Sunday, January 28, 2018

The 2017 David Music Poll Results

The 2017 David Music Poll Results

1)  Lorde, Melodrama (25 votes)
2)  Kendrick Lamar, DAMN (19)
3)  Kesha, Rainbow (18)
4)  Julien Baker, Turn Out the Lights (16)
      St. Vincent, MASSEDUCATION (16)
6)  SZA, CTRL (15)
7)  The National, Sleep Well Beast (11)
8)  Perfume Genius, No Shape (8)
9)  Lana Del Rey, Lust for Life (7)

Runners up:  (each with six votes)  LCD Soundsystem, American Dream; Zola Jesus, Okovi; Spoon, Hot Thoughts; Slowdive, Slowdive

Notes:  As opposed to last year’s Beyonce blowout, this year’s was a very tight race, with Lorde pulling by Kendrick Lamar, Kesha, Julien Baker, St. Vincent, and SZA for the title.  Lorde’s the only artist to go two for two in topping the David Music Poll in its nineteen years. Meanwhile, this is The National’s fourth appearance in the top ten, and Kendrick Lamar, St. Vincent, and Lana Del Rey all log in their second. Taylor Swift, who won for her last album, could only muster five votes this year; previous winner got four votes for their latest, while long-ago winner Phoenix didn’t get a single nod for their new album.  If Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Cut to the Feeling” had been an album, not a single, it would have made the Top Ten – more than half the respondents who named favorite singles put it on their lists (many, like me, at the top).  This year there were 76 respondents to the poll, a little down from last year – but what we lost in numbers, we made up for in taste.  On to our 20th anniversary year!

In My List, I’ve Seen the Lights

1)  Julien Baker, Turn Out the Lights

Brutally, beautifully honest.  If this album had come out when I was in high school, Julien Baker would have been my Joni Mitchell.  Now I appreciate it from a slightly older angle, and listen to it obsessively while I write.

2)  Lorde, Melodrama

Maybe because of the delay, I was wary that Lorde would succumb to the sophomore slump after one of the best debuts ever.  Untrue!  Just as compelling, and even more accomplished in the details.

3)  Kesha, Rainbow

It’s always inspiring to see an artist cut loose and do exactly what she wants.

4)  Beck, Colors

I like him when he mopes and reflects, but I must confess I like him even more when he kicks out the jams and reflects.

5)  Original Cast Recording, Hadestown

I’m not sure how I’d feel about this as a stand-alone, but since I saw it four times and have the production very much in memory, the cast album brings it all back and then some.  Stunning.

6)  The xx, I See You

I feel this has gotten a little lost on this list, since it came out in January.  The xx were always good in shadows; here they prove they can do brightness too.

7)  Aimee Mann, Mental Illness

Nobody’s better at being Aimee Mann than Aimee Mann, and this is her at top form.  Depressing as hell in parts, and clever as hell in others.  Sometimes at the same time.

Singles of the Year:
Carly Rae Jepsen, “Cut to the Feeling”
Lorde, “Supercut” and “Green Light”
Charli XCX, “Boys”
Pink “What About Us”  (I mean, I’m biased – but I loved it even before the Every Day trailer)
Julien Baker, “Appointments”

Returns to form:  Here’s to good new albums from Jens Lekman, Arcade Fire, U2, The National, and Spoon

I slipped off the bandwagon:   Yes, Reputation is better the more I listen to it.  No, it’s still not great.

Anna Q, Melodrama Queen

Lorde, Melodrama  
Taylor swift, Reputation  
Bleachers, Gone now  

Andrew E (formerly Andrew H), Patron of Saints

Most Essential Albums
2 Lorde, Melodrama
3 Kesha, Rainbow


Most Essential Single
Carly Rae Jepsen, “Cut to the Feeling”

Steven M Runs off with the Spoon

1. Spoon, Hot Thoughts
2. Ryan Adams, Prisoner
3. Slowdive, Slowdive
4. Alvvays, Antisocialites
5. Wolf Alice, Visions of a Life
6. Jeb Loy Nichols, Country Hustle
7. Pond, Weather
8. Charly Bliss, Guppy
9. Shelby Lynne & Allison Moorer, Not Dark Yet
10. King Gizzard & The Lizzard Wizard, Sketches of Brunswick East

Phil B is Waving through the Window

My Top Four... but not in any order:

Damn -- Kendrick Lamar -- transformative album

Rainbow -- Kesha -- wow!

The Thrill Of it All -- Sam Smith -- because it's Sam Smith

Dear Evan Hansen -- Original cast recording was released in February so it qualifies. Best original cast recording since Hamilton.

Kate W Gives a Damn

My most essential album of 2017:
Kendrick Lamar, DAMN

My most essential singles of 2017:
N.E.R.D. & Rihanna, Lemon
Harry Styles, Sign of the Times
LCD Soundsystem, How Do You Sleep
Sam Smith, Too Good at Goodbyes
Donn T ft Chill Moody, Clear

Sam P Finds Alice, in Wonderland

My top five are below:
1 Wolf Alice, Visions of a Life
2 The National, Sleep Well Beast
3 Thundercat, Drunk
4 Kendrick Lamar, Damn
5 LCD Soundsystem, American Dream
…With props to Lorde, T Swift, Courtney Barnett, The XX, and Beck

Evan W Seizes CTRL

SZA, CTRL is my #1
Close second is Sleep Well Beast, The National

Will W’s ‘Lights’ Shines Bright

1. Julien Baker, Turn Out the Lights
2. Taylor Swift, reputation
4. Lorde, Melodrama
5. Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.
6. Perfume Genius, No Shape
7. Kesha, Rainbow
8. Mount Eerie, A Crow Looked at Me
9. Lana Del Rey, Lust for Life
10. The National, Sleep Well Beast
11. Phoebe Bridgers, Stranger in the Alps
12. Zola Jesus, Okovi

O Brother, Thou Art with Mike R


1) Alex Lahey, I Love You Like A Brother
2) Lorde, Melodrama
3) Kesha, Rainbow
4) Original Broadway Cast, Groundhog Day
5) St. Vincent, MASSEDUCTION
6) Taylor Swift, reputation [sic]
7) Jens Lekman, Life Will See You Now
8) Bombadil, Fences
9) P!nk, Beautiful Trauma
10) Khalid, American Teen

NOTES: Jack Antonoff worked on or spearheaded 4 of these albums, and released his own album to boot, which I enjoyed, but didn't top 10 enjoy. Feel free to crucify me for putting St. Vincent in the middle - if I'd bought it and listened to it over and over like I did the top 4, it would probably be in the top 4, but I didn't, because I forgot to, so it's not my "soundtrack to 2017" like the others are. It may be my soundtrack to 2018. It just slipped by me! If anyone is reading this and wondering who Alex Lahey is, I can't recommend that album enough. This concludes the notes.


1) Carly Rae Jepsen, "Cut To The Feeling"
2) Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Cast, "Let's Generalize About Men"
3) Tove Styrke, "Mistakes"
4) LCD Soundsystem, "oh baby" [sic]
5) The Wailin' Jennys, "Wildflowers"
6) Allie X, "Paper Love"
7) Lindsey Buckingham & Christine McVie, "Sleeping Around The Corner"
8) Charli XCX, "Boys"
9) Scissor Sisters, "SWERLK"
10) AJR, "Bud Like You"

NOTES: i am a homosexual


1) Paul Simon, Rhythm of the Saints
2) 2016 Broadway Cast Recording, She Loves Me
3) Josh Ritter, Sermon On The Rocks
4) Miles Fisher, "This Must Be The Place"
5) Peggy Lee, "Pass Me By"
6) Simon and Garfunkel, "Keep The Customer Satisfied"
7) James McMurtry, Childish Things
8) Sinead O'Connor, "Mandinka"
9) Albert Hammond, "It Never Rains In Southern California"
10) Glass Animals, How To Be A Human Being

NOTE: special thanks to the Veronica Mars finale, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel finale, the Dakota County Public Library system, and several top-tier mix CDs for this line-up.

Leila S Gets Haim With a Little Help From Her Friends

I thought the new Haim album, "Something to Tell You," was terrific. The first single off that, "Want You Back," is probably my favorite new song of the year.

Caitlin F Finds More Life in Drake

I absolutely adore Drake’s MORE LIFE. It’s lush, relaxed and packed with more genres, guest singers, producers and global sounds then any of his other albums. Drake’s achieved a truly unique playlist that’s fun, introspective and never boring. Passionfruit, Portland, Blem and Fake Love are my favs.

Jordan H’s Rainbow Connection

Rainbow- Kesha
Dua Lipa- Dua Lipa
Ten Years- Aly and Aj
Tell Me You Love Me- Demi Lovato

Fav songs from each album:
New Rules- Dua Lipa
Take Me- Aly and Aj
Daddy Issues - Demi Lovato

Songs I was obsessed w/:
Mermaid- Skott
Love so Soft- Kelly Clarkson
Fake Happy-Paramore
Get Free- Lana Del Rey
Disco Tits-Tove Lo
Location- Khaled
Edibles- Jojo

But always still obsessed w/ Lemonade, Joanne, dangerous woman, etc.

Paul G’s Songs of Experience

With thanks to NPR, who owned me for the last 2 weeks of December:

Songs of Experience, U2
Triplicate, Bob Dylan
Celebrate Ornette, Ornette Coleman
Laila’s Wisdom, Rhapsody
For Bunita Marcus, Morton Feldman, piano by Marc André Hamelin
Rainbow, Kesha
Lust For Life, Lana Del Rey
Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré
Palabras Manuales, Danay Suarez
Bladerunner 2049 soundtrack

Típico, Miquel Zenón
The Thrill of it All, Sam Smith
Dunkirk soundtrack
The Kid, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith
Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie
4:44, Jay Z
Ladilikan, Trio Da Kali and Kronos Quartet
Joan Shelley, Joan Shelley
Moorland Elegies, Tõnu Kõrvits
A Ghost Story soundtrack
Wind River soundtrack

For Bryant P, This Beast is No Burden

Here are my lists.

Albums @bbp3
1. The National, Sleep Well Beast
2. Manchester Orchestra, A Black Mile to the Surface
3. Rostam, Half-Light
4. Arcade Fire, Everything Now
5. Cold War Kids, LA DIVINE

Singles @bbp3
1. Pinegrove, "Old Friends"
2. Manchester Orchestra, "The Gold"
3. Drake, "Teenage Fever"
4. Middle Kids, "Edge of Town"
5. St. Vincent, "Los Angeles"
6. Phoenix, "Ti Amo"
7. Cold War Kids, "No Reason to Run"
8. alt-J, "In Cold Blood"
9. Sir Sly, "High"
10. Tune-Yards, "Look at Your Hands"

David A’s Got a Rocket in his Pocket

Julien Baker, Turn Out the Lights
(Sandy) Alex G, Rocket

Zach F, Living the Dream

Most essential album:

LCD Soundsystem, American Dream

Runners up:

Spoon, Hot Thoughts
Bjork, Utopia


Wolf Alice, Don't Delete the Kisses
Morrissey, Spent the Day in Bed
This is the Kit, Moonshine Freeze
Portugal. The Man, Feel it Still
Arcade Fire, Creature Comfort
The Orwells, They Put a Body in the Bayou
Sir Sly, High
Father John Misty, Total Entertainment Forever

Aimee F Cuts to the Feeling

Thanks to Spotify, this seems to be the year I barely listened to any full new albums! The shame, the shame! But here are my top 2017 shamelessly pop-y singles:

Ed Sheeran, Shape of You
Cardi B, Bodak Yellow
Selena Gomez & Kygo, It Ain’t Me
Luis Fonsi, Despacito
Carly Rae Jepsen, Cut to the Feeling
Harry Styles, Sign of the Times

Gabriel B Lusts for Lust

This always makes me feel terrible for not listening to new music. But:

1) Lana del Rey, Lust for Life, duh


Kesha, Rainbow
Josh Ritter, Gathering
Call Me By Your Name soundtrack (does this count? whatever)


Sufjan Stevens, Tonya Harding
Portugal. The Man, Feel it Still
Josh Ritter, feat. Bob Weir, When Will I Be Changed (was this a single? idk. best song of the year tho)

That is literally all I can remember listening to.

How About U, Stewart L?

SZA, Ctrl
MUNA, about u
Lorde, Melodrama
Jeffery Martin, On Go Round
Kevin Garret, false hope EP

No DAMN Shame for Samantha M

1) Kendrick Lamar, DAMN
2) St. Vincent, Masseduction
3) The Afghan Whigs, In Spades

Jess S, Rainbow Warrior

I vote:

Kesha, Rainbow

Michael T’s Lorde-Damn List

Best record of the year for me is a genuine, exact, unbreakable tie:

 Lorde, Melodrama
 Kendrick Lamar, Damn

Best singles:

1. Vince Staples, “Big Fish"
2. Charli XCX, “Boys”
3. SZA and Travis Scott, “Love Galore”
4. Frank Ocean, “Chanel”
5. Lil Uzi Vert, “XO Tour Llif3"

Cora R Sees the Green Light; Goes

OMG David, what an amazing year in music 2017 was. I reckon the best for AGES.

My top was: LORDE: Melodrama
Other faves: THE NATIONAL: Sleep Well Beast, LCD SOUNDSYSTEM: American Dream, King Krule, the OOZ

Best concert: Underworld

Best single(s): Curtis Harding, I need you AND Blue Train Lines, Mount Kimble

Collin R’s Works of Genius

Here's what I got:

Essential Album of 2017:
Perfume Genius, No Shape

Honorable Mentions (Albums in no particular order):
Baths, Romaplasm
Charli XCX, Pop2
Lorde, Melodrama
Sylvan Esso, What Now
Sampha, Process
Fever Ray, Plunge
Dirty Projectors, Dirty Projectors
Paramore, After Laughter
Feist, Pleasure
Sevdaliza, Ison
The xx, I See You
SZA, Ctrl
Moses Sumney, Aromanticism
Ellen Andrea Wang, Blank Out

Best Songs of 2017
Carly Rae Jepsen, Cut to the Feeling
Perfume Genius, Slip Away
Sylvan Esso, Kick Jump Twist (Machinedrum Remix)
Jessie Ware, Midnight
SOPHIE, Ponyboy
Gabriel Kahane, Little Love
Lizzo, Truth Hurts
Kimbra, Everybody Knows
TWINKIDS, Overdressed,
Sofie Tukker, Fuck They
Betty Who, Mama Sa y
Big Dipper, LaCroix Boi
Hercules & Love Affair, Omnion (feat. Sharon Van Etten)
Mura Masa, Second 2 None (feat. Christine & the Queens)

David G, Shape Shifter

1. Perfume Genius, No Shape
2. Lorde, Melodrama
3. Kamasi Washington, Harmony of Difference

The rest of the year was dedicated to the Big Little Lies soundtrack, some Lana and Kesha and Beth Ditto.

Goldy M’s Life of Leisure

Best Album:
1. Miguel, War & Leisure
2. Paramore, After Laughter
3. Aimee Mann, Mental Illness

Biggest Disappointments:
1. Ed Sheeran, Divide
2. Lorde, Melodrama

Best Single:
1. Dua Lipa, New Rules
2. Miguel, Sky Walker
3. The Bob's Burger's Music Album, Bad Stuff Happens in The Bathroom,

Best Song On An Otherwise Mediocre Album:
Taylor Swift, I Did Something Bad

Throw Her a Bone Because This Might Be the Only List She's On:
Katy Perry, Witness

Daniel H’s Tropical Thunder

Frankie Rose - Cage Tropical
Scott Gilmore - Subtle Vertigo
Destroyer - Ken
and modesty prevents me from mentioning The Magnetic Fields, 50 Song Memoir

My not-new records are Duke Ellington, New Orleans Sweet, and Hubert Laws, Rites of Spring

Lucy C’s Prime Amazones

I'm not sure about the category of "most essential" but here are a couple of albums I have listened to and enjoyed / appreciated this year:

Les Amazones d'Afrique - Republique Amazone
Cigarettes After Sex - Cigarettes After Sex
Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked at Me

Tyler G Likes to Visit the Baker

1. Julien Baker, Turn Out the Lights
2. Dirty Projectors, Dirty Projectors
3.Taylor Swift, Reputation
4.Kesha, Rainbow

Amy M Sleeps Well

1. The National, Sleep Well Beast
2. Grizzly Bear, Painted Ruins
3. Sylvan Esso, What Now
4. Arcade Fire, Everything Now (my daughter sang backup on their Spotify Session)
5. Aldous Harding, Party
6. Stella Donnelly, Thrush Metal
7. Lorde, Melodrama
8. Johnny Flynn, Sillion
9. St Vincent, Masseduction
10. Fleet Foxes, Crack-up
11. Perfume Genius, No Shape
12. Feist, Pleasure
13. Julien Baker, Turn Out the Lights
14. Rainer Maria, S/T

And the 2 songs I've had on repeat by Sylvan Esso...

Sylvan Esso, "There Are Many Ways To Say I Love You"
Sylvan Esso, "Sound"

Jeff Z’s Spun Gold

1. Chelsea Wolfe, Hiss Spun
2. Julien Baker, Turn Out The Lights
3. Phoebe Bridgers, Stranger In The Alps
4. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, The Nashville Sound
5. Zola Jesus, Okovi

Chris K Embraces the Mutoid

1  Mutoid Man, War Moans
2  Death Of Kings, Kneel Before None
3  Wolves In The Throne Room, Thrice Woven
4  Warbringer, Woe To The Vanquished
5  The Ominous Circle, Appalling Ascension
6 Power Trip, Nightmare Logic
7 Crypt Rot, Embryonic Devils
8 Acid Witch, Evil Sound Screamers
9 Darkest Hour, Godless Prophets And The Migrant Flora
10 Barrows, Obsidion
11 The Black Dahlia Murder, Nightbringers
12 Cannibal Corpse, Red Before Black
13 Cadaveric Incubator, Sermons Of The Devouring Dead

Brett W, Sizzling with SZA

Top 10 Albums of 2017

1. SZA - Ctrl
My most played and beloved album in a year where not that many albums captivated me. If you're not a fan by the time you get through the back-to-back "Drew Barrymore" and "Prom," then I don't know what to tell you.

2. Perfume Genius -- No Shape
Oof, yes. "Slip Away," "Wreath," and "Die 4 You" are my standouts in a nearly perfect album.

3. Julien Baker -- Turn Out the Lights
A hauntingly beautiful and somber album from a talented young queer. It ended up being the album I most related to in late 2017. "Appointments" captivated me the most and sets the tone for the rest of what's to come. It may be a little one-note at times, but she is my favorite discovery of the year.

4. Oscar and the Wolf -- Breathing EP
This Belgian queer musician was another one of my favorite discoveries. Love especially "Fever" and "Breathing."

5. Stars -- There Is No Love In Fluorescent Light
This feels like a return to the Stars I fell in love with so many years ago. "Alone" is my favorite single.

6. Lana Del Rey -- Lust for Life
Although not my favorite album of hers, it's a marked improvement over Honeymoon. I felt a personal connection to "13 Beaches."

7. MUNA - About U
Phew . . . the amount of times I listened to "Winterbreak," "Crying on the Bathroom Floor," and "I Know a Place" alone . . .

8. Lorde -- Melodrama
This is a great album, but I didn't return to it as much as I thought I might. Maybe because it was a summer release. But "Supercut" is magic.

9. Dua Lipa -- Dua Lipa
Such solid pop. "IDGAF" is a bop.

10. Kesha -- Rainbow
Sure, its tone is a little all over the place, but goddammit, she deserves a spot! "Learn to Let Go" is my favorite song/mantra from this album.

Favorite Singles of 2017

"Pink Cadillac" -- Alice Grey
"Flame" -- Tinashe
"Tonya Harding (in D major)" -- Sufjan Stevens
"Sorry Not Sorry" -- Demi Lovato

Nick E Dives in (Slowly)

What a great year for music! But I need to start with a correction to my list from LAST year, where I went out of my way to voice my disappointment in Bon Iver’s 22, A Million. It finally clicked for me and became among my most played of 2017. I can admit I was wrong!

This year saw, I think, a return to form for both Iron & Wine and The Magnetic Fields. And the flat-out triumphant return of Slowdive (I bought the limited edition silver vinyl, i.e., I was ALL IN.) And there were THREE Sufjan albums, including the Planetarium recording I’ve coveted for yeeears.

Say what you will about 2017, but the music killed!

1. Slowdive, Slowdive
2. The Magnetic Fields, 50 Song Memoir
3. Sufjan Stevens, Carrie & Lowell Live
4. Jens Lekman, Life Will See You Now
5. Iron & Wine, Beast Epic
6. Sufjan Stevens et al., Planetarium
7. Sufjan Stevens, The Greatest Gift
8. The xx, I See You
9. Perfume Genius, No Shape

Single of the year:
Carly Rae Jepsen, Cut to the Feeling

Brian M’s Velvet is No Longer Underground

Strange year in that there was no single album that I loved more than others...just a lot of love all around:

Devil's Witches, Velvet Magic
Ruby Throat, Baby Darling Taporo
Dead Heavens, Whatever Witch You Are
Mount Eerie, A Crow Looked at Me
Big Blood, The Daughters Union
Electric Wizard, Wizard Bloody Wizard
Ty Segall, Ty Segall
Ryan Adams, Prisoner
Amanda Palmer and Edward Ka-Spel, I Can Spin a Rainbow
Smino, blkswn
Brand New, Science Fiction
Death From Above, Outrage! Is Now
Halasan Bazar, Burns
at the drive in, in*ter a*li*a
Liam Gallagher, As You Were

Best Live Releases:
Marc Bolan, Skycloaked Lord (...of Precious Light)
Dead Moon, What a way to See the Old Girl Go
Sivert Hoyem, Live at Acropolis

And since we once again live in an age of songs, here's my favorite singles of the year:

Portugal the Man - "Feel It Still"
Beck - "Dear Life"
Killers - "I'm the Man"
Liam Gallagher - "For What It's Worth"
Ian Felice - "In the Kingdom of Dreams"
Morrissey - "Spent the Day in Bed"

Phil T’s Maine Event

Absolute Essential Album Of 2017 for me is The Maine - Lovely, Little, Lonely (if you want to sample it, listen to I Only Wanna Talk To You And you’ll see why!)

Other notable entries for me would be:
Kesha - Rainbow
Paramore - After Laughter
Björk - Utopia
Sampha - Process
Gabrielle Aplin - Avalon (an EP but still)
Night Riots - Love Gloom

Scott T Takes it Slow 

Most Essential
Slowdive - Slowdive

Other Essential
Way Out West - Tuesday Maybe
UNKLE - The Road, Part 1
Scandroid - Monochrome

Older Albums Discovered

Ghost Data - Girl's Love
Pastel Ghost - Abyss

Dean B’s Damning Praise

1. Kendrick Lamar, Damn
2. Arcade Fire, Everything Now
3. Aimee Mann, Mental Illness
4. Grizzly Bear, Painted Ruins
5. Liars, TFCF
6. Nine Inch Nails, Add Violence
7. The National, Sleep Well Beast
8. The Magnetic Fields, 50 Song Memoir

My 2017 Mix Tape:

Glenn B Gives a DAMN

I’m including some honorable mentions with my top 10- It was hard to choose just 10!

It was a good year…well, for music at any rate…

1) Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.
2) Father John Misty, Pure Comedy
3) St. Vincent, MASSEDUCTION
4) Spoon, Hot Thoughts
5) Beck, Colors
6) Queens Of The Stone Age, Villains
7) Cloud Nothings, Life Without Sound
8) Thundercat, Drunk
9) Foo Fighters, Concrete & Gold
10) Grizzly Bear, Painted Ruins

Honorable Mentions:

SZA, Ctrl
The Life And Times, The Life and Times
Elbow, Little Fictions
Beach Fossils, Somersault
The New Pornographers, Whiteout Conditions
Paramore, After Laughter

For Ben A, The Showman Must Go On

Most Essential Album:
The Greatest Showman (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), Various Artists

Important Singles:
"Beautiful," by Bazzi
"Say It To My Face," by Madison Beer
"Echame La Culpa," by Luis Fonsi & Demi Lovato
"Never Be The Same," by Camila Cabello
"She Loves Control," by Camila Cabello
"Miss You," by Louis Tomlinson

Jon S Takes the Plunge

In my life, I generally break down music into two categories. Music that I listen to, and music that I write to. The main difference between them is primarily that the first category has lyrics, and the second generally does not.

This year, my “music to listen to” list was heavily dominated by female vocalists:

- Plunge by Fever Ray
- MASSEDUCTION by Saint Vincent
- Hiss Spun by Chelsea Wolfe
- Okovi by Zola Jesus
- Exile in the Outer Ring by EMA
- Melodrama by Lorde
- What Now by Sylvan Esso
- Guppy by Charly Bliss
- Swear I’m Good at This by Diet Cig
- Tourist In this Town by Alison Crutchfield
- Cigarettes After Sex by Cigarettes After Sex

Only that last band, Cigarettes After Sex, features a male vocalist. I’m not sure why my list turned out this way. Perhaps it was my mood, or perhaps the ladies just really owned this year.

Some writers don’t listen to music when they write. Some don’t have a problem with lyrics while they’re writing. But if you’re like me, or if you simply are curious to check out new, non-mainstream instrumental music, the below are all either 2017 or late 2016 instrumental albums that are worth a listen on your streaming service of choice:

- Luciferian Towers by Godspeed You! Black Emperor (rock)
- Aytcheby Joseph Shabason (jazz)
- Diaspora by Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah (jazz)
- Narcopop by Gas (electronic)
- Wood / Metal / Plastic / Pattern / Rhythm / Rock by 75 Dollar Bill (umm…rock? I guess?)
- An Act of Love by Earthen Sea (electronic)
- World Eater by Blanck Mass (electronic)
- Concrete Desert by The Bug & Earth (electronic)
- KWIATY by Jacaszek (electronic)
- Une Meeles by Maarja Nuut (iTunes categorizes it as klezmer?? I would probably say modern classical)
- The Olympians by the Olympians (motown jazz)

Jordan S Praises the Lorde

Lorde, Melodrama

Pretty much the only new album I really loved this year.  Now, get off my lawn.

Nina L, Turns Up ‘Turn Out’

Julien Baker, Turn Out the Lights

Derek M Brings the Melodrama

Here it is:

1.  Lorde, Melodrama

Unranked 2. – 10.:

-Arca, Arca
-Creeper, Eternity, In Your Arms
-Julien Baker, Turn Out the Lights
-Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.
-LCD Soundsystem, american dream
-Mount Eerie, A Crow Looked at Me
-Sampha, Process
-St. Vincent, Masseduction
-The War on Drugs, A Deeper Understanding

Nico M, Educated

St. Vincent MASSEDUCTION !!! I'm ob-surrrssed.

Dan P Builds a Bridgers

Most essential:
Phoebe Bridgers, Stranger in the Alps

Very essential:
Sylvan Esso, What Now

Other essentials:
Rostam, Half-Light
Arcade Fire, Everything Now
Charly Bliss, Guppy
Lorde, Melodrama
St. Vincent, Masseduction

Matthue R’s Crooked Saints

Most Essential: St. Vincent, Masseduction

Can I be brutal? It's not the #1 album of the year, but "New York" is the #1 song of the year, and the other 12 tracks could all be metal machine music, literally or metaphorically, and it would still be bouyed up to #1. She wrings it for every emotion in the book, from utter desperation to utter unfulfilled and pining and all-or-nothing limerence. (And yes, there are other amazing moments, and yes, the chorus of the title song is snarky and brilliant, and even the song that is a sequel to a song on her last album that sounds virtually exactly the same is a really good song, both times.)


Offa Rex, Queen of Hearts
Darshan, Raza
Angel Olsen, Phases
Zusha, A Colorful World
Sufjan Stevens & co., Planetarium
Kitty, Miami Garden Club
Ani Difranco, Binary
SZA, Control

Best Fake Band: Offa Rex. You know how, of late, Colin Meloy of the Decemberists has been writing novels and ditties (and even this weird ethnomusicological tweet about shofars) and creating his own brand of Jorge Luis Borges-style semifictions? This band, basically the Decemberists with another vocalist, feels like one of them.

Best Horrible Moment: Jay-Z, The Story of O.J.: "You ever wonder why Jewish people own all the property in America? This how they did it." F to the U to the sea to the cay. I completely get what he was trying to do. I see how it fits into the cadence of the song and his message and his delivery, and I actually think it's pretty narratively incredible. But, Jay, you just can't do this. We love that your mom's gay and we love that you're happy and that you're doing therapy. But this is not true. It is not nice.

Best Recovery: Reputation. Her last album rocked me with all the calorieless indulgence of Liz Phair's most unapologetic pop riff, but I have yet to discover the nuances at the heart of T-Swift's new album. I listen to it, I like it, 5 seconds later, I've shed it for whatever my (gMusic? Goosic?) has served up next and I can't remember a single note. But while I'm there, I like it. Maybe I'll dive in deeper. Or maybe that's just how you follow up an album that slices you in half: with one that's perfectly good-natured and serviceable, but doesn't change your life. That's okay. It doesn't have to.

Eugene K’s in De Zona

Gente de Zona - Visualizate
Charli XCX - Pop 2
Young Thug - Beautiful Thugger Girls
Kendrick Lamar - Damn
21 Savage/Offset/Metro Boomin' - Without Warning
21 Savage - Issa Album
Four Tet - New Energy
Trio Da Kali and Kronos Quartet - Ladilikan
Migos - Culture
Lil Uzi Vert - Luv is Rage 2

Anna C’s Doing Fine

Some music picks for you:

1. SUSTO, & I'm Fine Today
2. Zola Jesus, Okovi
3. Craig Finn, We All Want The Same Things
4. Alex Lahey, Love You Like A Brother
5. Downtown Boys, Cost of Living
6. Lilly Hiatt, Trinity Lane
7. Nikki Lane, Highway Queen
8. Lorde, Melodrama
9. Palehound, A Place I'll Always Go
10. Rozwell Kid, Precious Art

Andy P’s Sheeran Madness

Oh man… I’m always the worst at this… I mean, I listened mostly to Ed Sheeran, P!nk, Troye Sivan, and the Hamilton Soundtrack. Did I mention I’m actually a 13-year-old girl? Oh! And Superfruit! That’s current! And hip! Right?

Jasper D’s SZA PDA

2017 was a pretty interesting year music-wise for me. It was the year I started admitting that I actually love musicals! So I've been doing a lot of listening to things from the past and really enjoying it. There was also a lot of great new music put out in 2017 so my list is a pretty mixed bag.

My most essential album of 2017 is CTRL by SZA, and I have a feeling a lot of people will feel similarly. Some of my other essential 2017 albums are:

Wild Alee, Talos
After Laughter, Paramore
Burn It Down, Daughter
Okovi, Zola Jesus
Pop 2, Charli XCX

And some important albums from past years I spent time with are:

Hamilton, Original Broadway Cast Recording
Next to Normal, Original Broadway Cast Recording
Phantom of the Opera, Andrew Lloyd Webber
Carrie and Lowell, Sufjan Stevens
Silent Shout, The Knife

Teri Y Walks the Moon

Walk the Moon, What If Nothing
Sigrid, Don't Kill My Vibe
Ed Sheeran, Divide

Streaming services have really killed my album listening. A lot of artists seem to be pushing out singles regularly instead of putting together a full album. Really dug Sigrid's Strangers, Eli Lieb's Hollywood, Pink's What About Us, Leon Else's What I Won't Do, State of Sound's cover of Heaven and Dua Lipa's New Rules.

Kaleb N’s Click Bait

Most Essential Album
AJR, The Click
(Very underrated album — if you play it from start to finish, it feels like you’re experiencing the complete story of a group of brothers working hard to start a music career)

Best Singles
Imagine Dragons, Thunder
Miley Cyrus, Malibu
Sturgill Simpson, Breakers Roar
Lo-Fang, You’re The One That I Want
Lana Del Rey, Lust For Life

Maggie S’s Orchestral Maneuvers

Another year of not really buying albums, a year of buying snake people synth heavy remixes, a variety of stomp-clap singles that probably should play during the credits of TV shows set in rural Virginia, and hopeful tunes completely at odds with the burning hive-fire that was 2017.

Top Ten Most Played Songs From 2017
(whether or not they're from 2017)
(* indicates snake people music
** indicates stomp-clap singles
***hopeful tunes in times of fire)

1. Sivu - "Lonesome (Toothless Remix)"*
2. Cold War Kids - "Can We Hang On?"**
3. Bad Wave/ Miracle Cat - "Time To Get Lost (Miracle Cat Remix)"*
4. Dirtwire - "No More (feat. Moontricks)**
5. Lupa - "Keep Back"*
6. SAINT WKND & MAX - "Survive"*
7. Gordi - "000000 Million"***
8. Lost Lander - "Give It Time"***
9. Rationale - "Phenomenal"*
10. Saint Mesa - "Lion"
11. Charlie Cunningham - "You Sigh"**
12. Wild - "Haunted Heart"*

(I know I said 10 but that Charlie Cunningham song was too good for you guys not to hear it and "Haunted Heart" really needs to be heard before it gets used in a dramatic tv show and we all have bad associations with it.)

Best Albums

Manchester Orchestra - A Black Mile to the Surface
Their best album to date, in my opinion, the songs working together both as an album and as singles. Bonus is the acoustic version of "The Gold."

Weezer - Pacific Daydream
I KNOW OK? But another album that works really well as an album, and that poignant closer of "Any Friend of Diane" feels like a gasping, grasping shot at making good out of a bad situation, which is a good closer for '17.

Roberto R’s Courtneys Love

THE COURTNEYS II by The Courtneys is by-far the album I loved the most in 2017

Chris R’s a Freak for Ctrl

Here are my top albums:

1. SZA, Ctrl
2. Sylvan Esso, What Now
3. Dirty Projectors, Up in Hudson
4. Big Thief, Capacity
5. Sampha, Process

Bill K Sounds it Out

Essential Album: Haley Reinhart-What's That Sound
(Because I enjoy being predictable in some ways)

This was the first year since I was 8 when I didn't do a personal Top 10 songs list, so these are songs I enjoyed this year in no particular order:
Want You Back/Haim
Look What You Made Me Do/Taylor Swift
Two Fux/Adam Lambert
You Can't Fire Me, I Quit/Tacocat
Dis Generation/A Tribe Called Quest
Get a Yes/Sad13
Let's Start/Haley Reinhart

Tara A Declares War

1) The War on Drugs, A Deeper Understanding
2) Antisocialits, Alvvays
3) Elbow, Little Fictions
4) Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, Lotta Sea Lice
5) Spoon, Hot Thoughts
6) Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings: Soul of a Woman
7) Taylor Swift, Reputation


Daniel L Waves a Flag for Rainbow

1. Kesha, Rainbow
2. Khalid, American Teen

And... everything else was pretty much older. :)

Giles G, a DAMN Good Sport

My fave albums of '17 are as follows:

1.  Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.
2.  SZA - CTRL
3.  St. Vincent - Masseducation
4.  Sampha - Process
5.  Father John Misty - Pure Comedy

Fave songs:

1. Kendrick - The Heart Part 4
2. Courtney Barnett, Kurt Vile - Over Everything
3. Billie Eilish - Bellyache
4. Miley Cyrus - Malibu
5. Portugal. The Man - Feel it Still
6. SZA - Drew Barrymore
7. N.E.R.D. - Lemon
8. Harry Styles - Sign of the Times
9. Alt J - Deadcrush
10. Big Thief - Shark Smile

Jaci M Lordes it Over All Other Albums

My essential albums for this year were:

1) Lorde, Melodrama

2) Eminem, Revival [Charlie chooses the music we play in the car, so this album is the music that we have been played in the car a LOT recently. But I've been liking it!  Especially 'Remind Me' and 'In your Head' for the nostalgic sampling. I was playing the Cranberries for Charlie (inspired by the Eminem track) just the day before Dolores died. I've actually never stopped listening to the Cranberries since I first heard them, but they still take me back to summer 1996 sharing Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia with a German guy named Franz in a sub-let apartment in New Haven, Connecticut.  Franz gave me his fan for my room because it was so hot and he 'didn't feel the heat', but then the summer got even hotter and he began to feel the heat and asked for his fan back please.  This cured me of a mild crush on him.

3) Gang of Youths, Go Farther in Lightness (actually, that's a lie - I've only just downloaded it.  But I really like the bits I've heard.  I just automatically found myself typing it in here.)

Jinny W, Bach in the Hunt 

Here are my votes for 2017.

Most Essential Albums. It’s a tie this year.

*SHIRLEY HUNT, Baroque cello and viola da gamba; IAN PRITCHARD, harpsichord: J.S. BACH SUITES & SONATAS, VOLUME TWO. Letterbox Arts. (Volume One came out last year.) Bold, athletic, and meticulous music-making, with graceful leaps and soulful secrets from the brain and heart of Bach. Especially therapeutic for our confused zeitgeist.

*ANNELLE K. GREGORY, violin; ALEXANDER SINCHUK, piano: RACHMANINOFF, COMPLETE WORKS & TRANSCRIPTIONS FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO. Bridge Recordings, Inc. They’re almost still kids. One American, one Russian, each a prodigy, who met through conservatory mentors. Only one Sergei Rachmaninoff in history, and these stunningly articulate musicians bring 20 of his delicious gifts to intoxicating fruition.

Other Essential Albums:

*ARCADI VOLODOS: VOLODOS PLAYS BRAHMS. Sony.  Brahms is, of course, oxygen.  This Russian pianist breathes it for all of us.

*DANISH STRING QUARTET, LAST LEAF. ECM.  These delightful blonds can and do play Beethoven, Brahms, and Haydn, but this time they embrace Nordic folk songs, fiddling for joy and sorrow. They’ve got the warmth, skip, jump, gusto and linger of polka and reel and waltz; and they can convince you for a while that the world is a lovely place.

Shelly R’s Package of Songs 

Top Album:

Original Broadway Cast, Hamilton: An American Musical
-This was THE album that got me through my last semester at Stephens, through six intense weeks of NYU SPI, and just gets me through life every day. I was able to watch the show for my 22nd birthday here in the city and it was magical. So you can say that I worked my way out and graduate college. I didn’t throw away my shot and I followed my dreams of moving to NYC. And now, I’m in the room where it happens working in my dream job.

Top 10 Songs (in no particular order and yes, my musical taste is all over the place, haha):

1.       The Package – A Perfect Circle
2.       Don’t Hurt Yourself – Beyoncé
3.       m.A.A.d City – Kendrick Lamar
4.       Sweatpants – Childish Gambino
5.       Immigrants (We Get The Job Done) – K’NAAN, Snow Tha Product, Riz MC, Residente
6.       Don’t Play – Halsey
7.       Bartholomew – The Silent Comedy
8.       Waving Through a Window – Dear Evan Hansen Original Broadway Cast
9.       Ugly Boy – Die Antwoord
10.   World In My Eyes – Depeche Mode (original version and the Cicada Mix)

Keirsten G’s Link, No Longer Missing

Two old and three new:

Songs of Light by Shirley Ann Lee
Lee Fields & The Expressions (no particular album but newly discovered old artist)

“Awaken, My Love” by Childish Gambino
Keria by Susso
At What Cost by Goldlink

Maya M’s Somewhere, But Not Over the Rainbow

I have thought about it all week and there is no music from 2017 that I find worth mentioning besides Kesha’s Rainbow. Did other albums even come out? Were any other artists even slightly relevant? Was anything else on the radio a true triumph of human resilience? I couldn’t tell you. Kesha forever.

By the Time Sarah M Got to Woodstock…

I was invited to join your 2017 music poll from my boss, John Adamo, and I am very excited to share what (in my humble opinion) are the best albums of 2017!

1.       Portugal. The Man, Woodstock
2.       The War On Drugs, A Deeper Understanding
3.       Grizzly Bear, Painted Ruins
4.       Lorde, Melodrama
5.       The National, Sleep Well Beast

Josh L’s Baker, No Faker

I have some confidence that I will be more in tune with the other participants than of late. No way this hip-hop fad is going to last--the singer songwriters will return!

Julien Baker, Turn out the Lights

Mountain Goats, Goths.

Brant R, Alvvays and Forever

My Essential Albums of 2017:
Alvvays, Antisocialites
Slowdive, Slowdive
Destroyer, ken
Japanese Breakfast, Soft Sounds from Another Planet
Luna, A Place of Greater Safety [EP]
Delicate Steve, This Is Steve
Rostam, Half-Light
Sia, Everyday Is Christmas

Some of My Essential Tracks of 2017:
Slowdive, “No Longer Making Time”
Destroyer, “Sky’s Grey”
Alvvays, “In Undertow”
Open Mike Eagle, “95 Radios”
LCD Soundsystem, “Oh Baby”
The War on Drugs, “Up All Night”
Phoenix, “J-Boy”

Elder Albums I Found Essential in 2017:
Incredible Bongo Band, Bongo Rock [1973]
David Axelrod, Songs of Innocence [1968]
The Impressions, The Impressions [1963]
Milton Nascimento, Clube Da Esquina [1972]
Roland Kirk, The Inflated Tear [1968]
Julie London, Julie Is Her Name [1955]
Christopher Cross, Another Page [1983]
The Kinks, Face to Face [1966]
B.B. King, Indianola Mississippi Seeds [1970]
Michael Martin Murphey, Blue Sky • Night Thunder [1975]
Prince, For You [1978]

Jonathan V’s Migration Patterns

Albums of 2017 (for me, ranked by personal health benefit)

1.     Bonobo, MIGRATION
2.     Theo Katzman, HEARTBREAK HITS
3.     Lusine, SENSORIMOTOR
4.     The National, SLEEP WELL BEAST
5.     Destroyer, KEN
6.     Jay-Z, 4:44
7.     Odesza, A MOMENT APART
8.     Kendrick Lamar, DAMN
9.     Wolf Parade, CRY CRY CRY
10.  Hundred Waters, COMMUNICATING

Honorable mention from this year: Chris Stapleton, FROM A ROOM, VOL. 1 (but I stand by our base ten numeric system’s tyranny over “top” lists, and there will be no 11)

Honorable mention from previous years: Popcaan, WHERE WE COME FROM (wall-to-wall amazing, likely would have been my #1 if it had come out in 2017)

Can’t believe I still haven’t heard: The Killers, WONDERFUL WONDERFUL (but I’m saving it for a trip)

My Ultimate Mix from 2017

1.     Austra, WE WERE ALIVE
3.     Barbelle, NEVER TOO MUCH
4.     The Districts, THE POINT
5.     Jay-Z, 4:44
6.     Goldfrapp, MOON IN YOUR MOUTH
7.     Gorillaz w/ Grace Jones, CHARGER
8.     Ki: Theory, TERRAFORM
9.     Night Drive, YOUNG RIVALS
10.  Baynk, COME HOME
12.  Lusine, WITNESS
13.  Kendrick Lamar, ELEMENT
14.  Groundislava w/ Jake Weary, UNTIL TOMORROW
15.  Hundred Waters, FIRELIGHT
16.  Washed Out, INSTANT CALM
17.  Destroyer, IVORY COAST
19.  Fever Ray, TO THE MOON AND BACK
20.  Theo Katzman, PLAIN JANE HEROIN
21.  Slowdive, FALLING ASHES

Lauren and Randy’s List (This is Them)

For 2017:
"Despacito," Luis Fonzi and Daddy Yankee
"Things It Would Be Helpful to Know Before the Revolution," Father John Misty
"Sign of the Times," Harry Styles
"Waiting on a Song," Dan Auerbach
"Dear Life," Beck
"Homemade Dynamite," Lorde
"Everybody Knows," Sigrid
"Dark Side of the Gym," The National
"Now & Later," Sage the Gemini

"This Is Us Soundtrack"

For the random category of non-2017 tunes that we discovered and/or continue to love:
Eric Bib -- Shine On
Freedom Fry -- 1979
Daniela Andrade -- Creep
Alison Krauss & Robert Plant -- Raising Sand
Agnes Obel -- September Song
Daddy Yankee -- Gasolina
David Gray -- Babylon
My Chemical Romance - Welcome to the Black Parade
Darius Rucker -- Wagon Wheel

And as always: Traveling Willburys, Tom Petty, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Alison Krauss, and Credence Clearwater Revival YO!!!!

John A’s Grandaddy Clause

What an amazing year it was!

In no particular order:

1. Grandaddy, Last Place
2. Spoon, Hot Thoughts
3. Fleet Foxes, Crack-Up
4. Lana Del Rey, Lust for Life
5. Father John Misty, Pure Comedy
6. Spotlights, Seismic
7. Metz, Strange Peace
8. St Vincent, Masseduction
9. Grizzly Bear, Painted Ruins
10. Death From Above, Outrage! Is Now
11. LCD Soundsystem, American Dream
12. The xx, I See You

Jonas R Plays Misty for Us

Here goes:

1. Father John Misty, Pure Comedy
2. Thievery Corporation, The Temple of I & I
3. Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile, Lotta Sea Lice\
4. Iron & Wine, Beast Epic
5. The Shins, Heartworms
6. The New Pornographers, Whiteout Conditions
7. Spoon, Hot Thoughts
8. Whispertown, I'm a Man
9. The Dollyrots, Whiplash Splash
10. Jolie Holland & Samantha Parton, Wildflower Blue

Christopher P Manns Up

1) Aimee Mann, Mental Illness
2) Thea Gilmore, The Counterweight
3) a-ha, MTV Unplugged Summer Solstice
4) Beck, Colors
5) Goldfrapp, Silver Eye
6) Paloma Faith, The Architecht
7) Sia, Everyday Is Christmas
8) Flaming Lips, Oczy Mlody
9) Tori Amos, Native Invader
10) Zola Jesus, Okovi

Alicia G’s Nervous Energy

1) Julia Michaels, Nervous System
2) Kendrick Lamar, Damn
3) Ed Sheeran, Shape of You
4) The XX, I See You
5) Pink, Beautiful Trauma

Ronnie A’s Peak Performances

Best Soundtracks of the Year:
Twin Peaks: The Return
Daniel Hart, Ghost Story
Clint Mansell, Loving Vincent
Ramin Djawadi, The Mountain Between Us
Mica Levi, Marjorie Prime
Jonny Greenwood, Phantom Thread
Sufjan Stevens, Call Me By Your Name

Tamar-kali, Mudbound

Monday, January 30, 2017

The 2016 David Music Poll Results

The 2016 David Music Poll Results

1)  Beyoncé, Lemonade  (39 votes)
2)  Bon Iver, 22, A Million  (18)
3)  Solange, A Seat at the Table  (17)
4)  Frank Ocean, Blond(e)  (16)
5)  Radiohead, A Moon Shaped Pool (15)
6)  David Bowie, Blackstar (10)
     Various Artists, Hamilton Mixtape (10)
8)  A Tribe Called Quest, We Got It From Here… (9)
      Sia, This is Acting (9)
10)  Car Seat Headrest, Teens of Denial (8)

Runners Up:  With 7 votes . . . Anohni, Hopelessness; Rihanna, Anti; Mitski, Puberty 2.  With 6 votes . . . Kanye West, The Life of Pablo; Angel Olsen, My Woman.  With 5 votes . . . Anderson.Paak, Malibu; Tegan and Sara, Love You to Death; Leonard Cohen, You Want it Darker; James Blake, The Colour in Anything

Notes:  Some years are close. This one was not. You can even see it in the votes for Beyoncé – most of the people voted with her assumed she would be the winner. And indeed, she was. Interestingly, we almost had a one-two punch from the Knowles sisters, with Bon Iver squeezing between them by one vote.  This list marks the fifth one Radiohead has hit since we started in 1999, as well as Bon Iver’s third (one for each album of theirs), and second hits from Sia, Beyoncé, and Frank Ocean. Previous listers Kanye West and Tegan & Sara came close; previous listers Regina Spektor and Lady Gaga were wider off the mark. This year we had 87 respondents, from 89 last year. And for those of you who are curious, as we hit this eighteenth year, there are five people in the mix who have been in it since 1999.  Now, for the individual lists…

I am full of Love and Hate

My Essential Albums of 2017:

1)  Michael Kiwanuka, Love & Hate

I like all the albums on this list about the same, but this is the one that has most consistently blown me away – the others are my kind of thing done well, whereas this is something different from what I usually listen to.  And it’s been easy to recommend it to everyone I know, because I think it’s virtuosity has wide appeal.  And his voice is killer.

2)  Radical Face, The Family Tree: The Leaves

This seemed to be the spiritual cousin to Sufjan Stevens’ Carrie & Lowell, my top album last year.  I keep listening to figure out its stories – and it keeps hold of me every time.

3)  Ingrid Michaelson, It Doesn’t Have to Make Sense

I always feel guilty when bad things happen to good singers (in this case, divorce and death of a mother), and please note that I really have loved Ingrid Michaelson’s albums when she’s been happy, as well. This one is heartbreaking and affirming at the same time – one of those “the only way out is through” albums that completely gets under your skin.

4)  Original Broadway Cast, Waitress

By a long shot, the album I’ve listened to the most this year. At the risk of coming close to a bad pun, this is pure comfort food – and, let’s face it, 2016 required a lot of comfort food.  (Though, like the best diner waitresses, it also has a spine of attitude.)

5)  Regina Spektor, Remember Us to Life

Back to form after some time off, Spektor plays around with her tunes – lots of surprising shifts between and within songs. And “The Light” is the most beautiful song of the year, hands down.

6)  Car Seat Headrest, Teens of Denial

Filling my Adolescent Male Angst slot – this is like turning on college radio, circa 1993, but with a modern flair.  Reality, it seems, keeps biting.

7)  Beyonce, Lemonade

Confession:  I’ve loved some of Beyonce’s singles, but have never really felt strongly about her as an artist – she always was a little too icy for me. But here? She goes all over the place . . . and it totally works. 

My Essential Songs of 2017:
Phantogram, “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore”
Regina Spektor, “The Light”
Ingrid Michaelson, “Light Me Up”
Bastille, “Send Them Off!”
Tegan and Sara, “100x”
Radiohead, “Burn the Witch”
Broods, “Recovery”
Roo Panes, “Little Giant”

Anna Q goes La-La

The La La Land soundtrack.  
Regina Spektor, Remember Us to Life
Lydia Loveless, Real

Daphne B-G Mixes is Up

I finally have something to add- my essential album:
Various artists, Hamilton Mixtape. 

Phil B Surfs Malibu

In order of excellence...

1. Anderson. Paak, Malibu

2. Solange, A Seat at the Table

3. A Tribe Called Quest, We Got it from Here, Thank You 4 Your Service

Daniel H’s Epic List

Kamasi Washington - The Epic
Leonard Cohen - You Want It Darker
Frankie Meyes - Boleros, Valses y Mas

Crissa C Flies Drones

Here's my list:

-- Hopelessness by Anohni is my album of the year.

Single: Drone Bomb Me
(the Park Avenue Armory performance was incredible)

--Bon Iver, 22,  A Million

--David Bowie, Blackstar

--Helado Negro, Private Energy

--James Blake, The Colour in Anything

--Plaid, The Digging Remedy

Scott D is Pro Anti

Hey!  Here are my top three:

1. Rihanna, Anti
2. Frank Ocean, Blonde
3. Solange, A Seat at the Table

Kate W’s Beywatch

Best Album:
Beyonce, Lemonade

10 Best Singles:
Tribe Called Quest, We the People
Radiohead, Decks Dark
Beyonce, Freedom
Anderson Peak, Come Down
Glass Animals, Life Itself
J. Cole, Foldin Clothes
Alicia Keys, In Common (Kaskade Remix)
Bruno Mars, Perm
Joyryde, Hot Drum
Local Natives, Fountain of Youth

Martina B Takes a Seat at the Table

1. Solange, A Seat at the Table
2. Beyonce, Lemonade
3. David Bowie, Blackstar
4. Alicia Keys, Here
5. Carrie Rodriguez, Lola

Steven M Tips His Hat to a Sailor

1. Sturgill Simpson - A Sailor's Guide To Earth
2. Car Seat Headrest - Teens of Denial
3.  L.A. Salami - Dancing With Bad Grammar
4.  Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band - The Rarity of Experience
5.  Emitt Rhodes - Rainbow Ends
6.  William Tyler - Modern Country
7.  Kevin Morby - Singing Saw
8.  Underworld - Barbara Barbara, We Face a Shining Future
9.  Whitney - Light Upon The Lake
10a.  Jagwar Ma - Every Now & Then
10b.  Heron Oblivion - Heron Oblivion

Len V’s Retro List

I don't listen to a lot of contemporary music, so my choices are almost always going to be out of date. In fact, I have a tie this year for #1, which shows just how late to the game I am:

Sufjan Stevens, Illinoise
Bob Marley, Legend

My wife gave me a record player for my birthday last May, so I started buying vinyl (oh what a pleasure to sift through 12 inch LPs again!),  for the first time in many years. These were the two albums I went back to over and over, especially while editing. I guess I like double albums. 

Jordan H’s Grande Gesture

Albums from 2016: all essential 
Ariana Grande, Dangerous Woman 
Beyoncé, Lemonade
Lady Gaga, Joanne 
Cruel Youth, +30Mg

Album from 2015:
Melanie Martinez, Crybaby (still obsessed)

Singles from 2016:
Guys My Age - Hey Violet 
Like This - Jojo
Cool girl -Tove Lo
Read U Wrote U- Rupaul
Milf $ - Fergie
Gingerbread Man- Melanie Martinez

Singles from 2014/2015 (but found in 2016)
Easy -Bonnie Mckee
Fire Rides- Mø

Paul G is Jonesing

(Not technically an album, but the most essential, inspiring sound I heard all year) Bruce Springsteen, Born To Run audiobook

Also great (and proof that I am now a REALLY old man):
Norah Jones, Day Breaks
Sting, 57th and 9th
Bonnie Raitt, Dig In Deep
Beyoncé, Lemonade 
Paul Simon, Stranger to Stranger
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Skeleton Tree
David Bowie, Blackstar
Leonard Cohen, You Want It Darker
Rolling Stones, Blue and Lonesome
Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein, Stranger Things soundtrack

Early entry for 2017 DMP, Category: Sweetest & Saddest Sound: Barack Obama, Farewell Speech

Fiona S Wants to Be in the Room

Various Artists, Hamilton Mix-tape
Andra Day, Cheers to the Fall
David Bowie, Blackstar

And going back
George Michael, Symphonica

Caleb H’s Glass Animal Collection

A lot of these didn't come out in 2016, whoops. I did a bad job keeping current.

1)   Porter Robinson, Worlds
      I've listened to this album more than any other album for sure. While writing, while walking, anything. Not featured on this album was the song Shelter, though, in collaboration with Madeon, which deserves to be mentioned. The Shelter tour was the best concert I've ever been to. 
      PICK A SONG: Sad Machine
2)   Carly Rae Jepsen, Emotion 
      People raved about this last year, I think, but I came to it late and BOY. I don't think I've gone a week without listening to at least one of these songs since I first found it, which might be over a year now.
      PICK A SONG: When I Needed You
3)   Glass Animals, Zaba
      Only discovered Glass Animals a few months ago but they've eaten a lot of my time since then. Amazing.
      PICK A SONG: Black Mambo
4)   Neon Indian, Vega Intl. Night School
      This album is weird and the videos are weird and I can't get enough. I don't have the correct words to describe this album. It's sexy and catchy and full of bizarre samples.
      PICK A SONG: Annie
5)   Glass Animals, How to Be a Human Being  
      See above. I don't get as fully immersed in this album as Zaba, but it's still full of stuff I want to keep listening to over and over.
      PICK A SONG: Season 2 Episode 3
6)   Anamanaguchi, Capsule Silence XXIV Original Soundtrack
      I actually just cracked this open this month and it'll definitely be on next year's list, too. Everything I like about Anamanaguchi's last album ramped way up. There's a song that I'm pretty sure is about Gastly. It rules.
      PICK A SONG: My Heart my Body (the Gastly song is Poisonous Gas, though)
7)   Jukebox the Ghost, Long Way Home (Live)
      I love Jukebox, I've seen them live a bunch of times. The album does a good job encapsulating why I keep going back.
      PICK A SONG: Keys in the Car is the only new song on the album. It's good.
8)   Panic! At The Disco, Death of a Bachelor
      Yeah, yeah. I know.
      PICK A SONG: Death of a Bachelor
9)   Marian Hill, ACT ONE
      These tracks follow a pattern that hooks me every time. Start with a catchy simple melody and then start screwing with it electronically halfway through. It's so so so so good and this whole album is danceable
      PICK A SONG: I Want You
10)  The McElroy Brothers, MBMBaM  
       This should actually probably be #1, but it's not music, it's just the podcast I listened to instead of listening to music for most of this year.
      PICK AN EPISODE: is one of my favorite bits, but there's hundreds of hours of these boys you can listen to. 

Zach F Dives into the Pool

My top 5 from 2016:

1. Radiohead, A Moon Shaped Pool
2. Tegan and Sara, Love You to Death
3. Santigold, 99 Cents
4. Jim James, Eternally Even
5. Beyonce, Lemonade

Brent G, Naturally Blond

1. Frank Ocean, Blond
2. Anderson .Paak, Malibu
3. Billie Marten, Writings of Blue & Yellow
4. Daughter, Not to Disappear
5. Childish Gambino, Awaken, My love
6. Radiohead, A Moon Shaped Pool
7. Yuna, Chapters
8. Gwen Stefani, This Is What The Truth Feels Like
9. Beyonce, Lemonade 
10. Eagulls, Ullages

David A Wishes Upon a Star

In this order, my top 4 records of the year...

David Bowie, Blackstar
Radiohead, A Moon Shaped Pool
Bon Iver, 22, A Million
Daughter, Not to Disappear

David G Makes…

1. Beyonce - Lemonade
2. Chance the Rapper - Coloring Book
3. David Bowie - Blackstar
4. Anohni - Hopelessness
5. Frankie Cosmos - Next Thing
6. Blood Orange - Freetown Sound
7. Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
8. Frank Ocean - Blonde
9. Rihanna - Anti
10. Kanye West - The Life of Pablo

Favorite tracks of the year:

1A. Beck - Wow
1B. Tyler the Creator featuring Kali Uchis + Austin Feinstein (video version only, different from album version) - Perfect
2. Rihanna - Love on the Brain
3. Kanye West - Ultralight Beam
4. Anohni - Why Did You Separate Me From The Earth
5. David Bowie - Blackstar

Zehava C Knows it All

My two, but I might have been late in the game for both. Still, I like them lots. 

1) Alessia Cara, Know-it-All
2) Scott Helman, Augusta

Matt de la P ranks 22 #1

My faves (no big shockers here):

- Bon Iver - 22, A Million (fucking love this one)
- Radiohead, A Moon Shaped Pool
- Frank Ocean, Blonde

Sean W Sends Word from the Underworld

This year I did actually buy something that resembles the present. So here are my two picks for 2016:

Underworld, Barbara Barbara, We Face a Shining Future
The 1975, I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it

Glenn B Looks Through the Basement

A Weird List for a Weird Year-

Here ’tis-

1) Basement- "Promise Everything”
2) A Tribe Called Quest- “We got it from Here…Thank You 4 Your service”
3) Bob Mould- “Patch The Sky”
4) Kendrick Lamar- "untitled unmastered.
5) Elliott Smith- “Heaven Adores You Soundtrack”
6) Green Day- “Revolution Radio”
7) ”David Bowie- “Black Star”
8) Bruno Mars- “24K Magic”
9) Radiohead- “A Moon Shaped Pool”
10) The Weeknd- “ Starboy”

Stef I Pokes the Animal

Here is my list:

ANIMAL by Big Scary (my number one).

And others on my list:

AWAKEN, MY LOVE! by Childish Gambino
TELLURIC by Matt Corby

Evan W Has More Fun

My albums in order of importance are... Blonde by Frank Ocean; ANTI by Rihanna; A Seat At The Table by Solange; and Views by Drake. It was the year of incredible rap and hip-hop for me!! 

Will W Goes Through Puberty

1. Mitski, Puberty 2
2. Frank Ocean, Blonde
3. Solange, A Seat at the Table
4. Bon Iver, 22, A Million
5. Beyoncé, Lemonade
6. Sia, This Is Acting

SPECIAL ATHENS MUSIC SHOUT OUT: Four Eyes, Welcome to Earth (, contains my favorite song of the year, "St. Francis Loves All the Animals") 

1. Four Eyes, "St. Francis Loves All the Animals"
2. Mitski, "Your Best American Girl"
3. Chance the Rapper, "Same Drugs"
4. Sia, "Alive"
5. Beyoncé, "Sorry"
6. Frank Ocean, "Self Control"
7. Solange, "Don't Wish Me Well" 
8. Bon Iver, "666[upside-down t]"
9. Rihanna, "Higher"
10. Regina Spektor, "Tornadoland" 

Aaron H Loves LA

Favorite albums
1. La La Land soundtrack 
2. LANY - kinda
3. Satin Jackets - Panorama Pacifico

Linas A Walks the Lin

At the risk of skewing your results in a very dorky direction, it's been Lin-Manuel Miranda nonstop since the election for me...

Various artists, Hamilton: The Mixtape
actual Hamilton cast recording
soundtrack to Moana

Jon S’s Bon Mots

The first time I heard 22, A Million, I texted a friend of mine "This new Bon Iver is literally killing me its so good.”

I stand by that hyperbole.

Bon Iver, 22, A Million
Radiohead, A Moon Shaped Pool
A Tribe Called Quest, We Got it From Here...Thank You 4 Your Service
Car Seat Headrest, Teens of Denial
Mitski, Puberty 2
Adia Victoria, Beyond the Bloodhounds
Angel Olsen, MY WOMAN
Minor Victories, Minor Victories
Kate Tempest, Let Them Eat Chaos
Explosions in the Sky, The Wilderness

Collin R, Life of the Party

Andy Shauf, The Party

James Blake, The Colour in Anything
Jessy Lanza, Oh No
Solange, A Seat at the Table
Beyonce, Lemonade
Mitski, Puberty 2
Charlie XCX, Vroom Vroom - EP
Bon Iver, 22, A Million
Carly Rae Jepsen, EMOTION Side B
Frank Ocean, Blond
ANOHNI, Hopelessness
Lucius, Good Grief
Chairlift, Moth
Angel Olsen, My Woman
Blood Orange, Freetown Sound
Cakes Da Killa, Hedonism

Ariana Grande, Into You
PWR BTTM, New Hampshire
The 1985, Somebody Else
Sylvan Esso, Kick Jump Twist
Perfume Genius, Can't Help Falling in Love with You

Emmy L, No Stranger to Paul

Paul Simon, Stranger To Stranger

Matthue R Wants it Darker

Essential album: Leonard Cohen, You Want It Darker

2) Lady Lamb, Tender Warriors Club
3) Bon Iver, 22, a Million
4) Regina Spektor, Remember Us to Life
5) Alexander Hamilton, Original Cast Recording
6) Emmy the Great, Second Love
7) A Tribe Called Quest, We got it from Here... Thank You 4 Your service (their capitalization, not mine)

Best song that might not be a song: Bon Iver, 715 - cr∑∑ks (his capitalization, not mine)
Best album that might not be an album: The Avalanches, Wildflower
Best comeback: Nine Inch Nails, Not the Actual Events. Can I explain this? I really didn't like Hesitation Marks, their "return to form" a year or two ago. I'd just gotten into them, was really needing some unrestrained angry music, and was editing a book from 5 years ago which was ALL FREAKIN' ABOUT angry music and angry sexuality. There was even a chapter called "I Will Make You Hurt," which was ironic, and I really liked it that way. And then they came out with a new album that sounded weirdly peaceful. Loud, but peaceful. These new songs, though. They're tense as anything. They're like the diametric opposite of Xanax. And I am so grateful.

Elisa L Takes a Seat

*Solange/A Seat at the Table

Angel Olsen/My Woman
Steve Gunn/Eyes on the Lines
Wild Nothing/ Life of Pause
David Bowie/Blackstar

Samantha M is on a Quest

1) A Tribe Called Quest, We got it from Here...Thank you 4 Your service
2) The Kills, Ashes & Ice
3) Radiohead, A Moon Shaped Pool

Terribeth S Throws Some Tantrums

Fitz and the Tantrums, Fitz and the Tantrums
1975, I Like it When You Sleep  for You are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It
Lumineers, Cleopatra
Tegan and Sara, Love You to Death
Head and the Heart, Signs of Light
Saint Motel, saintmotelevision
Naked and Famous, Simple Forms
St Lucia, Matter
Weezer, Weezer
Tribe Called Quest, We Got It From Here, Thank You 4 Your Service

Lance R, Puts One Iver on Us

My prediction is that Lemonade is taking it this year.

But here's my #1:
Bon Iver, 22, A Million

Other 2016 albums I love:
Tegan and Sara, Love You to Death
Beyonce, Lemonade
Original Soundtrack, Moana
Aurora, All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend

2016 singles I love:
Francis and the Lights, "May I Have This Dance"
Empire of the Sun, "High and Low"
The 1975, "The Sound"

Older albums I discovered and loved:
2014: Bleachers, Strange Desire
1998: Outkast, Aquemini

Stephen B Offers Up Hopelessness

I’ve been waiting for this!

1. ANOHNI, HOPELESSNESS (way too fitting for 2016, sadly)
2. Iggy Pop, Post Pop Depression
3. David Bowie, Blackstar
4. Against Me!, Shape Shift With Me
5. Radiohead, A Moon Shaped Pool

[and here’s where I know my list gets too obscure to line up with anyone else’s]

6. Bwana, Capsule’s Pride
7. The Sword, High Country/Low Country
8. Deftones, Gore
9. Pigeonchild, Pray to the Cross in Between My Antlers
10. White Lung, Paradise

And honorable mention/gayest album:

Alaska Thunderfuck 5000, Lil’ Poundcake

Nina G, Livin’ the Life

1. Kanye, The Life of Pablo
2. Chance the Rapper, Coloring Book
3. Rihanna, Anti
4. Beyonce, Lemonade
5. The Weeknd, Starboy
6. Childish Gambino, “Awaken, My Love!"
7. DJ Snake, Encore
8. Angel Olsen, My Woman
9. Phantogram, Three
10. KAYTRANADA, 99.9%

Best new artist: Bishop Briggs

Lauren M and Randy B Team Up and Go All American

1. Gangstagrass, American Music
2. Tall Heights, River
3. Original Cast Album, Hamilton
4. The National, Trouble Will Find Me
5. José González, "Stay Alive"
6. Johnny Cash, "Hurt"
7. Disturbed, "The Sound of Silence"
8. Vance Joy, "Fire and the Flood"
9. Avicii, "The Nights"
10. Tommy James and The Shondells, "I Think We're Alone Now" (slowed down mix)

Stephanie P Looks to the Moon

I only had one essential this year, but I'm happy to add it to your poll!

1) Radiohead, A Moon Shaped Pool

Molly B Lets It Bey

Thanks for doing this -- it's a happy distraction this week. 


1. Beyonce, Lemonade (of course)
2. Jamila Woods, HEAVN (Chicago girl <3 o:p="">
3. Lizzo, Coconut Oil (Lizzo is my happy place)
4. Common, Black America Again (essential listening for the post-election blues)
5. Hamilton OBC (for the second year in a row haha)


1. Bey, Formation
2. Jamila Woods, Blk Girl Soldier (SO GOOD)
3. Lizzo, Good as Hell (the ultimate picker-upper!)
4. Avalanches, Because I'm Me (ditto)
5. Common, Letter to the Free
6. Maggie Rogers, Dog Years (if she puts out an album in 2017, I predict it will be on next year's list!) 
7. Delta Spirit, California (not a new song, but new to me in 2016)
8. Oh Wonder, Without You (from 2015, discovered in 2016)
9. Hamilton Mixtape, Who Tells Your Story
10. Hamiton Mixtape, Satisfied

Special Recognition: 

The Stranger Things theme
SNL, Crucible Cast Party feat. Lin-Manuel Miranda
Pretty much every song from Steven Universe <3 nbsp="" o:p="">

Hang in there in 2017, everyone!!

Jeramey K is Free to Bey

Essential Album:
Beyoncé, Lemonade

Essential Albums Not By Beyoncé:
Glass Animals, How To Be A Human Being
The Kills, Ash & Ice

Songs I couldn't stop listening to after I saw drag queens perform them:
Grace Jones, "Hurricane"
Patti LaBelle, "The Alphabet" 
RuPaul, "Read U Wrote U" (the first 3/4s)

Songs featured in TV and Film that forced me to have feelings:
Nina Simone, "Stars" (BoJack Horseman)
Barbara Lewis, "Hello Stranger" (Moonlight)
Rachel Bloom, "You Stupid Bitch" (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend)
Kate McKinnon, "Hallelujah" (SNL)
Belinda Carlisle, "Heaven is a Place on Earth" (Black Mirror)

Aimee F Goes to the Tape

Most Essential Album: Various Artists, The Hamilton Mixtape.

And then my top 5 singles:

Beyonce, Formation (best video too!)
Leonard Cohen, You Want It Darker
Sia, Cheap Thrills
Rihanna, Work
DNCE, Cake By the Ocean (I think this may technically have been a ’15 release, but I heard it for the first time in ’16, maybe because I’m #old?)

Roberto R Gains Kontrol

Kristin Kontrol, X-Communicate

I have a feeling I'm going to be the ONLY person with that one.

Kathleen P Ades and Abets

Beyonce, Lemonade OF COURSE

Otherwise essential:
Blood Orange, Freetown Sound
Sia, This is Acting
Anderson .Paak, Malibu
Solange, A Seat at the Table
Kanye West, The Life of Pablo

Maya M Goes in Formation

No contest.

Beyoncé, Lemonade
Recommended listening space: anytime, anywhere, for any occasion. No other music from 2016 matters. 

However, IF other music from 2016 did matter I would say:

The Avett Brothers, True Sadness
Recommended listening space: a hammock, preferably near water. If a hammock is unavailable, a horse pasture will do.

Watsky, x Infinity
I had the same experience with x Infinity that I did with every album he’s ever released. I listened to it once and thought it was terrible. I listened a second time and found it tolerable. I listened a third time and was awash in the feeling that he is a true genius and national treasure. Recommended listening space: walking in Manhattan.

Jukebox the Ghost, Long Way Home
My favorite live album from this year. A guaranteed good time.
Recommended listening space: driving along a highway, outside of rush hour

A 2015 album I found in January of 2016:
Mipso, Old Time Reverie
When you’re in Kentucky it just feels right to listen to Mipso. When you’re far away it reminds you of home. Recommended listening space: a forested area AND/OR Rabbit Hash, KY, a town where the mayor is a democratically elected dog.

Jinny W Brings it Bach to Us

Most Essential Album:

*MURRAY PERAHIA: BACH—THE FRENCH SUITES. Deutsche Grammophon. In some ways Bach is the father of us all, and Murray Perahia lets the music narrate our tragedy, our solace, our joy.

Other Essential Albums:

*JOSHUA BELL, STEVEN ISSERLIS, JEREMY DENK AND THE ACADEMY OF ST. MARTIN IN THE FIELDS: FOR THE LOVE OF BRAHMS. Sony Classical.  Potent music-making by colleagues who continue to surprise one another in light and shadow.  Try to keep your heart from breaking.

*DANIIL TRIFONOV: TRANSCENDENTAL: DANIIL TRIFONOV PLAYS FRANZ LISZT. Deutsche Grammophon. The complete concert études. Virtuosic and introspective power and flow. And he’s only  25 years old.

*SHIRLEY HUNT, BAROQUE CELLO & VIOLA DA GAMBA: J.S. BACH SUITES & SONATAS, VOLUME ONE. Letterbox Arts. A versatile, adventurous Baroque cellist whose chops and musical grace illuminate each performance.

Keirsten G is Feeling Swell

It’s hard to find a whole album that I like but dug up a few:
Swell, theres still us EP
James Blake, The Colour of Anything
Moderat, III
Sango, Hours Spent Loving You
Who likes electronic music?! I do! : )

Amanda M Picks a Lemon

Beyoncé, Lemonade
Mitski, Puberty 2

Things Can Only Get Better, Bill K

Here to add my two cents, knowing for certain that my top pick will get just the one vote. But hey, this is America, and it's still a Democracy (we think).

Top Album: Better/Haley Reinhart

Other Essential Albums: 
We Got It from Here.../A Tribe Called Quest
Esperanza Spalding/Emily's D+Evolution
In Case You Didn't Know/Rhonda Ross

Top 10 Singles:
10. All In the Name/Bright Light Bright Light
9. You Say/Dori Freeman
8. All We Ever Knew/The Head and the Heart
7. Better/Haley Reinhart
6. Make Me Like You/Gwen Stefani
5. We the People/A Tribe Called Quest
4. Love Yourself/Justin Bieber
3. All I Want/Rhonda Ross
2. Can't Stop the Feeling/Justin Timberlake
1. I Belong to You/Haley Reinhart

Drew L Takes it to the River

Great year for music, if nothing else...

1. Okkervil River, Away
2. Conor Oberst, Ruminations
3. Carseat Headrest, Teens of Denial
4. John K. Samson, Winter Wheat
5. Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam, I Had a Dream That You Were Mine
6. Ezra Furman, Big Fugitive Life
7. AJJ, The Bible 2
8. Parquet Courts, Human Performance

Brian M Climbs Every Mountain

Here's my annual contribution of albums most contributors couldn't care less about :)

Most Essential
Black Mountain, IV

Other Essential:
Goat, Requiem
Howlong Wolf, Owl
Jack White, Acoustic Recordings 1998 - 2016
Sivert Hoyem, Lioness
Jim James, Eternally Even
Rolling Stones, Blue & Lonesome
Woodpigeon, Trouble
Yeasayer, Amen and Goodbye
The Besnard Lakes, A Coliseum Complex Museum
Korn, The Serenity of Suffering
Woods, City Sun Eater in the River of Light
Pete Doherty, Hamburg Demonstrations
The Jayhawks, Paging Mr. Proust
Ryley Walker, Golden Sings That Have Been Sung
The Coral, Distance Inbetween
Emma Ruth Rundle, Marked for Death
Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Getaway

Andy M Goes Blonde

1. Frank Ocean, Blonde

What can I say about this one that hasn’t already been said? If the entire album consisted of “Nikes” it would still probably be my #1 for 2016. Thankfully there are like 15 more tracks.

2. Deftones, Gore

I don’t know how these guys did it, but this—their eighth album—might be their best. Or at least tied with White Pony. Triangles placed in your mind, indeed...

3. Katatonia, The Fall of Hearts

This sounds a little bit like Nick Drake fronting a melodic Swedish metal band. Melancholy and punishing in roughly equal measure. Something for everybody!

Josh L in a Drive-By

Most essential:

Drive-By Truckers, American Band

Honorable Mentions:

Babymetal, Metal Resistence
Neil Young, Peace Trail

Elizabeth K Keeps Dreaming

Laura Mvula, The Dreaming Room
Josephine, Portrait
Michael Kiwanuka, Love & Hate

Tiffany S Goes from A/B to A/B

Looking through my playlists, my year has been low on new music and high on lullabies. 

Kaleo, A/B
Catfish and the Bottlemen, The Ride
Hamilton Mixtape
Moana soundtrack :) 

“Fire Escape” - Andrew McMahon In the Wilderness
"All the Pretty Girls” -” Kaleo
“Take it All Back” - Judah and the Lion
“Closer” - Chainsmokers
“Spirits” - Strumbellas
“Lungs” - Vancouver Sleep Clinic
“7” - Catfish and the Bottlemen

Uada See Chris K’s List

Here you go, sir.

Album of the year: Uada, Devoid of Light

The Lot:
2. Rebel Wizard, Triumph of Gloom
3. Ghoul, Dungeon Bastards
4. Kehmmis, Hunted
5. Not Blood Paint, Believing Is Believing
6. Tombs, All Empires Fall
7. Brutally Deceased, Satanic Corpse
8. Ravencult, Force of Profanation
9. Sumac, What One Becomes
10. Mortem, Deinos Nekromantis

Best Single of 2016:
Ghost, "Square Hammer"

Best Album Art of 2016:
Lectern, Precept of Delator

Blake N’s Rising Empire

Oh I only have one album:
Two Vines, Empire of the Sun

One single:
Starboy, The Weeknd

One late discovery:
The National ( I know I know)

Bryant P’s Ocean Playlist

Here's my list:

1) Frank Ocean, Blonde
2) Bon Iver, 22, A Million
3) Glass Animals, How to Be a Human Being
4) Whitney, Light Upon the Lake
5) Solange, A Seat at the Table
6) James Blake, The Colour in Anything
7) Car Seat Headrest, Teens of Denial

Brant R Goes Through Hoops

My Essential Albums of 2016:
Hoops/EP, Tape #2, and Tape #3
Frankie Cosmos/Next Thing
Britta Phillips/Luck or Magic
Eleanor Friedberger/New View
Kevin Morby/Singing Saw
Kamaiyah/A Good Night In The Ghetto
Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam/I Had a Dream That You Were Mine
TV Girl/Who Really Cares
William Tyler/Modern Country
Tegan and Sara/Love You to Death
Benji Hughes/Songs in the Key of Animals

My Essential Tracks of 2016 (in mix order):
De La Soul/Exodus (Outro)
Hoops/Going Strong
Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam/Sick as a Dog
Frankie Cosmos/Fool
Anderson .Paak/Celebrate
Eleanor Friedberger/A Long Walk
Britta Phillips/Drive
Anohni/Drone Bomb Me
Kamaiyah/I'm On (Prod. by Drew Banga)
Tegan and Sara/Boyfriend
TV Girl/(Do the) Act Like You Never Met Me
Justin Timberlake/Can't Stop the Feeling!
The Avalanches/Subways
Kool A.D./Rest in Power Dr. Sebi
Frank Ocean/White Ferrari
Belle and Sebastian/Olympic Village, 6AM
Benji Hughes/Longshot
Kevin Morby/Drunk and on a Star
Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein/Stranger Things
A Tribe Called Quest/The Space Program

Elder Albums I Found Essential in 2016:
The Carpenters/A Song for You [1972]
Buddy Miles/Them Changes [1970]
Three Dog Night/The Complete Hit Singles [1969-1975]
Patterson Hood/Heat Lightning Rumbles in the Distance [2012]
Daryl Hall & John Oates/Daryl Hall & John Oates [1975]
Brett Dennen/Loverboy [2014]
Junior Wells/Hoodoo Man Blues [1965]
Beach Fossils/Beach Fossils [2010]
Stereolab/Transient Random-Noise Bursts With Announcements [1993]
Buffalo Springfield/Buffalo Springfield [1966]
Toto/Toto [1978] (love isn’t always on time)

Derek M Peeks Out of His Cave

Most Essential Album:
-Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Skelton Tree

Other albums of note:
-Bon Iver, 22, A Million
-Leonard Cohen, You Want It Darker
-Mitski, Puberty 2
-Car Seat Headrest, Teens of Denial

Most essential songs:
-Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, “I Need You” and “Distant Sky”

Iain S Feels it in His Soul

My 2016 new stuff consumption has been tracks rather than albums, mostly. I give you (ahem)...:

De La Soul ( feat Snoop Dogg), Pain

Vince Staples, Senorita

Mr Fingers, Outer Acid

Rae Sremmurd, Black Beatles

Arabrot, The Gospel

Ultimate Painting, Bills

Warpaint, New Song

DJ Koze, Burn With Me

Not much use, and straining for corroboration from your other pollsters perhaps. 

Adam G Goes Gaga

Lady Gaga, Joanne! I wish I could vote for it three times!!!

Preeti C, On a Hai

Can't wait to see what bubbles up to the top!
1. Various Artists, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil soundtrack 
2. Various Artists, Hamilton Mixtape 
3. Riz MC, Englistan
4. Beyonce, Lemonade
5. Michael Giacchino, Rogue One Soundtrack

1. Pritam, Amit Mishra, & Shilpa Rao, Bulleya 
2. Beyonce, Freedom
3. K'naan, Snow Tha Product, Riz Mc, & Residente, Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)
4. Bruno Mars, 24K Magic

And random oldie but goodie I rediscovered and did not stop listening to in 2016:
1. Duran Duran, Ordinary World

Bill C’s Song Song Blue

#1  Lila Blue, The Hollows Hold the Healing
Ray LaMontagne, Ouroboros
Bon Iver, 22, A Million
Lady Gaga, Joanne
The Weekend, Starboy
Sia, This is Acting
Justin Bieber, Purpose

Andy P’s Belated Invasion of Troye

I’m the worst with these… um… and I’d nominate Troye Sivan, Blue Neighbourhood, but it apparently came out in December of 2015, so I’m terrible.

Emmanuel H Sets the Table

My faves from 2016:

Solange, A Seat at the Table
Banks, The Altar
Ariana Grande, Dangerous Woman
Britney Spears, Glory
Rihanna, ANTI
Angel Olsen, MY WOMAN

Marisa P Waves Good-Bey

Beyoncé, Lemonade  (OBVI)

 Bon Iver, 22,  A Million
Sia, This is Acting
John Paul White, Beulah

Charlie O’s Late Bloomer

Essential Album of the Year: Beach House, Bloom 

Others: Little Dragon, Nabuma Rubberband
               Dead Flowers, Dead Flowers
               The War on Drugs, Slave Ambient
               The National, Trouble Will Find Me
               Leonard Cohen, Songs of Leonard Cohen
               Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Architecture and Morality

Non-music thing that gives me life: This guy’s review of Patti Labelle’s Sweet Potato Pie: (I want to love anything as much as this guy loves Patti Labelle)

Teri Y’s B-Side Himself with Emotion

I went through my music from 2016 and was a little shocked to discover I had only bought one complete album: Carly Rae Jepsen, Emotion Side B
Plenty of other good music from Sia, Tegan & Sara among others, but I guess CRJ wins my pick for album by default. :-)

Jasper D Knows What He Wants and He Wants It NAO

Most essential album of 2016: NAO, For All We Know

My other very essential albums:

Daughter, Not To Disappear
Poliça, United Crushers
Beyoncé, Lemonade
Keaton Henson, Kindly Now
Bon Iver, 22, A Million

My best discovery:

Benjamin Clementine, At Least For Now (2014)

Kaleb N’s Acting Lessons

Best Album
Sia, This Is Acting

Honorable Mentions
Lady Gaga, Joanne
Ariana Grande, Dangerous Woman

Best Artwork
Young Thug, Jeffery (I haven’t heard it but the art is 2016’s best)
Flume, Skin

Kate H’s First Ade

1) Beyonce, Lemonade
2) Bon Iver, 22, A Million
3) Phantogram, Three
4) Tegan and Sara, Love You To Death
5) Sturgill Simpson, A Sailor's Guide to Earth

Ronnie A Drives it Like She Stole It

My "alternative facts" soundtracks from 2016:

Gary Clark, "Drive It Like You Stole It," Sing Street
[Robbed of an Oscar nomination for best song, and yeah, I'm looking at you, La La Land]
Mica Levi, Jackie
Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans, Christine
Nicholas Britell, Moonlight
Anne Dudley, Elle
Mark Korven, The Witch
[I dare you to listen to the track "Witch's Coven" while you are alone.]
Jo Yeong-wook, The Handmaiden
Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, Hell or High Water
Jóhann Jóhannsson, Arrival
And finally, a song written ten years ago but was performed Off-Broadway this year and should be mandatory listening today:
Anaïs Mitchell, "Why We Build the Wall" sung by the cast of Hadestown

Lindsay R, Yuri Tops the Jury

I have been trying for two weeks to make a list, but I honestly don't care about anything except the Yuri On Ice soundtrack.

And yes, that's my real answer. >.>

Sia Later, Corey W

I'm just TOO behind on music for this year's list.  But I can't wait to see it anyway and have a soundtrack for surviving the apocalypse. 

PS: Sia's This is Acting would be at the top of mine. :) 

Tyler G Takes the Lemons He’s Been Given And…

My List:

1. Beyonce, Lemonade
2. Mitski, Puberty 2
3. Frank Ocean, Blonde
4. Margaret Glaspy, Emotions and Math

For Jonathan V. III’s the Charm

I seriously didn't realize that my favorite two albums of the year both had the same name (or that their name...was a number) until just now:

1. Moderat, III
2. Miike Snow, iii
3. Anderson Paak, Malibu
4. Angel Olsen, My Woman
5. Beyoncé, Lemonade
6. Mirage, Digitalism
7. The Avalanches, Wildflower
8. Omni, NAVVI
9. Frank Ocean, Blonde
10. Radiohead, A Moon Shaped Pool

Biggest discoveries from "the past":

The Chameleons, Script of the Bridge - They were playing this band over the sound system at the Cobra Club and I asked the bartender (who was in her 20s) "What band is this?" Well, I am apparently zoned for this band agewise, because she totally looked at me like I'd asked her if she knew what city we were in. Then I mentioned this band to someone my age at work, and when I told him I'd never heard of them he gave me the same look. This particular album, "Script of the Bridge," rewards repeated listens, and makes dourness feel like something that carries bragging rights--though when carried like this, it totally does.

Fleetwood Mac, Tusk - I wanted to hear this one because it's so infamous: the not-so-well-liked follow-up to one of the most popular albums of all time. But unlike a lot of other misunderstood experimental recordings, this is strong stuff, and fun. It's also far enough ahead of its time to have, by now, actually arrived. (You really have to do your homework to tell why it was ever considered weird to begin with.) I wound up listening to it for like a month. One spin of "Sisters of the Moon" and YES WE CAN have nice things...

Michael T Gives it a Headrest

My album of the year is Car Seat Headrest, "Teens of Denial"

Followed by Rihanna, "Anti"

Song of the year would have to be "Black Beatles" by Rae Sremmurd, no contest. 

Chris R’s Solange, Farewell

1. Solange, A Seat at the Table
2. Bon Iver, 22 A Million
3. Beyonce, Lemonade
4. SALES, Sales Lp
5. Lumineers, Cleopatra

Christopher P Has Something on His Conscious

Look forward to participating every year.  Here's what I got for 2016:

Broods, Conscious
Lucius, Good Grief
El Perro Del Mar, KoKoro
Anohni, Hopelessness
Mayer Hawthorne, Man About Town
Sia, This Is Acting
Roisin Murphy, Take Her Up To Monto
Garbage, Strange Little Birds
Teddy Thompson & Kelly Jones, Little Windows
Ladyhawke, Wild Things

Elizabeth W, Sitting on the Dock of the Bey

Such a weird year…

Essential Album
Beyonce, Lemonade
Tribe Called Quest, We Got it From Here…Thank You 4 Your Service
Radiohead, Moon Shaped Pool
Solange, Seat at the Table

Beyonce, Formation

Nick E, in the Gloaming

Unfortunately, I didn’t find much new music I loved in 2016. Even Bon Iver, whose previous albums are among my favorites, didn’t win me over this time. In truth my favorite album of this year was LAST year’s Carrie & Lowell by Sufjan Stevens. I listened to it at least once a week in 2016.

I’ve got high hopes for 2017, already loving the singles from upcoming Magnetic Fields and Slowdive albums.

Here’s what I liked OK this year:

1.     The Gloaming, 2
2.     Conor Oberst, Ruminations
3.     Minor Victories, Minor Victories

Favorite new song:

Minor Victories, “Scattered Ashes (Song for Richard)”

Favorite new song to dance to:

Ariana Grande, “Into You”

And favorite new song from a movie soundtrack:

Sing Street, “Drive It Like You Stole It”

Maggie S Gives It Her Very Best

My Top 12 2016 Singles with The Most Plays:

1. "Don't Let Me Down (feat. Daya)" - The Chainsmokers
2. "Boomerang" - She is We
3. "Baby Moses" - Joden Klassen
4. "Choke" - OneRepublic 
5. "Empty" - PVRIS
6. "Undertow" - Satchmode
7. "Life Itself" - Glass Animals
8. "Team" - Iggy Azalea
9. "Gerson's Whistle" - Yeasayer
10. "Hope" - Jordan Max
11. "River" - Bishop
12. "Breakin' Point" - Peter Bjorn and John

Top 2016 Albums

Mumford & Sons, The Very Best, & Baaba Maal - Johannesburg
(If you don't feel something when "Si Tu Veux" plays, you have no feelings left).

SAFIA, Internal
(this collects all of their really punchy singles into one place, finally)

Tove Lo, Lady Wood
(yeah, yeah, I know, me and everyone else)

Lawrence U, Wrking for the Weeknd

Top 10 Albums of 2016

25 – Adele  (from last year)
Starboy - The Weeknd 
Waitress (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
The Color Purple (New Broadway Cast Recording)
It Doesn't Have To Make Sense - Ingrid Michaelson
Signs of Light - The Head and the Heart

Hello - Adele
Water Under The Bridge - Adele
Hell No - Ingrid Michaelson
I’m Here - Cynthia Erivo
Starboy - The Weekend
You Matter to Me - Waitress Original Broadway Cast
Reminder - Starboy
All We Ever Knew - The Head and the Heart

John A Goes West (Is Life Peaceful There?)

1. Kanye West, The Life of Pablo
2. Band of Horses, Why Are You Ok
3. Diiv, Is the Is Are
4. Radiohead, A Moon Shaped Pool
5. A Tribe Called Quest, We got it from Here...Thank You 4 Your service
6. Rogue Wave, Delusions of Grand Fur
7. Preoccupations, Preoccupations 
8. Frank Ocean, Blonde
9. Parquet Courts, Human Performance
10. Twenty One Pilots, TOPxMM

Billy M’s Daddy Said Shoot

Here are my top albums of 2016!

1. Lemonade by Beyonce
2. Ego Death by The Internet
3. Everything Is Burning by IAMX
4. The Altar by Banks
5. Waitress (Original Cast Recording)

Other contenders: 
Human Ceremony by Sunflower Bean
A Moon Shaped Pool by Radiohead

Late to the game discoveries / obsessions:
Let England Shake by PJ Harvey
Heavy Starch by Dirty Art Club