2016 was a rocky year, in many respects, but a solid one for music. Introspective stalwarts tangle with a handful of angsty up-and-comers. Below are my favorite records of 2016.

#1

Shearwater

Jet Plane and Oxbow

Listen: Backchannels

#2

Bon Iver

22, A Million

Listen: 33 “GOD”

#3

Car Seat Headrest

Teens of Denial

Listen: Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales

#4

Margaret Glaspy

Emotions and Math

Listen: Emotions and Math

#5

Roosevelt

Roosevelt

Listen: Wait Up

#6

James Blake

The Colour of Anything

Listen: I Need a Forest Fire

#7

Thao & the Get Down Stay Down

A Man Alive

Listen: Astonished Man

#8

Kedr Livanskiy

January Sun

Listen: Razrushitelniy Krug (Destructive Cycle)

#9

Porches

Pool

Listen: Be Apart

#10

River Tiber

Indigo

Listen: Acid Test

#11

The Avalanches

Wildflower

Listen: Because I’m Me

#12

Andrew Bird

Are You Serious

Listen: Roma Fade

#13

Kevin Morby

Singing Saw

Listen: I Have Been to the Mountain

#14

Angel Olsen

My Woman

Listen: Shut Up Kiss Me

#15

Charles Bradley

Changes

Listen: Ain’t It a Sin

#16

Chairlift

Moth

Listen: Ch-Ching

#17

School of Seven Bells

SVIIB

Listen: Ablaze

#18

Woods

City Sun Eater in the River of Light

Listen: Sun City Creeps

#19

The Radio Dept.

Running Out of Love

Listen: Committed to the Cause

#20

Aesop Rock

The Impossible Kid

Listen: Kirby

#21

 

Moderat

III

Listen: Running

#22

William Tyler

Modern Country

Listen: Highway Anxiety

#23

Kaytranada

99.9%

Listen: Together

#24

Raime

Tooth

Listen: Dialing In, Falling Out

#25

Explosions in the Sky

The Wilderness

Listen: Tangle Formations

#26

Lucy Dacus

No Burden

Listen: I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore

#27

Kornel Kovacs

The Bells

Listen: BB

#28

The Jayhawks

Paging Mr. Proust

Listen: Quiet Corners & Empty Spaces

#29

Mitski

Puberty 2

Listen: Your Best American Girl

#30

 

BADBADNOTGOOD

IV

Listen: IV