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.
Pinegrove – Cardinal (Ewan Atkinson)
Pinegrove’s debut album is the perfect mix of American folk, indie and emo. The disarming nature of the tone and the lyrics throughout the album enables you to build a real connection to the album. ‘Old Friends’, ‘New Friends’ and ‘Aphasia’ are all sublime as is the rest of the album. Pinegrove have really laid down a marker with this album.
Soft Hair - Soft Hair (Claire Thorn)
The collaboration between Conan Mockasin and LA Priest (Sam Dust) is the perfect soft psychedelia creation; caught between the lines of queasy, shy and adorable.
Long Way Home- Låpsley (Madelene Aldridge)
Long Way Home is the debut album from the brilliant Låpsley which was released all the way back in March 2016. Stand out tracks from the album include Hurt Me, Heartless and the haunting Station. Låpsley’s beautifully deep voice ensures Long Way Home is one of the most sensational albums of the year.
Modern Baseball – Holy Ghost (Joe Cadman)
Coming out of the band’s darkest period, Holy Ghost may be the album that not just sees Modern Baseball mature as a band but the album that matures the whole genre of pop punk. The band lay everything on the table with possibly their most open and darkest album to date, Modern Baseball have proved they are a vital band to have around in 2016. Thankfully, the closing lyrics of album closer Just Another Face “I’m proud of what’s to come” is a sign that they’ll be around for a while yet.
King Gizzard and the Lizard - Nonagon Infinity (Jess Lynch)
A non-stop tidal wave of sound, energy and electricity, King Gizz never cease to take my breath away! This time they have done the unthinkable; a never ending album. The album truly does loop in an intricate and amusing way, taking you on a journey through time and space. I heard if you let the album play over 9 times in a row, a time portal actually opens in front of you! I was lucky enough to see the album brought to life last September and it really was an out of body experience. Nonagon Infinity plays like some kind of ancient prophecy, conjuring all things surreal and magnificent! Highlights include ‘Gamma Knife’, ‘People/Vultures’ and ‘Road Train’.