2016, a musical conundrum / by Heather Dunmoyer

BEST OF 2016

Pinegrove — Cardinal

A real, blameless piece of work. It harkens to the emo revival vein that I shamelessly love, but wraps it into a folk-inspired get up, sifted through gut-wrenching vocals. Pinegrove was my Winter album of the year. Cardinal hurt, and simultaneously hit you right in the sweet spot. This combination really forced a perspective; fragility and realism. This was my favorite album this year. Aphasia gave my goosebumps as the chop and grit lyrics composed so many emotions I forgot I even had. Old Friends gave me bleary eyes, and made me just grateful for the people around me.  Overall, I highly recommend this truly beautiful album that absolutely oozes heart. Something that can be hard to find in the industry. Thank god an underdog is getting the respect they deserve. Grateful for you, Pinegrove. 

Top Tracks

Aphasia
Old Friends
Size of the Moon

Whitney — Light Upon the Lake

Fantastic. Enthralled. Imagine, a stage full of trumpets players, incredible guitarists, and a vocal sound that is thin yet so wonderfully unique. Whitney absolutely was the summer album of this year. It's so easy to just enjoy the jazz-like rhythm and slight tinge of blues Whitney packed. Whitney is just pure talent. Lyrically, Light Upon the Lake shares loss and longing, but the vocals are hopeful, and instrumentals even more so. Song's like Dave's Song make me want to grab a guitar and all my close friends and just enjoy it. This album was a tasty treat, and I'm so excited for more. 

Top Tracks

Dave's Song
Polly
No Matter Where We Go

Sales - Sales LP

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Oh Sales. Sales will definitely be an all-year-around album. It's apathetic and simple in the best possible way. Remember Mazzy Star? Remember the breathy, beautiful vocalists of the 90's? Thanks for the revival Sales! It's so radiant and elusive, and just downright smooth. I love the honestly and originality to Sales. I'm excited to keep spinning. 

Top Tracks

Big Sis
Ivy
Checkin' Out

Death Grips — Bottomless Pit

This album crucial for 2016. The Spring album of this year. My undergraduate degree was sponsored by bottomless, as it was the necessary poly-punch in my ears to keep my motivated. From past albums, this one was definitely easier to listen to, from a MC Ride perspective, but it still has all the abrasive tendencies that DG packs.  I couldn't get enough of the incredible sound and noise that DG experimentally captures so well. It's enthralling and beyond exciting. Bottomless was so good to me, and I'm sure it'll be for many years to come. 

Top Tracks

Three Bedrooms in a Good Neighborhood
Bottomless Pit
Bubbles Burried in This Jungle

Car Seat Headrest — Teens of Denial 

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Oh Will Toledo! From humble beginnings, to a greater stage, CSH provides song after song in Teens of Denial that you can relate to, sing along to, and just appreciate. Thank you for being the Fall album of 2016. The finger-bleeding guitar progressions, and unhindered vocals result in one of the best albums of this year, and perhaps decade. Grateful to have songs like, Dunk Drivers / Killer Whales to sing in the car at the top of your lungs to, or just that high-school feeling of not fitting in, but pushing back with every ounce of talent that you have. Carseat is exploding with talent, and I can't wait to see what happens next. 

Top Tracks

Fill in the Blank
Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales
1937 Skate Park

Very Honorable Mentions:

M.I.A. — AIM

Toro y Moi — Live from Torona

Frank Ocean — Blond(e)

Slothrust — Everybody Else

Angel Olsen — My Women

Touché  Amoré — Stage Four