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This year has been completely overwhleming with the amount of great music released! Just when I feel I'm on top of my latest favourite album, another one comes along to learn the lyrics for!

My favourite two albums for this year are from (an all-time fave) The 1975 with their I love it when you sleep..., and (a new discovery) Pinegrove with Cardinal. All are in alphabetical order below.

Albums 2016 

Also check out my Favourite Songs of 2016.

Anderson.Paak Malibu

andersonpaakmalibu 

Mix of many genres here, all wonderful and good to hear/see such a collection of positive hip-hop music.

Favourite song: Come Down

Carly Ray Jepsen Emotion Side B

E.Mo.Tion BSides 

Great pop music - the "leftovers" from her great Emotion album last year.

Favourite song: Cry

Chance the Rapper Coloring Book

coloring book 

Chance calls this a Mixtape. It's a wonderfully happy and joyous collection of songs. I love what Matthew from FluxBlog says about him here.

Favourite song: No Problem

Kate Tempest Let Them Eat Chaos

let them eat chaos 

Great spoken word/rap/poetry album, which also has a poetry book release to accompany it. Gritty stories of life in London, England.

Favourite song: Ketamine For Breakfast

Koi Child s/t

Koi child album 

One of my favourite live shows of the year, epic debut from this 7-piece hip-hop band from Fremantle, Australia.

Favourite songs: Black Panda, 1-5-9 and Touch 'Em

Lucy Dacus No Burden

no burden 

Just a gal with a guitar who sings beautifully tragic songs.

Favourite song: Direct Address (live version from AudioTree)

Listen and Download the album on Bandcamp. Listen and Download the live AudioTree session.

Margaret Glaspy Emotions and Math

emotions and math 

Another gal with a guitar - singing great introspective songs.

Favourite songs: Emotions and Math, Somebody to Anybody.

Pinegrove Cardinal

pinegrovecardinal 

The amount of times I've listened to this album! Such a great mid-Western USA sound, with wonderfully poetic songs, intellectually-stimulating lyrics, and emotive songs about love, life, friendships, and finding your place in the world.

Favourite songs: The Size of the Moon (live from AudioTree), Old Friends, Cadmium, Aphasia... - just Listen and Download the album on Bandcamp please! Listen and Download the live AudioTree session.

Ray Blk Durt

durt 

This is a Mini-album (7 tracks) so I can't wait to hear the full-length album when it's released. Great hip-hop, soul, rap, pop music from London.

Favourite songs: My Hood, Chill Out.

Tkay Maidza Tkay

tkay 

SO excited that Tkay's debit album is now out! A lot more poppy than I thought it would be - but that's never a problem - great debut from Australia's-own rap star! Didn't get to see Tkay live this year due to a lot of travel, but her live shows last year were a couple of my favourites - check her out live when you get the chance!

Favourite songs: Simulation, Supasonic, Follow Me.

A Tribe Called Quest We Got It From Here … Thank You For Your Service

we got it from here thank you for your service 

Just the album we all needed after getting Trumped. Great energy, meaningful lyrics, and beats.

Favourite song: We the People...

The 1975 i like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it

 the 1975 album cover

SO obsessed with this album when it came out! A lot of my music friends got a copy of this album and Koi Child from me as they were released around the same time. So much pop, (real) 80s sound and self-depreciating lyrics from Matty. Great to see live too - though better at smaller venues as the teenage screams are ear-piercing.

My favourite songs are the most 80s-pop-sounding ones with great guitar/sax solos eg The Sound, This Must Be My Dream, She's American (live Beats 1). The BEST song on the album is however Somebody Else.


Still waiting on the new Haim and Fleetwood Mac albums, thought/hoped they would be released in time for my birthday (4th December), but will have to wait until the new year. Also, will always be devastated that I can't add another Prince/3rd Eye Girl to my end of year lists...

Here's some other favourites for the year:

Ariana Grande - Dangerous Woman
Blood Orange - Freetown Sound
Childish Gambino - Awaken, My Love!
Eryn Allen Kane - Avairy: Act II
Gallant - Ology
Frank Ocean - Blonde
The Heirs - Ecliptic (EP)
Jamila Woods - HEAVN
Kendrick Lamar - untitled unmastered.
Maxwell - blackSUMMERS'night
Nao - For All We Know
Ngaiire - Blastoma
Noname - Telefone
Shura - Nothing's Real
Sleigh Bells - Jessica Rabbit
Taking Back Sunday - Tidal Wave
Tash Sultana - s/t (EP)
Tegan and Sara - Love You to Death
Tove Lo - Lady Wood
The Weeknd - Starboy
Yuna - Chapters

Where I find new music:

Heaps of people always ask me where I get music ideas and suggestions, I LOVE Bandcamp, and to a lesser extent SoundCloud.

This year my music selection was opened even wider once I discovered the truly wonderful AudioTree: recording audio and visual live performances of independent artists in their studio, releasing online, and giving the artist 50% of the takings via Bandcamp. A lot of my favourites from above (eg Pinegrove and Lucy Dacus) featured here this year, plus others including The Soorleys, Julien Barker (who I saw live a few weeks back). I discovered a lot more, most notable Yuna, and (math-core with) Save Us From The Archon.

Here are a few of my favourite music writers you can follow on Twitter:

What have YOU been listening to?

Also check out my Favourite Songs of 2016.

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Leigh-Chantelle is an International Speaker & Consultant; Author, Singer/Songwriter and Blogger.
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