Time for the dreaded and pointless albums of the year 2016 list. Yeah, I know this list is ridiculously long, but it was already difficult enough to cut this down to 50 so I decided to stop breaking my heart anymore and just go with this long list. Sorry about that. The order is pretty insignificant and I didn’t think that long about it. Any album could go 10-20 spots up or down on some other day. It’s basicly just 50 albums that I held dear during the year 2016.
50. Frederick Squire – Spooky Action at a Distance
Canadian Frederick Squire can do the honors and kick off this list with his quietly spectacular new album Spooky Action at A Distance. You might know him as the Fred in Daniel, Fred & Julie, but his solo albums are treasures as well. Maybe this one didn’t hit me as hard as March 12 or Sings Shenandoah and Other Popular Hits, but it’s still gorgeous.
49. Luka – Summon Up A Monkey King
Sticking in Canada for the time being. Luka aka Luke Kuplowsky loves cats, Kaurismäki and Richman. So my kind of guy most definitely. Summon Up a Monkey King is a great late night listening and presents love through different perspectives. And Rohmer plays his important role both in the album cover and the music videos with grace and absolute perfection. What a beautiful cat.
48. Ryan Allen and His Extra Arms – Basement Punk
I’m way behind with 2016 power pop or melodic pop and haven’t even heard some important ones like the new Legal Matters album. I need to go through the year-end lists of the pop blogs sometime early in the 2017 to see what I’ve missed. However, I do have a few great ones on this list. Ryan Allen and His Extra Arms from Michigan is a long time favourite and this one is his finest album. Mal n’ Ange is one of my jams of 2016.
47. Hayes Carll – Lovers and Leavers
The new Hayes Carll album got a little mixed reviews, but I think it’s rather stunning. It sure is a little ballad-heavy and requires a certain mood. Therefore this is one of those that could easily jump into the top 20 on some day and out from the list on another. But the songwriting is excellent. This song The Magic Kid is one of the best of the year.
46. Jeremy Squires – Shadows
Jeremy Squires from North Carolina is somehow able to present fragility and sadness in such manner that all that gloom gets overshadowed by the peace and warmness that flows through the listener.
45. Joe Purdy – Who Will Be Next?
The new Joe Purdy album deals with difficult issues like gun violence, refugee crisis, police brutality, racism. Actually everything it tells should be naively obvious to all of us, but it’s still an important and welcome reminder, because somehow lack of empathy seem to be a running theme in this current world. Children of Privilege by Joe Purdy from Red Barn Studio Live Sessions.
44. Shotgun Jimmie – Field Of Trampolines
I’m not sure is happiness consultant a thing, but if it is I could definitely use one and Canadian Shotgun Jimmie would be a strong candidate for the job. One sure needed a Field Of Trampolines when the year constantly tried to drag us down. It might not be over yet, but I’m sure we can bounce back. Let’s love, laugh and listen to Jimmie.
43. Al Scorch – Circle Round The Signs
Al Scorch from Chicago released his Bloodshot Records debut Circle Round The Signs in the spring. There’s both banjo-driven high-tempo foot stompers and beautiful ballads. Saw him live in Stockholm in the fall and that was a great evening.
42. Big Shoals – Hard Lessons
Big Shoals from Gainesville, FL was a completely new find to me and their latest album Hard Lessons turned out to be a great americana / alt.country album. Very convincing already and I expect them to one day hit the top 10, if both a) they keep making records b) I keep writing a blog.
41. Margo Price – Midwest Farmer’s Daughter
Country singer-songwriter Margo Price has received a lot of hype during the year and righfully so. This might be a surprisingly low position for this excellent album. This was actually jumping up and down while I was making this list, because on the other hand there are songs that I absolute love like Hands of Time, but also some I don’t care that much for like the first single Hurtin’ (On The Bottle). Easily ends up on a positive and high note though. The perfect way to end this first chapter of the albums of the year list is Margo Price and her songs Hands Of Time that is one of the finest songs of the year.