In my humble opinion, 2016 has been a shitty music year. Primo: he deaths of Prince, Bowie, Cohen, Sharon Jones and so many other I cannot recall this very moment. Deuxio: popular the charts are dominated with hip hop from Drake and Kanye West, which is fine for some but definitely not my cup of tea. So what are we left with? Going back over my top 25 albums of the year as well as my 50 favorite tunes (scroll all the way down for that playlist), it’s a relief to say good music is still going strong! With an ever-expanding array of choice, you just need to keep diving in to eventually find pearls. Peace.

  1. Loaf Eye – tomemitsu

    I discovered this artist by chance through my Spotify Discover Weekly playlist, otherwise would have never heard of him. He seems to have been completely overlooked by both the music press and the public: must admit the mustache and beige trousers in the above video may not have helped his marketing team. Still, tomemitsu produces beautiful understated shoegazey music with a sunny side – I listened to this album a lot.
  2. Blackstar – David Bowie No… although it’s an incredible artistic achievement, I cannot embed this Lazarus video, it is too plain sad to watch the Thin White Duke scenarize his own death. That said, this album goes beyond being a testament. Bowie was still pushing those musical boundaries and we loved him for that.
  3. I Had a Dream That You Were Mine – Hamilton, Leithauser / Rostam
  4.   Wildflower – The Avalanches After a 16-year hiatus, this comeback album was most welcome.
  5.  You Want it Darker – Leonard Cohen* The legacy of this gentlemen for music and poetry has me lost for words. A true Montreal legend, he made beautiful music right to the end of love.
  6. My Women – Angel Olsen
  7. 22, A Million – Bon Iver
  8. A Moon Shaped Pool – Radiohead
  9. Are You Alone? – Majical Clouds*
  10. Puberty 2 – Mitski 
  11. Mangy Love – Cass McCombs 
  12. Light Upon the Lake – Whitney
  13. The Colour in Anything – James Blake
  14. Rencontrer Looloo – Chocolat*
  15. Is This Is Are – Diiv
  16. Sirens – Nicolas Jaar
  17. Phase Zero – Morgan Delt
  18. Pool – Porches
  19. Good Luck and Do Your Best – Gold Panda
  20. The Hope Six Demolition Project – PJ Harvey
  21. Preoccupations – Preoccupations*
    Raising from the ashes of the band Women after the sudden death of a their singer, Viet Kong emerged with a new name and a solid album last year. They reciprocated in greatness, with 3rd change of band name for another eponymus album.
  22. Barbara Barbara, We Face a Shining Future – Underworld
  23. Freetown Sound – Blood Orange
  24. Not to Disappear – Daughter
  25. Waltzed in from the Rumbling – Plants & Animals*

And, as a bonus, a playlist of my favorite songs of the year:

Happy New Year!

* An asterisk designates a Canadian band/artist

Check out all our “top of 2016” articles here!

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About The Author

Julie Godon
Collaborator - RREVERB
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Julie was born from a trumpeter dad and a drummer mum with music written in her DNA. She is from this generation that went from listening to vinyl, to creating mixtapes on cassettes, to splurging her early savings on a CD player, to discovering Napster, the iPod and so on... In 2005 she took part in the launch of Radiolibre, Quebec's first music streaming service and in 2006 started Palmares.ca, a francophone MP3 store. She spent 10 years looking after over 80 Canadian radio websites and has a ticket stub diary of over 300 shows.