Apt613 has a unique take on the “best” albums of 2017. We’ve looked to the charts published by CHUO 89.1FM to see which records made the highest weekly appearances. Most campus and community radio stations send play logs to !earshot, a website where you’ll find the national Top 50 reported weekly.
N.B. Not every album was released during this calendar year. In several instances, you’ll see a 2016 release which stayed in the charts. There are even one or two much older releases which appear to coincide with the artist’s 2017 concert dates.
|Title: Come On In||Weeks: 9
|Artist: Blve Hills||Peak: #3|
|Label: Independent||Avg: 17.3|
Cody Parnell has been writing jangly fuzzy psych riffs for years, but didn’t start performing with his Blve Hills bandmates until he moved from Lindsay, Ontario to Ottawa in 2014. The psych-rock quartet made their RBC Bluesfest debut in 2017.
|Title: Matt's So Called Master||Weeks: 9
|Artist: The Dark Plains||Peak: #1|
|Label: Independent||Avg: 17.3|
We’d share this record but Matt’s So Called Master doesn’t appear to be available online. Please post a link in the comments, if you have one. Another release is on Bandcamp. Here you can listen to 00001 by The Dark Plains.
|Title: The Last Of The Who Heads||Weeks: 6
|Artist: Expanda Fuzz||Peak: #1|
|Label: Independent||Avg: 10.3|
Pop melodies break through fuzzy guitar and distortion on the psych-rock duo’s second release of 2017. A limited run of The Last Of The Who Heads on 12″ vinyl sold out before the end of the year. So did physical copies of their last album At War With Summer and Bleuets before that.
|Title: Rose Petal Pie||Weeks: 8
|Artist: BB Cream||Peak: #7|
|Label: Independent||Avg: 15.4|
Rose Petal Pie could rank higher when you take into consideration the couple of weeks this album spent in the 2016 charts. Last time out, this same album ranked at #36 in Apt613’s annual countdown. Unfortunately, BB Cream played their last ever show in November of 2016. It’s on that night they released Rose Petal Pie, their final album. Apt613 interviewed BB Cream songwriter Alanna Why before the show.
|Title: No Mistakes In Space||Weeks: 10
|Artist: No Mistakes In Space||Peak: #4|
|Label: Wolf Lake Studios||Avg: 18.5|
No Mistakes in Space is an indie rock outfit whose debut EP charted for 10 weeks this fall. Fronted by Kyla Hidalgo, the band has quietly made a name for themselves playing House of TARG, Pressed, and Mavericks, plus their EP earned a 2017 staff pick at The Record Centre.
|Title: Tunnels||Weeks: 7|
|Artist: Ruth Grader||Peak: #1|
|Label: WhaleWhale Collective||Avg: 13|
The prolific Ruth Grader had records at both #4 and #24 in our 2016 countdown. This time, in collaboration with writer Aubrey Thompson Grant and his new book release Clouds, Ruth Grader produced Tunnels, a 4-track tape of dense ambient adventures and hypnotic, minimalist rhythms.
|Title: Clean Water||Weeks: 9|
|Artist: Ali McCormick||Peak: #7|
|Label: Independent||Avg: 16.6|
Ali McCormick writes poetry and alt-country folk tunes with carefully crafted lyrics about rural life. She’s from Lavant Station, a tiny off-grid community tucked within the Lanark Highlands of Ontario.
|Title: Broken/Daydreaming||Weeks: 13|
|Artist: Potential Red||Peak: #3|
|Label: Elation Records||Avg: 21|
The new wave post-punk band released two EPs this year and both of those charted for 8+ weeks at CHUO 89.1 FM. Here’s the first of two, Broken/Daydreaming. Tune in tomorrow to find out where their second release ranks in our Top 50.
|Title: Fevered Dreams||Weeks: 9|
|Artist: Novusolis||Peak: #4|
|Label: Independent||Avg: 16.3|
Amanda Lowe and guitarist Zachary Perron started releasing ambient post-rock music as Novusolis. This year the duo put out Fevered Dreams, which charted for 7 consecutive weeks during August and September.
|Title: Casual Listener||Weeks: 6|
|Artist: Future States||Peak: #1|
|Label: Golden Brown||Avg: 7.2|
Casual Listener is another holdover from the 2016 calendar year, back when Future States enjoyed seeing their debut full-length crack the Top 10 at CHUO 89.1 FM and chart for two weeks. In 2017, Casual Listener spent several more weeks in the Top 10 and the quirky pop album went all the way to #1 at its peak.
A total of 88 local albums made it into the CHUO 89.1FM charts this year. Watch this space while the Top 50 countdown continues daily until NYE.