2016 has given us several excellent albums, many dire albums and endless albums that have filled the dead silence. Below I have collated the ones that gave me the most pleasure – I apologise if these are really cliche, but after all, this is totally my opinion.
RADIOHEAD – A MOON SHAPED POOL
Radiohead returned in 2016 with their ninth studio album and it was nothing short of spectacular. Teasing fans with Burn the Witch, the quality followed suit and A Moon Shaped Pool became one of the albums of the year and dare I say decade? The artwork is equally as stunning as the music and Thom Yorke and co. have once again nailed it.
AMERICAN FOOTBALL – AMERICAN FOOTBALL ii
Releasing a new album 17 years after their debut would be a problem for many bands, but not American Football. Dropping I’ve Been So Lost For So Long and Give Me The Gun before, in my opinion, an album as good as their first, was American Football’s technique and it is certainly a favourite of the past 52 weeks.
KANYE WEST – THE LIFE OF PABLO
Kanye, Kanye, Kanye. Where to even begin with TLOP… Constantly being re-produced and leaked, Kanye West finally allowed TLOP to be streamed on Spotify and Apple Music after being an initial Tidal exclusive. Since then, tracks like Ultralight Beam have been constantly in my headphones and blasting out of the car speakers.
CATFISH AND THE BOTTLEMEN – THE RIDE
What is a Loose Cardigan Of Ideas list without a mention of Catfish and the Bottlemen? The Ride was highly anticipated and when it was finally released, it was slated by ‘fans.’ Personally I love it and tracks such as 7 and Outside are as equally mint, if not better, than those that stood before The Ride.
SKEPTA – KONNICHIWA
Grime has developed from underground to the mainstream over 2016 and quite rightly so. Gaining the exposure it truly deserves, Skepta’s win at the Mercury Prize over the likes of Radiohead and David Bowie made a massive statement on the genre that is gradually on the rise. Jarvis Cocker even said Bowie would approve of Skepta’s win. Not bad at all.
MODERN BASEBALL – HOLY GHOST
Modern Baseball released their most honest record yet, Holy Ghost, and it was a beautiful construction of tales by Brendan Lukens and Jake Ewald. Taking one side of the LP each, the storytelling style of songwriting rips your emotions to shreds with signature Modern Baseball vocals and in your face guitars.
An early contender for album of the year, The 1975 released their sophomore record in February and have just embarked on their first arena tour. Making pop music and synths cool again, the Manchester band fully contrasted from their dark and edgy debut aesthetic to make a feel good record that holds the vibrant and quirky Love Me and The Sound.
DMAS’S – HILLS END
DMA’s debut LP was everything we could have wanted and more. After seeing them in 2014 supporting The Courteeners I have kept tabs on them and became desperate for more releases from the Aussies. Hills End finally graced English shores and boasted the heartfelt Delete and punchy Lay Down.
MOOSE BLOOD – BLUSH
Before Blush was released, Moose Blood released Honey and Knuckles, which were belted out on tour and at festivals. It was evident that Blush was going to be bulging with bangers and the super sweet vibrant pink sleeve art made it even better. It has a more mature sound than IKYIM, but their rawness and in-your-face honesty is still very much there.
BOSTON MANOR – BE NOTHING
After several EPs, Blackpool emo-punks Boston Manor released Be Nothing via Pure Noise and it presented everything that the Boston Manor sound stands for. Edgy, gritty bars in Stop Trying, Be Nothing and woeful harmonies in Broken Glass give a well rounded sound that would be expected from a big time band, not a debut album.
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VIOLA BEACH – VIOLA BEACH
While writing this post and digging out the albums of the year, it reminded me of the bittersweet album Viola Beach released. The decision was made to release an accumulation of demos and songs so their legacy lived on. They are the boys that had potential, the boys that did what they loved, the Boys That Sing.
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Do you agree with our list? If not, why not leave a comment on who you would have included and why…or let us know via Twitter.