Let It Happen Albums Of The Year 2016

Its that time of the year again! 2016 has treated the world with hundreds of incredible albums. From the return of Radiohead, the rise of Grime, and the special, parting gift from David Bowie, we countdown our top 25 albums of 2016.

Each of our writers were asked to create a list of their top 10 albums of this year in no particular order. Each album then received a tally score which is how we have ordered each album.

Before the countdown, I would like to take a second to write about honourable mentions who unfortunately were missed off this list of incredible names…

The fantastic debut album ‘MEANS’ from Swedish prog-rock band FEWS filled a void in my life. Its fun and energetic and one of the best debuts of the year.

Daughter released their second studio album ‘How Not To Disappear’ at the beginning of 2016. The mellow of old replaced with fast paced but smooth guitars and atmospheric beats cruising through each song. Just a fascinating album, perfect fourths rainy days.

‘The Colour In Everything’ was another masterclass from James Blake. It was a real treat to discover that a new album dropped this year. His authentic and unique style combining harmonic pianos and electronica makes for an incredible listen.

Now for the countdown…

25. Viola Beach – Viola Beach

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At the beginning of the year, the tragic news that all four members of British indie-rock band ‘Viola Beach’ and their tour manager sadly passed away in a car accident whilst on tour in Sweden. They leave us with a truly brilliant album. Its upbeat, fun and everything we had hoped for from a band who’s career was destined to blossom.

Standout Tracks Include:

  • Swings and Waterslides
  • Boys That Sing
  • Cherry Vimto

24. Kings Of Leon – WALLS

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The American quartet were back and in tremendous style. ‘WALLS’ is typically Kings Of Leon. After fears of a new sound they surprised everyone by dropping an intense, indie-rock, anthem filled masterpiece which did not disappoint.

Standout Tracks Include:

  • Waste A Moment
  • WALLS
  • Around The World

23. Catfish And The Bottlemen – The Ride

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Although not as good as the bands debut album, The Ride still is a brilliantly crafted record. There are many moments that stand out in this record, however there are moments that fail to live up to many peoples expectations after their debut. However, The Ride quite possibly has some of the bands finest moments. Its combination of what they know, and what they’ve learnt. Catfish are still growing and still gaining a momentum which cannot be stopped.

Standout Tracks Include:

  • 7
  • Red
  • Outside
  • Glasgow

22. Modern Baseball – Holy Ghost

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Modern Baseball are a band who attract the passion that you expect from their pop-punk, indie rock style. This album is no different. Right from the get go you are thrown into a huge track with a brilliant introduction. The breaks don’t kick in till midway through the album, producing a fast paced beginning to one of the best  pop-punk records o the year.

Standout Tracks Include:

  • Wedding Singer
  • Everyday
  • Breathing In Stereo

21. David Bowie – Blackstar

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”look up here, I am in heaven”. The final record from one of the greatest and most influential human beings ever to grace this Earth. David Bowie left us a musical masterpiece , and a truly special parting gift.

Standout Tracks Include:

  • Blackstar
  • Lazarus
  • I Can Give Everything Away

20. Skepta –  Konnichiwa

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Grime has taken the UK by storm this year. Its gained huge masses of popularity with Skepta reaching global appraise and releasing a superb record, which gets better with every listen. ‘Konnichiwa’ is a standout benchmark for the UK music scene.

Standout Tracks Include:

  • Man
  • Shutdown
  • Numbers
  • Thats Not Me

19. Slaves – Take Control

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The kentish band show no signs of stopping. After the release of their phenomenally good debut last year, Slaves return with another funny, heavy, loud record which takes the band that bit further. From the skits to the featuring of Mike D from the Beastie Boys, to Issac rapping on ‘Consume or Be Consumed’. Slaves have gathered more momentum. Give them a few more years and Slaves rise to stardom will be confirmed.

Standout Tracks Include:

  • Take Control
  • Consume Or Be Consumed
  • Fuck The Hi-hat
  • Same Again.

18. Eagulls – Ullages

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Eagulls are a band who I fell in love with after the release of their sensational debut album. Taking pickings from bands such as The Cure and reinventing the goth-punk style. Even though they have changed direction going for a more rock style instead of a gloomy melodic approach, the band still captivate listeners with eccentric and brilliantly crafted music which we can’t get enough of.

Standout tracks Include:

  • Euphoria
  • Skipping
  • Lemontrees.

17. Bastille – Wild World

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Wild World is the second outing from British indie pop band Bastille. With the huge success the band had after the release of their debut album ‘Bad Blood’, few were expecting this finished product. Euphoric pop songs run through the veins of this record, creating anthem after anthem. Fluent ballads flow into 90’s styled pop songs creating one of the best pop records of the year.

Standout Tracks Include:

  • Good Grief
  • Send Them Off
  • Fake It

16. Basement – Promise Everything

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The third studio album from Ipswich rock band Basement did not dissapoint. By far one of the best, heavier albums of the year and by far one of the most anticipated. After the band split in 2012 few people thought that that was it. In 2014 they returned with an EP then the following year, ‘Promise Everything’ was announced and released in January. Ferocious bass, melodic drum beats and fierce guitars strike through the heart of the record making it one to be reckoned with.

Standout Tracks Include:

  • Promise Everything
  • Aquasun
  • For You The Moon

15. King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard – Nonagon Infinity

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“Nonagon Infinity opens the door!” by far one of the best rides of your life, will be listening to this album on loop. The Aussie psych 7 piece returned with one of the most insane albums of the year. Nonagon Infinity is bonkers, clever and inspiring. What makes this album so special is not just because of its mental guitar riffs, its mobility or its originality, its because you can listen to this album on repeat for eternity. Each song uniquely flows into one another cascading like a  never ending river of craziness.

Standout Tracks Include:

  • Robot Stop
  • People Vultures
  • Gamma Knife

14. Spring King – Tell Me If You Like To

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Spring King have excelled in 2016 and with the release of their promising debut album, the band have excelled even further. ‘Tell Me If You Like To’ is a culmination of everything the post-punk band have learnt. Its energetic, fun and Musas songwriting is second to non.

Standout Tracks Include:

  • Detroit
  • Tell Me If You Like To
  • City

13. Yak – Alas Salvation

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London trio Yak have shone bright this year, plowing their way through venue after venue with their brutal and bullish live shows. The band have picked up what they knew on the road and created an album which reflects that. ‘Alas Salvation’ is a brutal statement that the band are here to stay.

Standout Tracks Include:

  • Hungry Heart
  • Harbour The Feeling
  • Alas Salvation

12. Bon Iver – 22, a million

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2016 saw the wait for a new Bon Iver record finally come to an end and we were not disappointed as they dropped possibly their best record yet. Full of brilliantly crafted songs, beautiful melodies, wonderful synths and bonkers song titles, Justin Vernon and co have created a masterful album reinventing their sound, whilst keeping that same charm we all love.

Standout Tracks Include:

  • 10 d E A T h b R E a s T ⊠ ⊠
  • 33 “GOD”
  • 21 M♢♢N WATER.

11. Glass Animals – How To Be A Human Being

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The second album from the oxford band really does pack a punch. This record oozes groove left right and centre. Its easy-listening and brilliantly put together. The combination of sounds on this album is nothing like you would of heard this year. Its a fun culmination of beats making you want to groove.

Standout Tracks Include:

  • Life Itself,
  • Youth,
  • The Other Side Of Paradise

10. Moose Blood – Blush

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Canterbury pop-punkers released a wonderful second album this year. The follow up to cult debut ‘I’ll keep you in mind from time to time’ is a record which has propelled the band further into the realms of the pop-punk world. The record is much more upbeat from the first taking a more positive approach instead of the dark and sad first album. A deserved spot in our top 10.

Standout Tracks Include:

  • Pastel
  • Honey
  • Sulk

9. Oscar – Cut And Paste

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Young Londoner, Oscar Schellder released a emphatically good debut album this year. His quirky, blown-out indie music sent waves travelling through the indie music scene when ‘Cut And Paste’ was first released. With hints of Blur leaking through the cracks of this record, its easy to see that Oscar will most defiantly succeed with this record now under his belt. Its laden with hooks and gorgeous beats, enough to get the hips moving!

Standout Tracks Include:

  • Sometimes
  • Good Things
  • Breaking My Phone

8. DMA’s – Hills End

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Australia is pumping out incredible artists left right and centre with The DMA’s looking like to be one of their finest exports. Their debut album ‘Hills End’ has captured fans across the world, recalling the sounds of Oasis and the Gallagher brothers, Primal Scream and more. Its a record which captivates passion and pride. They have attracted fans of all ages, with people who remember the heyday of britpop turning up at their shows. Its an outstanding debut album from a band who WILL succeed.

Standout Tracks Include:

  • Lay Down
  • Play It Out
  • Delete
  • Timeless

7. The 1975 – I Like It When You Sleep…

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This album was destined to be placed in the top 10. One of the most highly anticipated (not the most) albums of 2016, the 1975 returned, fresh and with a new sound of disco fever and 80’s pop elements. Its clever and stupendously fun. The band have steered away from indie anthems into pop classics being their sound and creating an album that isn’t just music… but art.

Standout Tracks Include:

  • The Sound
  • Somebody Else
  • UGH!

6. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool

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The most anticipated I have ever been for an album. Radiohead shook the musical world again by deleting their entire social networking profiles and surprise dropping LP9. Its a melodic journey of some of the most beautiful and enchanting songs you will hear this year. From slow movers, to haunting numbers, A Moon Shaped Pool is one of the most fascinating albums o the year.

Standout Tracks Include:

  • Burn The Witch
  • Daydreaming
  • Present Tense
  • True Love Waits

5. DIIV – Is The Is Are

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Shoegaze rockers DIIV returned after 4 years of uncertainty. Drug related issues, failings out have prolonged the wait for the record fans of the band have been waiting for. Well, it was well worth the wait. The 17 song, epic album created waves when it was released in February. With Zachery Cole Smith writing 150 songs for this album, we wonder what more lies within DIIV. After the torment of the past 4 years, this album is a release of everything the band went through. Now they are back, and hopefully here to stay.

Standout Tracks Include:

  • Valentine
  • Under The Sun
  • Out Of Mind
  • Healthy Moon
  • Incarnate Devil

4. The Last Shadow Puppets – Everything You’ve Come To Expect

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Alex Turner and Miles Kane reformed together and collectively released a sensational second album as The Last Shadow Puppets. The best friends of old catapulted TLSP back onto the scene early this year. After the bands successful period during the mid 2000’s, the anticipation for a second outing from Alex and Miles was seemingly likely. Its sharper, cleaner, and more matured than ‘The Age Of The Understatement, however the charm and excitement was still there.

Standout Tracks Include:

  • Aviation
  • Bad Habits
  • Miracle Aligner

3. JAWS – Simplicity

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Another album that took a while to be released. Brummie boys Jaws returned with one of the finest and most exciting albums the year. After the release o their debut ‘Be Slowly’ fans have been gearing up for a few years, with the band releasing the first single for the record in Autumn 2015. Jaws altered their style, returning heavier, grown up and with more rift laden tracks, harmonic vocals and melodic performances. ‘Simplicity’ is simply sensational.

Standout Tracks Include:

  • Right In Front Of Me
  • 17
  • Cast
  • The Invisible Sleep

2. Jamie T – Trick

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Jamie Treys returned where he left off. After the success of 2014’s ‘Carry On The Grudge’, Jame T released ‘Trick’ to very high appraisal. High energy beats and heavier, thunderous sounds combine to create an energetic record with a typical Jamie t approach. There’s nothing new about it, he’s developed his catchy lyrics and beats into heavy and riff filled songs worthy of some of his best material.

Standout Tracks Include:

  • Tinfoil Boy
  • Tescoland
  • Power Over Men

1. Blossoms – Blossoms

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And our album of the year. The brilliant debut album from Stockports finest band. Blossoms burst onto the scene over 2015 and 2016 throwing their psychedelic indie beats all over the shop. You couldn’t get away from them. In the summer, the band released their debut record. After a handful of sensational singles and EP’s, the album did not disappoint. The driving synths, superb vocals, and rhythmic guitars flow into one another and create an album which deservedly falls at Number 1 on our list.

Standout Tracks Include:

  • Getaway
  • My Favourite Room
  • At Most A Kiss
  • Charlemagne

So there we have it. Another year of utterly incredible music. Here’s to 2017!

Words from Piran Aston.

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