The Best Albums Of 2016: Halftime Report

74 strong releases from January-June, 2016

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Someone asked me on Twitter the other day when I might put together a list of the albums I’ve enjoyed thus far this year, and this morning seemed as good a time as any to make a stab at it. Here, I think, are the albums I’ve enjoyed that were released, or will be released, between January and the end of June 2016.

I patched this together from my weekly playlists in haste, so there’s a fair chance I may have missed one or two things; I only just remembered “Blackstar”, of all things, for instance. Still, it’ll hopefully prove to be a useful primer, or conversation-starter, on a typically strong six months of new music. I’ve arranged them in alphabetical order for now, but early garlands maybe should be heading, on this morning’s whim, towards Chris Forsyth, Brigid Mae Power, Psychic Temple and The Skiffle Players.

Dig in, anyhow – and please let me know your own favourites and alert me to what I might have missed…


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  1. Chris Abrahams – Fluid To The Influence (Room40)
  2. Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids – We Be All Africans (Strut)

  1. Marisa Anderson – Into The Light (Bandcamp)
  2. Animal Collective – Painting With (Domino)

  1. Autechre – Elseq 1-5 (Warp)
  2. Beyonce – Lemonade (Parkwood)
  3. Big Thief – Masterpiece (Saddle Creek)

  1. Bitchin Bajas & Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – Epic Jammers And Fortunate Little Ditties (Drag City)

  1. Black Mountain – IV (Jagjaguwar)
  2. Karl Blau – Introducing… (Bella Union)

  1. Bombino – Azel (Partisan)

  1. David Bowie – Blackstar (Isolar)
  2. Charles Bradley – Changes (Daptone)

    1. Brian Case – Tense Nature (Hands In The Dark)
    2. Case/Lang/Veirs – Case/Lang/Veirs (Anti-)
      1. Cavern of Anti-Matter– void beats/invocation trex (Duophonic)
      2. Christine & The Queens – Christine & The Queens (Because)

      1. Coypu – Floating (MIE Music)
      2. The Dead Tongues – Montana (Self-released)

      1. Dreamboat – Dreamboat (MIE Music)
      2. Bob Dylan – Fallen Angels (Columbia)

      1. Brian Eno – The Ship (Warp)
      2. Christian Fennesz & Jim O’Rourke – It’s Hard For Me To Say I’m Sorry (Editions Mego)
      1. Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band – The Rarity Of Experience (No Quarter)

      1. Eleanor Friedberger – New View (Frenchkiss)
      2. Steve Gunn – Eyes On The Lines (Matador)

27 PJ Harvey – The Hope Six Demolition Project (Island)

      1. Tim Hecker – Love Streams (4AD)

      1. Heron Oblivion – Heron Oblivion (Sub Pop)

      1. Dave Heumann – Cloud Hands (2020)
      2. Glenn Jones – Fleeting (Thrill Jockey)

      1. Khun Narin – II (Innovative Leisure)
      2. King – We Are King (King Creative)

      1. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Nonagon Infinity (Heavenly)

      1. Konono N°1 – Konono N°1 Meets Batida (Crammed Discs)
      2. Kendrick Lamar – Untitled Unmastered (Top Dawg)
      1. Laraaji & Sun Araw – Professional Sunflow (W.25th/Superior Viaduct)
      2. Mary Lattimore & Jeff Zeigler – Music Inspired By Philippe Garrel’s Le Révélateur (Thrill Jockey)
      3. Mary Lattimore – At The Dam (Ghostly International)

      1. The Limiñanas – Malamore (Because)

      1. Jenks Miller & Rose Cross NC – Blues From WHAT (Three-Lobed)
      2. Mogwai – Atomic (Rock Action)

      1. Kevin Morby – Singing Saw (Dead Oceans)

      1. Marissa Nadler – Strangers (Bella Union)

      1. Cian Nugent – Night Fiction (Woodsist)
      2. Pita – Get In (Editions Mego)

      1. Iggy Pop/Tarwater/Alva Noto – Leaves Of Grass (Morr Music)
      2. Iggy Pop – Post Pop Depression (Rekords Rekords/Loma Vista/Caroline International)
      3. Brigid Mae Power – Brigid Mae Power (Tompkins Square)

      1. Margo Price – Midwest Farmer’s Daughter (Third Man)

      1. Mark Pritchard – Under The Sun (Warp)

      1. Psychic Temple – Plays Music For Airports (Bandcamp)
      2. Psychic Temple – Psychic Temple II (Asthmatic Kitty)
      3. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool (XL)

      1. Savages – Adore Life (Matador)
      2. The Skiffle Players – Skifflin’ (Spiritual Pajamas)
      1. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – Ears (Western Vinyl)

      1. Spacin’ – Total Freedom (Testoster Tunes)
      2. The Still – The Still (Bronzerat)
      3. Prins Thomas – Principe Del Norte (Smalltown Supersound)

      1. Protein – The Secret Garden (Alien Transistor)
      2. Tortoise -The Catastrophist (Thrill Jockey)
      3. Allen Toussaint – American Tunes (Nonesuch)
      4. William Tyler – Modern Country (Merge)

      1. Underworld – Barbara Barbara, We Face A Shining Future (

      1. Matt Valentine – Blazing Grace (Timelag/Child Of Microtones)
      2. Various Artists – Songs To Fill The Air (WFMU)

      1. Various Artists – Day Of The Dead (4AD)
      2. Ryley Walker & Charles Rumback – Dhoodan (Dead Oceans)
      3. Tony Joe White – Rain Crow (Yeproc)
      4. White Denim – Stiff (Downtown)
      5. Woods – City Sun Eater In The River Of Light (Woodsist)
      6. Olivia Wyatt + Bitchin Bajas – Sailing A Sinking Sea (Drag City)
      7. Neil Young & The Promise Of The Real – Earth (Reprise)

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