2016 sure has been a trip, eh? Personally I have spent the better portion of it recovering from a car accident and then recently dealing with a U.S.A. accident (see what I did there?).
No matter what though, I always have two things that can get me through the rough times. Music…and my Canadian blood (see what I did there again?). So before it becomes illegal for me to practice journalism, I want to share my favorite things in the world of music for 2016 with all of you. As always thank you so much for sticking with us here at Lemonade through all the changes and bumps in the road. It really means the world to me.
2016 Favorite Album: Caroline Glaser by Caroline Glaser
What a great year 2016 was for new albums! This category was insanely tough for me, as there were several albums that I played the life out of. Caroline Glaser completely hit it out of the park though with her self-titled release. Her songwriting is unique without losing clarity and the same can be said for her beautiful voice. Besides the fact that she broke my “you need to have at least 10 songs to be an album” rule, Glaser checked off every other part of my list. This album will always be a special one for me.
Oh and it also got the seal of approval from my mom while driving her to the airport this summer.
2016 Favorite Song: “Love On The Brain” – Rihanna
Rihanna finding her way onto my end of the year list might come as a bit of a shock. Don’t get me wrong, I can rock to Ri Ri from time to time, but never has a song of her’s impressed me like “Love On The Brain” did. The beat is everything you could ask for, soothing, aching, fresh, nostalgic. Is that even possible? Her voice is also at its best in this song that features the simplest of production. More often than not, less is indeed more.
2016 Favorite EP: Dancing On The Sun – Bahari
Keep with the “fresh” yet “nostalgic” theme, Bahari‘s debut EP, Dancing On The Sun, was on heavy rotation this summer for me and I imagine it will continue to be for summers to come. The California girls do their state proud with a fun collection of beach-pop tracks that will leave you with a smile on your face and a weird compulsion to buy a surf board (it’s true, I swear). Although Bahari did get some love on the radio and on TV, I still feel like this wonderful EP was a bit overlooked this year. As for me? I am a huge fan.
2016 Favorite New Artist or Band: Wilderado
When I first heard Wilderado, I didn’t even realize that the lead singer was the brother of one of our old friends here at Lemonade, Sunday Lane. Their two EP’s, Misty Shrub and Latigo (both released in 2016), are everything you could want from an indie-rock band. It’s kind of crazy how many of these “favorites” could just as easily find themselves in different categories, but overall Wilderado was one of the new acts that completely impressed me in 2016. Certainly a band I will be watching very closely in the future.
2016 Favorite Male Artist: Father John Misty
Joshua Tillman is one of the more intriguing artists out there. Us Washingtonians recognize him as the drummer for Seattle’s own, Fleet Foxes, while much of the rest of the world seems to know him as his alter-ego now, Father John Misty.
Although I Love You, Honeybear was released last year, Father John Misty has been busy touring in 2016 and he also released a brand new single titled “Real Love Baby”. On top of that, his Pandora station also happens to be the most popular at the rock climbing gym that I frequent. I was fortunate enough to see him on tour this year when he played the main stage at Bumbershoot and I was absolutely blown away by his show. His demeanor and humor may be subtle, but when he starts rocking, it is something to behold.
2016 Favorite Female Artist: Sara Watkins
Pardon the cliche, but 2016 was a coming out party for Sara Watkins as a solo artist. Although her album, Young In All The Wrong Ways, did feature some touches of bluegrass from her past, Watkins completely let loose on the album and the result was fantastic.
As there are every year, there were many great female artists to choose from, but I can’t think of anyone who was as bold, creative and impressive as Sara Watkins was. If you were one of the (far too many) people who overlooked this release? Please do yourself a favor and check it out below.
2016 Favorite Band/Duo: Against The Current
No matter how old I get, alternative (or as some may say, “emo”) music will always have a special place in my heart. In 2016, Against The Current reignited that love with their updated version of the genre. Their debut album, In Our Bones, has echoes of the emo/alternative genre throughout, but also features pop ready melodies, boot stomping rock and even some synthesized sounds for those who like a little bit of EDM thrown in for good measure. Not only did I get to enjoy their music blasting through my car speakers, but I also was fortunate enough to see them play live when Van’s Warped Tour rolled into town. Against The Current is the complete package, I can’t wait to see where they go from here.
2016 Favorite Music Video: “Can I Get a Witness” – SonReal
When it comes to my favorite music video of 2016, it’s honestly a tossup between every single one that SonReal has released this year. Vancouver, B.C. isn’t the first place that comes to mind when you think of rap music, but SonReal brings his own brand to the table and it’s way more enjoyable that some would expect.
On top of all that, the man has absolutely genius music videos including the one that I have picked as my favorite this year for his song “Can I Get a Witness”. If you had fun watching this one, please go find the rest of his gems on YouTube as soon as you can.
2016 Favorite Moment: Bumbershoot Day 2
As you get older, old traditions with friends and family change as we all move onto new chapters in our lives. Fortunately for me though, my brother, Brody was able to join me in covering Bumbershoot on Day 2 this year and it I had an absolute blast. Whether it was the goosebumps that Donna Missal gave me singing, “Stop the World”, not realizing I was standing right next to JoJo before her set or Russell Wilson zipping footballs out into the crowd during a quintessential Seattle set from the Emerald City’s sons, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Day 2 of Bumbershoot was a day I won’t forget with my friend from the start.
Editor in Chief of Lemonade Magazine
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