You can’t always get what you want, as they say. Who said that? The Shaggs? The Byrds? The Who? Yeah that’s the one. Featuring Aretha Franklin. But yes, as The Band ft. Arnold Palmer once said, you can’t always get what you want. I wanted these 20 records to be in my Top 50 favorites of the year, but alas, it was already completely booked. No passbacks, no sharing seats. 50 is as 50 does. So here’s a quick shout out to each of these 20 very good, special snowflake albums. A selection that’s likely more interesting than my actual Top 50, I reckon. Anyway, boop:
1. Anna Meredith – Varmints
To enter the mother brain to shut down the robot apocalypse, you have to complete many math problems. A type-to-win adventure.
2. Big Thief – Masterpiece
This big thief is gonna steal your dang indie rockin’ heart! Ha ha ha ha… It’s the little things. Starting off strong. Woof.
3. Cross Record – Wabi-Sabi
Sitting by a flickering candle surrounded by both ghosts friendly and malevolent, your stay in the haunted mansion is a journey through time and a passage through the self.
4. Daniel Bachman – Daniel Bachman
I chopped this tree down that I planted myself.
5. Deerhoof – The Magic
Deerhoof is the most consistently good band in the universe.
6. Drugdealer – The End Of Comedy
A hazy portrait into some kind of 70s rock fantasy that never ended. Also an excuse to get more Weyes Blood onto my blog.
7. Eluvium – False Readings On
Space church has found its leading man for executive choir director, and it’s Eluvium. Bless this guy.
8. Holy Fuck – Congrats
A labyrinthian house of mirrors at the most non-ironically fun carnival imaginable.
9. Huerco S. – For Those Of You Who Haven’t (And Also Those Who Have)
The year is 4087: The Great Caving In has left those who migrated to space earlier alone in this universe.
10. Ice Choir – Designs In Rhythm
A virtual-reality dating simulator world has never sounded more alive and welcoming.
11. Kino Kimino – Bait Is For Sissies
Hammers breaking household appliances, attractively.
12. Maria Usbeck – Amparo
Fireflies, chirping birds, a bonfire on the beach, your favorite pair of sunglasses, monkey companion, gentle thunder, a well-used Spanish-to-English dictionary, shimmering currents, hot sand, unnoticed back sweat, a mutual respect, a loved diary.
13. Marie Davidson – Adiuex Au Dancefloor
A cold, piercing stare from across the metallic dancefloor turns into snobbish snickering, for good reason, you pathetic swine.
14. Mourn – Ha, Ha, He.
Big-hearted rock from Spanish youngsters pull off 90s rock tropes so well it’s like they were listening in utero.
15. Negative Gemini – Body Work
Like a gatorade commercial, with the neon sweat and such, but like, more neon. Does that appeal to you?
16. Perturbator – The Uncanny Valley
Over the top neon knives fly from all directions searching for our glamorous cyborg protagonist in the most lavish retro-futurist action movie of 2016.
17. Sunflower Bean – Human Ceremony
Young band serve up some spicy psych rock lite™ on their debut LP to get spry audiences bobbing and old heads sobbing.
18. Tiger & Woods – On The Green Again
Whipping, slapping, snapping & cracking – disco is the theme of the hour on these infectious house cuts.
19. Virginia Wing – Forward Constant Motion
A billowing cloud of fireflies carries the protagonist to a hidden fairy metropolis where nothing quite makes sense, but is remarkably beautiful.
20. Yumi Zouma – Yoncalla
Evokes all the euphoric feelings of being on holiday in New Zealand without the outrageous cost of travel.