Another year…another “best of” list. Below you’ll find my top 25 albums of 2016 (see my favorite EPs here).
Like previous years, this isn’t the quintessential album list of 2016. These are my personal favorites. The albums I couldn’t get enough of. I’m sure you’ll agree with a few and disagree with even more, and that’s exactly how it should be. We all have different tastes and music would be super boring if we all listened and love the same stuff.
With that said, am I missing any of your favorites? Leave a comment and let me know. Music discovery is one of life’s simple pleasures and it’s never too late to add new favorites to the list. Enjoy.
I’ve never heard Explosions this subdued. Give this song a proper listen with some decent headphones, you can actually hear them holding back and it’s downright beautiful. This song is also extra special this year. I first heard it on the anniversary of my Dad’s passing, who left us doing something he absolutely loved in the wilderness respected more than most.
Angel Olsen dropped her best album yet this year and I could easily feature every song from the record, but “Never Be Mine” is definitely my favorite. If Dolly Parton, Sharon Van Etten, and Best Coast had a baby, she would sound like Angel Olsen on this track. So good.
Kishi Bashi will release his third studio album, Sonderlust, on September 16th via Joyful Noise Recordings. While you wait for your physical copy to arrive, you can stream the entire album over at NPR Music.
A bit more about Kishi Bashi’s new album…
“Sonderlust is an album forged through heartbreak. After his two previous studio albums (151a & Lighght), Kishi Bashi was at a musical impasse. ‘As I sat down to write songs last summer, I went to all my usual conduits of creation: violin loops, guitar, piano, and I came up with the musical equivalent of fumes’, says K Ishibashi. ‘I tried to create orchestral pop recordings that I assumed were my forte, and in turn I found myself standing in front of a creative wall of frightening heights.’
At this very same moment of musical uncertainty, K’s personal life was falling apart… He and his wife of 13 years had brieﬂy separated and were struggling to keep their marriage together. In his own words, ‘Touring and its accompanying lifestyle took a heavy toll on my soul and my family’. As an outlet, K submerged himself in a new musical direction. Sonderlust emerged as a direct result of this personal struggle taking place at an artistic crossroads.
With the help of producer Chris Taylor (Grizzly Bear), engineer Pat Dillet (Angelique Kidjo, David Byrne) and drummer Matt Chamberlain (Morrissey, Fiona Apple, of Montreal), Kishi Bashi has created his most personal and artistically adventurous work to date. ‘This album is straight from my soul. I questioned everything about what it means to love and desire. The difference between loving someone and being in love.’