My Best Albums 2016 - Charlotte Winspear
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2016 has been a year of surprise, characterised by overnight drops from the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Frank Ocean, impressive visual albums and the return of Radiohead. It’s safe to say we’ve been truly spoilt this year, you know, if we ignore the deaths of music titans Bowie and Prince. And Brexit… and Trump. Nonetheless, there have been some beautiful albums prescribed to us to heal the wounds of 2016 and I’ve attempted to create a list of some of the best musical medicine this year has had to offer. Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Denial You know those albums that you hear for the first time and you know you’re still going to be listening to in 40 years time? For me, Teens of Denial one of those albums. From its apathetic opener ‘Fill in the Blank’ to the eclectic romanticism (and immediate slandering) of ‘Drunk Drivers/Killer Wales’, lyrical oddity Will Toledo leads his band into a guitar-driven stream of consciousness from the backseat of his heart. If you want a brutally honest reflection of modern life that you can scream at your parents when they just-don’t-get-it – then this is the album you should have been listening to. Hinds – Leave Me Alone Hinds’ debut hit our eardrums in January yet it’s collection of 12 three-minute tracks have left me feeling like I’ve been in a Hinds infused daydream for way longer than 11 months. Leave Me Alone transmits the warmth of the Spanish summer as Cosials’ harpy tones and Perrote’s steady vocals fight to entice you into their adventures against a backdrop of overriding reverb and experimental drums. The band are at their loosest on ‘Bamboo’, whilst ‘And I Will Send Your Flowers Back’ presents a more vulnerable side to the care-free quartet. The 1975 - I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it Say what you want about The 1975, but there’s no denying that their album wins 2016’s award for the hardest album title to say in a single breath. The album firmly seals the bands progression from teenage pleasers to that band your mum actually quite likes because it reminds her of the eighties. The interplay of high reaching synth pop numbers like ‘The Sound’, gospel powered ‘If I Believe You’ and the more sombre depths the album draws to a close with create a wholesome listening experience. If you’re not listening to The 1975 because somebody told you they were uncool, give this a listen. Jenny Hval – Blood Bitch From some quiet corner, Jenny Hval emerged with her sixth offering Blood Bitch. The Norwegian creative draws on blood, menstruation and vampires on her intricately produced concept album. The unravelling of manic panting, sweeping bass, cushioned hooks and haunting lyrics that at times border on celestial battle with the meta themes of ‘The Great Undressing’. Blood Bitch doesn’t demand to be played to mass audiences, it demands you to turn up the volume and lose yourself within it. The Avalanches – Wildflower Sixteen years on from their hugely acclaimed debut, Australian collective, The Avalanches had big boots to fill. Enter Wildflower: a colourful explosion of instrumental samples merged with guest vocals from the likes of Danny Brown, Biz Markie and Chaz Bundick of Toro Y Moi. Lead single ‘Frankie Sinatra’ brings all the fun of the fair with its calypso beat, a psychedelic feel that carries into the metaphorical kaleidoscope that is ‘Colours’ and throughout the album.