Part two of my favourite albums of 2016 is full of noise, grime, post rock and so much more.
40- Preoccupations – Preoccupations (Jagjaguwar)
The band formerly known as Viet Cong may have changed their name, but they have definitely not changed their sound or ability to deliver a solid combination of post-punk, indie rock, art rock and noise rock. Preoccupations is a tense listen with jagged guitar tones that make it sound both ferocious and alive, as well as cold and desolate.
Highlights: Anxiety, Degraded, Memory
39- Olm – Little Boy (Grey Matter Productions)
An eerie, unsettling soundscape from the Tasmanian noise and drone musician. Little Boy’s collaged production is done expertly, creating an immersive listen that demands your attention and repeated listens. It’s been a really busy couple of years for Olm, but this record, to me, is certainly his strongest work to date.
Highlights: A Man Sees The Sky (Detail), Missing Children, Little Boy
38- Swans – The Glowing Man (Young God Records)
The Glowing Man is a fitting finale to the band’s latest epic trilogy, showcasing Gira’s ability to craft cacophonous symphonies of rock and noise that prove to be incredibly hypnotic, mesmerising and captivating.This album, much like its two predecessors in the Swans discography, feel alive in their brooding, fluid nature. This is an album of epic proportions.
Highlights: Cloud of Unknowing, The Glowing Man, Finally Peace
37- Kano – Made In The Manor (Parlophone)
Made In The Manor shows just how far Kano has come in his career, placing him in his rightful place at the very top of UK hip hop and grime. This is one of the year’s most underrated releases, and for it to come so deep into Kano’s career is a testament to him and all involved. Made In The Manor is a passionate, varied and artistic postcard of the UK according to Kano, but there is deeper meaning to the songs here, making them all the more relatable.
Highlights: 3 Wheel-ups (Feat. Wiley & Giggs), T-Shirt Weather In The Manor, Deep Blues (Feat. Damon Albarn)
36- Julia Jacklin – Don’t Let The Kids Win (Liberation)
This debut release from the Australian singer evokes the best of Sharon Van Etten and Angel Olsen in its delivery of beautifully delicate indie pop and folk bordering on alternative-country. Jacklin’s often-hushed and delicate vocal performances make this record incredibly alluring, while the occasional grungier moments keep the listener engaged in the gorgeous and truthful narration that makes each and every one of these tracks a worthy listen.
Highlights: Elizabeth, Pool Party, Coming Of Age
35- Anderson .Paak – Malibu (Steel Wool Records)
I was eagerly anticipating this record after Paak’s starring role on Dr Dre’s 2015 Compton album, and this definitely delivered. Soulful R&B delivered with energy, passion and attitude. The album rarely tires, despite being an hour in length, and is really a constant stream of possible singles that would put a smile on my face at any time.
Highlights: Come Down, The Season | Carry Me, Am I Wrong (Feat. Schoolboy Q)
34- Ball Park Music – Every Night The Same Dream (Stop Start)
Ball Park’s fourth record is an absolute triumph and confirmation that they are Australia’s premier indie pop outfit. This record has shown the band’s willingness and capacity to experiment with more experimental and psychedelic sounds and textures, while still maintaining their pop sensibilities and ability to produce earworms that will stay in your head for weeks. With their most mature and experimental album to date, these Brisbanians have really knocked the ball out of the park.
Highlights: Pariah, Whipping Boy, Leef
33- Swet Shop Boys – Cashmere (Customs)
The teaming up of Das Racist’s Heems (of Punjabi-Indian descent) and Englishman Riz MC (of Pakistani descent) over the production of Redinho has made one for one of the years most creative and unique hip hop releases. The two mesh their contrasting rap schemes brilliantly to discuss matters of their South Asian identities in the West, racism and xenophobia. Cashmere is full to the brim with sharp, mature political commentary, vibrant subcontinental beats and an energy that will keep you constantly coming back for more.
Highlights: Zayn Malik, T5, No Fly List
32- Nicolas Jaar – Sirens (Other People)
Sirens is a politically charged and reflective album, littered with references to Jaar’s own life and Chilean politics, although the music here is so textured and hypnotic that you may not even realise it. However, when you do, you will find yourself loving and appreciating this album even more. Sirens moves seamlessly from ambient pop to pulsatingly absorbing bangers with such fluidity that it’s without question one of the most engaging and hypnotic electronic releases of the year.
Highlights: Three Sides of Nazareth, The Governor, Killing Time
31- Luca Brasi – If This Is All We’re Going To Be (Poison City Records)
The Tasmanian natives are quickly becoming one of Australia’s premier rock bands and this record is without question their most cohesive, confident and powerful yet. The band’s knack for huge hooks, electrifying melodies and subtle tenderness makes this record one of 2016’s most melodic punk rock releases and an album full of tracks that will make you smile, ponder and want to live life to the fullest.
Highlights: The Cascade Blues, Anything Near Conviction, Overwhelmed / Ill Prepared
Check out tracks from some of these albums below!