I didn't pay quite as much attention to new releases this year, as in past. Part of that was loosing so many giants of music and going back to explore their catalog, and also a lot of established groups from the past dropped new releases that sort of dominated the music space. That said my top three albums of 2016 are probably (but subject to change).
Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
Wye Oak - Tween
Ty Segall - Emotional Mugger
I'm way too scattered with my listening these days, and previewed lots of albums on release that I totally forgot about afterwords and meant to come back too. So I'm trying to work backwards and these are a few that I'm revisiting -
Angel Olsen - My Woman
David Bowie - Blackstar
DIIV - Is The Is Are
Tycho - Epoch
Local Natives - Sunlit Youth
The Bad Plus - Its Hard
Car Seat Headrest - Teens of Denial
Mitski - Puberty 2
Thee Oh Sees - An Odd Entrances / A Weird Exits
Flock of Dimes - If You See Me, Say Yes
Tobacco - Sweatbox Dynasty
Deerhoof - The Magic
James Blake - The Colour in Anything
Wilco - Schmilco
No. 1: "Blackstar" by David Bowie.
What if you could soundtrack your last will and testament?
Obviously it's not a "pump up jam" sort of album.
It's adult. It's not easy.
It's a late Sat. night, having a drink, hanging out sort of album.
I love it.
No. 2: Car Seat Headrest "Teens of Denial"
The story has been oft-told — a kid spends years making music in obscurity, woodshedding, studying the classics, honing his craft.
Finally, the kid gets a glimmer of attention right when his talent starts to blossom, and he’s writing some of the best songs of his life.
That’s the backstory for Teens of Denial.
Will Toledo recorded 11 albums as a teenager living in Leesburg, VA. He posted them on his Bandcamp site and without any money or hype found an audience.
Now he's 25, re-recorded the best songs for Teens of Denial, and is touring non-stop after much critical acclaim.
A great underdog story.
No. 3: Margo Price "Midwest Farmer's Daughter"
She's as "old school" country as it gets outside of the OG's like Dolly and Loretta.
Paid her dues in Nashville, tours nonstop.
The album is a **** kickin' good time.
Nothing fancy. Great songs, great playing. The perfect alternative to the buttheaded bro-country crap on the radio.
I was lucky enough to see her play three times this past year. Even met her parents at the ACL taping last September.
4. Beyonce' & Jack White "Don't Hurt Yourself" from "Lemonade". It's a killer. Jack produced and plays drums on it as well.
5. Metallica, Hardwired … To Self-Destruct.
6. Radiohead "Moon Shaped Pool"