For anyone that knows me, its been a tumultuous year. But somethings don’t change. I’m still trying to avoid musical ossification, i.e. listening to the same artists year in and out. More than half of my picks were new discoveries this year.
There are links that you can click to listen to (at least a bit of) each. For the independent artists and small labels, I have provided a link to their bandcamp.com pages, so that you could, if you want, buy something.
This is not a list for everyone’s taste. I get that. But there are some very nice tracks here. I hope you will click on some of the links, but if not, we can try again in 2017.
Martin Nonstatic – Granite
This is glorious, rich and textured electronic music. It is, by far, my stand-out album of the year. Granite was always in my earphones: whether treking around the streets of Toronto, or packing up in Oakville, or settling in Hoboken. Whatever the need, it was there.
Listen to Bowed Thoughts
Marisa Anderson — Into the Light
Cool guitar music from Oregon.
Listen to Into the Light
Nil Ciuró — Futuralgia
Barcelona based sound designer, Nil Ciuró channels piano sounds that are reminiscent of Nils Frahm’s Felt album, including the muffled noises emanating from the mechanical innards. Somehow this makes the music more intimate and personal.
Listen to Constellations
William Tyler — Modern Country
More guitars. Its modern and its country.
Listen to Highway Anxiety
Olafur Arnalds – Island Songs
Prolific pianist and Icelander Arnalds collaborates with fellow ice islanders and the results shine.
Listen to Island Songs
BE – Blue Lullaby
Wolfgang Buttress has an installation called The Hive at Kew Gardens in London. It’s a pretty cool looking. Butress also released an album of music based on the bee sounds used in the installation. This track is not on the album, but was released separately, and is the best of the bunch IMHO. Featuring actual bees.
Listen to Blue Lullaby
Brian Eno – The Sun
At this point in his career, Eno just does whatever he wants.
Listen to The Ship
Once again, here are some random tracks taken from other releases that are definitely worth your attention.
I know most of you can’t be bothered, or just aren’t that interested, but if you want to you can click on the name of the track to listen.
- Flatiron – Suzanne Kraft
- Elevator – Plaid
- You Just Want – King Creosote
- Familiar – Agnes Obel
- Opp Ned – Pjusk