It’s that time of year for us to count down each of our top ten favorite albums of 2016. Check out Rehan’s list below!
10. Noname - Telefone
For the last, but certainly not least, my last choice of favorite album produced this year is from Noname. Her debut album, Telefone, is a witty, intricate, and expertly produced piece of work. Her lyrics are humorous yet profound, her rhythms are catchy, and the themes of life and all its intricacies bleed into every word and beat.
9. Mitski - Puberty 2
Teen angst gets a professional makeover with Mitski’s second album. As expected from her, Mitski flows through the album with rich lyrics and vocals. Interesting drum beats, occasional brass instruments, and of course guitars blend through each track, creating a work of art.
8. Pinegrove - Cardinal
After seeing Evan, lead singer and brain behind Pinegrove, live in an intimate living room setting this past year, I was hooked. Their newest album, Cardinal, is a sincere, soft, mostly acoustic view of life and going somewhere to find something.
7. SALES - SALES
I first discovered SALES randomly through my Spotify discover weekly playlist. I am thankful for such a random encounter because SALES is a fantastic artist and their self-titled debut album only furthers their talent. With soft vocals and nothing more than a drum set and few guitars, SALES cuts deep with echoing vocals and deep lyrics.
6. Blood Orange - Freetown Sound
Since their album, Cupid Deluxe, I have been a fan. Blood Orange goes in a different, more soulful direction with their third album, Freetown Sound. Themes such as race, identity, and love are weaved in the album, breathing more life into the already beautiful sounds that Dev Hynes, brainchild of Blood Orange, has shared with us.
5. Camp Howard - Camp Howard
With so much buzz around local Richmond band, Camp Howard, I knew I had to sit down and listen to their debut self-titled album. And boy am I glad I did. This album is rich and beautifully written, teeming with grungy riffs, haunting vocals, and eclectic drum beats. Seeing them again live, I will have appreciated Camp Howard more after listening to what they can produce.
4. Lance Mountain - Lance Mountain
Formerly Colin Thibodeauxx, Lance Mountain packs a punch with their latest EP, Lance Mountain. Punk-y lyrics and vocals thrive symbiotically with the soft yet striking surf-rock vibes. I could say a lot more about this EP and my love for it, but I’ll let you read my reviewI did earlier this year.
3. Dollys - Low Year
A band I have seen time and time again, the Dollys never disappoint. Their newest sophomore album, Low Year, thrives with subtle indie pop and catchy lyrics. Each song gives us a new reason to move our feet and think a little bit more about love and life.
2. Prinze George - Illiterate Synth Pop
Seeing them the first time at James Madison University, I fell in love with the synth-pop sounds of Prinze George. Seeing them again at the Sweet Life music festival solidified my love for them. This past August, releasing their first album, Illiterate Synth Pop, a heavy hitting synth-filled wonderland, gave me a new appreciation for them and the ways in which well written lyrics can work with well-produced synth-pop.
1. Mumblr - The Never Ending Get Down
Mumblr’s album, The Never Ending Get Down, is certainly by far my favorite album released this year. Bold statement, I know. But after seeing them live, without any prior exposure, I fell in love with their visceral metal sound, interesting lyrics, and raw vocals. After seeing them I knew I needed to get and listen to their latest album. Since I’ve popped the CD into my car’s radio, it has not seen an exit. Each song hits hard as grungy guitar riffs overlay one another with vocals moving up and down like a river. My head constantly ‘headbangs’ with each syncopated beat and strum of the guitars set on distortion. I never liked ‘hardcore’ music that much but after being exposed and listening to The Never Ending Get Down, you could say I more than dig it.