For me, 2016 has brought out the honesty and passion behind many artists and musicians. They are caring less about what critics and big record labels want them to do, and more about what expresses them the best. It has been about taking chances, leaving their comfort zone, and following the passion behind their art.

Top 5 Albums

1. Angel Olsen – My Woman
Olsen reels you into My Woman with her mesmerizing voice and deep, yet playful synth sounds in her opening track, Intern. She teases you in the first couple tunes, preparing you for a passionate album full of emotions, honesty, and beautiful melodies and chord progressions.

2. Frank Ocean – Blonde
Frank Ocean’s raw emotion and honesty shines through in his long awaited 2nd album that connected with loads of people this summer. It was an album, for me, that was worth the wait. It is full of secrets and endless creativity that you discover with every listen.

3. Warpaint – Heads Up
The familiar Warpaint sounds still ring through your ears— Jenny’s hypnotizing bass lines, and the group’s harmonized voices keep you in a trance as the tracks go along. The girls experiment with more pop sounds that make you want to move your hips, or blast through your speakers a bit louder than usual. I am super hyped about this album— and if you don’t believe me, go and feed your ears some so groovy music and listen to the album from start to finish.

4. Whitney – Light Upon The Lake
Tunes that just feel good on the ears. They are a band that surprised everyone this year with their talented band members and solid tune after tune. Seeing them live this year really proved to me the hard work that went behind each song and the beautiful connection they have as a band.

5. Hinds – Leave Me Alone
One of the most fun and authentic bands around! These girls know how to have fun, and express it within their music and live performances. Their simple garage punk sounds guarantee head banging anthems and lyrics that will be stuck in your head for days.

Top 5 Songs

1. No Woman – Whitney
Everyday this summer, I would hop onto my train into the city and play this song first every time. Not only is it my favorite song of the year, but it is also one of the best albums of the year. Whitney gives you a sense of relief and tranquility that lets you breathe and relax whilst discovering all the crevices of their beautifully built songs.

2. These Words – The Lemon Twigs
Not only are they a couple of youngsters absolutely smashing it in the indie world, but they have nailed a sound which a lot of bands try to re-create. They are silly, shameless, and bringing back the 60s vibes that everyone is absolutely loving.

3. On Hold – The xx
Loads of people have mixed emotions about the xx’s new single, saying it is “too poppy” or it doesn’t sound like their old stuff. This song makes me proud to be a fan of them for so many years because you can hear their growth as adults and friends in their new single. They still have their haunting melodies, heavy bass, and tropical guitar sounds—they are just making Jamie more prominent in their songs and I absolutely love it. This song gave me butterflies the first time I heard it, and makes me really excited to hear their new sounds on their upcoming album and live in concert.

4. Come Down – Anderson .Paak
This talented soul and his amazing band produced this funky tune that has everyone dancing all night long. Not only does his voice and powerful lyrics blow you away, but his unbelievable drumming skills keep you moving.

5. Real Love Baby – Father John Misty
Josh Tillman is one of my favorite artists of all time. So when he randomly dropped this song on his Soundcloud this year, I instantly became obsessed. I think I played this song the most on my Spotify this year. It is a song that just makes you feel good about love, whether it be with someone you’ve been romantically involved with or possibly just a friend. It makes you feel warm inside, and I think that’s why I replayed it so much.

Top 15 Shows of 2016

1. Grimes– Pitch Festival, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2. Jamie xx– Best Kept Secret Festival, Tilburg, Netherlands
3. Hinds– Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, UK
4. Angel Olsen– Stadtgarten, Cologne, Germany
5. Father John Misty– Leeds O2 Academy, Leeds, UK
6. The Lemon Twigs– Artheater, Cologne, Germany
7. Whitney– Blue Shell, Cologne, Germany
8. Kaytranada– Live Music Hall/Yuca, Cologne, Germany
9. PWR BTTM– Blue Shell, Cologne, Germany
10. Tom Misch– Luxor, Cologne, Germany
11. The Internet– Yuca, Cologne, Germany
12. jennylee– Luxor, Cologne, Germany
13. FKJ– Plug, Sheffield, UK
14. Savages– Leeds Irish Center, Leeds, UK
15. Gardenback– The Castle Hotel, Manchester, UK

Check out my end of the year Spotify playlist for so jams that I’ve been listening to these past couple of months! Happy New Years peeps!!