Well, we’re well into April but here I am finally with my favorite music of last year. This post has been in progress for 5 months!
2016 was my most intense year of musical discovery in over 20 years, and possibly ever. I’ve noticed that the music that excites me the most lately is music which would have excited me when I was half the age I am now, back in the early to mid-’90s. I’m feeling the same thrill and engagement as I did then, which is pretty great.
Thanks to Jen Matson for rekindling and enabling my appetite for new sounds (catch her Hollow Earth Radio show, it’s the greatest). Credit is also due to Post-Trash and Austin Town Hall for being prime sources of musical discovery over the past several months.
I arranged this in 3 hopefully self-explanatory sections. I’m not making any distinction between LPs and EPs here.
Local heroes. Best band in Seattle. Terse and expansive at the same time.
Simple formula, indelible songs. A classic.
Some of the most exciting shoegaze-influenced sounds since the heyday of Swirlies and Lorelei. Great songs, too.
This EP gives me the damn chills. Not bad for high schoolers. Believe the hype.
Scrappy, punky, odd-angled indie rock from Brisbane, Australia. Great great songs.
Scintillating pop with a punk rock spirit; in other words, a Slumberland Records classic.
More teenage wunderkinds. Rudimentary but perfect pop.
Speaking of Slumberland, why aren’t these cats signed to that label yet? 4 hits right here.
2 songs each from 4 stellar pop bands courtesy of, yep, Slumberland — ’nuff said.
Beautifully hazy, intimate, disorienting pop.
- Bent Shapes – Wolves of Want
- Beverly – The Blue Swell
- Cold Pumas – The Hanging Valley
- Deerhoof – The Magic
- Dumb – Dumb EP 5$ or Free
- Fear of Men – Fall Forever
- Flyying Colours – Mindfullness
- halfsour – Charm School
- Jackal Onasis – Big Deal Party
- Lithics – Borrowed Floors
- Marbled Eye – Marbled Eye
- Melt – Riffer
- Neighbors – Very Rare Expensive Jewelry
- Nothing – Tired of Tomorrow
- Parquet Courts – Human Performance
- Pity Sex – White Hot Moon
- Preoccupations – Preoccupations
- Prophet Hens – The Wonderful Shapes of Back Door Keys
- Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Talk Tight
- Scott & Charlene’s Wedding – Mid Thirties Single Scene
- Solids – Else
- Stove – Is a Toad in the Rain
- Teenage Fanclub – Here
- Terry – Terry HQ
- Les Autres – Backwards
- Damon & Naomi – Spirit of Love
- The Earthmen – College Heart
- Math and Physics Club – In This Together
- Pel Mel – Rags to Tatters: The Best of Pel Mel
- Toy Love – Live at the Gluepot 1980
- various artists – C87
- various artists – Sharon Signs to Cherry Red
I also enjoyed:
- An Anderson – Very Machine
- Animal Faces – Other Places
- The Arch Menaces – Primitive Germs
- The Astounds – The Astounds
- Bad Moves – Bad Moves
- Belgrado – Obraz
- Blowout – No Beer, No Dad
- Boys Forever – Boys Forever
- Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Denial
- Casper Skulls – Lips & Skull
- The Chandler Estate – Infrastructure
- The Chesterfields – NYC Popfest 2016 Souvenir
- Desario – Red Returns & Haunted
- Dim Desires – Fines
- Dogbreth – Second Home
- Eagulls – Ullages
- Exit Verse – Grant No Glory
- Field Mouse – Episodic
- Fits/Yes Yes a Thousand Times Yes – split EP
- Fond Han – Sham Cloud
- frail – Sugar Heaven
- Ghost Gum – The Past, The Future, Dwelling there like space
- Greys – Warm Shadow
- Guerilla Toss – Eraser Stargazer
- The Hecks – The Hecks
- Hideous Towns – Disquiet Living
- Charlie Hilton – Palana
- Honey Bucket – Magical World
- Horse Jumper of Love – Horse Jumper of Love
- Iji – Bubble
- Will Ivy – Scrap Plastic
- Julien Gasc – Kiss Me You Fool
- Krill – Krill
- Males – None the Wiser
- The Minders – Into the River
- Tony Molina – Confront the Truth
- Murder Shoes – Fall
- Naps – The Most Beautiful Place on Earth
- Neighbors – This Is Me Now
- New Fries – More
- Nocturnal Habits – New Skin for Old Children
- The Ocean Party – Mess & Noise Critics Poll 2015
- Okin Osan – Are You Game?
- Omni – Deluxe
- Oskar’s Drum – A Cathedral of Hands
- Parakeet – KASA
- Patio – Luxury
- The Pooches – The Pooches
- RA – Scandinavia
- Rick Rude – Mind Cook
- Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Talk Tight
- The Seams – Meet the Seams
- Shrapnel – Tranceplanetsugarmouth
- Sleepies – Natural Selection
- Sloucher – Certainty
- Specs Wizard – Golden Eagle & Cool Mike: The Untold Story
- talons’ – Chicago EPs
- Title Tracks – Long Dream
- Turnip King – Laika
- Ultimate Painting – Dusk
- unhappybirthday – Schauer
- We Can All Be Sorry – Weekend Sorry
- Wireheads – Arrive Alive
- Yankee Bluff – I
- various artists – Special Interest
- various artists – A Step Forward Vol. I & Vol. II
- various artists – Way & Co. Mixtape Vol. 1
Favorite Newly-Discovered Label: Disposable America