The Niche’s Top 25 Albums of 2017, and Also the Lines from Richard Siken’s “Crush” That Best Describe Them

25. Wolf Parade – Cry Cry Cry

Tell me about the dream where we pull the bodies out of the lake
and dress them in warm clothes again.
— Richard Siken, Scheherazade

24. Kelela – Take Me Apart

I wanted to take him home
and rough him up and get my hands inside him, drive my body into his
like a crash test car.
I wanted to be wanted and he was
very beautiful, kissed with his eyes closed, and only felt good while moving.
— Richard Siken, Little Beast

23. Moses Sumney – Aromanticism

Draw a circle with a piece of chalk. Imagine standing in a constant cone
of light. Imagine surrender. Imagine being useless.
A stone on the path means the tea’s not ready,
a stone in the hand means someone’s angry, the stone inside you still
hasn’t hit bottom.
— Richard Siken, Seaside Improvisation

22. Downtown Boys – Cost of Living

I can tell already you think I’m the dragon, 
that would be so like me, but I’m not. I’m not the dragon.
I’m not the princess either. 
Who am I? I’m just a writer. I write things down. 
I walk through your dreams and invent the future.
— Richard Siken, Litany in Which Certain Things Are Crossed Out

21. Declan McKenna – What Do You Think About the Car?

…we laugh
and it pits the world against us, we laugh,
and we’ve got nothing left to lose, and our hearts
turn red, and the river rises like a barn on fire.
I came to tell you, we’ll swim in the water, we’ll
swim like something sparkling underneath
the waves. Our bodies shivering, and the sound
of our breathing, and the shore so far away.
— Richard Siken, Saying Your Names

20. Einar Stray Orchestra – Dear Bigotry

Sure, it’s good to feel things, and if it hurts, we’re doing it
to ourselves, or so the saying goes, but there should be
a different music here. There should be just one safe place
in the world, I mean
this world. People get hurt here. People fall down and stay down and I don’t like
the way this song goes.
— Richard Siken, Road Music

19. Syd – Fin

…and this is the map of my heart, the landscape
after cruelty, which is, of course, a garden, which is
a tenderness, which is a room, a lover saying, Hold me tight,
it’s getting cold.
— Richard Siken, Snow and Dirty Rain

18. Jens Lekman – Life Will See You Now

Trees outside the window and a big band sound that makes you feel like
everything’s okay,
a feeling that lasts for one song maybe,
the parentheses all clicking shut behind you.
— Richard Siken, Meanwhile

17. Sampha – Process

Your mother is pretending
that she hasn’t seen anything. Your father is fiddling with the knobs
of the radio. There is an empty space next to you in the backseat of the
station wagon. Make it the shape of everything you need. Now say
— Richard Siken, You Are Jeff

16. Bedouine – Bedouine

You raised your hand to your face as if
to hide it, the pink fingers gone gold as the light
streamed straight to the bone,
as if you were the small room closed in glass
with every speck of dust illuminated.
The light is no mystery,
the mystery is that there is something to keep the light
from passing through.
— Richard Siken, Visible World


We’re filming a movie called Planet of Love —
there’s sex, of course, and ballroom dancing,
fancy clothes and waterlilies in the pond, and half the night you’re
a dependable chap, mounting the stairs in lamplight to the bath, but then
the too white teeth all night,
all over the American sky, too much to bear.

— Richard Siken, Dirty Valentine

14. The National – Sleep Well Beast

O how he loves you, darling boy. O how, like always, he invents the monsters under the bed to get you to sleep next to him, chest to chest or back to back, the covers drawn around you in an act of faith against the night.

— Richard Siken, You Are Jeff

13. Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, and James McAlister – Planetarium

I had a dream about you. We were in the gold room
where everyone finally gets what they want.
You said, Tell me about your books, your visions made
of flesh and light, and I said, This is the moon. This is
the Sun. Let me name the stars for you. Let me take you
— Richard Siken, Snow and Dirty Rain

12. Destroyer – ken

Here is the part where everyone was happy all the time and we were all
even though we don’t deserve it.
— Richard Siken, Litany in Which Certain Things Are Crossed Out

11. Waxahatchee – Out in the Storm

Actually, you said: Love, for you
is larger than the usual romantic love. It’s like a religion. It’s
terrifying. No one
will ever want to sleep with you.
— Richard Siken, Litany in Which Certain Things Are Crossed Out

10. Jay Som – Everybody Works

I said kiss me here and here and here
and you did.
Then you wanted pasta,
so we trampled out into the tomatoes and rolled around to make the sauce.
You were very beautiful.
— Richard Siken, I Had A Dream About You

9. Julien Baker – Turn Out the Lights

Try explaining a life bundled with episodes of this —
swallowing mud, swallowing glass, the smell of blood
on the first four knuckles.
We pull on our boots with both hands
but we can’t punch ourselves awake and all I can do
is stand on the curb and say, Sorry
about the blood in your mouth. I wish it was mine.
— Richard Siken, Little Beast

8. LCD Soundsystem – American Dream

History repeats itself. Somebody says this.
History throws its shadow over the beginning, over the desktop,
over the sock drawer with its socks, its hidden letters.
History is a little man in a brown suit
trying to define a room he is outside of.
I know history. There are many names in history
but none of them are ours.
— Richard Siken, Little Beast

7. Marika Hackman – I’m Not Your Man

The trees in wind, the streetlights on,
the click and flash of cigarettes
being smoked on the lawn, and just a little kiss before we say goodnight. 
It spins like a wheel inside you: green yellow, green blue,
green beautiful green.
It’s simple: it isn’t over, it’s just begun. It’s green. It’s still green.
— Richard Siken, Meanwhile

6. Daddy Issues – Deep Dream

Oh, the things we invent when we are scared
and want to be rescued.
— Richard Siken, I Had A Dream About You

5. Big Thief – Capacity

You are a fever I am learning to live with, and everything is happening
at the wrong end of a very long tunnel.
— Richard Siken, Straw House, Straw Dog

4. Japanese Breakfast – Soft Sounds From Another Planet

Every story has its chapter in the desert, the long slide from kingdom
to kingdom through the wilderness,
where you learn things, where you’re left to your own devices.
— Richard Siken, Driving, Not Washing

3. Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.

He cannot get the bullet out, he thinks, he can’t, and then he does.
A little piece of grit to build a pearl around.
— Richard Siken, The Dislocated Room

2. Lorde – Melodrama

I couldn’t get the boy to kill me, but I wore his jacket for the longest time.
— Richard Siken, Little Beast

1. Mount Eerie – A Crow Looked at Me

…and the days
were bright red, and every time we kissed there was another apple
to slice into pieces.
Look at the light through the windowpane. That means it’s noon, that means
we’re inconsolable.
Tell me how all this, and love too, will ruin us.
These, our bodies possessed by light.
Tell me we’ll never get used to it.
— Richard Siken, Scheherazade

One thought on “The Niche’s Top 25 Albums of 2017, and Also the Lines from Richard Siken’s “Crush” That Best Describe Them

  1. ampersandra says:

    Yeah, this is incredibly, incredibly valid. i’m currently reading Crush and yeah. These are all good. I’ve also been getting The Niche withdrawal and this hit the spot.


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