Welcome to my best of 2016 list. This is a compilation of my favourite releases of 2016. It is in no particular order. All the Albums and EP’s listed here are some that I have enjoyed digesting over the past 12 months. This list isn’t exhaustive, it’s not every record I have listened and enjoyed. It’s the ones that stuck with me and that required repeated listening. As I have said before in other Best of Lists, music criticism can be very subjective. I think it is easy to describe how an album sounds but it is almost impossible to tell if another person will like it (unless you know that person very well). That is why I recommend giving all these artists a listen and see what you think yourself.
So without further ado, here is my favourite releases of 2016.
A release that I recently reviewed on the blog, this EP is a beautiful collection of slow burning ingraining melodic folk tunes. Beautifully composed and compiled the album’s theme (which I was ignorant to as first) shines through on every listen. Wonderful stuff by the band.
A release that actually occurred in 2015 but I only came across it in 2016, hence its inclusion here, the Good Rain could be described as having the same bloodline as The Southern Fold. Again if there was a genre of death folk, I think the Good Rain would fit right in. Sombre, spooky but most of all captivating, it’s a very enjoyable EP.
An EP that I have yet to review on the blog, the Killer Wails EP cements the Mountain Man Band as the finest purveyors of blues rock in Ireland in 2016. The EP gets straight to the point; simple foot-stompin’ blues rock. That’s all you can ever want really.
An EP that I am not sure of the date but one that came to me in 2016. A very strong collection of americana influenced rock. The band’s ear for a melody is hard to deny. From the pop sounding “All in All” to the real country-rock of “Rescue Me” (above), the band create earworm after earworm. Ones to watch.
A release that I think didn’t get enough attention in 2016. Pete Fagan debut album release comes as a fully formed thing. In many ways when listening to this record, I think of what would Bruce Springsteen has sounded like if he was born and reared in Kildare, he might have sounded something like this. An album shimmering with it’s americana and blues influences throughout, it is a beautiful record. One to savour and enjoy.
Another release that wasn’t picked up by many of the major publications. I have always been a fan of John Blek and the Rats. John’s solo releases definitely have a different feel that his work with the band. More laid back and almost more of a folk styling, the second solo release from him still demonstrates his brilliant songwriting abilities.
I enjoyed this album almost as much as what it says as its contents. The forth studio record from the blues-rock trio offers no hostages. It is a blues record by a blues band. If you like blues rock, you will enjoy this. Simple.