New Borns Of The Year: Keegan

Keegan2A lot of crummy shit happened in 2016. Fortunately, music powered on as a sturdy lifeboat for many. A year of protest, 2016’s longest running societal injustices were encapsulated in music. With artists taking different approaches to their expression, some looking to their own experiences for inspiration, while others choosing to focus on the world around them. Either way music in 2016 stood as a rallying cry for change.  Special mention to some great albums which didn’t quite make the cut include The Range – Potential, White Lung – Paradise, Car Seat Headrest – Teens Of Denial, Noname – Telefone and Kero Kero Bonito – Graduation


Artist: Solange

Album Title: A Seat At The Table  

Label: Saint Records/Columbia

Genre: Neo-Soul, R&B

Moments Of: Blood Orange, Frank Ocean

 Solange sings “I’m weary of the ways of the world”. It’s an infallible weariness for Solange on A Seat At The Table, yet we see her continually look inward for the will to fight injustice in the black community. This introspective journey, fortunately, let’s us see Solange’s bare bones and creates strength through empathy.


anohniArtist: ANOHNI

Album Title: Hopelessness

Label: Secretly Canadian/Rough Trade

Genre: Electronic, Chamber Pop

Moments Of: Antony & The Johnsons, Bat For Lashes

Hopelessness is the most overwhelming album of the year. Every debatable topic is captured with an emotional grandeur of despair, countered only by a subversive and universal call-to-arms which demands change.


drones_feelin-kinda-free_coverArtist: The Drones

Album Title: Feelin Kinda Free  

Label: Tropical Fuck Storm Records

Genre: Alt-Rock, Garage Rock

Moments Of: Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Royal Headache

The Drones are at their fiercest politically and morally on Feelin Kinda Free. It’s a case of expecting the unexpected with Gareth Liddiard, and on Feelin Kinda Free it’s impossible to prepare for the kick to the guts you’re about to receive.


mitksiArtist: Mitski

Album Title: Puberty 2

Label: Dead Oceans

Genre: Indie Rock, Alt-Rock

Moments Of: Car Seat Headrest, Angel Olsen

Puberty 2 is an album of self-realisations. But, these realisations aren’t met with one moment of sublime clarity you’d find in regular pop anthems, rather they require you to crawl through mud, coated thick with your mistakes.


blood-orangeArtist: Blood Orange

Album Title: Freetown Sound  

Label: Domino Records

Genre: Neo-Soul, R&B

Moments Of: Prince, Solange

Inequality has been addressed by many artists this year, but no one manages to capture it quite like Dev Hynes. As Blood Orange, he explores the political and social marginalisation of sexuality, race, gender and more with a poetic and harmonic endearance which makes Freetown Sound standout as one of the best albums of the year.