Well then. That was a weird year.
In many ways, 2016 was a whirlwind—a confusing and frustrating year that will probably always be defined by its political tension and long list of celebrity deaths. For our staff and community, 2016 was also marked by the end of AbsolutePunk.net and the birth of Chorus.fm, a major transition that brought some serious nostalgia about the place where many of us grew up online.
No matter where you were or what you were going through in 2016, though, you probably at least had a great soundtrack to keep you company. By almost every metric, 2016 was a remarkable year for albums. If you are a fan of pop music and superstar acts, there was certainly no shortage of marquee releases for you to sink your teeth into. Even beyond the blockbuster surprises and capital-I “Important” albums, though, the year was a goldmine. Rock music was vibrant, highlighting both new bands and longtime veterans. Country music continued a resurgence that even self-described country haters could get behind. Hell, even the movie musical came back in a big way.
In virtually every genre or category, 2016 provided a wealth of new musical treasures. It’s no wonder that our contributors placed votes for 267 different albums while compiling this list. Ultimately, though, it was the 30 records listed below that rose to the top.
Set to debut in the festival’s Premieres section on Jan. 22, Call Me by Your Name is based on Andre Aciman’s novel of the same name and stars Armie Hammer as a 24-year old American scholar spending the summer of 1983 in Northern Italy, where he attracts the attention of a 17-year-old Jewish-American boy, played by Timothee Chalamet. Michael Stuhlbarg rounds out the cast as the boy’s father.
“The amount of HD-clarity that transpired in the next few moments is engraved in my memory,” Iero tells me. “I can remember every second, every action, every sound. I had this little briefcase pedal board that I had been carrying around with me. I put that down and I turned around to say to Evan and Paul, ‘I think I’m just going to take the tuner out of here.’ I said, ‘I think’ — that’s all I got out of my mouth.”
Julien Baker has signed with Matador Records. She’s also released the new song “Funeral Pyre” and announced that her fantastic debut, Sprained Ankle, will be re-released. And, on top of all that awesomeness, there’s some new tour dates as well. “Funeral Pyre” comes from a new 7″ that will be released in March.