Sunday, January 1, 2017
2016 - Lyme Disease (25 music albums)
2016? Some good things. Lot of horrible. But we breath. We keep trying to make the world better. And music the trusted companion through it all. Here are my favorite albums from 2016. Maybe not the best albums of 2016 (lot of talk of Beyonce and Frank Ocean but I never got around to them...maybe next year) but those albums that kept me coming back. Like that old football injury from high school. (I didn't play in high school, but I hear that kind of thing happens. So maybe more like lyme disease. I have that. I actually don't. But I thought about it a lot this year.)
In the past I have added the YouTube videos in the post but that is a giant pain in the ace. So not this year but probably more better (?) I did create a Spotify playlist. (If you don't have Spotify I did start at a YouTube playlist but didn't finish it. Let me know if you want that link.)
Teens of Denial - Car Seat HeadrestA slow burn for me; it took a few spins and I almost wrote it off but I really came to love this album. A clever rock album without a lot of frills (mostly just basic guitars and pianos and drums) but the song writing is genius and not predictable. Rock ain't dead.
Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It - The 1975
A first glance this album seems like mindless pop but it's actually quite well written and musically thoughtful. Really catchy stuff but it's all got a lot of depth to it.
Spirit Phone - Lemon Demon
I have no idea why I like this album as much as I do but...I do...like it as much as I like it. Which is a lot. It's sugary, fast, and the lyrics and themes are fantastic. Don't judge it too quickly. Give it a go.
22, A Million - Bon Iver
Very different then his first and that's part of the reason I love it. Didn't rest on his laurels. Heavy with effected instruments and vocal processing but none of it distracts from good song writing. A true "album."
Let Them Eat Chaos - Kate Tempest
I was a huge fan of Kate Tempest from her first album, Everybody Down, so I was happy that her sophmore album delivered. Much like her first, this is a an album that has to be listened to from start to finish, as it tells a story of indivuals trying to find meaningfulness in their own lives. It's traffic, inspiring, it's a story set to music. "Wake up and love more."
The Bible 2 - AJJ
An album, with Neutral Milk Hotel notes, by folk punk band AJJ (FKA Andrew Jackson Jihad). Has on it perhaps my favorite song of the year No More Shame, No More Fear, No More Dread.
Flotus - Lambchop
Lambchop have been around for a couple of decades but this is honestly the first I've ever listened by them. And from what I have read about this album it's somewhat of a reinvention of their sound but somehow stills hold true to what they have always been. It's slow and requires you to take time with the album but it's generous. It's time to tell you it's story and that's what keeps me coming back. Lot of depth, and texture, and Vocoder, but in that very contemporary way where it's used genuinely as an instrument and it's sound is embraced.
The Miraculous - Anna von Hausswolff
...you really just have to listen to it. She's an organist...so it's like an organist goes art rock. It's heavy, and moody, and most triumphant.
If You See Me, Say Yes - Flock of Dimes
Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak's solo project. If you are a fan of her more 80s pull on Wye Oak's Shriek, you will like this album. I did. Lots.
Till It's All Forgotten - Farao
A Norwegian multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter. The album is to me that perfect blend of acoustic, electronic, and percussion, all with a beautiful, Norwegian, voice. This was one of the first albums I listened to this year and I held on to it all year long.
The Magician - Andy Shauf
Andy Shauf has quickly become one of my favorite singer-songwriters. His last album (The Bearer of Bad News) and this one (The Magician) were on heavy rotation this year. Good songs. Inviting voice. And I really dig the horn arrangements on this album.
A Moon Shaped Pool - Radiohead
Emotions and Math - Margaret Glasby: Love her voice and the raw guitars.
Tween - Wye Oak: Somewhere between Civilian and Shriek.
A Sailor's Guide To Earth - Sturgill Simpson: I call it art-country. Good stuff.
The Magic - Deerhoof: I wrote these guys off for years but these last two albums have really hit home for me.
Ology - Gallant: Some fantastic R&B.
Citizen of Glass: Agnes Obel:Her last made my top 11 last year and I may have loved this one better but it just got beat out by a few others this year.
White Album - Weezer: Like Deerhoof: They won me back with their last two albums. Good album, top to bottom.
The Beautiful Game - Vulfpeck: All things Vulfpeck. They can do no wrong. Funk, soul, Stevie Wonder, Prince. All good things. It's all in there.
Nonagon Infinity - King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
Dawn - Ry X
The Colour in Anything - James Blake
Midwest Farmer's Daughter - Margo Price
Ouroboros - Ray LaMontagne