Top 50 Albums of 2016 – The International Edition (Part Three 30-21)

Part One 50-41
Part Two 40-31
Part Three 30-21
Part Four 20-11
Part Five 10-1

30. Caleb Caudle – Carolina Ghost

Moving on to the top 30. North Carolinian americana/country singer-songwriter Caleb Caudle has become a big blog favourite over the last few years and I will buy everything he releases. I really love the song Tuscaloosa, but obviously it’s not just that. The whole album is pretty amazing.

29. China – Pool Of Tears

This might be a little obscure pick, because San Francisco-based China is still criminally unknown. That’s unfortunate, because Pool of Tears is a wonderful record. Not exactly the happiest record you might ever hear, but somehow it’s still damn enjoyable one to listen to.

28. Cody Jinks – I’m Not The Devil

Looking for some real and true country music instead of country songs about sipping rum drinks by the pool (that was slightly modified late great Ben Bullington quote). Well look no further. Cody Jinks is the man for the job. I’m Not The Devil is an extremely convincing album and it has already picked several #1 spots in the country/americana blogosphere and rightfully so.

27. Caleb McCoach – Vanity

I accidentally stumbled upon this Caleb McCoach album Vanity during one of my aimless bandcamp browsing sessions. I listened to this for hours and hours and oh how badly I fell in love with it. It’s dark and fragile, but also somehow peaceful and warm. Caleb actually released another album in December. I have to get into that sometime soon, because this one is special.

26. Freschard – Sunday Night

Regular visitors are probably well aware that I’m seriously addicted to the music of French-born, but Berlin-based Freschard. Shh.. Boom Biddy Boom and now Sunday Night is an album trio that I could just listen to all day long. This new one maybe didn’t have anything as highly addictive as Cheese and Crackers or glorious as Tweet Tweet, but it’s definitely another winner.

25. Michael Nau – Mowing

Page France and Cotton Jones guy Michael Nau charmed me early in the year with his solo album Mowing. Full of sweet folk-tinged pop songs and irresistible low-key beauty. It all sounds so smooth, lovely and easy-flowing. I have the US version, but it also came out in the Europe very late in the year.

24. Itasca – Open To Chance

Paradise of Bachelors is a label whose taste I trust and I will listen to each and everyone of their releases. I didn’t know Itasca aka L.A based folk singer-songwriter Kayla Cohen before this album, but Open to Chance instantly became very dear to me. I’ve spent a lot of time just lying on the floor wrapped into the mesmerizing serene beauty of this album.

23. Matt Woods – How To Survive

New Matt Woods album How To Survive has been in really heavy rotation. The man has the voice and of course the songs too. This one Fireflies for example. So damn brilliant and the rest are pretty much on the same level.

22. Kacy & Clayton – Strange Country

Did I ever feature this when it came out on New West Records? If I didn’t, I’ll turn myself in tomorrow to the local police station. One shouldn’t get away with such a crime. Anyway these Canadian second cousins put together a stunning album that echoes both the North American folk tradition and British 70s folk. Very impressive.

21. Robert Ellis – Robert Ellis

Robert Ellis didn’t play it safe and the new album has very ambitious and innovative arrangements and more sonic adventures that I’m usually willing to take. Robert Ellis is such a talent that he can make this all work beautifully and this genre-blending break-up album turned out to be absolutely wonderful. Robert Ellis and California from his self-titled album is a perfect way to end this third chapter of this pointless albums of the year list.

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