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The past twelve months was a time for us to catch our breath after 2015’s massive release schedule. Focusing on digital content, we had our four releases featured on radio around the world. From the UK (BBC6NTS Radio), to the USA (Bandcamp‘s weekly podcast, KWTF, WGMU, WLOY, & more), Europe (The Lake), and home to Canada (CBC, numerous campus/community stations), it was a pleasure to grace your airwaves.You can hear selections from the albums below on our Soundcloud & Spotify playlists or just find them yourself wherever you consume music.

 

Michael Feuerstack – Adult Lullabies
The Canadian master of song released his 5th collection of music since 2014, proving he’s just as
prolific as ever.
“an inspiring, thought­ provoking journey” – GRID CITY
“un savant mélange de sagesse et de nostalgie” – BRBR

 

Isador – Isador
Lo-fi psych jams from the weirdest corners of your record collection.
“Really interesting…rambling psychedelic sound.” – BANDCAMP Weekly
Senior Citizen – The Hawk
This collaborative album features a supergroup of New Brunswick musicians banding together
around percussionist/producer Bob Deveau.
“Beautiful ambient noise” – BANDCAMP
“an aural playground of sound” – GRAYOWL POINT
“enormous” – GRID CITY
Dan Misha Goldman – Sleepwalker
First single from the forthcoming ‘Champion of the Afterworld’ album.
“Very mellow approach to electronics, vocals, and music…great stuff.” – KWTF

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Here’s what inspired us in the year of the monkey.
Listen to a selection of our favourite songs on our Spotify, Soundcloud, or YouTube playlists.

MICHAEL FEUERSTACK

CATE LEBON – Crab Day
Weird weird weird and wonderful wonderful wonderful.

ANNETTE PEACOCK – (show) Pop Montreal
This isn’s an album, but it was one of my favourite musical experiences of the year. If you get a chance to hear one of her rare performances, don’t pass it up. She’s a master.

DEERHOOF – The Magic

Everything you need to know about the philiosphy and logistics of making music you can get from Deerhoof and the Minutemen.

CASE/LANG/VEIRS

I started listening to this out of curiosity, being a fan of all three to varying degrees. I stayed for the lump in my throat.

NICK ZUBECK – Skydiving

Heartfelt and beautifully rendered, I’m slipping this in the list even though it’s technically from 2015. The spotlight doesn’t linger long enough these days.

LAURA MVULA – The Dreaming Room

I checked this out while driving alone (to fredericton, incidentally) and I found myself exclaiming “yes” and slapping the steering wheel.

CHRIS COHEN – As If Apart
Chris Cohen is just casually hanging out at the nexus of heart and brain.

GRAEME (the Olympic Symphonium)

LAMPCHOP – Flotus
When I listen to this I can’t help wonder how much time was put into making this record. So musical. So complete. So subtle and full of nuance.  Every note accounted for. Brilliant.

RHIANNA – ANTI
Have never really been exposed or paid attention to much of her music. This blew me away. This album sounds so good. Really interesting production and such a strong natural voice.  Really floored by this.

HAMILTON LEITHHAUSER and ROSTAM – I Had a Dream That You Were Mine
The drum tones alone are enough to have this on repeat.  Sounds so good, songs so good, and he is an unbelievable singer. Such character in his voice.

MAYORS – Offers
Skinner is a hook machine and I love the way he approaches music – good times first, the music will take care of itself. The catchiest choruses you’ll find on any rock album anywhere. Bass player and I share a mom and dad too, but that’s not why I picked this.

LEONARD COHEN – You Want it Darker
Not much to say here that isn’t obvious. The album is brilliant, lyrically, musically, tonally, etc.  Captures such a mood. I’m not completely familiar with the LC catalogue so can’t comment on where this could fit but totally blown away by this. A very complete record. And of course the timing of this….

GORD DOWNIE – Secret Path
I’ve always loved Gord Downie. One of the finest writers our country has ever known. Musically I love this and think it sounds better than any other recordings he’s been involved in. There’s the obvious political charge behind and it, the message, the timing of his illness, etc. Incredible top to bottom.

GIANNA LAUREN

Gianna’s favourite spins of 2016, in no particular order of preference:

Jenny Hval – Blood Bitch
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – EARS
Solange – A Seat At The Table
Noname – Telefone
Andy Shauf – The Party
Big Thief – Masterpiece
Chris Cohen – As If Apart
Moodymann – DJ Kicks
Blood Orange – Freetown Sound
New Fries – Fresh Face Forward
Fet.Nat – Stop Saying It’s So Beautiful
Bat For Lashes – The Bride
Frank Ocean – Blonde
Esperanza Spalding – Emily’s D+Evolution
LCON – Moonmilk
Dark for Dark – All Dressed

Favourite Discovery of 2016: Moonchild Sanelly. Hands down.

Favourite Show of 2016: So. Many. Shows. The most memorable being:

Snowblink – The Burdock, Toronto
phedre – Ottawa Explosion Festival
Jungle Pussy – Arboretum Festival, Ottawa
Un Blonde – Sappyfest, Sackville
Angel Olsen – Exit In, Nashville
Andy Shauf/Chris Cohen – The Mod Club, Toronto

Favourite Project of 2016: Secret Path – Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack

DAN MISHA GOLDMAN

I discovered Nick Hakim in a yoga class in Highland Park, LA. I was on my back in Shivasana when the song Sleep came on. I wondered if I only liked it because I was in that most suggestive of moods brought on by the post-workout endorphine hit. I listened to it again a few hours later when I was cold sober, and it struck me even deeper.

True-soul music. Perhaps this is what it felt like to hear Al Green before he was Al Greene?  Tight rope vocals and labyrinthine melodies coupled with sly but super intentional perspective shuffling production. Listen to both Where Will We Go Part 1 and 2 for full immersion. And ask someone to slow dance. Immediately. Even if that someone is you. Namaste.

Watch on YouTube

TIM CRABTREE

SENYAWA
Incredible 2-piece voice/handmade instruments from Indonesia – I stumbled upon this group playing at the Eaux Claires festival last year. My friend and I just stood there with our jaws on the floor – the singer put on the most dynamic vocal performance I ever saw, shifting between death metal screams and tender falsetto in a variety of Indonesian languages. The recorded versions don’t have the same power for me, but if you ever get the chance to see these two play live – don’t miss it:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLw659ze9aI

RADIOHEAD – Moon Shaped Pool
Daydreaming particularly got me on this one.

A TRIBE CALLED QUEST – We Got it from Here…
This album lifted my spirits right after the US election – I never heard such a fresh sounding comeback record, and such great cameo appearances

BRAVE RADAR – Lion Head
Unexpected harmonic progressions between minimal guitars, bass and vocal lines

PRINCE
I was listening a lot to Prince right before he died – very sad to see him go, this tune was on repeat for about 2 months leading up to his passing, and in his incredible catalogue is often overlooked: Money Don’t Matter 2 Nite

JOSHUA VAN TASSEL

Here’s some things I loved this year –

JOHANN JOHANNSSON – Orphee
ANDERSON .PAAK – Malibu
Space Echo: The Mystery Behind The Cosmic Sound of Cabo Verde Finally Revealed!
RADIOHEAD – A Moon Shaped Pool
BOBO YEYE – Belle Epoch in Upper Volta

DEAN DROUILLARD

Andy Shauf – The Party
Cass McCombs – Mangy Love
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
David Bowie – Blackstar
Doug Tuttle – It Calls On Me
Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
John Southworth – Small Town Water Tower

KYLE

MUSEUM PIECES – Black Cape
This was the only CD I had in my car all summer. I must have listened to it 60 times and never got tired of it. Still haven’t.

CASS MCCOMBS – Mangy Love
The album recalls the good vibes of classic Cass, The Sea & Cake, Bruce Cockburn, and even the Grateful Dead.

JEFF PARKER – The New Breed
Tortoise’s guitarist makes an album that is more Tortoise-y than Tortoise’s 2016 album.

ANDERSON .PAAK on NPR
This is the best performance I’ve seen in years.

NONAME – Telefone
Amazing contemporary hip-hop from Chicago.

MICHELLE

FRANK OCEAN – Blonde
This album is a visceral one for me. I waited patiently, so genuinely patiently for so long. I can’t count how many times I’ve cried listening to to White Ferrari. The whole album is beautiful.

RHIANNA – ANTI
Needed Me & Yeah I Said It. This is her at her best. Enough said.

HOPE SANDOVAL & the WARM INTENSIONS – Until The Hunter
I’m a sucker for her. Makes me feel good.

NAP EYES – Throught Rock Fish Scale
Duh

ANDY SHAUF – The Party

TIBE CALLED QUEST – We Got It From Here…Thank You 4 Your Service
👏❤👏❤👏 👽

ERIN

Out of this Universe Goddesses 2016: SOLANGE – Seat at the Table
I have loved Beyonce for my entire life.

Favourite Beyonce songs of 2016: “Formation” and “Lemonade”

Favourite Albums and Tracks on those albums 2016:

SEAN NICHOLAS SAVAGE – Magnificent Fist – “Fantasy” and “Baby Blue”
CHARLOTTE DAY WILSON – “Find You” and “Work”
CENTURY EGG – Mountain God – “Since I Caught You”
THE EVERYWHERES – Dignity Fever – “Dignity Fever”
OLD & WEIRD – O It’s You…Through The Door…Coolness of One…Square Shape of Another’s – “Comes to Me Cleary” HUGE TRACK!!!!
CHILDISH GAMBINO – Awaken, My Love! – “Terrified”
RIHANNA – ANTI –  NOT overplayed — I love the song “Work”

Best Live Show 2016: DANIEL CAESAR at The Carleton Thursday October 20 during Halifax Pop Explosion. I think that Daniel Caesar might be an angel.