Best of 2016

Best of 2016

Happy Winter Solstice to you and yours!

Below, you’ll find a wide range of good stuff written during our most recent, largely bizarre and often depressing trip around the sun.

On the compilations, there’s some old-fashioned rock (Nathaniel Rateliff, Brian Fallon, Band of Horses), some sad bastard tunes both domestic and abroad (Courtney Marie Andrews, Christopher Matthewson, JPKS), some throwback americana (Felice Bros, Wilderado, Huckleberry), and some folksy singer-songwriter stuff (BJ Barham, Parker Millsap, Mandolin Orange), among others.

There are songs by Americans, Canadians, Irishmen, Scotsmen, ‘Mericans, Aussies, Norwegians, and Brits.

As always, if you find something you like, please support the artist and buy their albums, go to a concert, and help spread the good word about them.

Cheers.

———

Disc One

This download link will be available for a limited time.

  1. Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats – Parlor #
  2. BJ Barham – Madeline +
  3. The Lumineers – Sleep on the Floor ~
  4. White Denim – Had to Know (Personal)
  5. The Felice Brothers – Plunder *
  6. The Cave Singers – Strip Mine
  7. Leon Bridges – Ball of Confusion (The Temptations cover) ^
  8. Anderson Paak – Celebrate @
  9. Brian Fallon – Among Other Foolish Things
  10. The Avett Brothers – Ain’t No Man
  11. Wilderado – Morning Light
  12. Courtney Marie Andrews – Rookie Dreaming ∞
  13. Tyler Childers – 22nd Winter (live)
  14. Sturgill Simpson – Sea Stories ∑
  15. Huckleberry – Shasta ÷
  16. Christopher Matthewson – Land of the Used %
  17. Cloud Cult – No Hell
  18. Leif Vollebekk – Elegy α
  19. Foy Vance – Noam Chomsky is a Soft Revolution
  20. Conor Oberst – A Little Uncanny
  21. Loudon Wainwright III – I Had a Dream ¥
  22. Charles Bradley – God Bless America
  23. Langhorne Slim – Never Break (live)

# Timeless-sounding, swinging folk rock from Colorado’s former best-kept secret.
+ PSA from Mr. Barham: Hug those little ones as often as possible.  Rumor has it they grow up rather quickly.
~ Songs about packing up and hitting the road rarely go out of style.
* Dogs, economic inequality, automated labor, roller skating, greed, and Bette Davis, together at last in one song.
^ Classic protest song about Vietnam, Nixon’s government, and drug addiction – unfortunately, still relevant today.
@ Singing drummer on this one.  Don’t know how this song wasn’t a big hit.  Somebody done goofed.
∞ Joni Mitchell meets Hurray for the Riff Raff?  Probably a good thing.
∑ Anti-war song that references sailing, Connect Four, a bunch of obscure foreign cities, and the beloved Nintendo 64.
÷ Arizonian disciples of The Band sing about the interstate, Portland, traveling at one’s leisure, and, of course, drugs.
% Irish folkie writes sad-guy lyrics like Damien Rice, sings like Shannon Hoon.
α Such a pleasant-sounding song… and yet, “Nothing is much weaker than the resolve of most men” is probably the meanest thing said by a Canadian this year.
¥ LW3 wrote this song way back in March, when it seemed unthinkable that the Orange Clown would win the republican nomination, much less the presidency.  As we enter these coming four years of rampant and inexplicably proud anti-intellectualism, remember this: Brawndo’s got what plants crave: electrolytes.

———

Disc Two

This download link will be available for a limited time.

  1. Kyle Craft – Eye of a Hurricane #
  2. The Felice Brothers – Aerosol Ball ^
  3. Parker Millsap – Pining
  4. Mandolin Orange – Wildfire
  5. Kaleo – Automobile +
  6. You Won’t – Ya Ya Ya <
  7. Ward – Time Won’t Wait Up
  8. Pinegrove – Old Friends @
  9. Farewell Teddy – Connoisseur of the Boulevard
  10. Kyle Morton – Innuendos &
  11. Me Like Bees – Tundraland ≥
  12. Louis Berry – Restless
  13. A Giant Dog – Sex & Drugs ®
  14. Max Jury – Numb
  15. Nations of the Soul – Dancing Spirit Ω
  16. Band of Horses – Throw My Mess
  17. Walter Martin – Jobs I Had Before I Got Rich and Famous ≠
  18. Nick Waterhouse – Katchi (feat. Leon Bridges) ±
  19. Portage – Hold On
  20. Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster – Brake Dust
  21. Quiet Life – Time Until

# We lost two otherworldly, bizarre musical greats this year in Mr. Bowie and Prince.  This guy has a bit of that alien-weirdo quality to his music.
^ Things you can count on: death, taxes, and the Felice Brothers making very good Americana music.
+ A song about traveling around the US in a car… as told by an Icelandic rock band.
< Sometimes the choice between sleigh bells or a tambourine is just too much.  Sometimes you need both.
@ Because not enough songs have words like “labyrinthine” and “solipsistic” in them.
& Typhoon songwriter goes solo, sings about heartache, feeding wildlife in one’s skivvies, and resolving road rage disputes, in that order.
≥ If you miss Modest Mouse, check these dudes out.
® As the title indicates, you might want to skip this one if any kiddies are around.  Fun song though.
Ω We all could use some more Norgwegian indie folk in our lives.
≠ “Hey man, works sucks sometimes.”  This is a theme people can get behind.
± According to Mr. Bridges, “Katchi” is an old Louisiana Indian term for “an endearing, loving touch”.  Must admit though, it’s a little disconcerting hearing your five-year-old daughter walk around the house randomly shouting “She gimmie katchi!”

———

Disc Three

This download link will be available for a limited time.

  1. Anders Osborne – Lafayette %
  2. Nap Eyes – Stargazer
  3. Courtney Marie Andrews – Irene
  4. The Lumineers – Cleopatra *
  5. Spirit Family Reunion – Goin’ Out to Cannon Ball #
  6. The Avett Brothers – Satan Pulls the Strings ^
  7. Carter Tanton – Twentynine Palms (feat. Sharon Van Etten)
  8. The Donkeys – Down the Line
  9. Keaton Henson – Old Lovers in Hotel Rooms +
  10. Sturgill Simpson – Call to Arms
  11. Donovan Woods – Leaving Nashville @
  12. Michael Nau – Your Jewel
  13. Shovels & Rope – Johnny Come Outside
  14. Camp Cope – Keep Growing £
  15. Gregory Alan Isakov w/ the Colorado Symphony – Living Proof
  16. Wilco – Nope
  17. Parker Millsap – A Little Fire ≥
  18. Streets of Laredo – Remedies
  19. Me Like Bees – There Will Be Time
  20. Frightened Rabbit – Death Dream
  21. Foy Vance – Purple Rain (live)

% Sure, he’s probably singing about his adoptive hometown in Louisiana, but we Boilermaker alums can pretend he’s singing about the fairest city in all of Indiana: West Lafayette.
* This song is all upbeat and hand-clappy, with lyrics fit for a mortuary.
# New York hippies sing anti-drilling protest song.
^ Wow, Rick Rubin turned these guys into the Red Hot Avett Peppers for one hot minute (*wink*).
+ One of the saddest songs on one of the saddest albums of the year.  Happy happy holidays!
@ Yup, that one popular country song was actually written by a wholly underappreciated Canadian.
£ Aussie trio likes long hair, doesn’t care about anyone’s opinion on the issue.
≥ A song so tranquil and serene, it’s easy to forget it’s about arson.

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