This year has been a lot of looking backwards, music-wise. I’ve done quite a bit of writing which tends to result in going back to everything I listened to while studying at high school. Having said that, there are some sick as tunes that hit us this year.
In no particular order:
Beyoncé – Lemonade
I don’t trust any list of music from 2016 that doesn’t include this album. Running the risk of comparing the queen that is Yoncé to crusty old white dudes, it reminds me a lot of Phillip Glass/Leonard Cohen – Book of Longing.
Lin-Manuel Miranda (et al) – Hamilton
Honourable mention to: Fugue for Brotherhorns
I haven’t taken Hamilton off my phone since I purchased the album. It’s also one of like three albums I’ve purchased this year. It combines all my favourite things: hip-hop, history, occasionally counting or spelling in songs, and nice use of motifs.
I think it particularly rings true for people who live in former colonies and can feel the harsh juxtaposition between what their country is now and what it once was. The passing mentions of slavery are particularly compelling because while a lot of the fanbase of Hamilton is young scrappy and hungry, on the grand scheme of things slavery wasn’t that long ago, and it’s kind of messed up that we act like it was.
ConcernedApe – The Stardew Valley Soundtrack
Most of the music I’ve listened to this year has been while writing, which the soundtrack to Stardew Valley definitely enables. I’ll talk more about Stardew Valley on my videogames post!
3oh!3 – Night Sports
3OH!3 is trash and I love it. Every time I listen to them it’s like I’ve found a pile of junk but I’m a happy little racoon who is so stoked about this total hot mess with completely predictable drops. Their sound has barely matured since I got into them in 2009 and it’s gorgeous and grungy and everything I love.
Dessa – Quinine
Quinine is a single from Dessa and I hope with every fibre in my being that this signals a new album from one of my favourite artists. A new single from the whole of Doomtree was also dropped this year, which will probably get me through while I wait on the edge of my seat for new albums. Having said that, the back catalogue of both Dessa and Doomtree is lengthy so there’s always something unfamiliar to put in your ears.
Homestuck – [S] Collide
Homestuck is a webcomic that has pushed the boundaries of what digital content can be and do since 2009. It finished this year with a whirlwind of new content, including [S] Collide – [S] Collide refers to an animation that can be found on the Homestuck webcomic, and the album includes the music used on that page.
You can hear me Telling Everyone About Homestuck on the “Fandom” episode of Things of Interest, which I link so I don’t start telling you about Homestuck right now.