40 best albums of 2016

best albums 2016 indieofilo

01. Kate Tempest – Let Them Eat Chaos

Kate Tempest – Let Them Eat Chaos

After the victory of Brexit, many political analysts sought the reasons for disenchantment. It would have been easier for them to listen to the nearly 50 minutes in which Kate Tempest cries out against social injustices, human disaffection or consumerism in a neo-industrial rhythm that captivates although at times, like her compatriots Sleaford Mods, it is difficult to understand 100% its meaning by all the slang language used..

02. Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - Skeleton Tree

“Nothing really matters, nothing really matters when the one you love is gone” sings Nick Cave on his rought and most personal album.. Saying that considering the Australian’s career is hard, but this record seems to be the lifeline where the “Aussie” clung after the death of his 15 year old son. Beautiful and heartbreaking in equal parts, the presence of a bewildering “Distant Sky” moves it away from the number 1 of this 2017.

03. Anderson .Paak – Malibu

Anderson .Paak - Malibu

An explosion of sounds with an out-of-the-ordinary rhythm, where we even find Brandon Anderson Paak on drums that hooking rhymes. The perfect union of R&B, soul, hip-hop and funk, with a style close to the 70’s in a second LP that puts him at the height of masters.

04. Savages – Adore Life

adore life – savages

Jehnny Beth‘s voice merges with much steeper drums (if it was even possible) than on their debut album. Also Gemma Thompson‘s guitars get closer now to the sounds of their beloved Bo Ningen or Swans thanks to feedbacks and distortions, moving away from punk to fall into the darkest rock..

05. Anohni – Hopelessness

Anohni - Hopelessness

An album that starts with 3 major hits like “Drone Bomb Me”, “4 Degrees” and “Watch Me” should be in the top 10 of the year, but if we also add the umpteenth conversion of the artist formerly known as Anthony, fusing pop and electronica thanks to Hudson Mohawke and Oneohtrix Point Never, the album deserves to jump into the top 5 without any doubt.

06. Kaytranada – 99.9%

Kaytranada - 99.9

The debut album of Canadian Louise Kevin Celestin has confirmed all the good things that was foreshadowed in his remixes.. The mixture of R&B, jazz (awesome “Weight Off” with the help of BadBadNotGood), pop and hip hop rhythms with incredible collaborations on the voices (Anderson .Paak, Craig David or Aluna George) make this one of the albums of the year that surely will become a model for the mainstream R&B in the coming years.

07. De Staat – O

De Staat - O

After flirting with the blues-rock in his past LP I_CON, Dutch band De Staat have jumped into purest rock sounds to deliver an almost perfect album, which could have been signed by the best Queens Of The Stone Age. An album whose first 20 minutes run away with an amazing facility, accessible to all audiences and full of hits.

08. David Bowie – ★

David Bowie Blackstar

Published few days before his death, Bowie‘s latest album is his return to the most experimental side, with a sound close to pop and avant-jazz where a permanent darkness is reflected in lyrics and arrangements. With a shaky voice that now suffocates, the white duke sings sad scenes in catchy choruses like “Girl Loves Me”, and says goodbye to us all with the melancholy “Dollar Days” and “I Can’t Give Everything Away”.

09. PJ Harvey – The Hope Six Demolition Project

The Hope Six Demolition Project - PJ Harvey

Polly Jean Harvey is no longer the screaming young woman closer to punk on Rid Of Me and her evolution to a mass prophet capable of playing sensibilities in their last two albums has been exemplary. If in Let England Shake she spoke to us about her beloved Great Britain, she takes now the world as a frame and with choirs, percussions and an incredible section of winds, she gives us a remarkable new album where highlight “The Community of Hope” and “The Ministry of Defense” as timeless hits.

10. Whitney – Light Upon The Lake

Whitney - Light Upon The Lake

Emerging from the ashes of the brilliant Smith Westerns, the new band of Mark Kakacek and Julien Ehrlich steps forward leaning on a section of winds (especially a hypnotic trumpet) and classical strings section also brilliant. Their sound that fuses American pop rock with country or lo-fi rhythms has been one of the surprises of the year and “No Woman” one of the great songs of this 2016.

11. Nicolas Jaar – Sirens

Nicolas Jaar - Sirens

You can hardly find this year a more emotional and social album than the Chilean one.. Only six timeless songs that mix pianos with electronic sounds in which we encounter a much more serious and mature Nicolas Jaar than the one we knew so far, able to convey concerns of the common society. This does not prevent him from hitting the post punk rhythm in “The Governor” or even inserting Latin rhythms in “No”, but without a doubt give us the incredible “Three Sides Of Nazareth”, an explosion of power that we want to see soon live.

12. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Nonagon Infinity

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Nonagon Infinity

It’s incredibly difficult to define the Australians’ album in a few lines. An album full of chaos, psychedelia, guitars, synthesizers, robotic voices, frenzy, and yet perfect as a whole, that makes you listen to it over and over again. With reminiscences to the modern garage, but with clear influences from Black Sabbath or Pink Floyd, this wonder LP make us envious with the promise of 5 albums of the band for 2017..

13. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool

Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool

It is true that many of the songs were already played during their concerts on the last years, but still this A Moon Shaped Pool has the virtue to sound homogenous when many of its songs belong to different times of the British. With the great “Burn the Witch” as a capital song and Thom Yorke‘s usual emotiveness on the overflowing voice in a new version “True Love Waits”, we find an album in which stand out the more and more habitual orchestral arrangements by Jonny Greenwood.

14. Suede – Night thoughts

Suede - Night thoughts

Suede show on their second album after the return that despite being around 50, they remain in shape. Although the album is based on a greater instrumental richness, offering a much more emotive side and full of dark choruses than its predecessors, this album leaves us new hits like “Outsiders” or “No Tomorrow”, with a force that recalls the style of the band in the mid-90s.

15. Car Seat Headrest – Teens Of Denial

Car Seat Headrest - Teens Of Denial

Young Will Toledo achieve to shine on something hackneyed as the low-fi rock thanks to a sublime album that seems to combine all the good of Dinosaur Jr, Pavement or Neutral Milk Hotel. Although the songs exceed 6 minutes with ease, never fall into the tedium and maintain an amazing freshness, highlighting “Fill in the Blank” or the song that will definitely win the prize title of the year, “The Ballad of The Costa Concordia”.

16. Skepta – Konnichiwa

Skepta - Konnichiwa

After bursting into in 2015, this 2016 has been the year of grime, and Skepta‘s LP is the reference album of the movement. An explosive start, which mixes piano rhythms with accelerated rhythms that seconds later we can enjoy 8-bit sounds under Wiley‘s voice is the strong point of an album that is slowly going down. However, among samples of police sirens and speakers, the overall sound is incredible and gets closer to the one of The Streets, but much more accessible.

17. Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker

Leonard Cohen - You Want It Darker

When someone with the age of Leonard Cohen record an album that starts with a chorus that says “I’m ready, my Lord” all fans feared his early death.. It is true that all sounds as a living will, but also that most lyrics of this album exude hope and advices that your grandfather would give you to grow in life. Is possible to find a better farewell letter than the solemn “It Seemed the better”?.

18. A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service

A Tribe Called Quest - We Got It from Here... Thank You 4 Your Service

Nearly two decades of waiting have been worth it. The one that is their last work as a band leaves us a more mature album and away from the jazz rhythms of their beginnings, but with a presence of rock guitars or funky rhythms that catch you from the first second. Probably that attraction is due to the fact that it maintains the freshness of the Rap from its beginnings, thanks to the unmistakable stamp of that flow of voices that charge against xenophobia, the media, the political situation or the odes to a Phife Dawg that is visible on every song on the album. Its only but is that they have decided to publish it in a remarkable 2016 as far as records are concerned..

19. Preoccupations – Preoccupations

Preoccupations - Preoccupations

The name change has brought the Canadians formerly known as Viet Cong an extra of potency and rage. If their debut album brought us closer to a more melodic post punk, on this new album is possible to intuit the influences of Joy Division, but also new albums by The Horrors or even the industrial scene of the late 80s. Also, it includes a gem of almost 9 minutes that is “Memory”, one of the songs of the year.

20. DMA’s – Hills End

DMA’s - Hills End

It is clear that if you hated the Brit of the 90’s, this record is going to be directly unbearable.. But if you are one of those who miss the sound of the Gallaghers, this Australian band has reflected in an LP everything good that promises its EP’s; easy singles everywhere and the desire to go down to the pub to drink 3 pints in a row.

21. Black Mountain – IV

IV – Black Mountain

Probably the 6-year break has made the album didn’t have that strength of its predecessors and therefore does not reach the category of fucking masterpiece as we are accustomed by the Canadians. However, the first 20 minutes, with an incredible “Mothers of the Sun”, are still over 80% of the albums on the market, merging progressive rock and psychedelic with electronics or even pop as only Black Mountain know..

22. Glass Animals – How to be a Human Being

Glass Animals - How to be a Human Being

English band are moving away from the continuous comparisons with Wild Beasts to get closer to the sound of the Australians Alt-J by incorporating rhythms of hip-hop or r’n’b. Thus, they deliver an animated album in which they dare to treat hard subjects like the drugs, the mental health or the poverty without losing an apex of freshness.

23. Solange – A Seat at the Table

Solange - A Seat at the Table

If you mix the good of the black music of the seventies, with the r’n’b and the current commercial pop you have that sound that permeates the entire album of the little of the Knowles. In addition to the star appearances of Lil Wayne or Kelly Rowland, highlights Kelela‘s collaboration in “Scales”, which along with a hypnotic sound of synthesizer deliver the best song of the album.

24. Swans – The Glowing Man

Swans - The Glowing Man

Finally Michael Gira has managed to translate that dark oppressive atmosphere of their live to an album! In their more over produced LP, where we can finally hear the wide range of instruments that fuse with the serious voice of Gira, we still enjoy those epic volume ups full of fury, but with the addition of wandering in other styles, as in the calm “When Will I Return?” or “Finally Peace”.

25. Bon Iver – 22, A Million

Bon Iver - 22, A Million

If something can be said after a listening to the new album by Justin Vernon is that the American has risked a lot. With clear influences from James Blake or hip-hop stars like Kanye West or Drake, the album is a leap into the experimental electronics with a mjor use of Autotune. His lyrics and his melancholy essence is still there, but now accelerated thanks to rhythms of glitches and samples..

26. Daughter – Not To Disappear

Daughter - Not To Disappear

If something works, Why to change it? That should have Daughter thought with lyrics full of personal emotions and content pain, as you can see in two songs like “No Care” and “Doing The Right Thing”. However, the musical side moves to a new level, with a greater presence of guitars and drums that approach to them to a post-rock sound that fits perfect with them.

27. DIIV – Is The Is Are

DIIV - Is The Is Are

The infinite internal problems of the band and the eternal wait for the new album did us expect the worst from the second album of DIIV. However, maturity seems to have been a stimulus, raising their indie-rock style to a new level with incredible guitars that move between dream and noise, delivering in all the songs landscapes that remember us at the same time Beach House or Sonic Youth.

28. Die Antwoord – Mount Ninji And Da Nice Time Kid

Die Antwoord - Mount Ninji And Da Nice Time Kid

South Africans continue doing their own thing, mocking people who take them as a joke while they continue to deliver amazing tracks like “Banana Brain” to their ever-growing legion of followers. No one is going to tame them, but their initial hardcore is gradually turning towards a suburb pop that appears as a poisoned candy with which they continue inoculating their wicked lyrics.

29. Blossoms – Blossoms

Blossoms – Blossoms

As in the case of DMA‘s, their sound is not new and can be accused of being the typical prefab group by NME. The voice of its leader Ogden recalls Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys, the guitars sound to Oasis and the drums to The Stones Roses.. Nothing original, but everything perfectly united to deliver an LP that sounds to indie, but also to quality pop thanks to some great keyboards. If that were not enough, it also includes one of the themes of the year as “Charlemagne”!

30. Warpaint – Heads Up

Warpaint - Heads Up

The preview in the form of danceable single made us presaged a great change for the band of Los Angeles, but in the end their sound always returns to the guitar indie rock with dream pop touches that they are good at. In addition to the hit “New Song”, the album is full of good songs like “Dre”, which glimpses influences of Kendrick Lamar or a “By Your Side” that sounds to the perfect mix of Grimes‘ madness with the emotional side of Daughter.

31. The Last Shadow Puppets – Everything You’ve Come To Expect

The Last Shadow Puppets - Everything You’ve Come To Expect and The Dream Synopsis

Eight years after their debut, Alex Turner and Miles Kane offer us a much more heterogeneous album than their predecessor, in which we can enjoy sounds more typical of 70’s pop and in which even dare with ballads and slower rhythms. But let’s not fool ourselves, there is also visible that mod-garage rage that both have embraced in their recent solo albums, as demonstrated in “Bad Habits” or the track that title the album, where electric guitars are the main protagonists.

32. Minor Victories – Minor Victories

Minor Victories – Minor Victories

The fictional union (all communication was through mail) of members of Editors, Mogwai or Slowdive has given a very homogeneous disc that navigates between the shoegaze and the dream pop and where the voice of Rachel Goswell rises like main protagonist before the incredible sonorous walls created mainly from the distortions in the guitars. Its only flaw, a second half of the album that is not up to the first and that is especially bored..

33. James Blake – The Colour In Anything

James Blake - The Colour In Anything

It is curious that James Blake‘s album and the Warpaint one are so close in the list .. Precisely this album tells in a calm and affable way the sentimental rupture of Blake with the guitarist of the American band, confessing in a public way the contradictory feelings with the help and subtlety of a piano and friendly electronics, as you can see in the verses of “Meet you in the maze” (“All those songs that came before you / They were once awaiting / Music can’t be everything”).

34. Moderat – III

Moderat - III

The third album by the Berliners Moderat is a small approach to electronic pop, forgetting those techno rhythms that they dominate so well. Maybe that’s why it feels like a step back in an immaculate career.. And there lies the error, since this new album incorporates sounds of the synth, Bass or dubstep creating surprising sound textures as only the German trio is capable, delivering after all, a remarkable record.

35. Parquet Courts – Human Performance

Parquet Courts - Human Performance

The unclassifiable Brooklyn band returns to their own codes after the disastrous “Monastic Living”. The sharp guitars and the frenetic set of drums perfectly synchronized with the voice between reluctant and casual of Andrew Savage bring us again that mixture of punk, garage and Americana that we longed so much, that able to take you from the rush to calculated nostalgia in just one couple of songs..

36. BadBadNotGood – IV

BadBadNotGood - IV

In a year in which Jazz seems to have reached more sectors of the general public, BBNG give another twist to its risky way of seeing the genre and adds vocalists and fusion with other styles such as soul, electronic or hip hop. The result is very eclectic, full of complex melodies that sometimes give the album the appearance of a nonsense, but in global offers a unique experience highly enjoyable.

37. Teenage Fanclub – Here

Teenage Fanclub - Here

Teenage Fanclub approach their countrymen Belle and Sebastian in what is probably the most pop album of their career. A clear sound reminiscent of The Byrds and simple choruses, leaning on always accurate guitars that move away from the power-pop of their beginnings to flirt with sounds more typical of folk and thus show their most romantic side.

38. Iggy Pop – Post Pop Depression

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression

Iggy has offered the best albums of his career when he has surrounded himself with collaborators, and in this case has been accompanied by Dean and Josh from Queens of the Stone Age and Matt from Arctic Monkeys, making the sound of the iguana is as close possible to a band with a forceful sound mainly focused on guitars. Rock without frills, old-fashioned, with Iggy Pop in stoner way on “German Days” or more delicate in the great “Chocolate Drops”.. If this is the final album of his career, it will be a worthy end.

39. Angel Olsen – My Woman

angel olsen - my woman

The girl from Missouri maintains the level of “Burn Your Fire For No Witness”, although she evolves from the lo-fi folk to a rock in the line of Courtney Barnett. It is curious how the fragility of her voice and her characteristic changes of rhythm combine so weel with this harder version of her without losing an ounce of strength, as demonstrated in the brilliant “Shut Up Kiss Me”.

40. Band Of Horses – Why Are You OK

Band Of Horses - Why Are You OK

After a small journey through the wilderness with their latest records, Ben Bridwell and company find again the balance between the traditional and that rage that the Seattle transmit in their timeless hits like the mythical “The Funeral”. The album changes from pop in “Casual Party” to the rock on the duet with J. Mascis in “In A Drawer” with an amazing ease and without stridencies, so we can confirm that the Americans are back.