2017 was a year of struggles for many people – a major shift in politics and culture, a year of natural disasters and gun violence, and a long time coming, well deserved war declared on sexual assault. With times of turmoil, however, can come the best art to escape in – our past is proof of that with the sounds and sights of the 70s and 80s – and this year certainly produced some of our all-time favorite creations.
Here are our favorite albums and films of the year, as well as what we were binge watching.
1. SZA, CTRL (RCA) • IF YOU LIKE: Solange, Frank Ocean LISTEN TO: Supermodel, The Weekend // 2. KENDRICK LAMAR, DAMN (Interscope) • IF YOU LIKE: J. Cole, Chance The Rapper LISTEN TO: DNA, XXX, Humble // 3. SUPERFRUIT, FUTURE FRIENDS (RCA) • IF YOU LIKE: Years & Years, SOPHIE, Tove Lo LISTEN TO: Guy.exe, Vacation, Fantasy // 4. LCD SOUNDSYSTEM, AMERICAN DREAM (Columbia) • IF YOU LIKE: Arcade Fire, Tame Impala LISTEN TO: Oh Baby, American Dream, Tonite // 5. TORO Y MOI, BOO BOO (Carpark) • IF YOU LIKE: Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Ariel Pink LISTEN TO: Mirage, You and I, A Girl Like You
6. XX, I SEE YOU (Young Turks) • IF YOU LIKE: Radiohead, alt-J LISTEN TO: On Hold, I Dare You // 7. HOMESHAKE, FRESH AIR (Royal Mountain) • IF YOU LIKE: Yellow Days, Cosmo Pike, Mild High Club LISTEN TO: Hello Welcome, Every Single Thing // 8. THE MARIAS, SUPERCLEAN VOL I EP • IF YOU LIKE: Tei Shi, Oh Wonder LISTEN TO: Only in My Dreams, I Don't Know You // 9. THUNDERCAT, DRUNK (Brainfeeder) • IF YOU LIKE: Flying Lotus, Little Dragon LISTEN TO: Them Changes, Show You the Way, Friendzone // 10. GORILLAZ, HUMANZ (Parlophone) • IF YOU LIKE: Blur, MGMT LISTEN TO: Strobelite, She's My Collar
1. Call Me By Your Name – this coming of age film takes place in northern Italy in 1983, revolving around 17 year old Elio Perlman (Timothèe Chalamet), who quickly becomes infatuated with his father's summer intern, a doctoral student named Oliver (Armie Hammer). The two bond over classical music, their Jewish heritage, swims at the lake, and long bike rides. They carry out a summer romance, shot in dreamy 35mm film, reminding everyone of their first love (and first heartbreak), and also making you want to book a trip to Italy ASAP.
2. Coco – inspired by Día de los Muertos, our new favorite Pixar film, Coco, follows a 12 year old boy named Miguel Rivera who is accidentally transported to the land of the dead while attempting to become a successful musician. He seeks out a new friend, Héctor, to help him return among the living, discovering the epic story of his family history along the way, and making us all cry our eyeliner off.
3. Get Out – Jordan Peele's directorial debut had us floored with its political messaging. The film follows interracial couple Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and Rose (Allison Williams) who are taking their relationship to the next level by Chris meeting Rose's parents. What starts off as a seemingly awkward visit due to racial tension is revealed to have a disturbing truth.
4. Lady Bird – in another coming of age film, Lady Bird tells the turbulent relationship between Christine "Lady Bird" McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) and her mother, Marion (Laurie Metcalf). Christine struggles to find her place in the world as a high school senior, wanting to flee Sacramento and rebel against her Catholic upbringing; while Marion struggles to keep her family together between Christine's teen angst and the 2002 job market crashing on her husband.
5. Ingrid Goes West – Ingrid Goes West is partially filmed in our backyard of Silverlake, so maybe that's why it hits a little too close to home. A modern take on the classic "stalker" trope, Ingrid Thorburn (Aubrey Plaza) movies to sunny Los Angeles to meet her latest Instagram obsession, Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen). Ingrid befriends the socialite, emulating her style and tastes, and by doing so claiming the social latter of La La Land in both irl and online. The film is a comedic application of the reality of validity we seek in followers and feed aesthetics, with characters that aren't too far off from the people we've actually encountered in Hollywierd.
1. Stranger Things (Season 2) – we didn't think season 1 of Stranger Things could be topped but someone it's been done by it's sequel season. We're so here for Eleven's "bitchin'" makeover, our new mom Steve Harrington and his relationship with Dustin, Bob Newby: Superhero, and Noah Schnapp's acting. (Killed. It.)
2. Sense8 (Season 2) – the second (and sadly last) season of the sci-fi drama matched its previous season in breath-taking views, heart wrenching character arcs, hilarious punchlines, and gripping plot, causing us to binge watch like we've never binged before. A series finale will air in the new year to tie up any loose ends, but we're still praying some other network will pick up the show and run with it, because we're absolutely not ready to say goodbye to the sensates.
3. Dear White People (Season 1) – picking up where the 2014 film of the same name left off, Dear White People is a focuses on racial social injustice in the most satirical of ways, tackling issues of appropriation and assimilation through a group of POC students at Winchester University.
4. GLOW (Season 1) – a fictionalization of the 1980s tv show Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, centered around Ruth "Zoya the Destroya" Wilder (Allison Brie) as she struggles to make it as an actress, turning to female wrestling as a break into the industry. We meet her "costars" – a wide variety of strong female characters including our girl Kate Nash – all with interesting back stories that we hope to learn more of in season 2.
5. LOVE (Season 2) – can Judd Apatow do any wrong? In another feature set in the Silverlake/Echo Park area, LOVE tells the complicated and painfully modern LA love story between wild-child Mickey (Gillian Jacobs) and dorky "nice-guy" Gus (Paul Rust). In its 2nd season, Mickey and Gus attempt to become a "real couple," while Mickey attempts to take control of her additive personality regarding drugs, alcohol and sex.