Favorite Albums and EPs of 2016
Believe it or not, but bands are still releasing their music in album form, and call me old-fashioned, but I still l still love to listen to music like that, not just as singles on Spotify. My musical tastes definitely revolve around the alt-rock genre, which is definitely reflected in my favorite releases from 2016. Did any of these albums make your list?
1. Dreamers - This Album Does Not Exist
The first full-length album from the now L.A. based trio was released back in August. Dreamers' brand of alt-rock leans into the pop side of the genre on this album, and their songs are full of catchy guitar riffs and lyrics. Check out songs "Sweet Disaster," "Wolves (You Got Me)", and "Painkiller."
2. Phantogram - Three
The lead single may be "You Don't Get Me High Anymore," but that's obviously talking about a relationship, not this band. Totally complete album full of great songs. When they stopped in Columbus recently, they didn't even get to my favorite track from this new album, "Run Run Blood." Bonus: check out their dog's Instagram feed @leroythegoodboy.
3. Green Day - Revolution Radio
Whether you think Green Day are punk sellouts or not, there is no denying that the guys from Gillman Street have returned to form with their latest release. Hard-hitting lead single "Bang Bang" is definitely strong, but deeper tracks "Still Breathing" and "Youngblood" show off what Billie Joe does best.
4. Lewis Del Mar - Lewis Del Mar
The more I listen to this album, the first full-length from the Rockaway Beach, NYC duo, the higher I want to move it up my list. Admittedly, it took a little while for their first single "Loud(y)," released in 2015, to grow on me, but once it did I couldn't get enough. The whole album ebbs and flows from intense rocking to quiet introspection. Tracks "14 Faces" and "Pureto Cabezas, NI" stand out in showing what these guys are all about.
5. Weezer - Weezer (White Album)
Another all-time great rock band returning to form. It's always summer whenever Weezer is playing, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
6. Angela Perley & the Howlin' Moons - Homemade Vision
This Columbus band may have started out with a more country/folk influence epitomized by the anthem "Athens," but make no mistake, Angela Perley now makes pure rock 'n' roll. From top to bottom, this album illustrates what was great about '70s blues-inspired rock music. Bonus: Angela and the guys teamed up with Homestead Brewery out in Heath to brew a delicious IPA named after the album.
7. Little Green Cars - Ephemera
The second album from the five-piece indie rock band hailing from Dublin (the real one) who previously shot to fame on the strength of songs "Harper Lee" and "The John Wayne." Unfortunately there is no one track on Ephemera that is as single-worthy, but the album as a whole is incredibly deep. Co-lead singer Faye O'Rourke really shines on this album, and brings so much power to tracks "I Don't Even Know Who" and "Good Women Do."
8. Bear Hands - You'll Pay For This
Experimental, electro-pop that is just great to listen to. If the sentiments of track "2AM" hit you a little too close to home, as it did for me, well, at least there's still good music to pass what little time we have left.
9. AURORA - All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend
When 20 year old Aurora Aksnes, all the way from Norway, sings it's like living inside of dream, Definitely on the dream-pop side of indie, but so strong and powerful. Check out "Conqueror," "Murder Song (5,4,3,2,1)," and "Running With The Wolves."
10. Mary Lynn - My Animal
Another Columbus band to round out my top 10. Mary Lynn's first releases were more singer-songwriter type, but similarly to Angela Perley above, Mary Lynn now fronts a bona fide rock band. "Two & Two," "Space," and "Funeral" all perfectly demonstrate her quirky and honest approach to Mary Lynn's style of indie rock. What's better than a piano-playing, cat-loving Columbus girl? Answer: Nothing, except her music videos.
1. The Palms - Sway
A brand new duo from LA, The Palms' debut EP, featuring "Push Off," simply rocks.
2. Kid Runner - Body Language
This independent Columbus indie-pop band released their third EP, and it's their most diverse and best yet. From the upbeat, make you want to dance, tune "Different Kind of Love," to the reflective "Wet Cement," there is no weak link here. I still don't know how this band continues to fly somewhat under the radar.
3. Bishop Briggs - Bishop Briggs (Record Store Day vinyl)
Until this vinyl Record Store Day release, all we had were individual single releases from the LA based Brittish singer. "River" and "Wild Horses" offer a glimpse of what is hopefully to come in the future. Bonus points because the record sleeve glows in the dark.
4. The Wrecks - We Are The Wrecks
These guys self-produced their three song EP after only having been a band for a week. They were great live opening for Nothing But Thieves, and hopefully there will be more new music from them this year.