2016 has been a year filled with Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson and Donald Trump getting their ways, which is always going to be a terrible thing and not to mention losing Bowie, Prince and Alan Rickman.
Luckily though it has been a stellar year for music with established artists such as Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen and Green Day all bringing their A-game as well as the music scene being flooded with a whole host of immense talent from the likes of Yak, Hinds and Skinny Girl Diet all releasing incredible debut albums.
We have tried our very best at Smashed Vinyl to pick out the best albums of the year, all for your enjoyment.
The Kills – Ash & Ice (Ewan Atkinson)
A five-year wait for new music from The Kills and when the album finally came it did not disappoint. A synth heavy, body moving all-killer-no-filler, effort from the transatlantic indie legends. Highlights include 'Doing it to Death', 'Days of Why and How' and 'Siberian Nights'
The Life of Pablo- Kanye West (Madelene Aldridge)
By the time The Life of Pablo (TLOP) dropped in February it was already hyped to be one of the biggest albums of the year. From multiple album name changes (remember Waves?) to causing arguably the biggest music beef of the year with Taylor Swift, TLOP was confirmation that crazy Kanye is here to stay.
Black Mountain - IV (Claire Thorn)
Full of droning on synths Black Mountain creates the return for them of an experimental record. Spacey sounds of alien abduction and the exploration of new cosmic planets can be imagined and heard throughout.
Lost Under Heaven – Spiritual Songs for Lovers to Sing (Joe Cadman)
After WU LYF frontman Ellery Roberts pretty much disappeared off the face of the earth. Well not really, but thankfully in 2016 he returned alongside visual artist Ebony Hoorn and they brought the massive ‘Spiritual Songs for Lovers to Sing’ along with them. Robert’s raspy delivery is at the centre of the whole album as it contrasts beautifully with the more monotone drawl of Hoorn, whilst the electro tinged backdrop provides the perfect set up for SSFLTS’ ambitions to soar. This is the closest thing to an epic that’s been released all year and is quite possibly the best debut album of the year.
Metronomy - Summer 08 (Jess Lynch)
Back and funkier than ever are electronic quartet Metronomy with their album Old Skool. I have been a fan of theirs for sometime and a huge admirer of their eclectic sound. Full of synthy beats and spacey vocals, it's hard not to fall into an intergalactic daze. It's got to be hard living up to an album like Love Letters, but here, Metronomy have truly outdone themselves. Highlights include ‘Old Skool’, ‘Hang Me out to Dry (ft. Robyn)’ and ‘Mick Slow’.
Whitney - Light Upon the Lake (Martha Cleary)
The debut LP from Smith Westerns guitarist Max Kakacek and former Unknown Mortal Orchestra drummer Julien Ehrlich, is short, sweet and whimsical. This album hasn’t shifted any musical boundaries, or reinvented a genre, but it’s been a great anecdote for bluesy graduate feels.