Despite 2016 being a cruel and unforgiving year, so much great music made the heartbreaking 2016 somehow more tolerable. We present the official Hang The DJ list of the Top Albums of 2016. Prepare for outrage.
Albums 1 through 20 are posted below. Albums 40 - 21 are posted here.
20. Richard Ashcroft These People
Ashcroft decided to resurrect his solo career after getting bit by the creative bug again. Though reviews for his fourth solo record (fifth if you count United Nations of Sound as a solo record) were quite negative, Ashcroft has delivered a fantastic pop record. Make no mistake, it's NOT A Northern Soul and doesn't match (nor does it try to match) the majestic splendor of the Verve. But it's 2016/2017 and Ashcroft isn't nostalgic for days of yore. These People is Richard moving on and embracing where he is now.
Stream These People on Spotify or You Tube. Purchase from Richard Ashcroft or Amazon.
19. Alcest - Kodama
Alcest returned to their roots for the intense and mesmerizing Kodama.
Stream Kodama in full on You Tube or Spotify. Purchase from Amazon.
18. Stephen's Shore Ocean Blue
The pretty pastel cover art is eye catching, but the music offers so much more -- magnificent, shimmery dream pop. So lovely.
Stream Ocean Blue EP on Spotify or Bandcamp. Purchase from Bandcamp.
17. Teenage Fanclub Here
Creation powerpop darlings return with a collection of impeccable indie pop gems.
Stream Here on Spotify or You Tube . Purchase from Merge or Amazon.
16. Dinosaur Jr Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not
This legendary band is so very underappreciated. Their early records are amazing and highly influential, but their records since their reunion also deserve recognition.
Stream Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not in full on You Tube or Spotify. Purchase from Dinosaur Jr or Amazon.
15. TOY Clear Shot
The London psych band return with their lush and addictive third studio album.
Stream Clear Shot in full on Spotify or You Tube. Purchase from Heavenly Recordings or Amazon.
14. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Skeleton Tree
Cave channeled grief from unfathomable personal tragedy and composed a heartbreaking masterpiece.
Stream Skeleton Tree in full on Spotify or You Tube . Purchase from Nick Cave or Amazon.
13. Motorama Dialogues
NOTE: Two different bands record under the name Motorama. We are featuring the Russian band Motorama (website, Facebook).
Motorama mostly abandoned the dark post-punk guitar and vocals featured on their earlier albums and have delivered an album full of delightful driving synth pop.
Stream Dialogues on Spotify or Bandcamp. Purchase from Amazon or Bandcamp.
12. Preoccupations Preoccupations
(Previously known as Viet Cong). Don't let their new name fool you -- Preoccupations may sound like a bland name, but the music is truly passionate and cosmic. The stunning 11 minute opus "Memory" (featuring Dan Boeckner) will take you on a trip through several mind blowing dimensions.
Stream Preoccupations in full on Spotify, You Tube or Bandcamp. Purchase from Bandcamp or Amazon.
11. Flyying Colours Mindfullness
After teasing fans with one-off singles and EPs for years, the Australian shoegazers finally dropped a FULL slice of perfection. A stunning, brilliant and swoonworthy debut album.
Stream Mindfullness in full on Spotify or You Tube. Purchase from Amazon.
10. Operators Blue Wave
Dan Boeckner is best known for his work in Wild Nothings and Handsome Furs, but his Operators side project blows both of those away. Blue Wave is heavenly synth pop, owing a great deal to New Order and particularly Peter Hook.
Stream Blue Wave in full on Spotify or You Tube. Purchase from Amazon.
09. The Radio Dept Running Out Of Love
The dazzling, yet politically charged new album from the Swedish dreampoppers was several years in the making, but well worth the wait.
Stream Running Out Of Love in full on Spotify or You Tube. Purchase from Amazon.
08. Wire Nocturnal Koreans
Post-punk titans nail another set of classic yet futuristic sounds.
Stream Nocturnal Koreans in full on Spotify or You Tube. Purchase from Pink Flag or Amazon.
07. Sulk No Illusions
London's Sulk create glorious Manchestery-influenced indie pop. Stop longing for the return of the Stone Roses and prepare for epicness that is Sulk.
Stream No Illusions in full on Spotify or You Tube. Purchase from Amazon.
06. Nothing Tired Of Tomorrow
Philadelphia's noise kings perfected their mix of convulsive and crushing shoegaze on their flawless second full length record.
Stream Tired Of Tomorrow on Spotify, You Tube or Bandcamp. Purchase from Bandcamp or Amazon.
05. Black Marble It's Immaterial
Murky, mysterious and so very enchanting, Black Marble have returned with a post-punk slice of heaven.
Stream It's Immaterial on Spotify, You Tube or Bandcamp. Purchase from Ghostly or Amazon.
04. Dead Horse One Season Of Mist
French psychedelic/shoegazers continue to impress and mesmerize with soaring anthems.
Stream Season Of Mist on Spotify or Bandcamp. Purchase from Bandcamp or Amazon.
03. Bloody Knives I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This
Propulsive. Throbbing. Intense. Noisy. Brutal. Deadly.
Stream I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This on Spotify, You Tube or Bandcamp. Purchase from Bandcamp or Amazon.
02. Radiohead A Moon Shaped Pool
Radiohead's elegant, orchestral and atmospheric ninth studio album A Moon Shaped Pool raises more questions than it answers and renewed my obsession with this phenomenal band. Broken hearts, let it rain.
Stream A Moon Shaped Pool on Spotify. Purchase from Radiohead or Amazon.
01. David Bowie Blackstar
To say 2016 was a rough year would be an understatement as so many musical and creative legends were cruelly taken from us. David Bowie was peaced out on January 10th, but kindly left us with his remarkable swan song -- the brilliant jazz-fused Blackstar. Even while battling cancer and fighting for his life he was able to tap into his creative genius. Blackstar is a tearful, yet triumphant listen.
Stream Blackstar on Spotify or You Tube. Purchase from David Bowie official store or Amazon.