30 Best Albums Of 2016

bestof2016greenlandsmall

Looking back at what a shit year 2016 has been, it’s no wonder I published more music writing than ever before. As the months wore on I found myself swiping away more and more real news in my feed and just getting lost in Bandcamp and other music sources. I wasn’t really trying to bury my head; I was looking for a better way of thinking.

The world is what it is, but I can frame it and focus on it however I choose. Immersing in the toxicity of bad news and worse reactions changed my perception one way, so I aimed to change it another way. Art has been a life sustaining tonic all my life, a refuge sought in times of stress, loneliness, and most of all, deep frustration. If I’ve hit a brick wall, I know that obsessing about the problem won’t help. I need to detach, breathe, and follow something made to surprise. A good story or song is something to be lost in, sure, but it grants perspective. It can bend the light just so, showing me a new way to see.

Perspective also comes from travel. The simple but profound act of experiencing other parts of the world can never be overestimated. This is where the image at the top of this list comes in. It’s Greenland, as seen from my plane back home to the United States from Ireland a month ago. I happened to open the window shade during the brief window when we were passing over the very tip of the continent-sized island. It felt like magic.

I’m entering 2017 with hope that good news can happen and that we can press on, even when our heroes are gone. I look around and I wonder who the future heroes are going to be. Those people will be standing against the dark tide and risking everything. They’ve got new ideas to replace the scary old ones that never quite die.

Looking back on the past year of music, I see a lot of new ideas and new perspectives on old ones. The best kind of music always elicits surprise, even if it’s made in a familiar way. There’s a flash of feeling, a rush of blood, and it clicks. Everything on this list mattered to me and I hope some of it can matter to you.

Let’s begin the countdown. These are the 30 best albums of 2016:

Continue reading

Marielle V Jakobsons – Star Core

marielle-v-jakobsons-star-core

Marielle V Jakobsons is back with a second full length album under her real name. It’s called Star Core. It’s both sharper and far more expansive than her debut, but shares the same otherworldly tenor that could never be mistaken for anyone else.

Continue reading

Marielle V Jakobsons – Glass Canyon

I often play host to a great hunger, longing for a new piece of music to burrow into for weeks. I’m grateful that in this age I have a reasonable chance of striking that vein several times a year, or having a trio new addictions at once (or two or five albums of the year).

Growing up, I remember falling in love with an album and listening to it with abusive regularity for months on end, because I had no clue that another perfect sound was out there beyond my grasp and lack of internet. So I swell with gratitude every time it happens. This time it’s Marielle V Jakobsons with her debut Glass Canyon.

Continue reading