We all know what it's like to find your new favorite album and you listen to it in a trance for months because it's just so amazing
that nothing else matters. But during those months, new albums from other incredible artists are released and maybe you didn't notice because you were listening to Beyonce's Lemonade
for the 400th time. So, here we are, bringing you 15 albums you might've missed during 2016 including De La Soul, Drowners, Tom ODell and many more.
15. Esperanza Spalding - Emily's D+Evolution
If you're into easy-to-listen-to pop music, this one may not be for you. In fact, that's probably why this record flew under the radar. At first glance, it's complex, overwhelming, and, well, not easy to listen to...And although the complexity remains after a few listens, it becomes extremely addictive. Spalding is a musical genius. - Kirsten Spruch
14. Young The Giant - Home of the Strange
Young The Giant really decided to take each members strengths and amplify them on this record. Sameer Gadhias vocals are stronger, Jacob Tilley and Eric Cannatas guitars more carefree and rhythmic. It makes for their most dynamic work yet that will have you hearing new details with every listen. - Kirsten Spruch
13. Bear's Den - Red Earth & Pouring Rain
The album title is Red Earth & Pouring Rain
and that's exactly how it sounds. With snare hits drenched in reverb, sizzling synths, and repetitive, emotional lyrics, they somehow mix 80s synth-pop with folk-rock. Yeah, we know it sounds weird. But you'll understand when you listen... - Kirsten Spruch
12. Broods - Conscious
Broods never fail to drop the big hooks. We can guarantee that after listening to this Lorde-tinged record, you'll have it stuck in your head for life. Every song sounds like an anthem - the emotional melodies make us feel nostalgic, but the electro-pop production makes us feel like were listening to the future. - Kirsten Spruch
11. RÜFÜS DÜ SOL - Bloom
RÜFÜS DÜ SOL released their sophomore album in January and its been circling my playlist all year. Its soulful, organic and atmospheric with nu-disco roots and tingle-inducing melodies. They use dusty, warped and warbly sounds (such as those youd hear underwater). Songs like "Brighter" and "Say A Prayer" set the airy melancholia undertone of the album and "You Were Right" is a dancey EDM number that picks up the speed a little. It's one of those albums that's impossible to turn off once you've started it. You'll see. - Mandi Dudek
10. Caveman - Otero War
Man, is there an album that gives off better vibes than Otero War
? Lead single "Never Going Back" is the type of song you play in the morning when you wake up on the right side of the bed, ready to walk the sidewalks and grab life by the balls. Upbeat drums, light guitars, and feel-good melodies all around, there's no way this record won't have you feeling on top of the world. - Kirsten Spruch
9. Catfish and the Bottlemen - The Ride
After Catfish's debut LP, The Balcony
, they EXPLODED. They went on a gazillion tours and were building momentum fast, and fans were in for a treat, because they had a bunch of songs that didn't even make it onto the first one. So The Ride
contains a lot of those. It's like the first Catfish we loved, but extended and with a slightly altered point of view - this time coming from the road. - Kirsten Spruch
8. Tom Odell - Wrong Crowd
After Tom Odell's embarrassing dad called NME
to complain about the site's bad review of his first album, Long Way Down,
we knew that Odell would make sure that that wouldn't happen again. He came back with something darker, something packed with more emotion. Filled with affection ("Concrete"), heartbreak ("Silhouette"), and social confusion ("Wrong Crowd"), it's seductive and relatable. - Kirsten Spruch
7. Shura - Nothings Real
We featured lead single from Nothings Real,
"What's It Gonna Be" as one of the top songs of the year
, and for good reason. Like that track, the entire album is filled with infectious hooks and polished pop, delivered by a relatable and down-to-earth singer. After listening to this record, you'll feel like you're best friends. - Kirsten Spruch
6. NxWorries - Yes Lawd!
This album makes you feel so damn good. If you're an Anderson .Paak fan, then you've heard an energetic "YES LAWD!" in his songs or during performances. Well, I couldn't be happier that .Paak teamed up with Knxwledge to become the duo, NxWorries. Yes Lawd!
is the work of a skilled lyricist and a master beat-maker and it shows throughout the triumphant track with mellow horns and rolling drums. .Paak flows about overcoming life's struggles, going out and particularly about women as he croons over Knxwledge's carefully crafted production. - Mandi Dudek
5. Tor Miller - American English
It's no doubt that Tor Miller's debut was a strong one. Memorable stories about New York, and finding and losing love, Miller doesn't fear opening up. I will love you always, always, always
he cries out on "Always". "Back then I had an ego / Thinking that the world was so damn small",
he admits on "Baby Blue". If he keeps up with the confessions, he's going to win over the entire world's heart.
4. De La Soul - and The Anonymous Nobody...
De La Soul has returned after 12 long years to give us an album that displays the Long Island hip-hop legends' staying power. And it seems like they used that extended hiatus to sharpen their creativity and prove that they continue to evolve. It showcases the group's soft sentimental side on "In Memory Of...", has some head-banging garage-rock thump in "CBGB's" and a dreamy, atmospheric collaboration with Damon Albarn on "Here In After". Albarn isn't the only one who should up on and The Anonymous Nobody
- Little Dragon, Snoop Dogg, 2Chainz and Usher and others are also featured. This album is just good for your soul. - Mandi Dudek
3. Glass Animals - How To Be A Human Being
Glass Animals created a rare and unique sound with their debut album Saba
, where they infuse smooth indie with electric beats and eclectic noise. They've gone above and beyond with How To Be A Human Being
by taking pretty much every sound they could think of and spread it across eleven tracks. The album features funky electronic grooves ("Other Side Of Paradise"), melodic flute pipes ("Youth") and slow-building, dense tracks ("Agnes"). Glass Animals took eleven separate stories and added characters, sounds and noise to show how they continue to push the boundaries of music. - Mandi Dudek
2. Lucius - Good Grief
Every track on Good Grief
is powerful enough to be a memorable standalone single. Every single one.
The big melodies in the choruses and the duos powerhouse vocals create this weird sense of nostalgia - it sounds like something wed hear in an Apple commercial...Which is impressive. - Kirsten Spruch
1. Drowners - On Desire
On their sophomore record, NYC band with English frontman hone in on their too cool, classic punk-rock sound. Tracks like "Troublemaker" and "Cruel Ways" feature polished guitar licks and accent-heavy vocals that will make you feel like you're wearing a leather jacket and standing right in the center of an underground club in Manhattan, all Alex Turner-like and stuff. - Kirsten Spruch