Tracklisted: Best of 2016 (So Far)

News / Special Features / Tracklisted / July 5, 2016

I could regale you of tales, ones of 2016 having “gone by too fast,” ones of…well, the passing of time, mortality, all that. But let’s live in the now. And the now includes some damn good music. We’ve had no shortage of high-profile excellence in 2016 through 6 months, Beyonce’s Lemonade probably landing the largest (a certain, possible infidelity adding to its explosiveness), and Kanye’s The Life Of Pablo/Waves/Swish/So Help Me God being the most experimental release strategy, if he even had one, of the last eight years (I’m placing In Rainbows high up there, as well).

And while that’s present — sans Beyonce given the streaming situation — it’s the ascent of outfits like Pup, Mitski, Japanese Breakfast and Camp Cope (a late discovery here), that’s probably of more interest to our readers (and it’s no surprise 3 of the 4 are female-led groups). Meanwhile, old favorites like Owen, Sam Means, The Thermals are still must listens and will probably be for years to come. Some other highlights:

  • Is Chance The Rapper a Grammy nominee now? “Blessings” and “Same Drugs” may be the best 1-2 punch of the year, and it broke my heart a little to split them up.
  • “The Sound” is probably the common 1975 selection, but the ’80s, “Hughesian” vibe of “Love Me” is too much to resist.
  • Don’t you dare skip the 9-minute P.O.S. song.
  • Blood Orange, while present, may have dominated had it been released a couple months ago. A week in and you can already kinda tell it’s special.
  • My vow for the rest of 2016? Listen to more Anderson Paak, Angel Olsen (when it drops, that single is fire), ANOHNI and Car Seat Headrest. They all deserve our time.

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Christopher Lantinen
Chris Lantinen is the owner and editor-in-chief of Modern Vinyl. Along with his modest collection of sad sounding records, he collects his share of soundtracks and previously adored indie up-and-comers. Chris is currently a professor of journalism and public relations at Edinboro University in the Erie, Pennsylvania area.

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