BEST MUSIC 2016

records

2016: The year everyone wanted to end. A year that saw countless celebrity deaths fail to let up until the last second. As 2016 began, I remember hearing the news that David Bowie had passed away, and I thought it was a hoax. It had to be. He had never spoken of being ill, and he was always so prolific and immortal it seemed impossible. I was deeply troubled for weeks, to the point of having to come to terms with understanding why someone I didn’t know personally had such an impact on me emotionally. After a lot of reflection I realized that growing up and coming of age with someone’s direct musical and artistic influence brings them close to our hearts as if we do know them. As if they’re a part of us somehow. The heart doesn’t know any different. That is why mourners flock when a beloved celebrity dies. They are usually strangers, yet they are affected as loved ones. There IS a connection there. Bowie for one helped shape my own music and artistry since I first saw his space-aged androgynous bones move across the stage. He was one of the most important icons I looked to for inspiration time and time again. It left a deep void in my heart to lose him. He left behind a mysterious and brilliant album in Blackstar which was his final statement to the world. “Look up here, I’m in heaven” he sings on the single “Lazarus” from his new album. “Ain’t that just like me.” “I’m going to be free, just like that bluebird.” Yes David, and we’re going to miss you.

Thinking the worst was over would hardly end up being a reality. Prince’s death was also a shock as it revealed that no one, no matter how iconic and revolutionary, was safe from the fragility of life itself. (Side note: don’t do drugs kids). It was hard to picture him lying dead alone in an elevator after growing up with his untouchably too-cool-for-school presence permeating radio, television, and movies. Images of him crawling across the floor like a cat bursting in high-pitched sexual calls to his lovers made it difficult to process that he had just simply overdosed. That he was human, after all. It was Prince who taught me that it was okay to push boundaries in pop music and lyricism. As a six year old child I was studying piano at the local conservatory under the strict direction of nuns. When asked to bring in a “Popular” piece of music (as opposed to the mainly classical music we studied there) I decided on Prince’s “When Doves Cry.” My teacher was appalled by the choice and angrily told me to “bring in something more appropriate next time!” Her stern demeanour and lack of tolerance for others types of music made me question so much. Wasn’t music, music? Chords, a melody, a string of words. Did it matter what the subject was if it was beautiful? And even still, isn’t it the artist’s artistic integrity to tell the story they want, using the words they want? How can you label art? It seemed silly (even at six years old!) to think a grown woman who’s soul purpose was to teach music itself would be so adversely opposed to such a great work. That lesson stuck with me. I quite the school soon after and never went back.

Worse still for me was George Michael’s death this past christmas day. I have often been asked what my favourite song of all time is, and though it’s difficult to choose just one, I have known it from my youth. The song is “One More Try” by the man himself. As a seven year old I was obsessed with the song. It was the first track that really taught me about emotion in music – there was something about the melody line and the way he sang the notes that hit my spine in such a way. I used to write the lyrics out on paper and sing along, rewinding the tape over and over until I wore it thin. As an adult it still resonates with me as being a remarkably beautiful song which has greatly inspired a lot of my own work, and my kinship with ballads. It’s also safe to say that his image seemed to have an impact on me at an impressionable age. I was taken with it. Tall, dark and handsome with a great haircut, trimmed beard, and cross earring adorned in a leather jacket – as on the cover for the album “Faith.” That image burned in my memory must have seeped into my own imagery. And I take pride in giving him credit for that. His voice was golden and well-rounded, and his first two solo albums were an obsession for me. I have sighted him as one of my main influences since day one, and it was so difficult to process losing his spirit on this earth. We’ll all miss him dearly.

New music in 2016 wasn’t overly notable in any respect. I had many discussions with my fellow Loveless Radio DJ’s and friends about our favourite tracks throughout the year, and until fall, no one had heard anything that could claim their top spot. Save for a few surprises, there was nothing historically altering, and I feel it is fitting for the year’s downtrodden path anyway. Let’s consider it to be a transition year, something to get out of the way as we move to a better road ahead.

As usual, I spent a lot of time digging for anything that would remotely affect my hungry musical palate, and though the list was short this year, here is what I did enjoy and the songs that were in heavy rotation on my playlist. In a year of turmoil, death, protests, shootings, fear, and president Trump – these were the bright lights that shone through and made things better, if not wonderful.

Enjoy!

Stream The Full Playlist On Spotify

1. RADIOHEAD | TRUE LOVE WAITS

radiohead-moon-shaped

2. THE WEEKEND | STARBOY

daft-punk-feat-the-weeknd-starboy

3.  THE AVALANCHES | FRANKIE SINATRA

the-avalanches-frankie

4. MITSKI | YOUR BEST AMERICAN GIRL

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5. LUH | I&I

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6. PHANTOGRAM | BARKING DOG

phantogram-1

7. NIGHT MOVES | DENISE, DON’T WANNA SEE YOU CRY

night-moves-penneid

8. WEEZER | LA GIRLZ

weezer-white

9. BON IVER | 715 CREEKS

22-a-million

10. ANGEL OLSEN | SHUT UP KISS ME

angel-olsen

11. RADIOHEAD | DAYDREAMING

radiohead-day

12. DAVID BOWIE | LAZARUS

david-bowie

13. THE AVALANCHES | BECAUSE I’M ME

the-avalanches-wildflower

14. ALL TVVINS | THANK YOU

all-tvvins

15. ANIMAL COLLECTIVE | FLORIDADA

floridada

16. CAVEMAN | NEVER GOING BACK

caveman

17. HANNAH GEORGAS | RIDEBACK

albumcover-hannahgeorgas-forevelyn-min

18. KEATON HENSON | ALRIGHT

keaton-henson-2

19. HAR MAR SUPERSTAR | CONFIDENCE

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20. BEACH BABY | U R

beach-baby

21. BECK | WOW

beck-wow

22. MUNA | LOUDSPEAKER

muna

23. KINGS OF LEON | WASTE A MOMENT

kings-of-leons-walls

24. BLACK MARBLE | FRISK

black-marble

25. YEASAYER | I AM CHEMISTRY

yeasayer

26. THE TRAGICALLY HIP | IN A WORLD POSSESSED BY THE HUMAN MIND

trag

27. DADDY | LIME GREEN DRESS

lime-green-dress

28. HANNAH GEORGAS | EVELYN

hannah-georgas-3

29. HOOTON TENNIS CLUB | KATY-ANN BELLIS

hooton-tennis-club

30. GORDI | AVANT GARDENER

gordi

31. THE VEILS | SWIMMING WITH CROCODILES

the-veils-total

32. HER’S | MARCEL

hers

33. HAR MAR SUPERSTAR | HOW DO I GET THROUGH THE DAY?

har-mar-2

34. CAVEMAN | LIFE OR JUST LIVING

caveman-human

35. DEFTONES | DOOMED USER

deftones

36. MARK KOZELEK | SEND IN THE CLOWNS

mark-kozelek-2

37. NIKI & THE DOVE | PLAY IT ON MY RADIO

niki dove

38. FROM INDIAN LAKES | THE MONSTER

from-indian-lakes

39. HANNAH GEORGAS | DON’T GO

hannah-georgas-2

40. CAR SEAT HEADREST | VINCENT

car-seat-vincent

41. PHANTOGRAM | YOU’RE MINE

phantogram-2

42. THE STROKES | OBLIVIUS

the-strokes

43. 50 CENT | I’M THE MAN

50 Cent Im The Man.jpg

44. THE BOXER REBELLION | BIG IDEAS

the-boxer-rebellion

45. KEATON HENSON | NO WITNESSES

keaten-henson

46. TRAVIS SCOTT | ANTIDOTE

travis-scott

47. RY X | ONLY

ry-x

48. THE RANGE | COPPER WIRE

the-range

49. RAE SREMMURD | BLACK BEATLES

rae-srummund

50. CAVEMAN | HUMAN

caveman

51. PHANTOGRAM | ANSWER

phantogram-3

52. THE VEILS | HERE COME THE DEAD

the-veils-2

53. OPERATORS | COLD LIGHT

operators

54. RADIOHEAD | BURN THE WITCH

radiohead

55. JACUZZI BOYS | LUCKY BLADE

jacuzzi-boys

56. BRONCHO | ALL TIME

broncho

57. JAWS | WHAT WE HAVEN’T GOT YET

jaws

58. HANNAH GEORGAS | WASTE

hanna-g

59. THE TRAGICALLY HIP | MAN

tragically-hip-2

60. THE WEEKND | PARTY MONSTER

weeknd-party-monster

61. BEYONCE | SORRY

beyonce

62. TUNJI IGE | ON MY GRIND

tunji-inge

63. THE VEILS | KING OF CHROME

the-veils-king-of-chrome

64. STARFLYER 59 | RETIRED

sf59

65. MARK KOZELEK | FLOAT ON

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66. YOUNG MA | OOOUUU

young-ma-ouu

67. BON IVER | 29 #STRAFFORD APTS

22-a-million

68. JULIAN BACHLOW | FAMILY TIES

julian-bachlow

69. THE 1975 | SOMEBODY ELSE

the-1975-1

70. CHRISTINE & THE QUEENS | iT

christine

71. DAY WAVE | GONE

day-wave

72. AMERICAN WRESTLERS | GIVE UP

american-wrestlers

73. TASHA THE AMAZON | PICASSO LEANING

tasha

74. CAR SEAT HEADREST | FILL IN THE BLANK

car-seat-fill-in-the-blank

75. FORTH WANDERERS | KNOW BETTER

forth-wanderers

76. JIMMY EAT WORLD | SURE AND CERTAIN

jimmy-eat-world-integrity

77. RAPTURE | KITTEN

kitten

78. THE VEILS | IODINE & IRON

veils-4

79. KAISER CHIEFS | WE STAY TOGETHER

kaiser-cheifs

80. PREOCCUPATIONS | ANXIETY

preoccupations

81. M83 | GO!

m83-junk

82. IAMX | EVERYTHING IS BURNING

iamx

83. FRANCIS & THE LIGHTS | IT’S ALRIGHT TO CRY

francis-1

84. BANKS & STEELZ | GIANT

banks-and-steelz

85. HAYDIN CALNIN | CUT LOVE

hayden-calnin

86. WE ARE SCIENTISTS | BUCKLE

we-are-scientists

87. LUCY DACAS | I DON’T WANNA BE FUNNY ANYMORE

lucy-dacas

88. FRIENDS | FRANCIS & THE LIGHTS

francis-2

89. DANNY BROWN | WHEN IT RAIN

danny-brown-when-it-rain

90. BLOOD ORANGE | AUGUSTINE

blood-orange

91. MANY VOICES SPEAK | BLUE MOON

many-voices

92.  DEFTONES | PRAYERS/TRIANGLES

gore

93. CAR SEAT HEADREST | DRUNK DRIVERS/KILLER WHALES

car-seat-drunk

94. SAVAGES | ADORE

savages-adore

95. MYSTERY JETS | 1985

mystery-jets

96. CHANCE THE RAPPER | NO PROBLEM

chance-the-rapper

97. HELIOTROPES | WHEREVER YOU LIVE

heliotropes

98. A TRIBE CALLED QUEST | WE THE PEOPLE

tribe-called-quest

99. FAT WHITE FAMILY | RAINING IN YOUR MOUTH

fat-white-family

100.  MINOR VICTORIES | SCATTERED ASHES (FOR RICHARD)

minor-victories

101. COLOURS | LAWLESS

colours

102. DANNY BROWN | REALLY DOE

danny-brown-really-doe

103. LISSIE | HOLLYWOOD

lissie

104. EXPLODED VIEW | ORLANDO

exploded-view

105. KAYTRANADA | GLOWED UP

kaytranada

106. KITTEN | FALL ON ME

kitten-fall-on-me

107. THE 1975 | SHE’S AMERICAN

the-1975-american

108. PETE YORN | LOST WEEKEND

pete-yorn

109. MINOR VICTORIES | A HUNDRED ROPES

minor-victories-2

110. BLOW OUT | INDIANA

blowout

111. DVSN | HALLUCINATIONS

dvsn

112. LUST FOR YOUTH | DISPLAY

lust-for-youth

113. BLACK HONEY | ALL MY PRIDE

black-honey

114. DRELLER | CONTROL

dreller

115. SAYA | CHERRY BOMB

saya

116. PORCHES | BE APART

porches

117. LAUREL | SAN FRANSISCO

laurel

118. THE TVC | MONEY FT. AMIR GIRGIS

the-tvc

119. GREEN BUZZARD | I DON’T WANNA BREAK YOUR HEART

green-buzzard

120. CYMBALS EAT GUITARS | FINALLY

cymbals

121. HEAVY HEART | FEVER DREAM

heavy-heart

122. TALOS | IN TIME

talos

123. NOTHING | THE DEAD ARE DUMB

nothing

124. PROGRAMM | EVERYTHING AT ONCE

programm

125. DEAD WEIGHT | WHITE LUNG

white-lung

BEST ALBUMS OF 2016 

1. THE VEILS | TOTAL DEPRAVITY

the-veils-total

2. HANNAH GEORGAS | FOR EVELYN

albumcover-hannahgeorgas-forevelyn-min

3. PHANTOGRAM | THREE

phantogram-1

4. BON IVER | 22, A MILLION

22-a-million

5. MARK KOZELEK | MARK KOZELEK SINGS FAVOURITES

mark-kozelek-2

6. CAR SEAT HEADREST | TEENS OF DENIAL

teens-of-denial

7. DEFTONES | GORE

gore

8. HAR MAR SUPERSTAR | BEST SUMMER EVER

har-mar-1

9. RADIOHEAD | A MOON SHAPED POOL

radiohead-moon-shaped

10. THE TRAGICALLY HIP | MAN MACHINE POEM

trag

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