Well, what can we say about 2016? It was an interesting year for me personally and the year in music was no different. It was filled with highs and lows. We have seen some new artists rise to prominence like Halsey and Alessia Cara, but we also lost quite of a few legends including Prince, David Bowie, Glenn Frey of the Eagles and Merle Haggard to name a few.
Things have been good at Lemonade Magazine this year! We have been able to bring on a few new writers and went more concerts and festivals this year than in recent years. So as a part of tradition and privilege, I get to present my favorites of 2016! So here we go!
2016 Favorite Album: A/B by Kaleo
This was one of the most difficult calls this year, but I could not pass up Kaleo‘s A/B. It was everything you could want in a rock album. It was a little bit blues, a little bit rock, a little bit alternative, but it was all amazing. The Icelandic band took over the airwaves with “Way Down We Go” and continued the trend with “No Good,” but that being said, there are no missed on A/B.
2016 Favorite Song: “Sucker For Pain” by Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa & Imagine Dragons with Logic & Ty Dolla $ign featuring X Ambassadors
I am not sure if this wins the record for longest list of artists besides “We Are The World”, but this collaboration, that features six different artists, was featured on the Suicide Squad soundtrack is brilliant. It is catchy, energetic and fun. Actually, the entire soundtrack is pretty fantastic and Twenty One Pilot‘s “Heathens,” which was also featured on this album, was also in the running for this award.
2016 Favorite EP: Wolves by Alexa Wilding
Occasionally in our business, you come across some amazing music that most people do not know about. Wolves by Alexa Wilding is probably one of those EPs that slipped through the cracks of most collections. Well, if you have not heard it you should listen to it right now. It is heartfelt, deep and stunning. There was never a doubt that this was going to be my favorite EP of 2016.
2016 Favorite New Artist: Margo Price
Country has seen its fair share of successes this year. Margo Price is the latest and greatest. Her album, Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, is country at its best. I had the opportunity to see her perform live at Bumbershoot this year and, while her album is clean, it does not do her voice justice when she singing live. Price is outstanding and absolutely deserves Favorite Female Artist of 2016.
2016 Favorite Male Artist: Jamie N Commons
Jamie N Commons is best known for his collaboration with X Ambassadors on their tracks, “Jungle”, that was featured during the 2014 FIFA World Cup and “Low Life”, which is featured in numerous shows. Well, the British singer-songwriter released a self-titled EP this year and it is spectacular. His gravelly, bluesy vocals saturate the entire EP.
2016 Favorite Female Artist: Halsey
Halsey has had a fantastic 2016, to say the least. Her debut album, BADLANDS, which was released in 2015 to be perfectly honest, hit #2 on the US Billboard 200 and was certified Platinum in 2016. her singles, “Castles” and “Colors” were both hits. While she may not have been the most successful female artist this year (yeah, Adele, we know…), Halsey has certainly made her mark.
2016 Favorite Band/Duo: BEL HAVEN
Lemonade started as an outlet for independent artists to get their name out there and we still pride ourselves on finding those gems. BEL HAVEN is one of those from 2016. Their debut album, First Kiss, is throwback blend of M83 and 80s synth-pop and it is magical. Pick this album up now.
2016 Favorite Music Video: “Drug Dealer” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ariana Deboo
This was one of the harder decisions that I had to make this year. There were so many great videos, but Seattle’s own Macklemore and Ryan Lewis released one of the most heartbreaking and real videos of 2016. “Drug Dealer” featuring Ariana Deboo is a powerful video about Macklemore‘s opiod addiction and the source of the drugs. The duo is not just about having fun and poppin’ tags. This is real epidemic and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis make sure you know it.
2016 Favorite Moment: Adele in Concert
I had a fantastic concert year which included some big acts (Maroon 5, Ellie Goulding, Billy Idol, Maren Morris, Melanie Martinez) and some wonderfully intimate shows (Joshua Powell & the Great Train Robbery, Smoke Season, Roy English), but by far Adele‘s concert at KeyArena this past summer was at the top of the list. Her stage presence and humor are outstanding, but nothing really could prepare you for her live. Adele is one of the best concerts I have ever attended. If you thought she was spectacular on her albums, you will be blown away by her live. The CDs do not do her justice.
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