Highlight’s Top 10 Albums of 2016

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Highlight’s Top 10 Albums of 2016

10. Bad Suns – Disappear Here

I was skeptical that anything could top their first LP, Language & Perspective, but I was happily proven wrong. They are an incredible band, and there is no song on this album that is worth skipping. Heather Ann, photographer

There’s always a lot riding on a sophomore release, and this album from Bad Suns truly surpassed all expectations. It’s reminiscent of why I became a fan in the first place but offers a fresh take on their sound that is irresistible. Sam Polonsky, photographer

9. Microwave – Much Love

With songs about getting high and drinking to excess (surprise, punk rock!), Microwave have brought a new life to the same ol’ same ol’ tropes in rock: more harmony, more twinkly and whimsical punk. Much Love brings the trend of shoegazy punk to a faster pace with amped-up guitar breaks and sing-a-long vocals. Bridjet Mendyuk, writer 

Much Love made me fall in love with albums again. It’s cohesive sound and the flow of the songs from one into the other makes for a truly enlightening listening experience. It’s one of those records that you learn every lyric to in order to scream the words at shows. I truly believe this is only the tip of the iceberg of what Microwave is capable of doing sonically. That’s one talented band! Jessica Klinner, editor in chief

8. Basement – Promise Everything

After nearly 4 years, Basement has brought us a solid follow up to ColourmeinkindnessNatalie Montaner, photographer

I had never listened to Basement before hearing Promise Everything. Though I’m sure the rest of their discography is wonderful, I’m glad I fell in love with this record first. Jessica Klinner, editor in chief

7. Catfish & the Bottlemen – The Ride

I have listened to this album almost everyday since it came out. The Ride is full of classic indie-rock songs that are personally written and relatable and have a classic, energy-fueled sound that anyone can enjoy. It’s another amazing album from them, and I can’t wait to hear more. Rachael Dowd, writer/photographer

This is an album that I am constantly coming back to. Every song is easy to listen to, relatable, and fun to blast while driving with your windows down. There isn’t a single song on this record that seems forced or out of place. Sam Polonsky, photographer

6. Waterparks – Double Dare

I’ve watched these guys go from playing tiny rooms with small crowds to massive sold out venues and they absolutely deserve it.  These three have grown so much from their previous work in the best way possible. If you like a mix of pop punk/electronic and even some acoustic goodness, you should already love this album.  I’m so proud of these dudes and I can’t wait to see how amazing 2017 will be for them. Heather Ann, photographer  

After hearing their most recent EP, Cluster, I knew Waterparks was a band I wanted to root for. When I heard they had a full length coming out, I was definitely intrigued, and after getting to speak with Awsten Knight about the album, I was psyched for it. I’m so happy that Double Dare did not disappoint. I feel like I’ve been saying this for a hot minute now, but if you’re not on board with Waterparks yet, then please come join me on this hype train. Annette Hansen, writer

5. PUP – The Dream Is Over

Heavy, gritty and sophisticated enough to premiere on NPR Music, The Dream Is Over is the sophomore record by the alternative post-hardcore band PUP, who are young, hungry and ready to rock. A serious contender for album of the year and a definite listen for fans of The Menzingers, Jeff Rosenstock, Beach Slang and PEARS. Bridjet Mendyuk, writer

Listen to this record. It speaks for itself. Jessica Klinner, editor in chief

4. Beyonce – Lemonade

I don’t think there’s much I can say that will fully encompass how amazing this release is. Queen Bee did it again. Natalie Montaner, photographer

Honestly, what can I say that hasn’t already been said about this album? Sam Polonsky, photographer

3. Panic! At The Disco – Death of a Bachelor

Brendan Urie’s talent is undeniable. Death of a Bachelor is theatrical, catchy and amazing. Jen Boylen, writer

Panic! At The Disco are never a disappointment in my book. Death of a Bachelor is such a fun record, and it’s easily been one of my favorite albums to sing along to with friends or even by myself in the car. Annette Hansen, writer

P!ATD was at a crucial point in their career this year. They needed an album to give them life in the new generation of music fans, and Death of a Bachelor did that and more. Since this album’s release, I find myself listening to it constantly. I haven’t gone more than a couple of weeks without revisiting it.  Sam Polonsky, photographer

2. The 1975 – I like it when you sleep…

One word: beautiful. That’s all. That’s it. Bye. Heather Ann, photographer

The 1975 has been one of my favorite bands for years, but after the rebranding from their broody, monochromatic style, I wasn’t so sure what to expect from their sophomore album. But all 17 tracks proved to hold up. The record is bubbly, but emo at the same time, with a whole lot of ’80s influence and just the right amount of self-indulgence (Four ambient tracks, I mean come on). It’s catchy but honest and definitely a stand out for 2016. Jen Boylen, writer

Another sophomore album that blew me away. They seem to not take themselves too seriously, but their musical skill is apparent on this release. It gives fans of every genre, from shoegaze to pop, something to love. Sam Polonsky, photographer

1. Moose Blood – Blush

This is such well written album from Moose Blood and is definitely the album that has put them on the map this year. Each track stands as its own stylistically, but makes for one cohesive album. Rachael Dowd, photographer/writer

Haven’t stopped listening to this record since it came out. It’s power pop, pop punk with a heavy british accent, and if you haven’t heard it yet, get on it! Bridjet Mendyuk, writer

I felt very connected to Moose Blood’s sophomore release, Blush. It’s angsty and relatable as it sounds very bright while also being emotional. It’s everything you could want out of a record from an emo band. Jen Boylen, writer

Moose Blood has been one of the many newer bands that have really impressed me in 2016. They’ve solidified that title by putting out the super solid, Blush. Moose Blood is a band that can breathe some new life in the emo genre, and I’m excited to how they continue that moving forward. Annette Hansen, writer

 

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