‘Tis time. My annual music review has been something I have put together for several years, but I have generally limited it to a personal Facebook post. That seems a little silly, considering these vast tools at my disposal to reach at least 5-10 additional people who might care. So, I’m expanding the reach this year. Here we go: my favorite albums of 2016 (and late 2015, if I did not get to it by 2015, but it counts because I make the rules). The first few entries here are interchangeable in my rankings – they are all albums I have listened to incessantly since I discovered them.
1. Tacocat – Lost Time
I was way late to the game on Tacocat. Then, I was listening to extensively curated female-singer-indie-rock channel on Pandora, and Pandora and I had a discussion, which essentially amounted to Pandora saying, “Um, you like Tacocat, dumbass. No, really. Get on that,” and me saying, “Mmhm.” We had that conversation about three times before I paid attention. Pandora was correct, and I have remedied the problem. I am now caught up. The good news is this happened at the perfect time: about a month before the release of a new Tacocat album, followed by not one, but two rare DC tour appearances. It’s true: I Tacocat and you should, too. Their newest album, Lost Time, covers all kinds of fun topics, but I will leave that to you to work through.
2. S P O R T S – All of Something (2015)
Heartfelt, energetic, solid indie rock with a distinct hint of a midwestern sound. This album grabbed me immediately…I just didn’t hear it until early 2016. I read a review of All of Something shortly after I heard it that made it sound as though this band had all the makings of one that was not long for this world (some members – but not all – graduated from college and moved from Ohio to Philly). It hasn’t done them in yet.
3. Bloodboy – Best of Bloodboy EP
No, Bloodboy is not a hardcore or metal band (at least not yet) – just solo singer/songwriter Lexie Papilion. I am still trying to figure out how I found my way to this EP. It contains sounds one would normally expect to find exclusively in ’80s songs (and for those of you saying, “I love ’80s songs!” I did not mean that as a positive). It works, though. It really works. These are phenomenal songs. Intense, biting, and infectious – I have been listening to this EP repeatedly for the past couple of months. If only there were a physical product so that I could give her money for her music… Anyway, this EP is a stellar debut and I look forward to what is to come.
Highlights: Keep Your Disease https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxH5DNIF9uU
Hey Kid https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUkFgXCV5fQ
Fuck Yourself (I find it endlessly entertaining that Amazon refers to this one as “Fuck Yourself [Explicit]”…y’think?) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6nXvLLdVDQ
Mom, I’ve Changed https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Uiq8Q9XgJE
Oh, just listen to the whole thing. It’s all good. The last track doesn’t hold my attention quite as much as the first five, but it’s still good.
4. Blowout – No Beer, No Dad
Blowout sounds like early Lemuria…I mean they REALLY remind me of early Lemuria. This is a fantastic development – I miss early Lemuria. It’s catchy indie-punk songs at their finest. This is their first full length, and it has also been occupying my stereo with great regularity in the latter part of this year.
Highlights: Guts Grown Up https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psoYmtqACxU
Cents Cents Money Money https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cq2tzjgAjhc
Green Couch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Q1WwxjuQ0w