Best Albums Of 2016

Let’s be honest – 2016 might not have been the best year, all in all. A lot of good guys lost and a lot of the bad ones won. But as always, proper good music is impervious to social and political disappointments, so this year was still a great one for amazing new albums.

And we here at the LP Cafe pride ourselves on having some pretty good, as well as wide ranging, tastes, so we thought we’d help you separate the wheat from the chaff by listing our favourites out of the multitude of  releases this year. From the highly anticipated blockbusters to the unexpectedly accomplished debuts, there’s something for everyone to get into.

So here goes, in no particular order, our best albums of 2016:

Blackstar by David Bowie

An uneasy ode to his own impending mortality, it’s not often that you get an album so weighty with heartfelt self-analysis. Broadening out from the art-rock feel of 2013’s The Next Day, this final album intertwines jazz with hip hop influences and his characteristic huge ballad feel, proving that Bowie was an original to the end.

I, Gemini by Let’s Eat Grandma

Reminding us that musical talent transcends both age and experience, the nursery-rhyme pop-punk of teen duo Let’s Eat Grandma is surreal and intriguing. The exciting blend of mysterious, ethereal instrumental tracks with pop bangers makes this album one of our unexpected favourites.

You Want It Darker by Leonard Cohen 

A posthumously released vinyl from the guy who Paul calls the “master of misery”, this album’s thick textured production and raw lyrics make it so dark its hard to imagine it going any darker. One of the most memorable albums from an artist the world isn’t going to forget any time soon.

Some Things Last Longer Than You by Doe

One of our bestsellers in store, the energy from this up and coming punk band’s debut threatens big things in the future. The bitter, poppy track “Monopoly” embodies everything we like about Doe – a climactic jumble of heavy guitar, catchy, no-s**ts given lyrics, and thrashing drums.

Album Art for 22, A Million by Bon Iver22, A Million by Bon Iver

From the man who probably dreams in genius love songs comes the unexpectedly experimental album 22, A Million. After a life-changing career in chart-topping romantic folk, Bon Iver skips easily into experimenting confidently with electronic sampling, while keeping the sentimental lyrics that we love him for.

Sneaks, GymnasticsGymnastics by Sneaks 

Anthony’s favourite, Sneaks is very much of the less-is-more, heavier-the-better new class of 2016. Her short and not so sweet album Gymnastics is just 13 minutes long, but packs several punches with her nostalgically monotonous punk voice laid over some seriously catchy bass.

A Moon Shaped Pool by Radiohead

Loved as much for the arresting quality of the production as for their boundary pushing anti-internet ethos, Radiohead continue to make themselves eternally relevant. This album is soulful and incredibly earnest in a way that 2016 mostly wasn’t.

Permanent Rainbow by Nervus

The musical output of our very own Paul Terris, Permanent Rainbow is a great bit of emotional catharsis for 2016 with its beautiful, wrenching melodies and sincere self-reflections.

Virginia WingForward Constant Motion by Virginia Wing

Virginia Wing’s aptly titled Forward Constant Motion gestures towards her urgent, constantly surprising experiments with voice and sound. The beats jangle disjointedly against the electronic manipulations, but in the end all of these layers come together so perfectly, and so unexpectedly.

Requiem by Goat

Charmingly eccentric, Goat’s hopeful collectivist folk aesthetic is the perfect antidote for the humdrum of our internet age. Their music transcends their smorgasbord of seemingly contradictory influences to make something that is just pretty sweet listening.

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