February 2, 2017

Larson’s Favorite Albums of 2016

1. Beyonce - Lemonade

My wife said “I want to watch Beyonce’s Lemonade” one Friday evening. I was like I don’t know really what that’s all about but I heard it’s potentially about marital drama… and you know. Maybe it is. I watched the video having only previously heard “Formation” months prior. I’m not even going to attempt to write about how fucking good this is. So I’ll do what I do best… talk about me. When I was younger I felt it was important to be anti-MTV because you know… it’s mainstream and I was punk rock. However, that whole time I watched MTV constantly and was in love with the combination of music and video. The Lemonade film is the most amazing example of music and video I have ever seen. I am 100% not afraid to say that I cannot watch/listen to it without tearing up. Hey man… I’m sensitive as fuck. Additionally, I think that it is the women of the world who are going to get us out of some of the terrible bullshit going on these days. I’m with HER.  
    
2. Avalanches - Wild Flower      

I had no idea this was coming. I listened to Since I Left you so much that I was honestly fine if nothing else ever came out of the Avalanches camp. Their ability to create familiarity out of that which is unfamiliar is astonishing.           

3. Kanye West - The Life of Pablo            

So much to say and so little to say. I’m not going to argue with anyone. I will say this though. The first time I listened to it I wasn’t feeling it. It was far from an immediate click. However, I’m a  fan of the long game. I’m a pretty mellow guy for the most part. However, if you try to tell me this isn’t art I hope you’re ready for me to talk at you for an hour.        
       
4. Martha - Blisters In The Pit Of My Heart          

I am in love with the trend of new young bands playing 90s style music with more technique and production. I have never been afraid of production. Lo-Fi is great but when you can see a bands ideas fully realized through production it is magic to me. I’m not usually a fan of comparisons (maybe cuz I’m just not that good at it) but this band reminds me of a mash-up of Hefner and Idlewild. Now I know that might seem like a pretty deep cut bullshit comparison but it’s true. Idlewild lyrics and fury with Hefner complexity and Boy/Girl vocals. I’m probably not helping my case but whatever. I love this album.


5. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Nonagon Infinity 

I saw these Australian weirdos play in an in-town venue that is not known for having good shows. It felt at times like the place was going to explode. The non-stop energy of this band combined with zero fucks given of the crowd made for an incredible experience. They have songs with names like "Gamma Knife" and "Evil Death Roll"!!! Plus the album sequenced to play in a loop. Do it.      
     
6. Sheer Mag - III             

Not an album. I know right?! These guys can do in 4 songs what it takes some bands 4 albums to do. If you aren’t moved by “Worth The Tears” I doubt you and I have much to talk about.

7. Låpsley - Long Way Home      

Another album that came out of nowhere to me via Vinyl Me Please. I had no idea what to expect and was still a bit befuddled when I first started listening. The first time I hit track #5 entitled “Operator" I was super dupes confused. What is this stuff? Why is it all over the place. Why does it seem so familiar yet so new? From there on this album was on regular rotation in our house.        
     
8. Bat For Lashes - The Bride      

I listened to this album while trying to fall asleep on Tuesday November 7th 2016, or what I like to refer to as the worst night of sleep ever. It helped.        

9. Manatee Commune - Manatee Commune     

The song “Second Guess” was a standout track in a late night KEXP listening session. I’m not a big fan of genre’s and a don’t really know what this genre is. I just know that I’m into it. So clean and chilled out and technical without losing the human element. If it sounds like I don’t know what I’m talking about then your right. Listen to it start to finish and I bet you’ll want do it again.   
     
10. DJ Shadow - The Mountain Will Fall

I have routinely listened to "Nobody Speak" really loud while dropping my kids off to school (Kindergarten and First Grade). I suggest you do the same.       
   
11. La Sera - Music For Listening To Music To     

People in love making music for people who love music. Or something like that. I never listened to the Vivian Girls (heard they’re good) and had never heard of Todd Wisenbaker prior to him re-recording 1989 with Ryan Adams. I bet they’re awesome people and they certainly make great music together. It’s quick, it’s tight and it’s delightful.       

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