Un Blonde - Good Will Come To You [Egg Paper Factory]
I said there'd be another one on Egg Paper Factory and here it is. Un Blonde's LP was on my Polaris longlist this past year and thus it makes its way onto the Year End Longlist as well.
Drugdealer - The End Of Comedy [Weird World]
Here's another instance where one standout track (the above collab with Weyes Blood) kept this album in contention. Not that the rest of this one is bad. Far from it.
ELWD - There's Light Somewhere [Bad Taste]
Great hip-hop tape from an up-and-coming UK producer.
Thorn1 - The Leave of Leaves [silber]
It seems like every year there's at least one record that silber puts out that just strikes a chord - this year it's Russian act Thorn1. Shout out to Brian John Mitchell for plugging away at releasing great drone and experimental music.
Fatima Al Qadiri - Brute [Hyperdub]
Al Scorch - Circle Round The Signs [Bloodshot]
I think this is his actual last name, but damn if it's not appropriate for the blazing bluegrass the Illinoian makes.
The Amazing - Ambulance [Partisan]
The Stockholm quintet pick up right where they left off on last years' Picture You.
Classixx - Faraway Reach [Innovative Leisure]
If lead-off track "Grecian Summer" doesn't grab you, then you're unlikely to enjoy the rest of Faraway Reach, but if it wins you over, it plays for keeps.
MOP MOP - Lunar Love [Agogo]
If you ever wished that Sun Ra connected with a downtempo beatmaker for a collaboration, then weep no more m'lady. MOP MOP are the peculiar pairing you didn't even know you were searching for.
Beach Slang - A Loud Bash Of Teenage Feelings [Polyvinyl]
Hot on the heels of The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us, Beach Slang dropped another blistering batch of punk tunes.
Teenage Fanclub - Here [Merge]
My love for this Scottish power-pop act goes back to 1990 and A Catholic Education. That is twenty-six-frickin'-years. God am I old.
The Bad Plus - It's Hard [Okeh Records]
This jazz trio never takes a misstep and they never fail to surprise with their choice of covers and rearrangement of pop songs for jazz purposes. Sadly, all the tracks are on Preview mode.
Andy Shauf - The Party [Arts & Crafts]
This is probably the biggest surprise for people I know as to what didn't make my final 20. I LOVED Shauf's set opening for Low at First Avenue in 2015 where I heard some of these tunes for the first time, but as much as I enjoyed The Party, it's not where I wanted to hang out at the end of the year.
Aleem Khan - URBANA CHAMPAIGN [Independent]
I stumbled across this one during a Bandcamp deep dive and tripped out for it. While it doesn't make the Final 20 for 2016, it's still on my longlist for next years' Polaris Prize.
Charles Bradley - Changes [Daptone]
The Screaming Eagle of Soul soars on this collection of tunes including a devastating Black Sabbath cover.