My taste in music is neatly sprawled across indie pop, the classic pop punk “sad boy emo” songs, and modern-day rock bands that sound like they should be in the 80’s – 2016 has not been an exception. I’m not one to shove a few music recommendations in your face and say these are the best and at the top, so I’ve gotten rid of the albums everyone will have on their lists (The 1975, Green Day, or Radiohead anyone?). In fact, my list will probably change again tomorrow… but for now, here’s what I’ve been spinning these past twelve months. You should listen to these before 2016 comes to a close:
Simple Forms / The Naked and Famous
The Naked and Famous are one of those bands where you probably know one or two songs by them, but didn’t know it was actually by them. Their latest album Simple Forms came out fall of 2016 and it’s seriously a work of art. It’s a record with hints of nostalgia and the occasional twinkle of electronic music here and there.
Chit Chat / Beach Weather
Chit Chat is Beach Weather’s sophomore EP it’s possibly the best follow up to any first album, EP, or song I’ve ever heard. It’s ultimately a grown up, saucy version of their debut and sums up the 2016 indie pop scene. I’m living for the shiny guitar riffs and alluring vocals in the title track.
Oblivion / The Foxies
The Foxies‘ debut EP Oblivion is indie pop with a throwback, nostalgic vibe, and it’s seriously one of the best indie pop records I’ve heard this year (the title track is a dream and you really, really need to listen to it).
Alive / Warbly Jets
This song is reminiscent of The Strokes, The Vaccines, and the 80’s all at once, in the best way ever. Warbly Jets are such an underrated band that not too many people know about, but I’m ending 2016 with this song as my favorite of the year. Plus, Wilco and Grateful Dead show up as artists related to Warbly Jets… need I say more?
Peace of Mind / The Killers
I don’t have much to say about “Peace of Mind” other than the fact that The Killers could release a 3-minute track of Brandon Flowers breathing and I’d still dub it as one of the best releases of my entire lifetime. Oh, and this is a demo off Sam’s Town, which is probably the best album to ever exist.
The Monster / From Indian Lakes
Ever since a friend of mine recommended I listen to From Indian Lakes, I’ve been hooked. There’s something about the clean guitar parts and moody lyrics that draw you in. Their latest album Everything Feels Better Now pretty much sums up that notion, and “The Monster” is my personal favorite off of it.
The Stranger / Creeper
Creeper is a band you should have on your radar going into 2017. Their latest EP, The Stranger, is classic punk rock — it’s melancholic and some parts are pretty damn creepy in a captivating way. I mean, even Google dubs them as a “horror punk” band.
Stupid For You / Waterparks
The only phrase to describe this song is “punk pop” (think The Maine circa 2010). “Stupid For You” is off of Waterparks‘ latest album Double Dare, and it’s by far the track that gets stuck in my head at least five times a day.