2016 has been a been a rollercoaster ride in the world of music. Some of the last century’s most influential musical minds have passed on. That being said, where there is music there is hope, and 2016 did provide a lot of really great new music. For the next 10 days you’ll be able to discover some of our favorite Earbits music from 2016– all over the app. Our editorial staff has all chimed in with their favorite records of the year for your enjoyment. So take a moment to savor these picks, we’ll be back in 2017 with even more amazing music. Happy New Year!
Sotto Voce – slenderbodies
Something about this record just screamed 2016 to me the moment I first played it. Milky electronic ambience underscores cooing, soulful falsetto, while the warm, muted guitars merge with bigger, dancey beats. At points delicate and restrained moments open up to big, pop choruses. Not a bad way to usher in the new year.
-Duncan Woodbury, Editor
Sweet, Simple Things – Minden
This album is indie pop goodness. Not afraid to lean into hooks, the Portland quintet intertwines classic r&b grooves with intimately sung vocals and modern sensibilities. Oh, did I mention it’s sexy as f*$k? It feels like the accompanying album to a romantic winter getaway in the mountains, circa 1977. Enjoy!
-Scott Feldman, Director of Content Development
Let’s Go – In Love With A Ghost
Released on ‘Z Tapes’ in April of 2016, ‘Let’s Go’ by In Love With A Ghost is as beautiful as it is blissful. Each track within this release layers shards of glitchy and organic material, from droplets of water to various mechanical elements and pairs them with subtle pianos to create a lovely atmospheric listening experience.
-Robb Nastal, Editor
The Faster It Goes – The Railsplitters
While rooted in tradition, “The Faster It Goes” is far from a traditional bluegrass album. The Railsplitters have cooked up a delicious combination of intricate vocal harmonies, intrepid instrumental numbers with jazzy newgrass flourishes, and pop sensibilities that they have managed to fit cohesively under a bluegrass umbrella. All fans of acoustic music will dig this record.
-Adam Hall, Editor
Remnants – Hotel Neon
Ambient music is often described as “sound painting,” and if this analogy is at all useful or accurate, the guys from Hotel Neon really make it so. Memories of a road trip around Iceland’s Ring Road form the basis of the Remnants EP, an idea that they’ve realized very literally and completely. In the way that a skilled painter balances texture, tone, and color, Hotel Neon evokes the sharp edges of glaciers, the smoothness of pure white snow, the tense uncertainty of trying to see through a dense fog, and the enormity (and possibility) of an unknown landscape. This music is powerful because it’s feelings are at the same instant extraordinarily evocative and full of contradiction, like memory itself.
-Aaron Stein-Chester, Editor
100 Days, 100 Nights – Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
We couldn’t help but take one more opportunity to honor one of our fallen heroes of 2016, Sharon Jones. With a voice so deep and powerful, tinged with pain and joy, it was the embodiment of soul itself. 100 Days, 100 Nights helped put both her and the Dap-Kings, as well as Daptone Records on the top wrung of modern R&B and Soul. We’re going to miss you Sharon, Rest in Power.