The New Music Mixtape: Best Albums 2017

The New Music Mixtape: Best Albums 2017

Over the past twelve months, one of my life goals was to listen to as much as possible. About half way into the year I realised I was on course to hit a pretty cool milestone so I can say with pride, that I managed to enjoy 500 albums this year.

From those 500, I have taken my absolute favourites to talk about a little bit, and link them below so you too can enjoy.

50. TWIABPAIANLATD – Always Foreign
Amidst band departures and anger at the political landscape, TWIABPAIANLATD make an ironic stab at how crap things are in their song writing whilst maintaining their rich, full post rock sound.

49. The XX – I See You
Jamie XX’s solo work creeps in as The XX mash fresh sounds together, for their fans to party to the band’s best record yet.

48. Wiley – Godfather
The only Grime album you needed to pay attention to this year.

47. Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels 3
Just at the turn of the year, Run the Jewels stayed on form releasing their third album in four years. Despite these being free mixtapes, they have far more stud records than most major label releases.

46. Brutus – Burst
In a year with returns from Queens of the Stone Age and Royal Blood, Belgium’s Brutus released the best stadium rock music. It’s one of the most immediate and loud albums I heard this year.

45. Mount Eerie – A Crow Looked At Me
It would be impossible and immoral to discuss this album on terms of enjoyment. One of the most harrowing expressions of grief ever recorded, but a must listen.

44. Manchester Orchestra – A Black Mile To The Surface
A genius showcase of burying honest insecure and sometimes existential problems inside of electrifying, grandeur indie rock.

43. Sheer Mag – Need To Feel Your Love
The Philadelphia punk rock band strip things back to basics for riff anthem after riff anthem with powerhouse vocals and killer hooks.

42. THEY – Nu Religion: Hyena
R&B burst out of its glass ceiling with dark blends of rock, pop & hip hop around every twist.

41. Khalid – American Teen
A very solid Pop/R&B effort from now global superstar Khalid which exerts an adrenaline shot of much needed youthfulness into the scene.

40. Cigarettes After Sex – Cigarettes After Sex
A single sound captured across an album. CAS’s static dreamy shoegaze makes this into a concept album about love, sex and the world we live in.

39. Pond – The Weather
There’s been plenty of mind-bending prog rock soundscapes from Aussie bands Tame Impala and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard over the past few years, but Pond’s The Weather is the most successful yet.

38. Code Orange – Forever
In a year of outstanding efforts from metal bands (Mastadon, Pallbearer, Converge as notables), It’s Pittsburgh’s Code Orange who stole the show.

37. Jay-Z – 4:44
Jay’s understated comeback says exactly what it needs to with regards to family, race and politics. Lyrically his best album in over a decade, with raw production that didn’t need flash to sell its story.

36. Kesha – Rainbow
A deeply personal album start to finish which has its faults but really charms through in pop and country records.

35. Corbin – Mourn
R&B outsider Corbin channels grunge heroes to make a post-modern take on what heavy rock and hip hop can sound like meshed together.

34. Phoebe Bridgers – Strangers In The Alps
A debut album has no right to be this good lyrically, but LA singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers sticks the landing instantly. Looks back at classic song writing but paints it with a modern folk palette ala Lana Del Rey or Angel Olsen.

33. Brockhampton – Saturation 3
The culmination of a year long project results in the boyband’s most versatile and experimental work. The album concludes looping into its predecessors whilst pointing towards similar output next year.

32. SZA – Cntrl
Top Dawg Entertainment had a fantastic year with Kendrick (we’ll get to that), but SZA’s coming out party was better than we could have ever hoped for. She effortlessly joins Lamar and Schoolboy Q as the label’s heavy hitters.

31. Charli XCX – Number 1 Angel
Frustrated with the direction her label vision for her, Charli lets us into her brain. She’s a traditionalist pop fan and pop star, but also a visionary creating the future of pop music with her friends.

30. Yung Lean – Stranger
In a break out year for many emo rappers, the Swedish OG puts out stellar work to show he’s still King Emo of the Emo Castle.

29. Alex Lahey – I Love You Like A Brother
Frantic, funny and life affirming indie rock from Australia by one of the most likeable artists making music today.

28. Joey Bada$$ – All Amerikkkan Bada$$
Whilst I loved this on first hearing, I waited all year round for the seminal Trump album. I had it with me almost the full year. It’s Joey’s record.

27. Rina Sawayama – Rina
Sunny, inventive pop music from London newbie Rina Sawayama. The blog hive’s favourite pop record of the year, it’s easy to understand why.

26. Julien Baker – Turn Out The Lights
Gorgeous voiced Tennessee singer Julien Baker boxes herself over self-worth, religion and loneliness in an epic that rivals any Rocky movie. Almost like a movie or diary being played out, you hear Julien grow in confidence and willpower as the album progresses, which is stunning.

25. LCD Soundsystem – American Dream
James Murphy gives fans the comeback beyond their dreams with several tribal rants and raves about life in America.

24. The Horrors – V
A triumphant return for Gothic indie band The Horrors who make their most complex records of their career on an air tight V.

23. Thundercat – Drunk
Manic and daft at points, Thundercat’s experimenting is one of the most thrilling listens this year.

22. Makthaverskan – III
Perfect 80s gothic songwriting from the Swede’s third album featuring some of the most infectious guitar records of the year.

21. Rapsody – Laila’s Wisdom
Rap’s new megastar sets out her path with a stellar debut album.

20. Trampolene – Swansea To Hornsey
Probably the best Welsh indie album since The Holy Bible. Passionate to its roots lyrically wrapped much craved real guitar riffs. It’s like the days of early Arctic Monkeys.

19. Brand New – Science Fiction
First things first, I heavily condemn and give no credit to the frontman of this band. That being said, Brand New made the best album of their career and made songs that genuinely help battle adult male depression. That’s something to shout about.

18. Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – Modern Ruin
Something different for Hardcore Punk hero Frank Carter turned out to be something that felt just right. Loud, punchy, layered punk rock masterclass on offer here.

17. Dave – Game Over
Late in the year, after some satisfactory single drops, Dave finally sets the bar. Seven minute political wastes and beef based club smashes, Game Over is Dave heading into 2018 on top.

16. Muna – About You
Dark and funky indie with plenty of dance references from LA trio Muna. There’s special songwriting with  love songs written from the viewpoint of homosexual woman but with the ability to fit a relatability for anyone. Certainly one of the brightest sparks from a new band this year.

15. The National – Sleep Well Beast
The National finally made a record I loved start to finish with Sleep Well Beast. From clicking the play button, you’re taken into their own mood the band have honed over the years. They make several of the best singles of their career, and their best album. I’m a casual fan and this excites me. What it must feel like to be a National hard core and have had this release.

14. Brockhampton – Saturation
Ah, where it all started. After a string of creative, intelligent singles like Gold and Star, Brockhampton released the first of their life altering Saturation albums. It stood up as a full album, with each song offering something new and exciting. I played it to death and you should too.

13. Logic – Everybody
The magna carta of positive rap music in 2017 was through Logic and his groundbreaking Everybody. This would have been a perfectly great choice for a Grammy now that I think about it. Stupid Grammys.

12. Sorority Noise – You’re Not As ___ As You Think
Upon discovering the fantastic movie Manchester By The Sea, which is one of the most brutal and real depictions of male depression and grief I’ve ever seen, Sorority Noise’s triumphant take on the topic was a real sticky album for me. It was the film’s counterpart, spearheaded by the amazing No Halo. I never dropped it, they were my favourite hard rock band this year.

11. Drake – More Life
A playlist is a cooler word than an album anyway, Drake’s in the right here guys. More Life was a celebration for me of everything Drizzy has released over his career. There are songs on there that hark back to his early days like his collab with Jorja Smith, songs that hark to the future like his trap anthem Portland and banger after banger.

10. Charli XCX – Pop2
Late year surprise drop Pop2 is Charli XCX’s most complete work. Her and PC Music’s AG Cook combined with a plethora of friends to create many individual choons but also a fully flexed showcase of both of their fantastic vision for pop music. The album being called Pop2 is fitting, as they seem to be trailblazing the way.

9. Idles – Brutalism
British band Idles were the centrepiece of angry punk speaking about political issues surrounding Brexit and other tragedies and let downs by the government. Songs like Mother and Well Done resonated with crowds upon crowds over Summer festivals. It came timely and really fit the bill of what youths in Britain needed to express their views on the way the country is being run.

8. Tyler, The Creator – Flower Boy
Tyler, The Creator released his best work of his career with Flower Boy, his own Channel Orange. I say that not only because he used the lyrics on the album to talk about his sexuality but also to release music we never thought he would create. This is an album about love, about growing up and likewise topics, whilst maintaining enough OF-esque rap bangers.

7. Paramore – After Laughter
The pop punk band stake their claim as the best pop band on the planet, reaching into the past to draw inspiration from 80s rock pop like Blondie which you can certainly hear in their hit Hard Times. What is admirable is whilst this plays as Paramore’s most colourful album in their now long career, it is also their darkest lyrically. Songs like Rose Coloured Boy and Fake Happy are some of the most stunning of Hayley Williams’ lyrics.

6. Father John Misty – Pure Comedy
Our Father dropped his second full length which is a long, complex and funny take on the world we live in. It’s a commentary on the world we live in for cynics, pessimists and optimists too. Modern life hasn’t felt so real on record.

5. Lorde – Melodrama
Melodrama is such an important record. Lorde on it sways away from the pop hierarchy (her tour was Academy level, not Stadium as her contemporaries). She is the cool popstar to adore, and adored she was by the many this year. Green Light and Melodrama tops so many lists. The album itself is a concept album of a break-up and getting back into the swing of life. It’s gorgeous start to finish.

4. Creeper – Eternity, In Your Arms
Creeper’s debut album sits so highly because of how exciting it is to have a new British band evoke the highs of emo heavyweights like My Chemical Romance or earlier Fall Out Boy. Eternity, In Your Arms is a quick storm of punk rock imagery, painted with the band’s sensational branding. They are the most accessible emo band in what seems like forever to obsess over. Their music allows that, and encourages it. They should from here become massive.

3. Kendrick Lamar – Damn
I’m not sure any of us are clever enough to dissect Damn and discuss it properly but I know at least that it is genius. Kendrick Lamar is on his own level, in his own world with his music. With Damn, for me, he cements his-self as the greatest artist working today. His music makes hits, has bars to appeal to all hip-hop fans, but still feels like it’s deeper than that. Then of course in December when the wave of excitement had mostly passed, he announces that the album was supposed to be played backwards. Damn is an enigma that I can’t wait to throw on repeat until I work it out.

2. J Hus – Common Sense
The biggest success in British music this year came from UK rapper J-Hus. His loud blend of 90’s west coast rap production, African rap flow and lyrical content and his ability to create R&B anthems was unmatched. Every song on Common Sense feels like a celebration. It’s a positive album about winning in life. It should have won the Mercury!

1. Brockhampton – Saturation 2
My most played album this year, and also my favourite, is the second instalment on the whirlwind ride that was Saturation. Brockhampton, the world’s best new boyband threw us Saturation 2 at a time when I was still trying to pick my jaw up from the first album. Brockhampton have injected energy into my day to day life this year, creating music that is always instantly exciting, fresh and damn good at a blistering pace. Their love for their craft and them being so young and new to music that they can threaten break-ups or drop music at the click of a tweet is so attractive. For me exploring new music and finding things to listen to, they have been the best thing about 2017.

The album itself is stacked, more so than their debut or Saturation 3 which followed in December. The cinematic opening to Gummy is a solid example of how their music on this record felt a bit more layered and more confident of the band’s style than their predecessor. Queer and especially Junky are some of the best tracks about sexuality in rap songs ever laid to record. More so than their other albums, there are songs here which give everyone a chance to shine. Meryln Wood’s quirkiness on Swamp or Ameer Vann’s angry flow about race on Fight were highlights. The group’s best vocalist Bearface does his best year’s work on Jesus and Summer. The album cohesively comes together, offering some of the finest production work of the year. The group created Saturation with the pun of oversaturating the music industry with three albums in a year. They made everything that was great about music in 2017.


The New Music Mixtape: Best Of Q2 2017

The New Music Mixtape: Best Of Q2 2017

Despite being out of action in April, I’ve managed to catch-up on everything that I need to in the world of new music. I’ve listened to every album and song I can get my hands on and collated it all. There’s been so much to love, and surprisingly so little to hate. Music has left me feeling very positive thus far this year.

Especially coming out of a dangerous operation which could have taken away my ability to hear, having so much great new music to explore and find has made my successful recovery much easier of the past few months. It’s been a challenging time for me and I know it sounds kind of corny, but music has helped me through it so much.

I wanted to take a bit of time to list off some of my favourite albums of the year so far and list some of my favourite songs so far. As we hit the half-way point of the year, here is my favourite albums so far, from the 220 I’ve heard.

Top 50 Albums
50. Sylvan Esso – What Now
49. Mastadon – Emperor Of Sand
48. Formation – Look At The Powerful People
47. J-Hus – Common Sense
46. Sohn – Rennen
45. Alison Crutchfield – Tourist In This Town
44. Cherry Glazerr – Apocalipstick
43. Vagabon – Infinite Worlds
42. Migos – Culture
41. Loyle Carner – Yesterday’s Gone
40. Nines – One Foot Out
39. Dude York – Sincerely
38. Sundara Karma – Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect
37. Jamiroquai – Automaton
36. DJ Khaled – Grateful
35. Charli XCX – Number 1 Angel
34. Vince Staples – Big Fish Theory
33. Hey Violet – Hey Violet
32. White Reaper – The World’s Best American Band
31. Life – Popular Music
30. Paramore – After Laughter
29. Lorde – Melodrama
28. Kendrick Lamar – Damn
27. Cashmere Cat – Nine
26. Wiley – Godfather
25. Ryan Adams – Prisoner
24. SZA – Cntrl
23. Sampha – Process
22. Mount Eerie – A Crow Looked At Me
21. Fleet Foxes – Crack Up
20. Pond – The Weather
19. The XX – I See You
18. Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels 3
17. Code Orange – Forever
16. Joey Badass – All Amerikkkan Badass
15. Big Sean – I Decided
14. Stormzy – Gang Signs And Prayer
13. Logic – Everybody
12. Khalid – American Teen
11. Father John Misty – Pure Comedy
10. Idles – Brutalism
9. They – Nu Religion: Hyena
8. Jidenna – The Chief
7. Thundercat – Drunk
6. Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – Modern Ruin
5. Sorority Noise – You’re Not As ___ As You Think
4. Muna – About You
3. Creeper – Eternity, In Your Arms
2. Brockhampton – Saturation
1. Drake – More Life

Drake comes out on top for me by turning in a lengthy, genre spanning and career spanning album. There’s cuts on it that throw back to Take Care and Thank Me Later but also tunes on it that throw forward to current and future trends. His mastery over understanding on what people want to listen to is so impressive, so it’s an easy decision for me. It could well be the best album he’s ever made.

Moving onto my favourite tracks, the past few months have really picked up. The start of the year left me with Stormzy and Father John Misty ahead of the pack. After April through June, this is where the list currently sits, top to bottom.

With their modern Disco perfection, it’s Arcade Fire joined by the slick sounds of Calvin Harris’ Slide out in front of the rest of the pack. So far though, 2017 is shaping up gorgeously. I’ll be back with you in Q3!

The New Music Mixtape: Best of Q1 2017

The New Music Mixtape: Best of Q1 2017

We’ve made it to the end of Q1 and boy oh boy what an interesting start to the year we’ve had. A young lad from Suffolk released an album which saw all sixteen songs chart in the Top 20 on opening week. We saw Grime celebrate a milestone by crowning its new King, Stormzy, with a Number 1 album. And we enjoyed exuberant returns from Katy Perry, Lorde and…Uhm, Steps.
Its proof that music is more unpredictable than it has ever been before. The one thing that is concurrent is that it’s always bloody great. As always I have been listening non-stop around the clock for the most exciting pieces of music released. With over five hundred records already under my skin, I’m going to try and rank the Top 50 so far.

If you’d like to listen on the go, here’s a handy Spotify playlist for you.

50. Jazz Cartier – Tempted
49. Allison Crutchfield – I Don’t Ever Wanna Leave California
48. The Magic Gang – How Can I Compete?
47. Bad Sounds – Meat On My Bones
46. Marsicans – Friends
45. Wall – River Mansion
44. Isaac Gracie – Reverie
43. Maggie Rogers – On & Off
42. Get Inuit – Barbiturates
41. Life – Euromillions
40. Pale Waves – There’s A Honey
39. The Amazons – Black Magic
38. Kendrick Lamar – The Heart Part IV
37. Clean Bandit – Symphony
36. Me Not You – Relief
35. Sea Bed – Pretender
34. SZA – Drew Barrymore
33. Jamiroquai – Cloud 9
32. Future Islands – I Ran
31. Fickle Friends – Hello Hello
30. Future – Mask Off
29. Icarus – King Kong
28. Pwr Bttm – Answer My Text
27. Sorority Noise – A Better Sun
26. Jessie Reyez – Shutter Island
25. Dave x J Hus – Samantha
24. Rex Orange County – Best Friend
23. Creeper – Black Rain
22. Idles – Stendhal Syndrome
21. Charli XCX & Cupkkake – Lipgloss
20. Khalid – Coaster
19. Salen – Heartbreak Diet
18. Joey Bada$$ – Land Of The Free
17. The XX – Say Something Loving
16. Sampha – No One Knows Me (Like My Piano)
15. Lana Del Rey – Love
14. Mount Eerie – Real Death
13. Thundercat – Show You The Way
12. Young Fathers – Only God Knows
11. Nicki Minaj – No Frauds
10. Alt-J – 3WW
09. Migos – Bad And Boujee
08. Muna – Crying On The Bathroom Floor
07. Middle Kids – Never Start
06. Future & Rihanna – Selfish
05. Jidenna – Bambi
04. Lorde – Green Light
03. Frank Ocean – Chanel
02. Father John Misty – Pure Comedy
01. Stormzy – Big For Your Boots

The New Music Mixtape: Songs of 2016

The New Music Mixtape: Songs of 2016

Welcome along to the most important article I’ll post on my website all year, my Songs of The Year. I’ve shortlisted an insane 1,940 records I’ve found and enjoyed down to just 300.

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been listening. I’ve been listening and I’ve been noting down every new piece of music I hear. That’s been countless hours listening, exploring and falling in love with new music. It’s probably important for me to talk a little about just how important that’s been for me. I returned home post-Uni with no immediate plans on what my future held. I’ve done alright, I have two incredibly fulfilling radio jobs and a third to follow in the new year. That being said, in between those successes, there’s a lot of down time. I live in an area where I don’t really have anything to do, or anybody to speak to. I’ve fallen out of touch with most of my friends for the most part. When I have been down or felt the darkness creeping up, putting my energy into music discovery has saved me countless times this year. So collecting all of this data and collating it does me a greater happiness than I could ever expect anybody reading will take from it.

That pre-face out of the way, let’s get into this. My hope is you find your favourites listed through-out but also a lot of records that slipped under the radar but burst with excitement and progression. Find numbers 300-201 below with a lovely Spotify playlist (or Soundcloud links) to all of the records.

300. AlunaGeorge – I’m In Control
299. Danny L Harle – Broken Flowers
298. Atom Tree – Body
297. The Temper Trap – Burn
296. Echos – Gold
295. Denzel Curry – Knotty Head
294. Agua Roja – Joey
293. Young Franco – Drop Your Love
292. The Naked & Famous – Higher
291. Rews – Miss You In The Dark
290. Beffroi – Faint
289. Rocheii – Body Language
288. Sylvan Esso – Radio
287. Weezer – LA Girlz
286. Wolfie’s Just Fine – It’s A Job
285. Ramsey – See You Bleed
284. Moses – Leave, Leave, Leave
283. Tender – Oracle
282. Solange ft Sampha – Don’t Touch My Hair
281. Bear’s Den – Napoleon
280. Oyls – Maps
279. Dan Croll – Swim
278. Idles – Well Done
277. DRAM – Cash Machine
276. Bryce Fox – Horns
275. Twenty One Pilots – Lane Boy
274. Skott – Lack Of Emotion
273. The Head & The Heart – All We Ever Knew
272. Wall – Cuban Cigars
271. Jelani Blackman – Submarine
270. Dua Lipa – Last Dance
269. The Amazons – In My Mind
268. Biffy Clyro – Re-Arrange
267. Potty Mouth – Smash Hit
266. Matt Corby – Monday
265. Miles Mosley – Abraham
264. Circa Waves – Wake Up
263. American Football – I’ve Been So Lost For So Long
262. Margaret – Cool Me Down
261. Obongjayar – Creeping
260. John Jacob Magistery – Carol
259. Chance The Rapper – Blessings Reprise
258. Jesiah – Babylon
257. DJ Shadow & Run The Jewels – Nobody Speak
256. Tegan & Sara – Boyfriend
255. Ralph – Cold To The Touch
254. The Avalanches – Because I’m Me
253. Karo – Wolfbaby
252. Yellowcard – The Hurt Is Gone
251. Beaty Heart – Flora

I toyed with the idea of writing out a paragraph about each song I’ve included in my list. They really deserve to be spoken highly of, each and every one of them. They’ve all played important parts in my year, even if it was just smiling or grinning upon first hearing them. Hopefully you have the time to sink your teeth (and ears) into the 300-201 playlist. What follows now will back-up why you should spend your time listening.

250. Sohn – Signal
249. Salen – Copper Kiss
248. Me Not You – Bulletproof
247. The Kills – Doing It To Death
246. Seramic – Waiting
245. Warhola – Lady
244. Shells – Gold
243. Tourist – To Have You Back
242. Mallrat – Tokyo Drift
241. Clean Cut Kid – Make Believe
240. Drake – Keep The Family Close
239. LCMDF – Rookie
238. Khalid – Location
237. Team Picture – Classic M
236. Pinegrove – Old Friends
235. Sigala – Say You Do
234. Passenger – Anywhere
233. Swet Shop Boys – Aaja
232. Beck – Wow
231. DMAs – Delete
230. Kings Of Leon – Walls
229. Cape Cub – All I Need
228. Cherry Glazzer – I Told You I’d Be With The Guys
227. Childcare – Film Club
226. Pumarosa – Honey
225. Local Natives – Past Lives
224. Biffy Clyro – In The Name Of The Wee Man
223. Pup – If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You
222. Twin Atlantic – The Chaser
221. Black Honey – Hello Today
220. Courteeners – The 17th
219. Elohim – Sensations
218. Deftones – Prayers/Triangles
217. Ian Sweet – All Skaters Go To Heaven
216. Anderson.Paak – Sillicon Valley
215. Connie Constance – Clouds
214. Estrons – Drop
213. Strong Asian Mothers – The More That I
212. Louis Berry – Nicole
211. Arizona – I Was Wrong
210. Skott – Porcelain
209. Weyes Blood – Do You Need My Love
208. Catfish & The Bottlemen – Outside
207. Cigarettes After Sex – K
206. Desiigner – Timmy Turner
205. Beyonce – Sorry
204. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Dark Necessities
203. Kanye West – Fade
202. Declan McKenna – Isombard
201. Kaytranada – Lite Spots

Dammit Beyonce! We almost got through 100 records without needing an alternative link. Her track Sorry, placing at 205, is the only record not on Spotify in the below playlist. I’m so annoyed I’m not even going to give her the attention of finding an alternative link, let’s just move past it. *composes self* Okay let’s bring on 200-101.

200. Zara Larsson – Lush Life
199. High Contrast – Remind Me
198. Mitski – Fireworks
197. Sia – Broken Glass
196. Pup – DVP
195. Shame – Gold Hole
194. Yellow Days – Gap In The Cloud
193. KoRn – Rotting In Vain
192. MO – Final Song
191. Joey Bada$$ – Devastated
190. OneRepublic – Kids
189. Hunny – Colder Parts
188. Jagwar Ma- OB1
187. Skott – Wolf
186. The Academic – Mixtape 2003
185. Run The Jewels – Talk To Me/Legend Has It
184. Blaenavon – My Bark Is Your Bite
183. Bibi Bourelly – Sally
182. The 1975 – She’s American
181. The Japanese House – Face Like Thunder
180. Jorja Smith – Blue Lights
179. Japanese Breakfast – Everybody Wants To Love You
178. Pwr Bttm – I Wanna Boi
177. Hotton Tennis Club – Katy-Anne Bellis
176. Tender – Afternoon
175. Dreamwife – Hey Heartbreaker
174. Twenty One Pilots – Ride
173. Post Malone – Go Flex
172. Bantug – Wine Beeline
171. Kiiara – Gold
170. Passport To Stockholm – Better Days
169. Maggie Rogers – Dog Years
168. Shura – Touch
167. Snakehips & Zayn – Cruel
166. Will Joseph Cook – Take Me Dancing
165. Imany (Filatov & Karas Remix) – Don’t Be So Shy
164. Francis & The Lights – It’s Alright To Cry
163. Slothrust – Like A Child Hiding Behind A Tombstone
162. Pep & Rash – Love The One You’re With
161. Kano – Garage Skank
160. Bad Sounds – Avalanche
159. Nilufer Yanya – Small Crimes
158. Dua Lipa – Blow Your Mind (Mwah)
157. Muna – I Know A Place
156. Portishead – SOS
155. Slotface – Take Me Dancing
154. AlunaGeorge – I Remember
153. The Lumineers – Ophelia
152. Travis Scott & Young Thug – Pick Up The Phone
151. Lapsley – Love Is Blind

That puts us nicely at the half way mark of The New Music Mixtape’s Songs of 2016. There were so many records in that past 50 that I had bookmarked through-out the year for being my song of the year but such has been the quality of records I’ve discovered this year. So many gems to behold. There was only one record not on Spotify in that past 50 which was Portishead’s haunting cover of ABBA’s S.O.S initially featured in the soundtrack for film High Rise but later released as a tribute to Jo Cox in what was one of 2016’s most harrowing tragedies. You can hear it here. Okay, let’s go back in!

150. Sia & Sean Paul – Cheap Thrills
149. Car Seat Headrest – Fill In The Blank
148. Phoebe Ryan – Boyz N Poizn
147. BJ The Chicago Kid – The New Cupid
146. Gypsy & The Cat – I Just Wanna Be Somebody Else
145. Chvrches & Hayley Williams – Bury It
144. Timeflies – Once In A While
143. John Legend & Chance The Rapper – Penthouse Floor
142. Flume – Never Be Like You
141. Jessie Reyez – Figures
140. Asking Alexandria – The Black
139. M83 –Do It, Try It
138. Oscar & The Wolf – The Game
137. George Cosby – All Of Your Love
136. Bad Sounds – Wages
135. Danny Brown – Really Doe
134. Michael Kiwanuka – Black Man In A White World
133. Anderson.Paak – The Season/Carry Me
132. Miike Snow – My Trigger
131. Usher – Crash
130. Justice – Alakazam
129. Angel Olsen – Shut Up, Kiss Me
128. Her’s – Dorothy
127. Abra – Crybaby
126. Frightened Rabbit – Get Out
125. Twenty One Pilots – Stressed Out
124. Ray Blk – Chill Out
123. Island – Spotless Mind
122. Sampha – Blood On Me
121. Taking Back Sunday – Death Wolf
120. Drake – Feel No Ways
119. Bon Iver – 715 Creeks
118. Radiohead – True Love Waits
117. The Avalanches – Frankie Sinatra
116. Blossoms – Charlemagne
115. Bruno Mars – Versace On The Floor
114. Justin Jay & Friends – What Do You Want
113. Vant – Peace & Love
112. Joyce Manor – Last You Heard Of Me
111. Nvdes – Don’t Fvck Your Neighbour
110. Biffy Clyro – Wolves Of Winter
109. Tove Lo – Cool Girl
108. Tall Ships – Meditations On Loss
107. QTY – Rodeo
106. Serpentwithfeet – Blisters
105. Fronteers – Idol
104. CRX – Broken Bones
103. Elf Kid – Golden Boy
102. Raye – I, U, Us
101. Gallant – Weight In Gold

And with Gallant just missing out (for now), we arrive at The New Music Mixtape’s Top 100 Songs of the Year. I will stress that I’ve poured countless hours over the past week shortlisting and ordering. Essentially as much as I love end of year lists with all of my heart, I love the urge to talk through all of the music I’ve found even more. Apologies that I can’t talk through them all, but hopefully you have the time to listen through to the playlists above and now the Top 100. I’ve also put all of the Top 100 into a Spotify playlist for you too. Without further a-do, please find my favourite songs of the year.

100. Rihanna – Work
Like it or loathe it, you had an opinion and that is important. Rihanna’s unlikely comeback early in the year brought in two very new realities. Firstly that global superstars now have so many platforms to release music, that they’ll do it in their own way and trust their brand to follow on whatever changes they make. Secondly, we are in the middle of a tropical typhoon in the charts, with so many songs influenced by RiRi’s turn on Jamaican/Caribbean culture.

99. Drake – Controlla
Drake’s third and final spot on my end of year list goes to Controlla, not One Dance. Sure the former spent 15 weeks atop the UK charts and Christ knows how long elsewhere over the world, but Controlla is the most successful song from Drizzy’s new venture. He, like Rihanna, wanted to explore the incoming tropical waves and Controlla is for my dollar a solid overview of what hit music sounded this year.

98. Nvdes – The Other Side
Keep an eye out for my post about my picks for the most exciting artists heading into 2017, because from the get go, Nvdes have sounded like a band certain to make a massive splash into the future. The Other Side is the sturdiest evidence of this, blending colourful disco, bubblegum pop sensibilities and a cool slacker mentality – all combining to give us an unpolished rebellious sibling to Friendly Fires.

97. Maggie Rogers – Alaska
Alaska is absolutely the perfect staple track for any new music playlist you’ll have advertised to you this year. It’s a given that 2017 is going to be enormous to the Pharrell prodigy, who mixes downtempo dance music with her folk background.

96. Denzel Curry – Ultimate
Above else when I hear a new trap record, what I need is the ability to wile to it. Ultimate did that greater than any other in 2016 and as such the drop on Ultimate has found a home in countless memes on-line and party playlists.

95. Wet – The Middle/Turn Away
As I did with Run The Jewels earlier, I’ve went for a double booking here. I’m allowed to, it’s my list dammit. Wet are one of the best bands on earth. New York is a hub for creative and young romantics growing up. There’s absolutely piles and piles of sweet sounding New York bands singing about the troubles of romance and whilst they’re mostly great, to stand out from that is something really, really special. Wet do that. They’re the best new band coming out of New York for my money and I wanna push as much of them onto people as I can, so tell your friends.

94. Seramic – Found
Another super exciting sound for 2017 is mate of Jack Garratt and sorta similar sonically, Seramic. Creating big moments out of spaciously tranquil mixes seems to be his forte, creating crescendos out of nothingness. The reason Found has ‘found’ its way so high up the list is due to how euphoric this chorus is. Forget the bad times, get in on this chorus folks!

93. Childish Gambino – California
I will say that if you want to pretend I put Redbone here that is totally fine. The quick line is, Gambino dropped a sick 70s funk album and I indulgently love this drenched in autotuned, slightly offbeat comic sounding tune. Sure it’s a strange pick, especially to the omission of any of the actually great tunes off of Awaken Your Love, so just pretend this pick represents the whole album, m?

92. Krrum – Evil Twin
Evil Twin makes me smile for so many reasons. The royal sounding brass is engaging. The vocal sample is funky as a pigeon and it’d absolutely wreck a speaker system if you turned the bass right up. Seriously don’t do that!

91. Moose Blood – Knuckles
Hey guys, it’s The New Music Mixtape’s Top songs of 2001 and as you’d expect its emo pop punk heavy! Hey guys, it’s The New Music Mixtape’s Top songs of 2016 and surprisingly ITS STILL emo pop punk heavy! Thank you for existing Moose Blood ❤

90. Kaytranada – You’re The One
Canada’s new super-producer has amassed a number of streams this year that’s just plain silly. The guy is so popular after his excellent 99.9% album, and for me the stand-out from is the lush You’re The One. Brb, having a boogie.

89. Honeyblood – Ready For The Magic
Said it in my album reviews, for a band to essentially split in half, recover and slam out an anthem like this in less than a year is ‘A+’ for effort.

88. Sheer Mag- Nobody’s Baby
Sheer Mag are so new and underground and much cooler than any of us, that they ain’t on Spotify. So I’ve attached the Bandcamp link below for you to go purchase their music. Essentially the coolest punk rockers on the planet.

87. Sohn – Conrad
Whilst Signal was the proper comeback we all craved, the marching Winter born Conrad was the Sohn comeback we all needed. Multi-layered, sinister but ultimately entrancing, precisely what the artist does best.

86. Solange – Cranes In The Sky
I will never understand the logic of why listening to sad lyrics and music makes things less bad for us as a listener, but Solange’s Cranes In The Sky is the perfect remedy for 2016. Whatever has troubled you, Solange it away.

85. Bastille – Good Grief
Good Grief was a proper banger for all ages. The absolutely perfect British radio tune of 2016 and it was the strong lead single for a strong new album. Two thumbs up for the efforts this year Dan & co.

84. Catfish & The Bottlemen – Twice
Twice is the sound of a band maturing on album number two. Like all great bands, Catfish & The Bottlemen have found a comfort in their originality and are confident pushing the boat out. Twice succeeds in being a stonking tune for the fans but also in being something new and exciting for the band to test out. I mean, that pace breakdown is stunning on every listen.

83. Saba/NoName – Church/Liquor Store
Upon my first listen to this one from Saba, I was very excited about what I was hearing. Yes the production is great, the song is catchy, Noname does a perfect spin, but damn the flow on Saba is spectacular. Pick yourself up the Bucket List project asap!

82. Declan McKenna – Bethlehem
My pick to win the BBC Sound of 2017, Declan McKenna has been on my radar since last year’s excellent wavy indie tune Brazil. He’s been building the foundations of his artistry and sound and Bethlehem is a really fun and proud record. I’m proud as a fan, he should be proud as an artist. This kid’s gonna go far.

81. Fifth Harmony – Work From Home
#RIP5H Mine and the lads’ favourites 

80. Klangstof – Hostage
The first record I heard on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 show (Yes, it took me a long while to get the software working). This is what music discovery is about though, finding something that peacefully brings you in and then blooms into something that takes your breathe away. I pray this is your first listen to Hostage so you will experience the same.

79. The Weeknd – Starboy
Remember the days when Abel was releasing free mixtapes? Honestly doesn’t seem like it was so long ago but now it feels galaxies away. This Daft Punk collaboration ensured that The Weeknd has had two years on the trot with excellent albums and growing superstardom. Where to next?

78. Radiohead – Daydreaming
Top tip incoming: If you find yourself at the end of the world and everybody else is gone and your phone has almost run out of battery, make this the song you listen to. It’ll fit the mood perfectly!

77. Chase & Status + Slaves – Control
My favourite thing about C&S is how well they can maintain the crunching D&B anthems they’ve become known for whilst adopting traces of the artists who collaborate with them. They’ve become Kings of showcasing British talent and Slaves are as talented as they come. What we got with Control was a song you could really sink your teeth into which sounded as much a C&S hit as a Slaves one.

76. Warpaint – New Song
It’s absolute madness that a lot of Warpaint fans aren’t fans of this record. Their label wanted them to make something poppy and they did it with ease. They didn’t just do that, they made one of the best pop songs of the year. Succulent melodies and a riff to have cartoon heart eyes over. Can you tell I quite like this one?

75. Kings Of Leon – Waste A Moment
Huge success commercially for a band who’d been struggling for a few albums. It’s also kept the fans happy, harking back to their rockier days before the sludge of Tennessee Country we’ve had to put up with for the past five years. Welcome back Followills.

74. Whitney – No Woman
Speaking of Country and Americana, Whitney did it right this year, capturing the ears and hearts of many. Warm is the colour Whitney.

73. Elohim – Hallucinating
Anyone fancy a bit of Mariachi? If your answer was anything other than ‘Always!’ then you should probably just leave right now, we can’t be friends.
For real though, adopting a Mariachi band on your second single takes guts and Elohim’s shaping up to be one of 2017’s most interesting and unpredictable artists. This is the magical, Hallucinating.

72. Skott – Amelia
Skott has had one EP out to her name, and all 4 tunes have made their way onto my end of year list. That’s damn good going as I didn’t even realize until I started typing out my collated data from the year. As for her future, she’s been tipped more than a waiter at a fancy restaurant so she should be another name on your watch list for the next year. My favourite of hers so far is Amelia, which has haunting dramatics about its storytelling.

71. Fickle Friends – Cry Baby
Been on this band for a few years but had no idea they had this sort of throwback nostalgic bubblegum synthpop in them. Superb record to cry on the disco floor to, if you’re into that kind of thing.

70. Strong Asian Mothers – Don’t Let Go
In my eyes the greatest omission from the BBC’s tips list for next year, Strong Asian Mothers look destined to hit superstardom for me. Their name is two thirds literal. They aren’t mothers but their music is solid and does have excellent Asian tinted sizzle about its production. Don’t Let Go is massive, its waters starting calm but leading into choppy waves towards it’s endgame.

69. Blink-182 – Bored To Death
This one has topped mine and many of my friends’ most listened to song of the year on Spotify and there’s definitely reasons there. Blink are good at making earworms and even without the integral Tom DeLonge, they can still make a super hit. Another signifier of the terrific return of pop punk and emoism.

68. PartyBaby – Don’t Say It
Over in the States, there haven’t been many projects for Americans to proud of more than LA quartet PartyBaby. Composed of ex 30 Seconds To Mars and Portugal, The Man members what you get is nothing you’d expect from those. Think Weezer’s poppy grunge but made for 2016 and you’re kind of there. Don’t Say It struck a chord with me for sure, it sounding absolutely huge.

67. Clean Bandit – Rockabye
The moment where Clean Bandit turned up and saved us from the crushing tropical pop-dance plaguing us all, with actual creative pop. Thanks guys!

66. Kano – 3 Wheels-Up
Released at the very beginning of the year but remaining a Grime anthem through-out 2016, Kano’s party banger was always gonna wind up high in my list. I honestly don’t think we’ve had as many Grime anthems this year as previous years despite the scene growing, so this one was important.

65. Moose Blood – Honey
The sound of pop punk still packing a punch in 2016 primarily came through this tune from the excellent Moose Blood. Catchy chorus and sweet sounding riffs abound.

64. The XX – On Hold
Late year return from The XX after Jamie’s superb turn as a solo artist last year. The result of his findings there have changed The XX’s sound a bit as they come back with a very danceable tune which still retains the utter blackness and darkness that we’ve come to know and love from the band.

63. Viola Beach – Boys That Sing
From tragedy, many people in music did with Boys That Sing what felt right. They showcased how terrific a band Viola Beach were set to be. Coldplay singing a-long at Glastonbury was a special moment in music for lots of people, myself included, this year.

62. Honne & Izzy Bizu – Someone That Loves You
Both artists have had a good year but have suffered from lacking that substantial hit to put them both in my love pile instead of my like pile. That being said with this collaboration is filled with love and plays like a really good Karaoke pairing. I know labeling something Karaoke is never supposedly nice but I mean it honestly here!

61. Mulan – Night
I have absolutely zero information on new artist Mulan but blimey this sole song from the artist is enough to be excited by. It scratches on the ears before rewarding you with a disgustingly sick guitar riff and slick vocal. I have no idea what we have on our hands here, but the mystery is exciting.

60. Neck Deep – December (Again)
Neck Deep are another pop punk band bringing the sound back to the fray. December is a wonderful song by the band recorded both as a big pop punk record and a stripped back acoustic ballad. No matter which one you prefer, they’re both terrific and have some of the best pop punk couplets in forever.

59. Chairlift – Crying In Public
We’ve had the news that we’re losing Chairlift after Spring next year and so the current album is their final. Their swan song for me is Crying In Public, a gorgeous and fluttery swooning pop song that I’ve not had off repeat all year. I’ll miss you guys.

58. Bruno Mars – 24k Magic
Every line should be branded on T-Shirts, every sexy synth drop remembered for all time. It’s completely daft and indulgent but it’s wonderful if Bruno’s funk throwback is your thing.

57. Jay Prince – Father, Father
There’s tonnes of rap music coming out of London and almost all of what is spoken about is Grime. How refreshing it is to have an artist like Jay Prince on the scene who is channeling the styles of the likes of SaveMoney. This is excellent and original British rap which I am all about.

56. Broods – Heartlines
Broods are a band who can pen a pop hit. They’re probably the best musicians out of New Zealand in a majorly long time (I even prefer them to Lorde). On album number 1 they shined through in moment almost writing the perfect pop record. Heartlines is their magna carta thus far.

55. Pet Shop Boys – The Pop Kids
PSB go super-meta and make a pop smash hit about being a fan of pop smash hits. They also do it as part of a pop-dance album. They’ve been in the game so long but continue to freshen it up, hail PSB.

54. The Rhythm Method – Home Sweet Home
One of music’s lousiest stories this year was the closure of cult London club Fabric. The following week, music fans were naturally sombre about a City known for its music and culture. Then London’s best new band The Rhythm Method released Home Sweet Home, an ode to London. They saved that week.

53. Sundara Karma – A Young Understanding
My favourite record of Reading’s Sundara Karma so far is this unashamedly 80s influenced rocket with a big chorus and vocal which had essence of David Byrne about it. What struck me about it so much though was its stride, its confidence.

52. The 1975 – A Change Of Heart
This won’t be the final time I talk up Matty Healy’s songwriting but A Change Of Heart is terrific in detailing falling out of love with somebody. As we’re stuck, squished like sardines with more than enough songs about falling in love, this one hits home for those of us not shacked up with somebody. Thanks for being relatable where others aren’t Matty.

51. Two Door Cinema Club – Bad Decisions
Whilst their debut album packed lots of punch, the previous TDCC album really, truly sucked. They’d gone away a while and for them to take the chance on such a big change in sound was admirable. The real breakthrough for them this year was the terrific Bad Decisions which is the best funky indie tune in, well maybe forever?

50. Rae Sremmurd – Black Beatles
Yes this was as close as we had to a viral hit this year, with the Mannequin Challenge taking over, but this was already in my top list before that was a thing. Sremmlife 2 was a bit of up and down but Black Beatles stuck out like a sore thumb as sounding timeless. Having Gucci Mane on the song after his release from jail felt important. Black Beatles was more than a viral hit. It was Rae Sremm cementing themselves amongst the big dogs, having the audacity to label themselves the Black Beatles.

49. Bon Iver – 22 (Over Soon)
Bon Iver’s campaign came and went quite quickly and kind of modestly this year and the first record he teased from his album ’22, A Million’ is a blueprint of what makes Justin Vernon’s main project mine and most people’s favourite on earth. Its understated, it has layered vocals that sound like they’ve been compressed from the heaven’s above. There’s a warm Saxophone solo. There are vocal samples on the breeze through-out. And then the clouds open for a truly breath-taking moment. I’ve just described 22 (Over Soon) but that description works for much of his work.

48. Kid Canaveral – First We Take Dumbarton
Heroes of the underground indie scene in Scotland, Kid Canaveral have always teased brilliance for me, but with First We Take Dumbarton they gave us the whole boat and then a cruise liner to go with it. The lyrics don’t really do much for me but sonically, no other indie rock song hit the spot like the guitars in this one.

47. Grouplove – Welcome To Your Life
A stallion of an indie pop gem that Grouplove fans will be screaming back to the band for life. The verses have a terrific swagger about them and then that chorus, blimey. It’s such a large chorus it’s giving me Vertigo.

46. Vant – Karma Seeker
I thought 2016 was a really great year for this band. They’d been releasing fairly sub-standard records in the lead-up but between Peace & Love mentioned earlier and more so this record, I think they’ve found their stride. Karma Seeker is ambitious and leaps and latches onto you on first listen. Grunge is alive and well!

45. Car Seat Headrest – Does It Feel Good (To Say Goodbye?)
Interesting choice for many here as my favourite song of Car Seat Headrest is one they never actually released. They did this record for a mate’s indie film and for me it sums up what this band are all about. Thick as hell guitar played with real intensity. Slacker yet emotional vocals from the genius that is Will Toledo, and then when the record does just enough to break your wall down it attacks with a wall of sound and the most painful guitar solo of the year, probably one of the best solos of the year in general. This folks, is Car Seat Headrest at their best.

44. Estrons – I’m Not Your Girl
I’ve fallen for Estrons really quickly. A big part of it is because they sound a lot like Wolf Alice but where the latter’s lyrical content is brushed in metaphor, fantasy and myth, Estrons tackle super honest issues of growing up. And it’s not often we get that in British Indie Rock when it’s female fronted. This band are offering something fresh and I’m Not Your Girl whilst being brilliantly blunt lyrically, is also a storming banger.

43. Eat Fast – Public Displays Of Affection
A whirlwind of everything that’s great about British guitar music in 2016. Enough of this talk about it not being there or it being totally eclipsed by Grime music. Bollocks. Eat Fast have something to say about that and the result is dizzyingly scuzzy and glorious.

42. Saint Phnx – Reload
My favourite find in Scotland this year is these lads from Glasgow. The Brothers Jukes come at music differently to most in the Scottish scene. Maybe it’s because Scotland is very proud of its heritage sounds but there’s a LOT of folk led new music in Scotland and I need woken up a bit. Reload does that. These guys instead want to be like Imagine Dragons, like Coldplay. And based off of this record and its follow-up King, they’re making a good start.

41. Jorja Smith – Something In The Way
Jorja Smith’s voice can stop time, like that coin off of The Queen’s Nose. What a show. I’m going to come across really blasphemous to some here but Something In The Way is the most Back To Black song I’ve heard since Amy passed. And because it brought back the emotion and tears of those memories, I’m with Jorja all the way heading into 2017.

40. Desiigner – Panda
Oh god we’re losing serious bangers now. At number 40 is Panda, a song which was absolutely my favourite song of the year in many senses. The artist in question is nuts but exceeds a positive attitude and energy unseen in Trap ever. The song does the exact same. This existing was a good thing for 2016.

39. Christine & The Queens – Tilted
Strictly released in 2015, but made its name in 2016 so I’m allowing it. The movement of Tilted this year was fantastic, with this record being completely sold out in local Tescos all over the UK. At least for a few weeks, our Country had sick taste in music and we have CATQ to thank for that. Should probably mention that as a love song it is perfect too and her style and yeah you’ve heard it all before, we all love you Heloise.

38. Twenty One Pilots – Heathens
Its no bias you’ve seen 21P FOUR times in this list. With their second album, which was technically released last year, they’ve become the biggest band in the world. Stressed Out and Ride did the job in the Charts but Heathens was really the turning point over here in the UK where people started really getting excited about this band. I managed to catch them live at Leeds Festival and they performed with energy unmatched to any I’ve ever seen live, and I’ve spent a lot of pocket money on gigs. This band are special and this song was Alt-Rock’s savior in 2016.

37. Fatherson – Just Past The Point Of Breaking
With their second album this year, Fatherson really matured into the emotional indie folk band they were always going to be. The highlight was opening song which has so much drive and power in it. The kind of song to bring a tear to your Dad’s eye, this is Just Past The Point Of Breaking.

36. Get Inuit – Teriyaki
Surf Pop at its finest coming out of the capital of Surf Pop, London. Wait…
Get Inuit are a terrific prospect heading into 2017 and for me Teriyaki worked on just being a short, sweet taste of new music that wanted to have fun. It might be the funnest tune in my whole list.

35. Joyce Manor – Fake I.D
My favourite post punk band in the world, Joyce Manor, released their new album Cody this year. Whilst it wasn’t quite the classic I wanted it to be, Fake I.D as the lead single was the perfect tease. The lyrics are witty and a bit lame but in a way that’s perfect for a post punk band in our time to be. The music is terrific. And it all comes in at under two and a half minutes. Nailed it.

34. DRAM & Lil Yachty – Broccoli
This year there’s been so much BORING beef happening with Rap’s biggest superstars and aside it all, what’s been lovely is the emergence of two new superstars who aim to have a lot of fun. DRAM and Yachty getting together for this daftly brilliant party anthem felt right and as such it’s been a huge success all over the world.

33. Michl – Kill Our Way To Heaven
Wouldn’t be surprised if this one slipped under your radar as it’s really not had the recognition its deserving of. This record was an early year perfect earworm for me. If you’re a fan of the weird, dramatics of Clarence Clarity and LA Priest then Michl is somebody you want to start listening to pronto. You’d do much worse starting with this.

32. Gallant – Bourbon
The moment where the voice became the great songwriter. Gallant has had a fantastic 2016, releasing his debut album Ology and an array of solid singles. For me his best moment has been Bourbon which has the darkest but most gorgeous couplets this year has produced in the R&B world.

31. Puppy – Entombed
Sheer excitement was my reaction to hearing Entombed for the first time. Puppy are a British band who are unafraid to use deadly and monstrous sounding riffs around their My Bloody Valentine like vocals. Praying they keep this up as we need more British heavyweights around.

30. Zayn – Pillowtalk
The final pure pop song in this year, meaning the best pop song of the year belongs to Zayn. I tell you for sure when he left the best boy band on the planet I didn’t give him the time of day but he proved me wrong. Pillowtalk is a song mature beyond his years which is just written and crafted to perfection in every way.

29. InHeaven – Treats
Urgency is the key word in InHeaven’s sound. Treats is a fantastic record which clearly wears its Sonic Youth and Hole influences its sleeves. An earworm and a big record for fans of scuzzier stuff.

28. Cape Cub – Lifeline
A personal favourite band of mine from my time in the North East of England and a band I tipped to do awesome things this year on my blog last year. They did that with a really awesome EP. From it, my favourite is Lifeline which states their ambition more than any record so far. You’d not be remised for thinking you were listening to early Coldplay here and I believe Cape Cub have it in them to air for the stars with records like these.

27. Clean Cut Kid – We Used To Be In Love
2016 has felt like CCK’s year but this a band who haven’t actually released their album yet. Instead their singles have been so good this year that they’ve barely been out of the limelight. My ultimate favourite of the band’s though so far is this 80s synth pop influenced catchy number. I can’t quite place the band’s sound yet with equal amount of 80s pop, folk and indie rock. And that’s maybe a good thing. Unpredictable but so, so enjoyable.

26. The Rhythm Method – Party Politics
Next year should be a good’un for this duo and this excellent record which is every bit of Mike Skinner as it is of Neil Tennant was the very beginning of that. This is a band who regularly sell out gigs which I’ve been informed make up of 50% hardcore kids relating in this new band and 50% industry bigwigs seeing this love and taking furious notes. This band cannot fail at this point.

25. Beyonce – Formation
A proper moment in music this year was Beyonce’s Superbowl performance where she released Formation to the masses. The superb visual album Lemonade followed too and whilst in lots of ways there were other records I preferred, Formation was the most important. What I will say is the black panther signifiers was a bit crumby and kind of not on but I’m trying to ignore that. Ultimately a record I’m frustrated with but as it always should, the music shines through and for me, this is a banger.

24. Hunny – Vowels
The best Indie rock chorus I’ve heard in years both for the intensity and fun of the music but more so lyrically. This self-aware cheesiness is what indie is all about.

23. Rejjie Snow – Pink Beetle
Damn, just imagine if this was the lead single on Gambino or Chance’s albums. We’d all have named it the best record of the year for certain. This super accessible yet dark record is from new Irish rapper Rejjie Snow, a name I expect to hear a lot next year.

22. White Lung – Below
There’s been some backlash here from fans of White Lung as the normally hardcore band have turned to making a pop monster. I can’t understand how anybody can’t be effected by the power of this song’s chorus or build up. It’s broken me into pieces multiple times this year.

21. Schoolboy Q ft Kanye West – That Part
Loved Q’s new album but it was lacking singles or highlights. It more-so worked as a body of work and a sound. That being said That Part will be in clubs for AGES. And that weirdly minimalistic Yeezy verse, timeless.

20. Kanye West – Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1 & Pt. 2
I was lucky enough to be part of the audience to view Kanye West’s album launch at the cinema and when Father Stretch My Hands was unleashed, I was overwhelmed. The Kid Cudi sung drop proceeded to catch my emotions off guard a further infinite times. In a career full of highlights, its honestly up there with the best music Kanye has ever produced.

19. Francis & The Lights – See Her Out (That’s Just Life)
When was the last time you can honestly say a song has made you feel something undefined. Something that you relate to but you can’t explain why. It’s not that the lyrics are relatable but the actual music. The mood, the dramatics, be it spacious or full, be it rock, rap, pop or whatever. When was the last time you related to music properly, because mine was this record and implore everybody to really sit and block out the world and pay attention to it.

18. Hamilton Leithauser & Rostam – A 1000 Times
When Rostam left Vampire Weekend early in the year it was a really sad time. I knew he was a big part of the production of the band but listening to 1000 Times showcases just how big a part of the charm of Vampire Weekend he was. With Leithauser of The Walkmen, both men have crafted a wonderful, classical sounding album with this song at the front of it.

17. The Range – Florida
I think it’s generally been a pretty meh year for dance music and producers but with The Range we had a well needed blip. His album wasn’t super set on what it was but amidst the concoction of sounds, Florida shone through with real charisma.

16. Savages – Adore
The first great song of 2016 turned out to be one of the greatest of the full year. Savages have done something special with this ballad of sorts about admitting that despite the things that are wrong in it, life is great and should be adored. A lesson we can all use in 2016 I’m sure.

15. Kojey Radical – Kwame Nkrumah
If he’s new to you, Kojey Radical is a spoken word artist who adds a darker depth to his music than most on the scene. Kwame Nkrumah was the Ghanaian president who brought the country Independence from Britain. With the comparison, Kojey wrote an off kilter ballad for forward thinkers to get behind. Strive for greatness and speak out for what you want, just like Nkrumah did. An important record.

14. Lil Yachty – 1 Night
One of my favourite new sounds this year has been that of Lil Yachty, a new type of rap sound. A lot of people have labeled him mumble rap but he doesn’t like that so I’ll explain it my own way. Autotune can be used correctly as an instrument and Yachty does that. He uses this with fun beats and lyrics. He doesn’t care for trailblazers like Tupac and Biggie which has brought him a lot of criticism but he’s doing something new and I’m a fan.

13. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Gamma Knife
A band who were new to me this year but have actually released eight albums so far. Crikey. What you need to know is these dudes are insane Aussies who make rapid psycho-rock. Gamma Knife spoke to me on a number of levels in being the most creative rock song in years but also having a video which reminded me of Monty Python. It all really shouldn’t work, but absolutely does.

12. Shura – What’s It Gonna Be?
Loved the year that Shura has had and this record is her crème de la crème. Infectiously interesting pop with a subject we can all relate too by a brand new artist who is bringing something exciting to the fold.

11. Lapsley – Operator (DJ Koze Radio Remix)
My Song of the Summer was this absolutely ridiculously excellent Disco remix of Lapsley’s Operator. Not much to say on it, just that if it doesn’t make you groove I’ll wire you a fiver. (I’m not actually going to do that, but the point stands).

10. Chance The Rapper – No Problem
Chicago has a new national anthem and it comes courtesy of its current King, Chano from the 79th. No Problems is feel good, it’s a big tune for independence. In Chance’s case this is independence from record labels but it can transcribe to whatever situation you have going on, like all great music should.

9. Miike Snow – Genghis Khan
Early in the year, Miike Snow released their best song yet with the entertaining, fun, light-hearted banger that is Genghis Khan. Built on the central idea of being protective (we’ve all been there), Genghis Khan is precisely what creativity in music is all about. An earworm of the highest order.

8. James Blake & Bon Iver – I Need A Forest Fire
It was a collaboration that millennial vibe emos such as myself have prayed for, and a prayer answered. I Need A Forest Fire doesn’t offer much in the way of the song making a lot of sense but the impact of the production and of two of the most gorgeous voices on the planet combining and mesmerizing for four minutes.

7. Crying – There Was A Door
Crying are a band from New York who mix a big bag of sounds to make something truly unique. This record has bits of Rush and Yes in it, it has scratches like Run DMC, it has the 90s cheesiness Hanson, it has the indie vocal sensibilities of Chairlift. It has guitars like Van Halen. Surely, surely somewhere in there you find something you love?

6. Vic Mensa – There’s Alot Going On
The sound of a young artist tearing up everything you thought you knew about him and starting a new beginning. Vic Mensa is doing some of the most important work in hip-hop to speak for Black Lives Matter, to speak out against Trump and Police Brutality. He’s one of the most admirable speakers in Rap today and with this record, for me, it was a powerful statement piece.

5. Bon Iver – 33 ‘God’
Bon Iver has three songs in my Top 10 this year and there’s a reason. He’s the most important artist working today. In his own work, he didn’t do fan service. He releases his own, cracked, imperfect masterpiece. The centerpiece for me is 33 ‘God’, a song which more than any on the album goes full frontal with its religious intentions. Such an enormous topic should be tricky and taboo to cover but it somewhat fits Vernon’s voice perfectly. Certainly when the song begins we are on earth with gorgeous piano and strings which fit his folk stylistics perfectly. However by the end of the song we’re somewhere entirely different. 33 was the supposed age Jesus Christ died at and 33 ‘God’ is the kind of sound befitting even the Heavenly Son’s ascension to Heaven.

4. Mitski – Your Best American Girl
I think the general consensus is that most people loved what Mitski did this year. She made an excellent album for adolescents growing up struggling with love. Mitski too, goes very honest and graphic on the record and Your Best American Girl is the main event of her work this year. It’s been a year-long power anthem for those who are feeling like the one they want is worlds away. There’s a difference between falling for somebody and falling in love with a notion of somebody, and Mitski’s put this down in music perfectly.

3. Kanye West ft Chance The Rapper – Ultralight Beam
The opening to The Life Of Pablo saw Kanye West tackle faith, the state of our planet and people. He’s never been one for modesty. What he created is a Church sermon filled with choir and his prodigy Chance the Rapper going up in flames literally blazing every other rap verse this year has seen. The song has bits of darkness in it despite being about ultralight. It’s about light and dark and keeping faith amongst light and dark. The perfect record for every single person on this planet.

2. The 1975 – Somebody Else
Matthew Healy, thank you for creating the best break-up song ever. The brain is a complex buggar and I pray you never have to experience possessive feelings over somebody. It’s a horrible thing not loving somebody but also not wanting anybody else to love them. And it doesn’t make you a bad person but until Somebody Else this was unspoken of. Why The 1975 were great this year wasn’t because of songs like The Sound which turned them into pop behemoths. It was that lyrically they’ve become so damn relatable.

1. Francis & The Lights – Friends
From the first moment I heard Friends I knew it was going to be at the very top of my list and as the data was collated, and as I started shortlisting, it never looked in doubt to be honest. Francis is an artist who didn’t really have a great run of things with his first attempt at breaking the music industry but on his new album and on Friends there is so much music to here that sounds like it belongs in 2016, like its forward thinking, positive and exciting. Bon Iver features prominently here to and sings a great deal of it, and he has put his stamp on so many of 2016’s greatest works. Francis’ energy is what seals the deal though and with the music video having a dance routine to accompany, this one has ticked all of the boxes. Lyrically its about longing what a friendship feels like after breaking up out of a relationship. It explores the idea that friendships are as important as relationships and this year I think the idea of just being nice to each other goes a long way. So as this is released just in time for New Year, surround yourself with friends. I’ll be by myself most likely but as I’ve stated at the beginning of this list, music’s been a great friend to me this year and will continue to do so. This is my favourite song of the year and if you’re also a big fan, we should be friends.

The New Music Mixtape Presents: Albums 2016

The New Music Mixtape Presents: Albums 2016

The New Music Mixtape Presents: Albums 2016

Music has become so easily accessible across a wealth of different platforms and as such, it is so easy to find quality full length albums from many different artists. With that in mind, I decided to try and consume as many full length projects as possible. In fact, I listened to one album per day. With this I wrote down my thoughts on each and ranked them as I listened.
Below you’ll find a fairly long list which will run down to double digits. Once there you can find some words around only the best of the best from 2016. These are my favourite music albums of the year.

365. Ry-X – Dawn                                                 364. Charlie Puth – Nine Track Mind
363. Deadmau5 – 2016Album                            362. Vaults – Caught In Still Life
361. Bishop Nehru – Magic 19                           360. SBTRKT – Save Yourself
359. Maren Morris – Hero                                   358. Mahalia – Diary Of Me
357. 21 Savage – 21 Gang                                      356. Teenage Fanclub – Here
355. Racing Glaciers – Caught In…   354. Nick Jonas – Last Year Was Complicated
353. Majical Cloudz – Wait & See                       352. Lukas Graham – Lukas Graham
351. DJ Khaled – Major Key                        350. Gwen Stefani – This Is What Truth…
349. King Charles – Gamble For A Rose           348. Mogwai – Atomic
347. Daughter – Not To Disappear                     346. Sleigh Bells – Jessica Rabbit
345. The Boxer Rebellion – Ocean By…            344. Post Malone – August 26th
343. Telegram – Operator                                 342. The Coral – Distance Inbetween
341. Bloc Party – Hymns                                         340. Kygo – Cloud Nine
339. Tiga – No Fantasy Required                    338. Empire Of The Sun – Two Vines
337. Babymetal – Metal Resistance                     336. Dinosaur Jr – Give A Glimpse…
335. Katy B – Honey                                                   334. Aiden Knight – Each Other
333. Noname – Telephone                                       332. Sum 41 – 13 Voices
331. Simple Plan – Taking One For…                   330. Primal Scream – Chaosmosis
329. Terror Jr – Bop City                                   328. Preoccupations – Preoccupations
327. Tuff Love – Resort                                             326. Weaves – Weaves
325. Diana – Familiar Touch                                    324. King 810 – La Petit Mort
323. Navvi – Omni                                                       322. Pity Sex – White Hot Moon
321. Kero Kero Bonito – Bonito Generation         320. Mothxr – Centrefold
319. Roosevelt – Roosevelt                                        318. Yak – Alas Salvation
317. Stefflon Don – Real Ting Mixtape                  316. Travis – Everything At Once
315. Fat White Family – Songs For Our…              314. Crystal Castles – Amnesty(I)
313. Macklemore – This Unruly Mess…                312. Money – Suicide Songs
311. Zhu – GenerationWhy                                        310. Cassius – Ibifornia
309. American Wrestlers – Goodbye Terrible… 308. Jessy Lanza – Oh No
307. Swet Shop Boys – Cashmere                           306. Alicia Keys – Here
305. PartyNextDoor – PartyNextDoor3                 304. The Hotelier – Goodness
303. Ty Dolla $ign – Campaign                                302. Big Deal – Say Yes
301. Mac Miller – The Divine Feminine         300. Iggy Pop – Post Pop Depression

299. Little Mix – Glory Days                                     298. A.Chal – Welcome To Gazi
297. Mutual Benefit – Skip A Sinking Stone       296. Cate Le Bon – Crab Day
295. Baby Strange – Want It Need It                      294. The Joy Formidable – Hitch
293. Santigold – 99c                                             292. Show Me The Body – Body War
291. Izzy Bizu – A Moment Of Madness                290. Field Music – Commontime
289. The Last Shadow Puppets – Everything… 287. Let’s Eat Grandma – Gemini,I
286. Garbage – Strange Little Birds                       285. Frank Ocean – Endless
284. The Rolling Stones – Blue And Lonesome  283. Elliphant – Living Life Golden
282. Beach Baby – No Mind No Money                 281. Lucius – Good Grief
280. C Duncan – The Midnight Sun                      279. Badbadnotgood – IV
278. Joey Purp – iiiDrops                                          277. PAWS – No Grace
276. Klangstof – Close Eyes To Exit                      275. Bat For Lashes – The Bride
274. Architects – All Our Gods Have…                273. Metronomy – Summer 08
272. Niki & The Dove – Everybody’s Heart…    271. Britney Spears – Glory
270. Gnash – Us                                                         269. Honne – Gone Are The Days
268. Minor Victories – Minor Victories              267. The Cult – Hidden City
266. The Qemists – Warrior Sound                      265. Young Thug – Slime Season 3
264. Wye Oak – Tween                                             263. Teen – Love Yes
262. Saint Motel – saintmotelevision         261. We Are Scientists – Helter Seltzer
260. School Of Seven Bells – SVIIB                     259. Jazz Cartier – Opera
258. Killswitch Engage – Incarnate                    257. DJ Snake – Encore
256. De La Soul – The Anonymous…          255. Animal Collective – Painting With
254. A$AP Mob – Cozy Tapes                                 253. Hodgy – Fireplace
252. Lion Babe – Begin                                         251. Roy Woods – Waking At Dawn
250. Kendrick Lamar – Untitled Unmastered

249. Melt Yourself Down – Last Evenings… 248. Majid Jordan – Majid Jordan
247. Palace – So Long Forever                           246. Sad13 – Slugger
245. The Parrots – Los Ninos…                         244. Towkio – Community Service 2
243. Villagers – Where Have You Been…       242. Public Access TV – Never Enough
241. Megadeth – Distopia                                   240. Aurora – All My Dreams…
239. Band Of Horses – Why Are You Ok?       238. Cullen Omori – New Misery
237. Jones – New Skin                                         236. Brian Fallon – Painkillers
235. DNCE – DNCE                                                234. PC Music – Vol 2
233. Sunset Sons – Very Rarely Say Die          232. Holy Esque – At Hope’s Ravine
231. Drowners – On Desire                                 230. Oscar – Cut And Paste
229. The Wytches – All Your Happy Life       228. Rachel Platten – Wildfire
227. Tonight Alive – Limitless                          226. CRX – New Skin
225. Alessia Cara – I Know It All                       224. Boston Manor – Be Nothing
223. Fear Of Men – Fall Forever                        222. Lewis Del Mar – Lewis Del Mar
221. Wild Nothing – Life Of Pause                   220. Jamie T – Trick
219. James Vincent McMorrow – We Move   218. Yuck – Stranger Things
217. Yeasayer – Amen & Goodbye                    216. Lil Yachty – Summer Songs 2
215. Ariana Grande – Dangerous Woman      214. Yung – A Youthful Dream
213. PJ Harvey – The Hope Six…               212. Mystery Jets – Curve Of The Earth
211. Kate Tempest – Let Them Eat Chaos      210. Beaty Heart – Till The Tomb
209. Yellowcard – Yellowcard                           208. Tove Lo – Ladywood
207. Merchandise – A Corpse Wired…           206. Rae Sreummurd – Sremmlife 2
205. Fifth Harmony – 7/27                                 204. Jamila Woods – Heavn
203. Misty Miller – The Whole Family…        202. Deap Valley – Femijism
201. Slaves – Take Control                                  200. Blink-182 – California

199. Honne – Warm Is The Night                  198. DJ Shadow – This Mountain…
197. Camp Cope – Camp Cope                         196. Modern Baseball – Holy Ghost
195. Yumi Zouma – Yoncalla                 194. Nada Surf – You Know Who You Are
193. Meilyr Jones – 2013                                     192. Coasts – Coasts
191. Band Of Skulls – By Default                     190. Foxes – Better Love
189. Steve Angello – Wild Youth                    188. Shields – How Can We Fix This
187. Rosie Lowe – Control                      186. The Temper Trap – Thick As Thieves
185. Bauuer – Aa                                                  184. Bloodiest – Bloodiest
183. Jaws – Simplicity                                        182. Wolfmother – Victorious
181. NZCA Lines – Infinite Summer              180. Raleigh Ritchie – You’re A Man…
179. Tom Odell – Wrong Crowd                       178. Suede – Night Thoughts
177. FEWS – Means                                             176. Alter Bridge – The Last Hero
175. Craig David – Following My Intuition   174. Polica – United Crushers
173. The Hunna – 100                                          172. Petite Meller – Lil Empire
171. Against Me – Shape Shift With Me         170. Nx Worries – Yes Lawd
169. Skizzy Mars – Alone Together                  168. Kaleo – A/B
167. Flatbush Zombies – 3001: A Laced…     166. Grouplove – Big Mess
165. DMAs – Hill’s End                                        164. Local Natives – Sunlit Youth
163. Drive By Truckers – American Band       162. Adult Jazz – Earrings Off
161. White Lies – Friends                                    160. Tegan & Sara – Love You…
159. Tourist – U                                                       158. Slowcoaches – Nothing Gives
157. Young Thug – Jeffrey                                    156. Hinds – Leave Me Alone
155. Clams Casino – 32 Levels                            154. Avenged Sevenfold – The Stage
153. Post Malone – Stoney                                   152. Lady GaGa – Joanne
151. Anohni – Hopelessness                               150. Skepta – Konnichiwa

Around the 175 mark this started to get really tough but I am scoring these based on what I thought when I initially listened to them. It may be crazy that this year’s Mercury Music Prize winner has placed way out at 150 but so many of those I’ve already listed are so great. It’s a testament to how good so many albums have been this year. What follows is even tougher to pick through. See you at the Top 100!

149. Little Green Cars – Ephemera          148. Sunflower Bean – Human Ceremony
147. The Naked And Famous – Human Forms  146. Kaiser Chiefs – We Stay…
145. American Football – American Football     144. Banks – The Altar
143. Good Charlotte – Youth Authority                142. Kings Of Leon – Walls
141. Big Thief – Masterpiece                                    140. Russian Circles – Guidance
139. Kid Canaveral – Faulty Inner Dialogue        138. Isaiah Rashad – The Sun’s…
137. Busted – Night Driver                               136. Japanese Breakfast – Psychopomp
135. The Radio Dept – Running Out Of Love        134. Blossoms – Blossoms
133. Benedict Benjamin – Night Songs                132. Little Simz – Stillness In…
131. Weyes Blood – Front Row Seat To Earth      130. Biffy Clyro – Ellipsis
129. Pinegrove – Cardinal                                         128. Joyce Manor – Cody
127. Catfish & The Bottlemen – The Ride            126. Bastille – Wild World
125. Rihanna – Anti                                                     124. Solange – Seat At The Table
123. Blood Orange – Freetown Sound                    122. AlunaGeorge – I Remember
121. Ian Sweet – Shapeshifter                       120. Jimmy Eat World – Integrity Blues
119. Matt Corby – Telluric                                          118. St.Lucia – Matter
117. Parquet Courts – Human Performance        116. Usher – Hard II Love
115. Wolfie’s Just Fine – I Remembered…           114. Conor Oberst – Ruminations
113. Flume – Skin                                                         112. Black Peaks – Statues
111. Lonely The Brave – Things Will Matter         110. The Knocks – Fifty Five
109. The Temperance Movement – White Bear 108. Weezer – White Album
107. Big Ups – Before A Million Universes          106. Twin Peaks – Down In Heaven
105. Billie Marten – Writing Of Blues…                104. Kiiara – Low Ki Savage
103. Dawn – Redemption                                   102. Laura Mvula – Dreaming Room
101. Death Grips – Bottomless Pit

And that brings us to my Top 100 albums of the year, based on listening and note-taking I’ve been doing all year. I think it is only fair that if the album has made it this far, it deserves to be showcased with a bit about it so you’ll find Spotify links to key tracks from the albums from here on in. These are all absolutely must listen.

100. M.I.A – Aim
The Internet’s Queen of Glitch Pop signs out with her final album (so she claims) with lots of insanely creative lines and production effects.

99. The Lumineers – Cleopatra
The Denver ‘Hey-Ho’-ers prove they’re much more than a token one hit wonder with gorgeous and moving folk ballads certain to bring a tear to the eye.

98. Honeyblood – Babes Never Die
Glasgow scuzzers teach us the important lesson to never write anything off in life. After losing 50% of Honeyblood, the band came back more urgent than ever.

97. Slothrust – Everyone Else
Bostonians rediscovering how Shoegaze sounds in 2016 throwing in storms of loud post punk and soft indie rock.

96. The Weeknd – Starboy
Abel Tesfaye launches himself into the stars with a funky, futuristic and, typically, dark materials.

95. Whitney – Light Upon The Lake
The warmth of a campfire pressed onto compact disc for your enjoyment.

94. Broods – Conscious
New Zealand’s most exciting pop act, that isn’t Lorde, follow a natural progression with their sophomore album, making perfect pop earworms for fun.

93. Young The Giant – Home Of The Strange
One of America’s best guitar pop bands take a darker change of direction and get serious on a very impressive album number three.

92. John Legend – Darkness & Light
Even the nicest guy in music has something important to say on the state of American affairs and it’s a harrowingly beautiful listen.

91. KoRn – The Serenity Of Suffering
In a strong year for nostalgic Nu-Metal, KoRn continue to push the envelope with successful new music and new ideas.

90. YG – Still Brazy
Super-confident in following up an excellent debut album, YG secured his place as one of the modern day great album rappers.

89. SWMRS – Drive North
Everything you’d want and expect from an Oakland punk band in 2016. Fun, diverse and full of sing-a-long songs of adolescence.

88. Frightened Rabbit – Painting Of A Panic Attack
Vibrant, full sounding power rock from a Glasgow band full of heart.

87. Lapsley – Long Way Home
Possibly ushers in a new genre in Anti-Disco; Heartbreaking dance pop ballads for young lovers you can dance and cry to.

86. Gallant – Ology
Soulful pop which floats on air but is never scared to bring you back down to earth with a powerful vocal at any given second.

85. TeenCanteen – Say It All With A Kiss
Glasgow C86 loving outfit who never miss a beat with writing poetic and twee love couplets.

84. Jagwar Ma – Every Now & Then
It’s easy to lose yourself in the tribal clouds, droney blips and beeps and hazy vocals on Jagwar Ma’s stellar sophomore effort.

83. Courteeners – Mapping The Rendezvous
Manchester’s heroes begin to act the stadium band they are with huge indie ballads for a new generation.

82. Diiv – Is The Is Are
Don’t let the title throw you, Diiv become more coherent, structured and focused on album number two.

81. Giggs – The Landlord
As Grime reigns supreme, Giggs drops a dark and clever album even better than his critically acclaimed first to remind us that UK Rap is still going strong.

80. Pixies – Head Carrier
One of the world’s best punk groups deliver one of their funniest, hit packed and fun albums yet. Nothing is stopping Pixies, ever.

79. Bear’s Den – Red Earth & Pouring Rain
British folk’s smoothest sounding band keep up the momentum with a new album which succeeds in building their profile and offering hardcore fans more gems to fall in love with.

78. Pet Shop Boys – Super
One of the UK’s pop national treasures give us a house album. It’s bloody incredible, who’d have thought it!?

77. Spring King – Tell Me If You Like To
The Mancs debut album is imperfect and rough around the edges. Having seen the band’s mad live show, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

76. Touche Amore -–Stage Four
2016’s loudest album comes from LA’s post hardcore veterans who craft a masterpiece from grief and death. How apt for this year.

75. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
Cave’s poetically horrific metaphors have never sounded so personified. It may be the most important album he ever writes.

74. D.R.A.M – Big Baby D.R.A.M
We live in a world with so much rap beef, we need a big loveable guy to spread the joy in the genre. Enter the D.R.A.Mgon.

73. Green Day – Revolution Radio
The epitome of punk rock in America, Green Day, never put out a vital sounding record under Obama’s presidency. How fitting they create their best album since American Idiot just in time for a Trump presidency.

72. Panic! At The Disco – Death Of A Bachelor
Every year brings us an artist who makes a major comeback we just would never have expected. The new P!ATD album is chock-a-block full of hits on hits on hits.

71. Red Hot Chili Peppers – The Getaway
Josh Klinghoffer finally feels like the right component in The Chilli’s best work since we lost the funk from the Fruschiate.

70. The Lemon Twigs – Do Hollywood
The 1970s is still alive through Elton John’s favourite band. Think all of the band’s on your Dad’s i-Pod and re-imagine them in 2016. It’s a gorgeous proposition.

69. Kid Cudi – Passion, Pain & Demon Slaying
Rap’s stigma around mental health has never had a soundtrack before, but Cudi does well to remedy that through his own struggles.

68. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Nonagon Infinity
One of this year’s weirdest albums is also one of this year’s quickest albums and is also one of this year’s best.

67. Chairlift – Moth
What we now know is the band’s last is also the cult indie legend’s best album.

66. Two Door Cinema Club – Gameshow
The Irish indie rockers rip the script up and start again with a super funky new sound filled with cross genre toe-tappers.

65. Miike Snow – iii
Proof that the Swedish don’t just do chart pop well, they do indie pop DAMN well.

64. Deftones – Gore
One of the year’s best comeback stories and perhaps Metal’s best album of the year.

63. Pup – The Dream Is Over
Subtlety ambitious record from the most modest men in punk. Pup follow-up an enjoyable debut with new critical and fan acclaim through brutally honest lyrics and enough riffs to give yourself a nosebleed with.

62. White Lung – Paradise
A rare occasion where punk embraces pop and make a classic album in the process.

61. Kaytranada – 99.9%
Canada’s got a new super-producer on the scene with more underground and indie sensibilities than the Country’s major popstars.

60. Viola Beach – Viola Beach
A powerful example of how music can make even the largest tragedies sound bittersweet.

59. Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker
One final touch of comedic and poetic genius from the departing hero.

58. Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition
As the title gives off, The King of Detroit goes no holds barred and expresses all, and maybe too much, on his excellent sophomore record.

57. Wet – Don’t You
I don’t like to throw around the word ‘underrated’, but Wet are a really important artist for indie and pop fans and I don’t think enough people have heard this absolutely stunning collection of scrunched up love letters.

56. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
Britain’s best band find form with new album as they pave the way for one of their largest touring years in history.

55. Frank Ocean – Blond
We waited and we waited some more and in the end, it did precisely what it set out to do without the need to pick up larger profile or new fans.

54. Francis & The Lights – Farewell, Starlite!
My favourite new artist of 2016 gifted us a surprise album which was full of life affirming, emotional synth pop numbers.

53. Asking Alexandria – The Black
Metalcore and Asking Alexandria can often sound extremely indulgent but new album The Black is must seek-out for fans of heavy music. Mature, layered and impressive tracks.

52. Eliza & The Bear – Eliza & The Bear
Brassy, warm tune after tune from the London band’s long awaited and hit filled debut.

51. X Ambassadors – VHS
Forget everything you know about the frequent alt-chart guest spotter, X Ambassadors proves here he packs a huge gut punch in audio form.

50. Glass Animals – How To Be A Human Being
A fuller sound, a let loose attitude and ultimately one of the year’s funkiest trips you’ll take.

49. J.Cole – 4 Your Eyez Only
Hip-Hop elite doesn’t let the year slide out before making his mark. And that mark includes timeless production and effortless bars for days.

48. Radkey – Delicious Rock Sounds
Pretty much does what it says on the tin. The young three piece punkers take their time bringing us their debut album but its worth every crunching riff.

47. Bury Tomorrow – Earthbound
Sublime year for British Metalcore as Bury Tomorrow’s fourth album is an astounding body of work filled with exciting, pulse-racing and most importantly memorable tunes.

46. The Kills – Ash & Ice
The Kills are still going strong with fifth album Ash & Ice and its array of great records. One of this year’s best riff albums.

45. Nao – For All We Know
Sublime and long debut from the UK R&B starlet featuring lots of terrific singles.

44. A$AP Ferg – Always Strive And Prosper
Career work from Ferg in a year plagued with disappointing work from the rest of the A$AP crew. Superb guest spots and production work all round.

43. Wild Beasts – Boy King
A complex record with every instrumental and vocal getting under your skin whilst not revealing its true motives in the process.

42. Vince Staples – Prima Donna
One of the shortest albums of the year, but that doesn’t stop it packing more intent than most rap records you’ll hear all year.

41. Warpaint – Head’s Up
A poppy turn has divided fans, but I admire the change in direction and ability to write stunning pop records.

40. Twin Atlantic – GLA
Understated and modest album campaign this year from the Glaswegians which is a shame as the music here is undeniably stadium sized.

39. White Denim – Stiff
The sound of speeding down Route 66, if you love Americana and rock music that strives for something original, you’d do a lot worse than White Denim this year.

38. Michael Kiwanuka – Love & Hate
Probably the most draining listen on this list, so much so it opens with a ten minute track, but every second deserves your attention. An important album.

37. Taking Back Sunday – Tidal Wave
In a year of solid post punk returns, Taking Back Sunday were most proficient.

36. M83 – Junk
French DJs M83 lose the sadness of the likes of Midnight City and opt for sheer fun on Junk.

35. Drake – Views
For the indulgent fans this was another great slice of classic Drizzy and for the general music scene in 2016, its hard to see past the importance Drake’s new sound brought to the way the year was shaped in music. What’s forgotten away from the hits were the textbook Drake records like Weston Road Flows and Keep The Family Close though.

34. Sia – This Is Acting
It turns out making an album out of rejected songs for global superstars means you have an album full of absolutely huge potential chart toppers. Well done Sia.

33. Fatherson – Open Book
Scottish folk rock with a heart as enormous as the euphoria in its sound.

32. Jack Garratt – Phase
The Brit Critics choice winner followed up all the buzz in the country with a laid back album that you can tell he clearly enjoyed making. It wasn’t to achieve success, it was pure fan service and love of his craft.

31. BJ The Chicago Kid – In My Mind
Whilst its common knowledge that Chicago is a hotpot for great new soul-rap talent, nobody could have predicted just how good BJ The Chicago Kid’s debut album was going to be.

30. Bruno Mars – 24k Magic
Full of funky pop you’d associate with Mars from start to finish. Every song could be a single and for a global superstar, in a world where global superstars have started shying away from hit filled albums, this is a win.

29. Eagulls – Ullages
The Leeds band follow-up their great debut album by further progressing their gorgeous 80s new romanticism and droney grunge punk. Lots of stand-outs.

28. Hooton Tennis Club – Big Box Of Chocolates
Expertly written indie pop gems both lyrically and musically, this was one of the year’s best offerings for those who are indie inclined.

27. Phantogram – Three
Big, powerful stadium sized alternative pop music from a band who really find their calling on album number three. Some of these records stay with you for days.

26. Martha – Blisters In The Pit Of My Heart
Much blogged about North East of England punkers with some of the most intelligent lyrics you’ll hear all year.

25. Hamilton Leithauser & Rostam – I Had A Dream That You Were Mine
A dream collaboration paints a picture of New York so beautifully.

24. Justice – Woman
Triumphant return for the DJs with an album packed with highlight after highlight in what might be their best album yet.

23. Metallica – Hardwired To…Self Destruct
A joyous return to form enjoyable from start to finish for fans of any heavy beats.

22. A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From Here…Thank You 4 Your Service
The Greatest Of All Time sign out in style with all getting their chances to shine and showcase the best they can do.

21. Savages – Adore Life
The super dark indie punk stylings of Savages returned with an astounding success of an album which wound up being the first great album of the year.

20. Moose Blood – Blush
Pop Punk has had an incredible year and at the forefront of absolutely everything released from the genre were new British act Moose Blood who made one of the best debut albums of 2016.

19. Angel Olsen – My Woman
Infectious and outlandish takes on relationships and life by a country rocker plugged in.

18. Mitski – Puberty 2
At the top of many an end of year list and rightly so. Mitski’s new record has unprecedented metaphorical and poetic gems and enough riffs to go round the whole family.

17. Car Seat Headrest – Teens Of Denial
No sound summed up adolescence in 2016 better than Will Toledo’s Car Seat Headrest. Insanely powerful minimalism in grunge guitars and power slacker vocals.

16. Childish Gambino – Awaken My Love
To use the term ‘change of direction’ wouldn’t do justice what Glover has done here. He’s become a completely new artist and transported us to 70s Funkadelic parties.

15. The Avalanches – Wildflower
A forgotten early noughties one album wonder The Avalanches returned this year in one of the year’s strangest returns. Wildflower turned out to be just as good as we’d always hoped for from an Avalanches follow-up. Bright, danceable records with wonderful scratching and sampling.

14. David Bowie – Blackstar
One of the greatest singers, songwriters and stars of the world departed us this year but before he did, he kept up appearances as this magical celestial being by giving us an album touching heavily on the topic of death before he passed. What resulted was the world grieving together with a body of work to do so with, eerily perfectly.

13. The Range – Potential
The Electronic album of the year belongs to The Range. The Brooklyn DJ combined the perfect sounds at the perfect time of year to encapsulate the relaxing and euphoric feeling of loving life with friends in the Sun. Potential is an album I’ll return to when I need this happiness back.

12. Travis $cott – Birds In The Trap Sing Brian McKnight
Despite being a fairly indulgent artist, Travis $cott has succeeded in taking Trap music to its next level. His production doesn’t sound as cluttered and heavy on the ear as most trap. He uses his own voice as an instrument to add layers of darkness to his music, taking his dark trap into the realms of emo.

11. Schoolboy Q – Blank Face
Under the radar Q at the top of his game. TDE’s best album of the year.

10. Kano – Made In The Manor
Kano should have won the Mercury Music Prize, simple as that. A masterful return and immediate cementation at the top of his scene. A stunning story and body of work.

9. Crying – Beyond The Fleeting Gales
Exciting and fresh ideas from the New York three piece who are as much 80s Hair Metal as they are Soft Indie Pop. Unpredictable at every turn and a superb listen.

8. Anderson.Paak – Malibu
I think we knew Paak was a star in the making, but Malibu was one of the most acclaimed albums of the year. Talent for days, hooks for days and a modern day classic.

7. Shura – Nothing’s Real
Rare to see an artist achieve such a full sound and story out of a debut album but Shura’s outing is one of those. A must listen and one of the UK’s brightest stars. It’s been on repeat all year.

6. Bon Iver – 22, A Million
At times a frustrating listen, this is a fractured masterpiece about the fractured world we live in.

5. Beyonce – Lemonade
From start to finish it was always going to be timeless. Singles were extraordinary and there could be many more from it, the Lemonade movement was a real spectacle to witness.

4. James Blake – The Colour In Anything
Blake returned to do what he does best, minimal and spacious rooms for each of the songs he has on his album. Each with its own story and mood.

3. Chance The Rapper – Coloring Book
We needed positivity this year and thankfully in music, Chance The Rapper used his now global profile to spread happiness and positive messages. At the centre of this was his album Coloring Book which was packed to the brim with modern soul-rap and lots of great collaborations with new and old artists. Chano is King.

2. Kanye West – The Life Of Pablo
The first ever changing album as Kanye continued to add to The Life Of Pablo until he was happy with its final product. Be it the first version or the final, its almost a perfect album and one that stayed with me consistently all year.

1. The 1975 – I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it
I had to sleep on which album to give the top spot to between Kanye and this one, and ultimately as a statement piece, as a natural progression and as a band taking the next step to being the most important artist of a time and place, The 1975 were a massive part of music in 2016. Their second album is an incredible statement of ambition and a huge success all round.

The New Music Mixtape – Best Of October

The New Music Mixtape – Best Of October

Hello! Welcome along to another entry into the wonderful world of The New Music Mixtape. In essence, I spend most of my free time looking for new music from around the world, cataloguing it and then picking just the very best to present in a monthly show for you.

October was pretty neat. It gave me 152 records I loved very dearly. These also made for a really awesome shortlist of music that you can hear in the show below. There’s returns from Miike Snow, Run The Jewels and one of 2016’s brightest young bands Estrons. There’s also new stars to show you here like Chi-town rapper Saba.

As always, let me know what you’ve been enjoying and thanks for listening!

The New Music Mixtape – Best of September

The New Music Mixtape – Best of September

Sup! Hope you’re September treated you well. Certainly in the music world, the metaphorical cylinders were all on fire as I managed to track down 179 amazing tracks. I then had the hard task of shortlisting these songs down to just the very best music I had heard that month and as such have a new radio show for you.

In the commercial world, I really loved The Weeknd and Daft Punk teaming up for Starboy and I think that Rae Sremmurd have put out their best song yet with Black Beatles. However it’s breaking new music that the show is focused on and I have lots of that for you.

There are comebacks from the likes of The Japanese House and Joyce Manor and returns from TNMM favourites Elohim and Skott but there’s also completely new artists I’m excited about.

Check it out, and let me know what you think about the show. As always here’s a handy YouTube playlist with some of the best songs of the month in there!

Thanks for listening.