Coming Thursday, Jan. 12, Part Two: 20-11.

30. Bob Mould, “Patch The Sky”

29. Field Mouse, “Episodic”

Barely a gleam of the shoegaze shine of their 2014 debut, “Hold Still Life,” nor could it be as Field Mouse expanded from just the duo of Rachel Browne and Andrew Futral to a full five-piece outfit. What emerged is a sturdier sound that reminds one of mid-90s Matthew Sweet and Juliana Hatfield (especially Hatfield’s criminally underrated “Only Everything”).

28. Har Mar Superstar, “Best Summer Ever”

Imagined as the ‘Greatest Hits of Har Mar Superstar from 1950-1985, the album nicely covers all the styles that Sean Matthew Tillman has dabbled in during his 16 years as his alter ego.

27. The Posies, “Solid States”

The Posies (Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow) formed The Posies 30 years ago this year. “Solid States” is the band’s eighth studio album and its first in six years. It, also, is the first album made this the deaths of long-time drummer Darius Minwalla and bass player Joe Skyward.

26. Butch Walker, “Stay Gold”

It’s Butch, of course, how could he not make the list.

The 12th solo album from the Husker Du and Sugar frontman and the third installment in a planned trilogy that started with 2012’s “Silver Age” and continued with “Beauty & Ruin” (2014). In what will become a reoccurring theme for a lot of the albums on this list, “Patch the Sky” was influenced in part by death. Mould’s mother passed away after the release of “Beauty & Ruin,” leading to a lyrically darker album than the previous installments of the trilogy. While the lyrics may be a bit somber, the music is anything but.

25. Public Access TV, “Never Enough”

Public Access TV album is one of the year’s most solid rock release. “Never Enough,” is stunningly enough, also, the debut from the NYC-based quartet. Powered by hooks and melodies, hopefully, the album just serves as a teaser of what is to come from the band.

24. Teen, “Love Yes”

The Sisters Liebrson (Kristina, Katherine and Lizzie) formed Teen in 2010. Having spent three weeks in an isolated cabin in the woods led to “Love Yes,” the band’s third and strongest effort. Sonically the albums sounds like it was time warped from the 80s straight to 2016. While the 80s/retro sounds trips up other artists, Teen has found a way to leave their own mark instead of retreading other’s work.

23. Dori Freeman, “Dori Freeman”

The Galax, Virginia-native seemingly came out of nowhere with her self-titled debut. And it is hard to believe the 10-song collection is Freeman’s debut as they mark a poise, voice, and character that other singer/songwriters with a much longer career lack.

22. Angela Perley & The Howlin’ Moons, “Homemade Vision”

The Columbus, Ohio-based band, is one of the hardest working live acts, touring incessantly among the Mid-Atlantic states. The time on the road shows in their sophomore effort. Doubling down on a more psych-pop/rock sound, the band doesn’t shy away from its rootsy beginnings. And while the album delivers the goods, the band really shines on stage. A show that should not be missed in the new year.

21. Eleanor Friedberger, “New View”

One-half of the brother/sister duo, The Fiery Furnaces, Eleanor Friedberger delivered her best solo album to date. “New View,” her third studio album, is a sharply written album that showcases Friedberger’s talent as a songwriter that has grown and matured in her move from NYC to upstate New York.

Give a listen to: “Voices in My Head,” The End of Everything,” Daddy’s Favorite”

Give a listen to: “The Mirror,” A Widow with a Terrible Secret,” Do You Believe Me Now”

Give a listen to: “Youth Without Love,” I Hope,” How Did I get Through the Day”

Give a listen to: “We R Power,” The Plague,” Scattered”

Give a listen to: “Descending,” Ludlow Expectations,” Can We Just Not Talk About Last Night”

Give a listen to: “In our Blood,” Evil Disco,” Sell You on a Lie”

Give a listen to: “Tokyo,” All About Us,” Free Time”

Give a listen to: “Where I Stand,” Ain’t Nobody,” Still a Child”

Give a listen to: “White Doves,” Green Eyes,” I Don’t Wanna be Your Fool”

Give a listen to: “He Didn’t Mention His Mother,” Never is a Long Time,” A Long Walk”

hile 2016 was a pretty shitty year overall, the music that it spawned was quite excellent. If you are thinking, “Oh, no, not another Best Albums of 2016 list,”  fear not, this is not your standard issue rigamarole; You won’t find anyone fawning over an album that took over 20-some people to make. These are the albums we listened to over the year and the ones that stuck with us into the new year. We hope you enjoyed them as much as we did and if there is someone that you haven’t heard on the list, give them a listen in the new year.


We talked with Hillman in 2016 about the “Best Summer Ever,” you can check out what he had to say here.

We talked with Auer and Stringfellow in 2016 about “Solid States,” you can check out that interview here.

We talked with Perley in 2016 about “Homemade Vision,” you can check out what she had to say here.