if there’s one thing i love about having this space it’s.. oh, well it’s everything. but one of those things is writing relentlessly passionate, shamelessly descriptive and definitively unauthorized music reviews. music should be consumed actively and insatiably, and should consume you just as ravenously. here are the top five albums that moved me this year, plus a fancy little widget of my top 100 most listened to songs from spotify. read the post and get lost here, then follow me on spotify for seasonal playlists and more than a little bit of hip-twisting salsa music. and you know, maybe send me your favorite songs from 2016. sharing is caring.. and you know, maybe leave me your favorite songs from 2016, just below there in the painfully underused comments box.
This will be one of the most moving albums of my life, I know it. The way Bon iver blends some of the most poetic lyrics flawlessly with modern, simplistic language dares us all to be artists just exactly where we are. I could get lost in the folds of every complex layer of this beautiful composition forever, maybe. And have been trying multiple times a day since seeing his show at pioneer works a few weeks ago. this is the album of the year in a year that is not worthy of such beauty.
standout track: 715 CRΣΣKS. “finding both your hands, a second sun came past the glass.” good god. this is everything.
this album makes me want to be a better person. his first album since the positively spellbinding overgrown that i’ve been wearing fucking ragged since 2013, this one is deeper, darker, more audacious. 17 songs leave you desperate and longing before coming up for air and then diving right back in.
standout track: radio silence, i need a forest fire. these leave me swimming and hopeful.
jack garatt finally released a full 19-song double album that defines the new sound of music in 2016. his soulful voice, looped electronic beats, raw acoustics and the deep sincerity in his lyrics and live performances is palpable. i think he’s been moved to tears every time i’ve seen him perform on stage, which needless to say is contagious, even while you’re dancing and singing along. he’s been my most played artist two years in a row now, and i’m not pumping the brakes anytime soon.
standout track: weathered. the pick up is all encompassing and moves you so far past where you were before you discovered him.
one of the most anticipated releases of the year, for me at least. i can’t get enough of this duo’s push-pull intensity that keeps you waiting and wanting. dangerous harmonies overlaying synth-rock rhythms overlaying strong beats and heartbeats and engulfing you into a deep trance state that you realize isn’t music at all. it’s phantogram.
standout track: answer. the hopeful desperation matches the tone of this year while soothing us slowly and calmly into a mounting and relentless need to move. to organize. to find an answer.
ok ok ok. so it’s an EP. and two singles. but put them together and it deserves more than a spot on this oh-so-coveted little list of mine. besides – my space, my rules. there is so. much. sound coming out of this duo from columbia via brooklyn. her angelic voice dances atop his relentless drum beats creates an addictive electro-pop mood that won’t let you go. see them perform feb. 3rd at c’mon everybody (come see me too! i’ll be there) and in the mean time, buy this album and turn it up. loud.
standout track: no ordinary man. from no ordinary band.
experience all of these artists and nearly 100 others via my most played songs of 2016, below. indulge. transcend. believe.
keep listening, brooklyn.