasons. The only album that could’ve knocked these five out of the top spot in 2017? Rachel Goswell does primary vocal duties on Airiel’s Molten Young Lovers LP. That’s the only thing that could top this crop. Selah.

Tied for 1st (listed alphabetically):
1. AirielMolten Young Lovers
1. BlankenbergeRadiogaze
1. MiniaturesJessamines
1. Panda RiotInfinity Maps
1. SlowdiveSlowdive
6. No SunIf Only
7. Devilish DearThese Sunny Days
8. BellavistaSun and Skyway
9. ShellingWaiting for Mint Shower!!
10. Pia FrausField Ceremony

DJ ARIEL, Formless Void

slowdive-slowdive

Why does Slowdive maintain the number one slot? You’re kidding, right? It’s a miracle this even exists. Get in, or get out of the way.

1. SlowdiveSlowdive
2. Panda RiotInfinity Maps
3. DeafcultAuras
4. AirielMolten Young Lovers
5. BlankenbergeRadiogaze
6. The MorelingsSame Century
7. BellavistaSun and Skyway
8. ShellingWaiting for Mint Shower!!
9. MiniaturesJessamines
10. Soon, She SaidThe First Casualty of Love is Innocence

AMBER CRAIN, When The Sun Hits

blankenberge-radiogaze-1

Radiogaze is a pure and perfect shoegaze record – crystalline and euphoric from start to finish. While 2017 brimmed with exceptional talent and incredible albums, Blankenberge’s offering sparkles as this year’s crowning jewel.

1. BlankenbergeRadiogaze
2. Life on VenusEncounters
3. KindlingHush
4. Infinity GirlSomewhere Nice, Someday
5. AirielMolten Young Lovers
6. MarkerMarker (MR-072)
7. Black SeaDisappointing Sunset
8. BellavistaSun and Skyway
9. Panda RiotInfinity Maps
10. Silver LizI Can Feel the Weight

MATTHEW BEDFORD, Muso Asia/Muso Japan

airiel-molten-young-lovers-1

A case can be made for any of my top 5 albums, but top to bottom Airiel’s long-awaited dreamy masterpiece was the best record of 2017. Though tracks like “Your Lips, My mouth” and “Song of You” stand among the best of the year, Molten Young Lovers is a deep and texturally lush complete listening experience. Music is most valuable when it has the ability to transport the listener to a better place. Airiel gave us something we could get lost in – a vessel for temporary escape. In a year that got a bit overwhelming at times, their latest record had tremendous value.

1. AirielMolten Young Lovers
2. For Tracy Hydehe(r)art
3. The Cherry WaveShimaru
4. ShellingWaiting For Mint Shower!!
5. MiniaturesJessamines

Editor’s Note: this section intentionally left blank. Master Paul prefers to let the music speak for itself.

1. PlasticstaticSome Strange Alchemy
2. Wither With MeDrone
3. MarkerMarker (MR – 072)
4. Drab MajestyThe Demonstration
5. DOZZZPoem of Love – Poem of Sadness
6. Life on VenusEncounters
7. SlowdiveSlowdive
8. HammockMysterium
9. Violent DreamsScared of the Dark
10. Auburn LullHypha

JASON LAMOREAUX, SomewhereCold

airiel-molten-young-lovers-1

From the opener “This is Permanent”, all the way to the final track of Molten Young Lovers, Jeremy Wrenn and company have crafted what is undoubtedly a masterpiece of an album. Highly anticipated and sitting in limbo for a very long time, this album was worth the wait on so many levels. Powerfully emotive and personal in places, Molten Young Lovers is a music lover’s dream with sonically deep layers and beautifully crafted songs. In an incredible year for shoegaze and dreampop, Molten Young Lovers easily came in as top album for me.

1. AirielMolten Young Lovers
2. Electro GroupRanger
3. SlowdiveSlowdive
4. BlankenbergeRadiogaze
5. Panda RiotInfinity Maps
6. Deafcult – Auras
7. Dead Leaf EchoBeyond.Desire
8. Pia FrausField Ceremony
9. Yumi ZoumaWillowbank
10. WhimsicalSleep to Dream

SIMONE MARIE, Terra Australis

slowdive-slowdive

Our newest staffer and tastemaker picks her toplist of can’t miss albums for 2017.

1. SlowdiveSlowdive
2. RideWeather Diaries
3. Deafcult – Auras
4. MiniaturesJessamines
5. BeachesSecond of Spring

Not only do we await new albums from some heavyweights in the genre (Fleeting Joys, anyone?), including hints at new music from My Bloody Valentine, but there’s still an album or two to drop before the year is out. Soda Lilies have a new release on December 15th, allegedly, so… bad luck, that. At least can gain consideration for 2018 toplists. What are you most looking forward to?

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