Another year, another top 10 with my average opinions on music.
Here are my Top 10 albums and Top 5 EPs of the year:
10. Columbus – Spring Forever (UNFD)
Absolutely stellar effort from the trio out of Brisbane, delivering more of their brand of alt rock/pop punk in a tight cohesive package. Columbus are a perfect example of a band that is making music they love and having fun doing it. (‘Stay’ being an example of the band channelling their inner rock god image).
9. BADBADNOTGOOD – IV (Innovative Leisure)
The Canadian born quartet back again with their stellar brand of jazz/hip hop fusion. The group expanded their sound on this release as well as collaborating their artists such as producer Kaytranada, rapper Mike Jenkins & Sam Herring of Future Islands. This band consistently puts out great music and I can wait to see what the band comes up with next.
8. Nothing – Tired of Tomorrow (Relapse Records)
For me, this shoegaze revival has only really produced a few notable bands (the rest being My Blood Valentine & Slowdive ripoffs) which left me sceptical to listen to this album but I was pleasantly surprised with this new offering from Nothing. Some of the most catchy tunes I have heard this year and definitely a cut above the rest of the bands doing this sound.
7. Balance & Composure – Light We Made (Vagrant Records)
Probably my most anticipated album of 2015 and god did this thing deliver. On this release, B&C changed up their sound a fair bit compared to their last album. Adding a lot more synth and electronic based influence to their sound with similar comparisons to bands such as Radiohead & The Cure. A massive highlight on the album being that beautiful huge sounding fuzz/synth bass tone.
6. Siberian Hell Sounds – Svengali (Art As Catharsis)
This album is straight up evil and I love every bit of it. Everything on this album is sonically bigger and crushingly brutal compared to the band’s past releases and it is some of the best blackened grind I have ever heard.
5. Kanye West – The Life Of Pablo (GOOD Music/Def Jam Recordings)
From public psychotic episodes to Trump meet ups, 2016 has had a lot of Kanye thrown into our faces but when you get past Kanye the celebrity, you get The Life of Pablo. One of my favourite hip hop offerings from the Atlanta rapper since 2010’s ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’.
4. Trophy Eyes – Chemical Miracle (UNFD)
When I first got my ears around ‘Chemical Miracle’ my first reaction was, ‘this is actually what I thought the band was capable of and then some’. The lads from Newcastle have completely out done themselves on this album and is a testament to newer bands trying to achieve greatness in the Australian alternative scene yet consistently evolving on every release. (Also there’s blast beats on the record so that’s a winner).
3. Touché Amoré – Stage Four (Epitaph Records)
What an experience this album is. Vocalist Jeremy Bolm, after the passing of his mother of cancer in 2014 has written one of most powerful, real and moving albums i have heard in recent memory. Aside from the fantastic lyrical content of the album, the whole band has evolved and have really found their sound on this album. Adding elements of post punk and post rock influenced by anything from The National, Sun Kil Moon & The Smiths to their brand of post hardcore. Also featuring an amazing track ‘Skyscaper’ featuring the equally amazing Julien Baker which is probably the band’s most un-Touché song on the album which is definitely not a bad thing.
2. Chance The Rapper – Coloring Book (Independent)
The highly anticipated mixtape from the Chicago rapper/producer is my favourite hip hop album of 2016, which at this point “will snatch the grammy’’. On Colouring Book, Chance has written one of the best upbeat, gospel albums I have ever heard exploring elements of jazz and soul in tribute to his idols and influences from James Brown to Kanye West. Boasting features from Kaytranada to Lil Wayne to the Chicago Children’s Choir, Chance’s choices of features has been an odd one but in true Chance form, he has made every one of them fit perfectly on the record (I can believe I love a track featuring 2 Chainz & Lil Wayne but here we are).
1. Oxen – ‘Oxen II’ (Lacklustre Records)
This album changed me as a music listener & musician. Everything from the haunting vocal performance to the beautiful dreamy guitars to the impeccable song structure and pacing, Oxen have delivered an absolute masterpiece on ‘Oxen II’. There’s not much more I can say about this release because I feel like it needs to be experienced and interpreted in your own way so give it a go, you won’t be disappointed.
Top 5 EPs of the Year
The Comfort – Love
Polaris – The Guilt & The Grief
Hindsight – Disposable Paradise
The Hard Aches – I Freak Out
Harbours – Nothing Stays The Same
See you in 2017 and another crap top 10 list 🙂