Albums of the Year // 10 best of 2016 in order of best-ness.
...having a great track is one thing, but to make an entire body of music work cohesively together, to bring about one strong feeling and message? Almost impossible. These acts did just that.
1. Vulfpeck - The Beautiful Game
+ any time a group of insanely talented studio musicians come together to make something, the quality of music and purpose-driven improvisation is ABUNDANT and RELENTLESS. The most impressive thing to come from 2016. Also Joe Dart is the best bassist of our generation.
2. Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam - I Had A Dream That You Were Mine
+ arguably the best song of the year (1000 Times), here are two musicians who came from very different acts/styles and formed one of the most listen-worthy albums in years. Track after track could (AND SHOULD) be the soundtrack for life's most beautiful moments.
3. PREP - Futures (EP)
+ an EP, sure... but one of the most exciting and fresh sounds that's been released in a while. PREP needs more plays. We're here to persuade. Literally the most catchy song of 2016 (Who's Got You Singing Again).
4. The Lemon Twigs - Do Hollywood
+ do we need to elaborate? A lot of bands are attempting this sound right now. None are doing it as well, or as comprehensively. These tracks juts fit together. These dudes know how to write authentic music. Take it away, boys... no one else is doing it better.
5. Maren Morris - HERO
+ standout female artist of the year. It's hard to catch attention from all genres when you're labeled "country". Maren fuses genres like nobody's business. THIS ALBUM is HIT AFTER HIT. Literally actual hits. Like they're selling like crazy.
6. HONNE - Warm on a Cold Night
+ the most fun album of the year. Two producers from Britain coming together to fuse something brand new. These tracks hold on and don't let go. Not only do they make you move, HONNE also puts on the best LIVE show (which is amazing because just a while ago, these two dudes were producers, not performers). Pure talent and an understanding of HOOKS that is unmatchable. An album CHALKED full of TRACKS that make you feel again. *cries while dancing*
7. Nada Surf - You Know Who You Are
+ it's hard to stay relevant in the music business. Nada Surf formed in 1990. Yet, they released one of the greatest albums in years, in 2016. To be able to tap into the ageless feeling of humanity -- that's the sign of a songwriter that will have MANY years of success. This album is the alt dream revitalization we'd been needing for a while now.
8. Mitski - Puberty 2
+ every girl wants to be Mitski. The resident cool girl of 2016, and one who doesn't care about anything but making HER music. She's as candid in life as she is in her music, with a social media presence that always lets fans understand her thought process. Her life's honesty translates into her music. Easily the most personal songwriting we've heard in a long time. Mitski is girl crush #1. Album crush #8.
9. Catfish and the Bottlemen - The Ride
+ a band you wanna' hang out with. An album you need to get through the mundane. GOOD SOLID ROCK. The music you wish you were making. InCrEdIbLe, sloppy vocals. Drive from track to track. DGAF mentality with remorse dripping from every lyric. What rock and roll's dichotomy has always been about. Make them care and not care at the same time. Beautiful. I'm a careless teen allover again. Even when I'm not.
10. Yuck - Stranger Things
+ this band gave us the most vibey-drive record of 2016. Dirty guitar that could save your life. Perfectly named the same as the best TV show of 2016. Yuck is a group that hasn't gotten enough attention. Need a record to put you in any mood? Here it is.
A great year for music, even when it wasn't. RIP, the greats. Celebrate who's still here.
Here's a playlist for you to listen to them all:
Author: Jessica Larson