albums of the year - 2016

This year was a bust in some ways, but in the case of music it definitely wasn't. With the amount of great albums that dropped this year, picking my top ten was definitely a challenge. After a good two weeks of putting off the decision-making, I have finally narrowed it down. 

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10. Knocked Loose - Laugh Tracks

With their first full-length, KL definitely made themselves known among hardcore. Every song on the album is so energetic that they feel as though they just need to be blared at full volume at all times. 

Check out: "Blood Will Have Blood," "Deadringer"


9. Every Time I Die - Low Teens

Every Time I Die has been a band for about 20 years, and in that time has never ceased to impress. Low Teens is the perfect combination of southern rock, rough hardcore, and witty lyrics to grow a fanbase and keep listeners interested. 

Listen to: "The Coin Has a Say," "It Remembers"


8. Pierce The Veil - Misadventures

Pierce The Veil's 2012 release, Collide with the Sky, was an album that broke new ground in post-hardcore. Because of this, their fanbase grew, and so did everyone's expectations of them. Misadventures was definitely one of my most anticipated albums this year, and it exceeded expectations by far. Misadventures traced back to the band's roots and combined the best features of A Flair for the Dramatic, Selfish Machines, and their newer sound from Collide with The Sky. 

Best tracks: "Song for Isabelle," "Dive In"


7. Vanna - All Hell

All Hell stood out among this year's releases for a variety of reasons. Between its gritty riffs, grimy, throaty vocals, and punch-packing lyrics, All Hell is incredible. The album is consistent from song to song, and the band clearly has a defined sound, both on the album and live. 

Listen to: "Leather Feather," "Flower"


6. Capsize - A Reintroduction: The Essence of All That Surrounds Me

Capsize definitely had the biggest change in sound out of the artists on the list. As a follow-up to their previous release, The Angst In My Veins, there is no comparison. The two albums sound so distinct from one another, it is as though the band has completely transformed. A Reintroduction meshes the gripping emotion of mid-2000s emo, and the viciousness of Capsize's previous hardcore sound, creating a beautiful album from beginning to end.

Listen to: "Sew My Eyes," "I'll Take The Blame"


5. Trophy Eyes - Chemical Miracle

Trophy Eyes made waves with Chemical Miracle. They took their pop-punk sound and made it more grungy, more impactful, and more lyrically awesome - and they made Chemical Miracle. This album is so emotionally charged. Its melodies will make listeners want to bob their heads, but its topics are far more profound. There's just something about this album that makes it fantastic, and it's one of those albums that you can listen to over and over without getting bored.

Jam to: "Nose Bleed," "Counting Sheep"


4. The 1975 - I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it

I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it, is probably one of the most unique albums released in 2016. The 1975 is known for their bubblegummy,, retro pop vibes, but their aesthetic went technicolor for ILIWYS. Matty's lyrics can be very short and snarky, but still flirty and fun. Every song on the album is super funky and very theatrical, which gives the album a neon glow. 

Best tracks: "Paris," "If I Believe You"


3. Moose Blood - Blush

Blush is definitely an incredible album. Moose Blood already had a US fan-base before Blush, but upon its release they have grown so much in popularity. Blush is sugary sweet and romantic, almost one hundred percent an album about love. However, it is not overly gushy or sappy. Some songs are bouncy and vibrant, while there are also a few soft and whimsical ballads. Moose Blood knows how to tell a story in each track, and also keep listeners' interest.

Vibe with: "Knuckles," "Shimmer"


Runner Up: The Amity Affliction - This Could Be Heartbreak

This Could Be Heartbreak is an album that grew on me extensively from the time it released. TCBHB at first listen just seems like a less heavy version of one of The Amity Affliction's older albums. However, that is far from the truth. This Could Be Heartbreak is one of the heaviest albums, if not the heaviest, album that The Amity Affliction has ever written, lyrically. It is also the most dynamic album they have composed. The album begins with the chiming of funeral bells and rain. The dark intro foreshadows the heavy undertones of the entire album, which is complete with orchestral melodies, a voicemail recording, and even some more mellowed out acoustic guitars. Each of these elements helped tie together the album and make it feel so much more impactful from every side and aspect. Because it was such a dynamic growth from their previous records (and my own personal bias towards the band, haha), it definitely deserves a high rank on the list.

Favorite tracks: "Nightmare," "All Fucked Up," "I Bring The Weather With Me"

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Album of the Year: Chase Huglin - You Deserve an Island

Chase Huglin is such an incredible artist. You Deserve An Island is his first full length, and one of the most underrated albums I have had the pleasure this year. Chase is so talented, and his gift lays within making music so simplistic and still so beautiful at the same time. It takes a lot to make an entire album acoustic, and still captivate listeners. Soft, blithe melodies carry the album, and raw, honest lyrics do as well. Upon its release, I saw a lot of hype from other musicians local to my area, and decided to check it out. You Deserve an Island is hands down one of the most beautiful, gentle, bittersweet albums I have ever been graced by. Each song is emotional, open, and blunt. Chase's album is also so multifaceted in content, describing heartbreak and happiness and everything in between. It is extremely rare for a first full-length album to be so catchy, so meaningful, and so overall impressive, but Chase Huglin has done it. Because of this, You Deserve an Island is definitely my album of the year.

Check out: "Pills," "Niagara," "You Deserve an Island"


Clearly it wasn't easy to make this list, and therefore, I decided to also add a list of honorable mentions. Here are the LPs and EPs that I felt were worth noting this year (in no particular order):

1. Stick To Your Guns - Better As Than Dust
2. Lights - Midnight Machine
3. Everyone Leaves - The Lonely End
4. Belmont - Between You & Me
5. Church Tongue - Heart Failure
6. Modern Baseball - Holy Ghost
7. Joyce Manor - Cody
8. Hot Mulligan - Opportunities
9. Snail Mail - Habit
10. Kharma - Survival
11. Ghost of a Dead Hummingbird - Under the Ultraviolet Light
12. Movements - Outgrown Things
13. Teen Suicide - It's the Big Joyous Celebration, Let's Stir the Honeypot
14. Angel Du$t - Rock The Fuck On Forever
15. Blackbear - Cashmere Noose
16. Issues - Headspace
17. Dance Gavin Dance - Mothership
18. Eskimeaux - Year of the Rabbit
19. Frankie Cosmos - Next Thing
20. Daughter - Not to Disappear

And with that list, I think it's safe to say 2016 in music is a wrap. It was an eventful year in music, and definitely one worth remembering. Now to see what