1) Teens of Denial - Car Seat Headrest - The second I heard the opening riff of Fill in the Blank, I knew I was going to love this album. Will Toledo's voice and lyrics are exactly what my inner high-schooler needed in 2016, and was the perfect soundtrack for a time of change as I moved across the country to start a new academic career. The album explores the in-betweens of grown-up-but-not-quite twentysomethings and is simultaneously angsty, relevant, and sincere. I only wish this album had come out at a time when it would be more age appropriate for my to doodle its lyrics on my binder.
2) Lemonade - Beyoncé - I can't recommend watching the entire visual album enough. It's a politically charged Terrence Malick-esque feminist masterpiece full of haunting, if not very on-the-nose visuals. The film, like the album, is anything but subtle and fits in perfectly in a year where the political climate was equally unsubtle.
3) 22, A Million - Bon Iver - This album was years in the making, and though I originally fell in love with Justin Vernon's more acoustic sonic musings, the new and innovative direction that Bon Iver has taken with this most recent album.
4) We've Got It From Here, Thank You 4 Your Service - A Tribe Called Quest - Finally! After over ten years, another Tribe Album. This most recent incarnation of the Tribe is simultaneously fresh and nostalgic, drawing on the past for inspiration but refusing to dwell on it, instead turning to a contentious political and cultural climate, and spinning that tension into an impeccably well developed, and very fun to listen to album.
5) Blackstar - David Bowie - An eerily prophetic masterpiece that served as sweet a goodbye as any. This album was lively even when it dove into the darkest depths of human mortality. This album would be a stand out even had it not been released a few days before Bowie's death. Goodnight, sweet prince.
6) Blond - Frank Ocean
7) My Woman - Angel Olsen
8) Light Upon the Lake - Whitney
9) Wildflower - The Avalanches
10) Untitled Unmastered - Kendrick Lamar
11) Freetown Sound - Blood Orange
12) Seat at the Table - Solange
13) Puberty 2 - Mitski
14) Coloring Book - Chance the Rapper
15) Return to Love - LVL UP
16) You Want it Darker - Leonard Cohen
17) Painting With - Animal Collective
18) Is the Is Are - DIIV
19) No Burden - Lucy Dacus
20) Human Performance - Parquet Courts
21) Getting Gone - Mutual Benefit
22) Life of Pablo - Kanye West
23) The Colour in Anything - James Blake
24) Psychopomp - Japanese Breakfast
25) Malibu - Anderson .Paak
Favorite Concert - (tie) Shakey Graves or Animal Collective
Favorite New Artist - LVL UP
Favorite Songs of 2k16 -
Vincent & Fill in the Blank - Car Seat Headrest
"I Need a Forest Fire" - James Blake
"Shut up and Kiss Me" - Angel Olsen
"22 Over Soon" - Bon Iver
"Floridada" - Animal Collective