music was an important aspect of 2016 for many, arguably the best part of the year. whether it was listening to new releases, rediscovering my old favourite tracks, or finding new music to listen to, i loved the songs, artists and albums 2016 brought into my life. some songs have been more popular and made it to the top 40, while others are more lowkey and sang by upcoming artists.
here are my personal favourite albums (in no particular order!) that i listened to throughout the year, and hopefully you’ll enjoy these albums just as much as i have.
i had the pleasure of discovering mod’s book (an audio book is included in the album!) and his words changed my perspective on life in so many ways. he is not only a great writer, but also makes some great music. i would recommend this album to anyone who likes hip hop/ hippy type music, or people who want to listen to some great songs with great messages. this album shaped me into the happy person i am today, so i had to include it in this list. some of my favourite tracks on the album are “free love,” “1970,” “goddess,” and “howlin’ at the moon.”
this album was released in 2012, but i only discovered it in 2015 but let me tell you, it’s the only thing i listened to all summer. it made a return into my life at the end of 2016, probably because of its ability to always put me into a good mood. this album is very happy and beachy, kind of a “good vibes only” album. i would recommend listening to it when you need to be cheered up or when you’re by the pool on a summer day. my favourite tracks are “naked in venice,””lemonade,” and “tequila kiss.”
2016 was the year i gave into my friends recommendations, and finally gave tøp a chance. although i feel like they became more mainstream with this album, i feel like their sound remained fairly consistent, and they didn’t give into the pressure of making ‘radio’ music (not that that’s a bad thing!). tøp have such a different sound, and i can’t find any other artist with a similar sound (i am open for suggestions though!). my personal favourite track is 100% “tear in my heart,” but “the judge” is a close second! i would also highly recommend listening to their cover of “cant help falling in love” if you haven’t already.
emblem3 are by far my favourite band, and have been since they auditioned for xfactor usa. sadly, they are currently on a break and are making music individually, but that doesn’t change my love for this album. this album has such happy, chill, but fairly “pop-y” vibe to it, and i have not stopped listening to the songs since the album was released in 2013. i’ve seen e3 in concert twice, and let me tell you- they are just as talented live. as hard as it is to choose, my favourite songs are “i wish,” “just for one day,” “teenage kings” and the song that they auditioned for xfactor with, “sunset blvd.”
i discovered the 1975 when i first heard their song “chocolate” on the radio a few years back. i have since then, fallen in love with their sound and of course, matt healy. there is something so raw and genuine about this album, that makes it one of my favourites of the year (it sounds even better on vinyl!). contrary to popular opinion, i personally prefer this album over their new stuff. this genre of music isn’t always something i like, but the 1975 definitely make it work for me. my favourites are “sex,” “girls” and the song that started it all for me, “chocolate.”
troye sivan is the cutest,most precious person i have ever seen. i have seen him grow from posting covers on youtube, to performing his own song on the ellen show; proud is an understatement. he has the voice of an angel, and also makes some great tunes. his album is the type of music that makes you want to just lay in bed and listen, without any distractions. he has a few chill slower songs, but also has some songs with beat drops that make you want to get up and dance. in my opinion, the best songs on this album are “fools,” “lost boy,” and “bite.” (but all of them are honestly great!)
the summer set are a band that i love listening to when i’m in a sad mood and want to be cheered up. i discovered them through an earlier album, and was ecstatic when i found out they had released this one. to my pleasure, this album was just as great as the last one. i listened to the album once, and had already added half the album to my ‘favourites’ playlist. they do make quite pop music but with a bit of an alternative/ indie touch. i really love “all in” from this album, but i also really enjoy “all my friends” and “the night is young.”
mø has quite a different sound in comparison to anything else on this list. it has several slow and calm songs, but also quicker dance songs- all with a great beat. her voice is truly breathtaking and i feel like this album really showcases her true talent. she has such a raw voice, and can truly do amazing things with her voice. i really enjoy listening to this album when i’m in bed in the early hours of the morning, or getting ready for the day. my favourites songs are “never wanna know” and for two more upbeat options “pilgrim” and “don’t wanna dance” are also amazing.
i’ve never been a huge lady gaga fan over the past few years, but this album completely changed that for me. this whole album feels so real, and you can tell lady gaga was really sticking to the type of music she wanted to make, not worrying about if the songs would make the top 40 or not. i really appreciate this side of lady gaga, and i feel like this album is definitely her best one yet. she has such an amazing voice, and this album really showcases her true talent. my three favourites are “diamond heart,” “million reasons” and “grigio girls.”
kehlani is one of the most talented people i have ever listened to, and uses her music to talk about important messages for her fans to hear. also, this album artwork is absolutely stunning. every song on this album sounds different, but they also all sound like kehlani- she’s not trying to be someone she’s not with her music. i really enjoy “wanted,” runnin,” and “alive” but the song that speaks to me the most is “bright.” it is such a beautiful song, and the message and lyrics are so positive for her fans to hear, especially the young girls. she is basically a goddess.
g-eazy: you either love him or you absolutely hate him. considering he made this list, i am one of the lovers of him and his music (enough to drive 5 hours to see him live!). i discovered him through his most popular song “tumblr girls,” although none of his other songs are the same as “tumblr girls” i still fell in love with everything to do with him since then. this album is much more focused on the rap aspect of his career, but still has a high school party vibe to it (it’s a good thing, i swear!). if you don’t like vulgarity, you won’t like this album. my favourites are “you got me,” “what if, “calm down” and “drifting.”
i only discovered chance in december of 2016, but fell in love with all of his music since then. according to google, this album is classified as ‘christian hip hop,’ im not too sure what exactly that means but i can assure you this album is outstanding. chance is a lyrical genius, and his songs vary from more intense rap to songs leaning towards the r&b side. the amazing features chance has on this album (future, kanye, bieber, lil wayne etc) help towards the appeal of this album to me, but even the songs without anyone else are still great. my favourites are “juke jam” (jb’s feature!!!) and “same drugs.”
callmekarizma is definetly one of the less known artists on this post, but i find him extremely underrated. he produces songs with a slight comedic and sarcastic tone to them, as if he is talking directly to someone throughout all the songs. his other album “loser” is also up there in my favourite albums ever so check that out as well if you would like. my favourites of this album are “happy birthday” and “love me right.” a few songs i also enjoy that are more on the alternative side of things, where he is singing more than talking are “whatever” and “hit the road.”
blackbear is an r&b/soul singer, but the one main word that i would use to describe this album is sexy. i’m not sure if that’s because of the lyrics, or his voice but either way, i love it. he is such a hidden talent in my opinion, because the majority of people only know one of two of his songs, if that. his lyrics are amazing, and so is his voice- everything combined leads to a 10/10 album. my favourites are “idfc,” “i needed you” and “aint trippin” but all the songs are this album are outstanding and all make me feel some type of way.
i had the pleasure of seeing logic live when he went on tour with g-eazy last summer, and discovered his music through that. i had never heard of him before that, and i was really missing out on a talented rapper. at one point in the show, he was rapping lyrics out of a journal he had written in just prior to the show, and that’s what really impressed me about him. aside from being the king of lyrics, he also just seems like such a genuine, nice guy. i love “the jam,” “slave II” and “flexicution.”
i have loved justin bieber ever since i first heard his voice, so i couldn’t make this post without including him. i was thinking of including purpose, but honestly i’ve gotten much more into this album over the past couple of months. i feel like this was such a vulnerable time in justin’s life, and you can hear his sincerity through this album. these songs didn’t get as popular as any of his other music, which makes me love this album even more. my favourites are “hold tight,” “pyd,” “change me” and “all that matters.”