2016 was quite the year. With unforgettable and seismic events in global politics; Brexit and Trump, the largest humanitarian crisis has developed with millions in danger and legends in the entertainment industry have passed away; David Bowie, Prince and George Michael to name a few. Despite the horrors, 2016 was a defining year for the indie scene; with the likes of Catfish and The Bottlemen and The 1975 producing music which has been absorbed into mainstream charts and the emergence of bands such as Black Honey, Blaenavon, Spring King and VANT as well as huge comebacks from giants such as The Stone Roses, Two Door Cinema Club and The Killers. It would be hard to ignore the tracks which made 2016 so exciting. It’s a little overdue but here are my tracks of 2016.
The 1975 released ‘I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it‘ in February which reached #1 in both the UK and US and was nominated as NME’s Album of the Year. Matty Healy and his bandmates decided after debut ‘The 1975′ to change-up their sound and showcase this through ‘I like it when you sleep’. The 1975 created some of the best tracks of the year, including Love Me, an upbeat pop anthem and Somebody Else, exploring the complicated feelings surfacing due past lovers making love to somebody else. Both finding their way onto my list.
Jamie T- Power Over Men
Yak- Take It
The Japanese House- Cool Blue
Sundara Karma have been tipped to be the stars of 2017, after 2 EPs and the release of their debut ‘Youth is Only Ever Fun in Retrospect’ on Friday. Throughout 2016, Sundara Karma have released a series of teaser singles to give fans a flavour of what to expect from the highly anticipated debut including, A Young Understanding, a track about letting go and living life and She Said, is a story about how nights start by wanting to go out dancing. She Said has a catchy upbeat tone and also encompasses lively guitar and gentle percussion into the heart of the track. Oscar Lulu and his band have also bagged a place in the Glastonbury and Reading lineups as well as Truck and YNot. Sundara Karma have certainly made a name for themselves in 2016. She Said and A Young Understanding are included on my top tracks of 2016.
Glass Peaks – Your Eyes
Black Honey – Hello Today
The Amazons – In My Mind
The Killers – Peace of Mind
Blossoms released self titled debut in August reaching #1 in the UK charts and became the best-selling debut album of 2016. Blossoms showcased their sound; a unique blend of guitar-pop and funky disco which is reminiscent of the 80s. Their debut albums includes fast paced tracks such as Getaway and piano ballads including My Favourite Room. Both are about the aftermath of relationships. Blossoms have soared to potentially be considered as a household name!
Glass Animals- Life Itself
Get Inuit- Teriyaki
The Sherlocks journey has only just started to pick up speed. They have only just been signed to Infectious Music, the same label as Alt-J. However despite only being signed in December, The Sherlocks have already created some class music. Their best track is Last Night which was released in March. The Single brings compelling drums and energetic guitar to create a relatively fresh sound. Last Night is a storytelling track about the fallout after a night-out. The Sherlocks being signed only fuels rumours that an album is on its way and it will be sensational.
Jaws- A Brief Escape From Life
David Bowie- Lazarus
Fickle Friends- Cry Baby
Two Door Cinema Club
Two Door Cinema Club excited fans with stellar new album, Gameshow, after long hiatus caused by frontman Alex Trimble being hospitalized, tensions between members hitting an all time high and the mental health of the band in a downward spiral. Bad Decisions, released in July was a teaser single, to give listeners a flavour of what to expect from Gameshow. Bad Decisions took frontman Trimble to new heights with him having to pull off countless falsettos. When combined with the lyrics and guitar, Bad Decisions is an outstanding song.
The xx- On Hold
Frank Ocean- Ivy
VANT – Karma Seeker
The Magic Gang- Lady, Please
In May 2015, Viola Beach were born. In February 2016, all members of Viola Beach and their manager died in a car crash whilst on their first International Tour in Sweden. It is one of the most heartbreaking stories in the Music Industry. I discovered Viola Beach in January 2016 on YouTube Channel, The Hyve who had uploaded Swings and Waterslides. In July, the families and friends of Viola Beach released self-titled debut album in memory of the band. This album was only a glimpse of what they were about to achieve. I will hold Viola Beach forever in my heart. Rest Easy.
Stone Roses- Beautiful Thing
Red Hot Chilli Peppers- Dark Nescessities
High Tyde- Dark Love
Catfish and The Bottlemen
In May, Van McCann, Bondy, Benji and Bob released The Ride, a superb follow-up to debut The Balcony. The Ride consequently reached #1 in the UK. Despite both albums being very similar in sound, Van’s band know what they do best and that’s creating raw and powerful guitar rock with intoxicating yet relatable lyrics. They are inspiring the youth of today to get up and do what they love, no matter what. I found it really hard to choose the best song from The Ride, however, Twice and Anything both get their names on my top tracks of 2016.
Spring King- Rectifier
The Last Shadow Puppets- Aviation
Circa Waves released Wake Up in November. Wake Up, showed a new side of the Liverpool quartet, it was much heavier than previous track yet showed Circa Waves are able to do both and can pull it off. Despite the change from the upbeat summery tunes to the more melancholic and heavy track, the reception has been extremely positive with fans being pleased and eager to hear what their second album, Different Creatures, has in store.
Blaenavon- My Bite Is Your Mark
The Big Moon- Cupid
RAT BOY- MOVE
Find the playlist of all songs featured above, below:
Bring on 2017!