By Justin Hermstedt
2016 was a standout year for music. New Kanye, Beyoncé, and Frank Ocean barely scratch the surface. What were your favorite albums of 2016? Here are some personal favorites from the staff at Style on the Hill.
A Seat at the Table – Solange
This album is soulful and spiritual and imaginative. Solange is too often overshadowed by her sister, and this album showcases her incredible musical talents. Her music is powerful.
Starboy – The Weeknd
A pretty sexy album. It’s r&b and electronic without being too overbearing. The album seems to flow better when I listen to it as a whole.
Holy Ghost – Modern Baseball
I came for the witty, angsty expressions of social hijinks/struggles which highlighted Modern Baseball’s first albums, but I stayed for the honest, introspective stories of surviving in the face of loss and mental illness. This album kicks ass.
Disappear Here – Bad Suns
Bad Suns had an awesome EP a couple of years ago and followed up this year with a dope album; Disappear Here is the perfect amount of peppy and artistic.
Call Him a Doctor – GFOTY
GFOTY (Girlfriend Of The Year) created the EPOTY with Call Him a Doctor. Rarely does an artist’s magnum opus manifest as an EP, but with Call Him a Doctor GFOTY infuses her signature wit/bombast with an unexpectedly refined pop-punk and PCMusic electronica.
The Ride – Catfish and the Bottlemen
Their first album was absolutely killer and this followed it perfectly. I honestly just don’t have any words for how great this band is.
Awaken, My Love! – Childish Gambino
This album is so different from anything Childish Gambino has done in the past, and a lot of people don’t like it for that reason. I thought it was spectacular. I think his voice was made for this kind of music.
Blackstar – David Bowie
David Bowie hadn’t died in 2016, Blackstar would still be a top ten album of the year. But nothing exists in a vacuum, so the compelling narrative behind Bowie’s last LP secures an already enchanting album its place as my second favorite album of 2016.
How to Be a Human Being – Glass Animals
Each track on How to Be a Human Being tells the story of a real person who Glass Animals have encountered in their travels. The unique narratives of these colorful characters coalesce into a uniform anthology, just like how the diverse and whimsical sounds form an awesome, melting pot of an album.
Centerfold – MOTHXR
MOTHXR explored the decadent basin of New Romantic dystopia’s pits and excavated a dark, amethyst gem with Centerfold.