So now to my international list of favourites for 2016. I haven’t got the chance this year to listen to as many records as I would like. So I have been concentrating on listening to highly rated releases based on trusted reviews. It is cheating in a way as I don’t get to highlight the hidden gems that I like to support. Still it is nice to pass on a few records that you should catch if you didn’t manage to listen to these yet.
Jim James – Eternally Even
One of my favourite albums of the year, the lead singer of My Morning Jacket releases his second proper solo album late last year in November. The album is full of warm, colourful sounds. It is almost psychedelic in nature, one that really gets under your skin that will linger with you for a long time.
Drive-By Truckers – American Band
It has been far too long since the last release of Drive-By Truckers, well it feels like t has been far too long. Their latest release see the band going back to its roots. If there is one thing about the political upheaval in America, it is that it has provided some great material for the band. The band sounds as fresh as ever and the undercurrent of anger in this record really brings it to life.
Richmond Fontaine – You Cant Go Back if There is Nothing to Go Back to
Last year saw the demise of many great bands, some unforeseen and some foreseen. This release from Richmond Fontaine was long suggested as the band’s last and indeed that tour that accompanied the album, the band shared the reasons for the end of Richmond Fontaine including a desire by all to move on. The album itself is full of these themes wrapped around crisp harmonious melodies. It is quite a beautiful record.
Hiss Golden Messenger – Heart Like A Levee
Another artist that has been around a number of years (this is his 6th studio album), and one that keeps getting better with every release. Heart Like A Levee contains some beautiful melodies. If there ever was an album you would describe as warm and embracing, then this it it.
Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor’s Guide to Earth
Grammy winning Sturgill Simpson released this album last year to mixed reviews. The album was spurned on by Sturgill being on tour away from his wife and recently born child. The album takes a different tone to that of the lauded “Metamodern Sounds in Country Music” but still clearly his eye for something different. His deft touch with words and the production is excellent. Simpson’s voice is as always the thing that drags you in and keeps you there in his world.
Matt Woods – How to Survive
If this was a review in an established outlet, I’m sure the first words printed would be Matt Woods is the songwriters songwriter. Indeed his songwriting has been lauded in reviews with every release. This latest doesnt stray too far from the path and that is no bad thing. Matt is a descriptive songwriter with a gift for words. This album demonstrates that quality in every facet.
The Famous – Ghost Town Parade
I’ve long been a fan of The Famous particular brand of post-punk americana. Their third album was actually released in 2016 but didn’t come to my attention until last year. Moving seamlessly between styles, Ghost Town Parade continues The Famous journey of country tinged rock melodies. If you like your Hank Williams just as much as you love the Pixes, then this album is for you.
So there you go, my favourites of 2016. If there is an album you think I am missing, feel free to comment below.