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Viking's Choice: The Year In Cathartic Screams And Meditative Drones

Clockwise from upper left: Rata Negra, Chuck Johnson, Chepang, Circuit Des Yeux.
Miguel Martin Vargas, Andrew Paynter, Aaron Nichols, Michael Vallera
Clockwise from upper left: Rata Negra, Chuck Johnson, Chepang, Circuit Des Yeux.

When so much of 2017 felt broken, it felt good to scream along to punk and metal records. But more often than not, my restoration came from quiet music and a good cup of tea. These are the realms I inhabit in my Viking's Choice column, where it's not uncommon to hear revved-up psych one day, mutant industrial-metal another and ambient Americana the next. It all works in my brain, and Bob Boilen picks that brain for our annual year-end show that's not so much a definitive list, but a broad overview of 2017.

In this episode, you'll hear Nepalese grindcore, ambient pedal steel, fiery free jazz and sacred noise, capped off with my favorite rock 'n' roll record of 2017. I've also published a 186-track Spotify playlist of songs that I loved this year including, yes, "Boys" by Charli XCX. It's the essence of our greatest discovery and my 2017 obsession: roséwave. --Lars Gotrich

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