This list was much longer when I first started it. I have no probelm with long personal lists of favorite albums. The ones listed at the bottom are great, and you can’t go wrong with any of them. But what is most significant to me about 2016 is the number of records that I have a deep, personal connection with. I found religion with Chance, partied with A Giant Dog, experienced broken familial relationships with Eric Bachmann, discovered the stories of small town Canada with Andy Shauf, and learned about freedom through forgiveness from Beyonce. I remember hearing music from these fifteen records for the first time, and how strongly I reacted to it.
I made more time this year to indulge in music. PJ and I had long afternoons playing each other records. I listened intently to a different album every week and wrote about it for Off Your Radar. I actually kept up with my secret “New” playlist on Spotify where I dump new records.
A few notes: I say this every year, but I am not a critic. I can’t hear a majority of records that are released in any given year. Therefore I call these my “favorite” records, and not the “best.” I mostly post these lists so I can get my five readers to listen to Andy Shauf, and as a catalog of my yearly favorites (I look back on them all the time). Also, because I couldn’t decide if I should put Lemonade or A Seat at the Table first, this is in alphabetical order.
Eric Bachmann- s/t
Chance the Rapper- Coloring Book
Childish Gambino- “Awaken, My Love!”
A Giant Dog- Pile
Itasca- Open to Chance
Mitski- Puberty 2
Kevin Morby- The Singing Saw
Angel Olsen- MY WOMAN
Andy Shauf- The Party
Solange- A Seat at the Table
Weyes Blood- Front Row Seat to Earth
Jamila Woods- HEAVN
And others: Open Mike Eagle, Summer Flake, Johanna Warren, Nothing, Lydia Loveless, EZTV, Jeff Rosenstock, Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop, Chairlift, Shearwater, Kweku Collins… A really good fucking year for music!
Songs from these records and many more can be found on my Spotify playlist, Songs I Was Obsessed with in 2016:
What were your favorite records from 2016?