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Calc's Cool Cuts 2017

Another great year in the rear view, hope everyone else's holidays go well. The following is the 7th best year end list you'll see.
54Information Flash
Ego Murda Sound


Released very early in the year, best listened to at night. I love me some good jungle jams though and this provides.

*Instrumental Math Rock*

Simple, elegant, guitar noodling, nothing else to be said other than it's good.
52 Buddy and Kaytranada
Ocean & Montana


This is so chill, Kaytranada's portfolio is expanding by the month and Buddy the late bloomer might be someone to look out for later. "World of Wonders" is top 10 song of the year
51Full of Hell
Trumpeting Ecstasy

Grind/ Hardcore

Savagery, always kind of dug this group but this really stuck with me. Sort of reminds me when I first heard KEN Mode.
At What Cost

Rap/ Hip-Hop

Some great pieces on this release but a lot of filler in between them. Kokamoe is top 15 song of the year
49Injury Reserve
Drive It Like It's Stolen!


Only really like the first two songs (which are great) but this release really showed the gap between Ritchie and Groggs for me. It's actually distracting.
48Sithu Aye
Senpai EP II: The Noticing

*Weeb Prog*

Sithu is a likeable guy, and a very talented guy. This is nothing more than a sequel to Senpai but for those of us who got a kick out of that, that's not a terrible thing. No more though. No more.
47Hail the Sun
Secret Wars


The me from years ago would've loved the return to their old sound but the me now actually liked Culture Scars a lot for what it was. The me now also doesn't do swancore as hard as the me then.
46Big K.R.I.T.
4eva Is a Mighty Long Time


Someone described this as a mix of Kendrick and Outkast, perfect description.
45Kamasi Washington
Harmony of Difference


Completely overshadowed by Christian Scott this year for me but still some wonderful music right here. More traditional jazz compositions.
Savage Sinusoid


Not as weird as Hallelujah but no shortage of WTF in this release. Expertly crafted amalgamation of noise.
43In Love With A Ghost


This is just some cute stuff. Tells a cute little magical story with cute little bleeps and bloops very well. Bansheebeat/iglooghost hybrid.
42Your Old Droog


While everyone on this site slurps up Jonwayne, Your Old Droog quietly added to the white guy rap catalog this year with a solid, but not great, release that shows him as being one of the better lyricists out today.
Neo Wax Bloom


It's been a long wait and iglooghost's first LP didn't disappoint. So imaginative without being cheesy. Bet he'll be producing a Bjork album or some such nonsense in the future.
40Vince Staples
Big Fish Theory


Yeah everyone likes this, but the fact that everyone can see what sets this apart from it's contemporaries this year says a lot.
Beyond Death Beyond Reason


Fantastic instrumental hardcore emo stuff. Very reminiscent of something like Circle Takes the Square.
38Mutoid Man
War Moans


Red meat eatin, beer chuggin, wife beater wearin, pickup truck drivin......
37Envy On The Coast


Really enjoy the sound of the vocalist, very soulful delivery without being dramatic soul-punx bull crap and the music compliments nicely. Looking forward to the full length (or another NK release hopefully now that DEP is done??)


This project turned out better than I thought it would honestly. Don't care one way or another for the subject matter but it's presentation is certainly interesting and the riffz are mmmmm.
Who Told You To Think?​?​!​!​?​!​?​!​?​!


Doubt I'll like the next release this cat gives us but this is some beautiful introspective work. Now that he has a kid and he can't spend hours in the library researching obscure references to pepper throughout his songs I wonder if he'll start to stagnate.

*Doom Metal*

Massive sound, great production. Normally don't go for stuff like this either but found this very enjoyable. Might check out catalog from these guys.
33Others By No One
Book I: Dr. Breacher

*Cheddar Prog*

BTBAM/ Native Construct clone. Technically amazing but not for everyone.
32Anomalie [CAN]


Poppy piano electronic stuff, reminds me of Ronald Jenkees. Catchy as hell but little in the way of substance.
31Blanck Mass
World Eater


This is some dense stuff. My first exposure to the guy and I'm very impressed.
Die With Your Tongue Out


I kind of see this band as a heavier Circa Survive. Very progressive song structures but more of an edge.
29The Doppelgangaz
Dopp Hopp


Not as grimy as past releases and maybe a little overlong but this group is approaching the "can do no wrong" vicinity. More no frills hip-hop filled with great beats, great lines, and great production. "Boston Beard is top 10 song of the year.
28The Hirsch Effekt

*Bat-Shit Hardcore*

German crazies giving us more crazy shit. Not as distinctly genre-bending as their last release but still everything you'd want. "Natans" is top 10 song of the year and I think most hardcore bands should write a song like it once in their careers.
27Tweet Tweet


Nice little dreamy folk release. I especially like "Runner". A lot of nature noises used in this one as well.
26And So I Watch You From Afar
The Endless Shimmering

*Math Rock*

Love this band, their past couple albums they tried some studio tricks, vocals, stuff they wouldn't normally do and produced some insanely catchy stuff. With this album they jammed out like they used to and pick up right where they left off.
Call of the Starforger


This is Vektor's album from last year. If you want more of that than this is for you. This fact angers some people (for some reason) but I choose to see it in a good light. More great modern thrash for my virgin ears.
Los Angeles


As a filthy American, I don't know exactly what kind of music this is (I keep seeing pop everywhere and no, it's not pop). But this woman's voice is angelic, and she does every acrobatic vocal trick in the book on this album. Absolutely beautiful stuff made even more so that it's done in Spanish.
23Another Heaven
I: You Are Loved

*Sludge/Dream Pop*

Really like the sound this band has here. Very dreamy lightly gloomy riffs work pretty well with the pop vocal melodies. First three songs are killer together.
22Evan Caminiti
Toxic City Music


Dirty drone album based on how yucky NYC is. Conjures a ton of imagery through it's soundscapes. Very good
21Wolf and Bear
Everything Is Going Grey


DGD rip-off through and through. Imagine if DGD replaced their poppiness with a tad more hardcore influence and that's what this is. And I love it. Greyblood is top 10 song of the year
20The World Is a Beautiful Place...
Always Foreign


Weird how this band's EPs are the worst things ever and their LPs are so great. Faker is top 15 song of the year too.
19Special Explosion
To Infinity

*Indie Rock/ Pop*

Just discovered this recently, it has a real Death Cab from the bedroom type feel if that makes sense. Not bad at all and it's free so...
18Portico Quartet
Art in the Age of Automation


Adding the "Quartet" back in their name and going back to what got them where they are results in a solid entry.
17White Ward
Futility Report

*Black Metal*

Another surprise for me, as I don't dig most black metal as I hear groups that love getting lost in their own dissonance to write anything worth listening to for more than a few minutes. The addition of some eastern european sax a la Niechec and some nifty -core type riffz elevate this to pretty damn great status however.
16Julien Baker
Turn Out The Lights


This must've caught me on a weird night because I do not like stuff like this. Baker's voice exudes tangible emotion while staying away from being too wispy and weak (hate that). The music, while sparse, just fits. One of those personal surprises everyone likes finding.
The Same Stories That Never Get Old


Strangely absent from this site's conscious this year, this album is great. Nothing else to say really.

*Kraut Rock/Progressive*

Every thing you've read about this being weird and amazing and under the radar is true. It takes patience to take in this whole thing but it's worth it.

*Classical/ Electronic*

An electronic record that uses only a piano. It's one of the best electronic releases of the year too. Very novel concept and executed wonderfully.
12Bird Problems

*Progressive Rock*

The lead single "Succulent" had me pre-order this but I was a little underwhelmed. Still a great concept album though and if anything shows a mountain of potential for the future
11The Dear Hunter
All Is As All Should Be

*Indie Rock*

I've said all the words I can say about this band. This is great stuff. No surprise.
Material Control


Are they skating by on a name? Probably. If this album was released by a nobody band blah blah blah but hey, sometimes all the hype is spot on. A little too interlude-y but what's here is cut thick and hits hard. Great album.
9Dedekind Cut
The Expanding Domain (ded005​)​


Lee Bannon now calls himself Dedekind Cut and he's quickly becoming one of my favorite producers. He's explored damn near every corner of slow-burning electronic music and this little release is among is most introspective and emotive. He has another release coming out on Friday that I'm sure will not disappoint.
8Redshift Pilots
Moonlight Synthesis

*Blackened Post-Hardcore*

Genre tag will scare people away but the full, lush production of this release is a nice wrinkle to this band's sound in comparison to a lot of black metal I hear. Adds a good weight and substance to the post-hardcore/black metal line these guys toe so well.
7Canadian Softball
Awkward and Depressed


I like everything about this album, it's music is top tier, it's funny, and Peev Shalpatine might be the best song of the year. And turning the horrid Old Grey style of music into something so amazing is worthy of mad props by itself. Great album to unironically listen to.
6Fox Vibes

*Instrumental Math Rock*

This people, is what CHON should've turned into. If you liked the demos more than their new plastic sound this should be up your alley.
5Hidden Orchestra
Dawn Chorus


A lot of nature related field recordings turn this jazz-tinged downtempo album into one worthy of everyone's time. Fills it's runtime well and doesn't extend passages for the sake of longer songs.

*Alt-Rock/Math Rock*

No frills, no dressing, this is my favorite alternative release of the year. This band is just writes catchy, inventive tunes and the drumming during the outro of "Locked Up" has been stuck in my head for months. I'm kind of sad knowing an LP probably won't sound like this but I'm stoked as to what they will release next year.


Dark Time Sunshine's beat maker produces some insanely tight foggy beats. In consistent rotation for my nighttime driving since it came out I wouldn't be too upset if he focused on this project. Maybe a deep-bass album next? Drone? This guy's flair I feel can translate well to anything electronic.
2Christian Scott
The Centennial Trilogy

*Jazz/ Fusion*

A trailblazing trumpeter in today's contemporary jazz scene. I'll compare this to The Epic to pique interest but the sound is supremely fresh and modern. This is a compilation of 3 EPs released over the course of the year listened to back to back and it's a lot of music, but for me it flies by.
Phantom Brickworks


Never considered myself an ambient guy but this, this was transformative for me. Bibio's mastery of the notion of nostalgia is remarkable and the feels in this release when the mood strikes was like nothing I've felt in music ever.
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