Anyone who follows my blog will know how much I love books – and my top reads of 2016 list will indeed be coming soon – but music is also a huge part of my life, and I thought it would be fun to look back on what have become some of my favourite albums throughout the last year. All of my picks were released in 2016 (with the exception of one cheat which I will explain when I get to it).
- Citizen of Glass by Agnes Obel
A fusion of classical and pop elements, Obel’s beautiful lyrics and piano melodies are always the stars of the show, but her heavy use of the cello is another reason for my love of her atmospheric and captivating work.
- Love Stuff by Elle King
Here is that slight cheat I mentioned. Love Stuff was technically released in 2015, but there was a single from the album released this year, and it was then that I discovered and fell in love with her music, so I couldn’t not include it here. Mostly blending two styles I don’t often listen to – rock and country – Elle oozes sass, and her music is so infectious.
- Vulnicura Live by Björk
A series of live recordings from Björk’s most recent tour, she not only revisits the tracks from her stunning heartbreak album, Vulnicura, but reimagines several songs from her impressive back catalogue, complete with enchanting new string arrangements orchestrated by the artist herself. She may have turned 51 this year, but boy do these recordings prove that she’s still got it.
- Long Live the Angels by Emeli Sandé
A powerful voice and catchy hooks, this album crept up on me really. I enjoyed her debut, but with quite a bit of time between the two there’s always the fear that ‘the curse of the second album’ may strike. Thankfully, Sandé didn’t disappoint.
- All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend by Aurora
Aurora’s distinct voice and poetic lyrics drew me to her work immediately, but this album has been the biggest grower of the year for me, as I fell in love with it more and more with each listen. She can move from up-tempo, catchy songs to dark and haunting tracks with ease.
- Chaleur Humaine by Christine and the Queens
Christine’s songs are almost guaranteed to get stuck in your head and make you want to dance. Blending English and French lyrics, to see her live (as I was lucky enough to do earlier this year) is a whole other experience, as her incredible dancers join her for truly mesmerising performances that prove she’s one of the freshest, most exciting artists at work right now.
There we have it. This list definitely confirms my strong preference for female vocalists – I’m not sure why it’s the case, but I’m more than okay with it. I think one of my favourite things looking back on this list however is to realise how eclectic it is, not only in terms of musical genres but nationality, with the singers hailing from Denmark, the US, Iceland, Scotland, Norway and France respectively.
What are some of your favourite albums from 2016?