So, the year is rounding off, which means that people are thinking of their favourite things of 2016. Today, I’m going to give you my favourite albums of 2016. I spent a while balancing up qualities of lots of different albums, but my list came down to these 6. There are no rap albums on this list, because that’s not really my taste, but I promise next year that I will listen to rap albums and take them into account, instead of just pop, rock and indie. There are 5 runners up, all on par with each other, then the top a
So, with all that being said, these are my favourite albums of 2016.
The Runners Up
Post Pop Depression – Iggy Pop
Iggy Pop. He’s 70, he should be dead, Ron Asheton of his original band The Stooges is dead, he’s taken too many drugs, so it’s more than a miracle for him to be alive. In 2016’s Post Pop depression he teamed up with the frontman of Queens Of The Stone Age Josh Homme, member of Queens Of The Stone Age Dean Fertita and Arctic Monkeys Drummer Matt Helders. So, some incredibly talented musicians with him.
The album really hits the right notes, tracks like ‘Sunday’ and ‘Gardenia’ stand particularly out. Pop said that this is an album when you know that your career is coming to an end, and how to deal with it, hence the name Post Pop Depression.
The album being released meant a tour, and he stopped off at the Royal Albert Hall in London. He spent more time crowd surfing than on stage. Unfortunately, I wasn’t there, but I watched many clips of the show and listened to the live recording of said concert several times.
I was lucky enough to be able to see Iggy Pop this summer, when he stopped off at the Isle Of Wight Festival, close to where I live. I got tickets for the weekend and saw Iggy Pop on the Saturday evening. You wouldn’t of guessed he was 70. He had no shirt on for the duration of the gig and played some Stooges as well as solo. I was incredibly impressed by him.
I doubt that he will release another album, so that’s probably the end of new stuff from Iggy Pop, but you never know, seeing as this one was so good. Acoustic, maybe?
Everything You’ve Come To Expect – The Last Shadow Puppets
Alex Turner and Miles Kane’s second collaboration as The Last Shadow Puppets, after 2008’s The Age of The Understatement. Everything You’ve Come To Expect is romantic, catchy and absolutely wonderful, with solid lyrical content and great infectious melodies. Alex Turner, currently on hiatus with the Arctic Monkeys, his main band, decided to do something with his friend Miles Kane. The first single, ‘Bad Habits’ was promising, but my favourite track was ‘Miracle Aligner’ which I find myself singing at random times during the day.
They had a limited tour in 2016, but still being third billed on the main stage at Glastonbury (a great cover of Moonage Daydream was played in that set, definitely worth checking out) and T In The Park, as well as headlining Rock En Seine, Lowlands. They played smaller sets at Coachella, in a similar slot to Kasabian at Coachella 2015 (fourth stage down, early evening).
I didn’t manage to see them this summer, but for the next collaboration I will try to get around to it.
22, A Million – Bon Iver
Bon Iver have been silent since 2012, when the self titled tour finished, but made an appearance at Eaux Claires in 2015, as a headliner. They announced 22, A Million at very short notice, giving two singles as a taster for fans to expect.
I’m a new Bon Iver fan. Once I heard this record was coming out, I went through the back catalogue and was blown away. Holocene I now always use to sleep.
22, A Million has cryptic titles, with special characters, so they are not able to be written down without difficulty. They all are significantly good. Calming folktronica, a unique sound that Bon Iver have mastered and are now pioneers of the genre.
Bon Iver will be stopping off in the UK in February 2017. Justin Vernon, the vocalist, appeared with James Blake in his set at Glastonbury 2016, so watch out for him at Glastonbury 2017 and other shows!
I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful, yet so unaware of it – The 1975
The 1975’s sophomore album, with a stupidly long title and a stupidly long runtime, hits the sweet spot. Yes, Matt Healy makes all hormonal teenage girls swoon, they may be overplayed, but overall, the album is brilliant.
My favourite track off this album is UGH!. It sounds extremely Prince inspired, with their distinct sound, which can’t be put into words. The album is very infectious, another earworm album.
This album is better than the self titled debut from 2013, and includes hits like The Sound, which was a great track booming at many summer music festivals. They headlined the second stage at T In The Park and Reading and Leeds and were third billed on the Other Stage at Glastonbury, which is lower than usual, but it’s glastonbury!
I didn’t get to a The 1975 gig this year, unfortunately, but I’m gonna try and get to a gig next year, or on the next tour.
Brilliant Sanity – Teleman
The most indie of these albums, but still an absolute gem. I featured Teleman earlier on this blog, so check that out too, because they are awesome and deserve to have more popularity.
The album opens with Dusseldorf, a melancholic opening to it with catchy riffs and the base of the song being a simply one key being played constantly, which works incredibly well. The vocalist is talented, not ‘the best singer in the world’ but his voice is perfectly suited to the band’s niche.
Teleman is the band that formed in the breakup of Pete and The Pirates, the shared members are Jonny Sanders (synths) and Pete Cattermoul (bass), with Hiro Amamiya (drums) and Thomas Sanders (vocals, guitar).
Overall, this record kicks ass. I have listened to it every week since April, and it never get’s old. I think people will look back at this album as overlooked in its time.
Teleman have been touring around Britain and doing some gigs in Europe here and there. They played a festival near where I’m from, Victorious Festival in Portsmouth, but I couldn’t get tickets, so I didn’t manage to see them. I will no doubt be able to see them on the next tour, though.
They have been touring with Super Furry Animals this year, and supported Belle and Sebastian on a one off Royal Albert Hall show.
*Drum roll please*
My favourite album of 2016 is Blossoms, released in August, by the indie five piece from Stockport, Blossoms. This is their debut. With catchy synths and infectious rhythms, these boys have landed at the top of my list for these reasons:
I’ve been a Blossoms fan for a while. Since 2015, I have listened to the EPs, like the great Charlemagne EP and Blown Rose EP, both well worth a listen as some of the tracks didn’t make it onto the album, which made it onto the separate extended cut of the record. So I have got that love for them when the album came out, that I got it straight away.
Tom Ogden is one of the best songwriters of his generation. Ogden took inspiration from bands from Manchester, his local area, such as Oasis and The Stone Roses. Songs like the instant hit Charlemagne, is so clever in its lyrics.
The band can actually play. Unlike some other bands (Bono, I’m looking at you), they play all their instruments well, with passion and accuracy. I saw them on the second stage at the Isle Of Wight Festival, fairly down the bill, but they had a huge crowd, not as big as Status Quo the previous night (R.I.P Rick Parfitt), but that was because there was nowhere else to go. They played with confidence and I had an awesome time.
Blossoms have been touring extensively this year, stopping off at about 50 festivals and playing more than 100 gigs. They supported the Stone Roses at The Etihad in June, an ambition that they never thought they would achieve. They also supported the aforementioned Last Shadow Puppets and Kasabian at the King Power stadium.
So, that’s my reasons for my favourite albums. Disagree with me? Tweet me at @distantpstmusic.
That’s the last post of the year. Hope you enjoyed it and see you on the next one, hopefully a review!