Top 2016 Music

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.

Top 10:

  1. Local heroes. Best band in Seattle. Terse and expansive at the same time.

  2. Simple formula, indelible songs. A classic.

  3. Some of the most exciting shoegaze-influenced sounds since the heyday of Swirlies and Lorelei. Great songs, too.

  4. This EP gives me the damn chills. Not bad for high schoolers. Believe the hype.

  5. Scrappy, punky, odd-angled indie rock from Brisbane, Australia. Great great songs.

  6. Scintillating pop with a punk rock spirit; in other words, a Slumberland Records classic.

  7. More teenage wunderkinds. Rudimentary but perfect pop.

  8. Speaking of Slumberland, why aren’t these cats signed to that label yet? 4 hits right here.

  9. 2 songs each from 4 stellar pop bands courtesy of, yep, Slumberland — ’nuff said.

  10. Beautifully hazy, intimate, disorienting pop.

Also Outstanding:

Noteworthy Reissues/Archives:

I also enjoyed:

Favorite Newly-Discovered Label: Disposable America