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Sounds of ’17: High Points in an Awfully Low Year 

click to enlarge P.J. Harvey

Maria Mochnaez

P.J. Harvey

1. Witnessing music help us heal. I won't belabor the pain points of 2017 since we've seen and heard enough, but watching artists using their voices as a platform for social justice, change and rallying folks for a show is significant in times like ours. A few hours to laugh, dance and pretend the bullshit doesn't exist are gold.

2. Killer releases from St. Vincent ("Masseduction"), Big Thief ("Capacity"), Perfume Genius ("No Shape"), Fever Ray ("Plunge"), Waxahatchee ("Out in the Storm"), Bjork ("Utopia"), Torres ("Three Futures"), Slowdive (self-titled), Run the Jewels ("Run the Jewels 3"), to name a few. … the list is lengthy, and that's not a bad thing.

3. P.J. Harvey's blowing the roof off of the National. I was skeptical given the inclusion of a saxophone on this tour (that sax scene from "The Lost Boys" deeply scarred me), but damn if she didn't work it. Hearing "Is This Desire" made us collectively squee.

4. Crowefest forever! Despite an early ending thanks to the arrival of the popo (noise … boooo), this backyard shindig remains all the goodness that is RVA music and those who love and support it.

5. Twain. This cat was a neighbor for a while and I knew he was something special when I first heard his voice. He's scooting all over the place playing shows with the likes of Langhorne Slim and other notables. Check out his beautiful record, "Rare Feeling" that came out this year.

6. My Favorite Murder live in Washington. If you love true crime, badassery and cookie-eating cats, you need to listen to this podcast. Seeing hosts Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark in action at the Warner Theater was a precious moment. Fingers crossed they'll make a Richmond stop soon. #SSDGM, y'all.

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