Seasick's Favorite Records of 2016

You wanted the best, you got the best! Behold Seasick Records' favorite albums of 2016!

Dan:

Anderson .Pakk - Malibu

Mrs. Magician - Bermuda

Angel Olsen - My Woman

Emma Ruth Rundle - Marked For Death

Charles Bradley - Changes

A Tribe Called Quest - We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service

NxWorries - Yes Lawd!

David Bazan - Blanco

Durand Jones & The Indications - S/T

Ty Segall - Emotional Mugger

The Frightnrs - Nothing More To Say

Kadhja Bonet - The Visitor

Pride Soject - Singles Getting Sloppy, Vol. 1

Record Man:

5. Sanctum Tattoos & Comics Grand Opening

4. Planes Mistaken for Stars - Prey

3. Basement Benders - Lydiad

2. Shallow Cuts - Empty Beach Town

1. Oathbreaker - Rheia

Patrick:

Goat - Requiem

Steve Gunn - Eyes on the Lines

A Tribe Called Quest - We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service

The Frightnrs - Nothing More To Say

Durand Jones & The Indications - s/t

Terry Reid - The Other Side of The River

Betty Davis -  The Columbia Years 1968-1969

The Olympians - s/t

Mr. Robot (soundtrack)

Turbokid (soundtrack)

Kevin:

My Disco - Severe

Kowloon Walled City - Grievances

DJ Shadow - The Mountain Will Fall

Mrs. Magician - Bermuda

Deftones - Gore

Arbor Labor Union - I Hear You

Lvl Up - Return to Love

Oathbreaker - Rhea

AP:

Anderson Paak - Malibu

A Tribe Called Quest -  We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service

Kadhja Bonet - The Visitor

Oddisee - The Odd Tape

NxWorries - Yes Lawd!

Newman:

Anderson .Pakk - Malibu

NxWorries - Yes Lawd!

Various Artists - Everglades and Landing Strips: Tampa's Greatest Hits

cliff:

New Releases: (no order)

Sunwatchers: s/t

Steve Gunn: Eyes on the Lines

Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band: The Rarity of Experience

Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster: Constant Stranger

Angel Olsen: My Woman

Durand Jones & The Indications: s/t

Hiss Golden Messenger: Heart Like A Levee

The Frightnrs: Nothing More to Say

William Tyler: Modern Country

Ryley Walker: Golden Sings That Have Been Sung

Reissues and Compilations:

Terry Allen: Lubbock (On Everything)

Wayfaring Strangers: Cosmic American Music

Jack Rose: Vinyl Reissues

Jim’s Lucky 13:

1. A Tribe Called Quest - We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service

We Got It From Here…  is ATCQ’s best since Midnight Marauders. Actually, it’s better than that. Maybe their best, period. Lyrically, Tribe deal with pressing matters without dating themselves to future listeners. But what’s more surprising than their lyrical acuity is their athletic delivery. Tribe and company (especially Phife) can still outflow punks half their age. And the production reveals lots of surprises. It’s uplifitng, raw, challenging, and sounds better the more you crank it. Who cares if we deserve it? We need it. My album of the decade (thus far). 

 

2. Solange - A Seat at the Table

She travelled 70 states -- which covers our fraught union and, likely, those pertaining to the mind -- to create this deep, beautiful, and moving record that soars despite the weight of its subject matter. For lovers of Pet Sounds, D’Angelo, and Minnie Riperton

 

3. David Bowie - Blackstar

The Thin White Duke may have departed his earthly form, but he's left us with one of the most beautiful and beguiling records of his career (which is really saying something). Almost a year after his passing, I can’t shake these songs -- which has less to do with portents than with earworms. Even when he samples himself, as he does on album closer, “I Can’t Give Everything Away,” Bowie doesn’t sound like anybody else. 

 

4. Danny Brown - Atrocity Exhibition

A glorious, white-knuckled panic attack made luminous thanks to Brown’s nitrous oxide flow. Things calm down long enough for two of the year’s greatest cuts -- the Kendrick Lamar and Earl Sweatshirt assisted “Really Doe” and a B-Real joint appropriately titled “Get Hi,” which will take you back to the dankest days of the mid-90s. The album title is indeed a nod to Joy Division but the sonics are way more fun than anything those classic mope merchants could muster... At least until they became New Order. Imagine if the second side of Talking Heads’ Remain In Light was funky as the first -- that's the gift Brown and company have given us. 

 

5. Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool

My fourth favorite Radiohead record… Which is to say that I like it better than The Bends. I still wish Yorke wrote lyrics commensurate with Radiohead’s musical / production prowess, but that didn’t stop me from experiencing and the very human feels at the core of this gorgeous record. But what I really love is how Radiohead create hooks out of the unlikeliest of artifacts. Texture isn’t just a device for Radiohead -- it’s the lead instrument. Besides, words fail us all time… But the endlessly cascading pianos of “True Love Waits” transform what was once a trite acoustic guitar pean into pure poetry.

 

6. Wray - Hypatia

I’ve heard people complain that there are no bangers on this record, which is absurd -- especially when presented with the delicious tension of “May 23rd,” "Giant"'s Feelies-like expansion, and their deliriously amped-up cover of Faust’s krautrock classic, “Jennifer.” Forget singles, Hypatia -- Wray’s second and best record -- is best appreciated in its entirety, with all of the transitions, textures (both gleaming and smoldering), and metronomic bliss working you over. Though it was recorded by noted Lush superfan Lynn Bridges, it’s Daniel Farris’ mix -- which slowly morphs and moves along with the music -- that  deserves your well-headphoned attention. And a Grammy.

 

7. Wilco - Schmilco

I was over Wilco. Then came Star Wars. Then, a year later, Schmilco came along and blew it away, focusing its predecessor’s skittery energy without dulling its impact. Still, this a very subtle record. Tweedy’s lyrical abstractions never obscure his big softie heart and the beautiful gallows humor that populates Side Two is some of his most affecting work yet.

 

8. De La Soul - …And the Anonymous Nobody

My turnaround of the year. Like a lot of people, my high expectations for De La Soul circa 2016 were so high that their new album initially disappointed: I thought fucking with / sampling a live band would result in something more radical, musically speaking. Several listens in I think the music serves the songs well -- and there’s more going on than I initially realized. Lyrically, Plugs 1 and 2 still amaze: De La Soul do melancholy so well because, clearly, there’s always so much on their minds -- which results in their deeply layered (and charming. and hilarious.) wordplay. Keep listening and you'll hear it too. 

 

9. Null - Sleepwalking Days

All of the doom with none of the gloom. How could there be when the Null’s extraordinary heaviness (achieved in no small part by a Moog running through a big ass bass cabinet) is leavened by those leery harmonies delivering melodies that reminiscent of the Cure at their druggiest. And you’re not living until you feel the full weight of these songs in a live setting. Grab a copy of the vinyl while it lasts.

 

10. Parquet Courts - Human Performance

Some hear Human Performance as the Parquet Courts’ best work to date. I hear a band in transition -- and that's hardly cause for alarm. The title cut is like Wire gone earnest -- and it’s their loveliest moment. “Paraphrased” scratches all the right itches. “One Man No City” is so on-the-nose NYC core that it seems like they’re taking the piss -- especially when they hit you with the Wall of Voodoo-ish “Berlin Got Blurry.” These smartasses one of my favorite bands in recent years and I can’t wait to hear where they go next. Bonus points for the LP’s exceptional art book and the strange production which hides cool noises like Easter eggs.

 

11. Through The Sparks - Transindifference / “Meteors in Gorges”

Through The Sparks usually cruise like vipers down these suburban streets, but Transindiffrence is like driving a T-top through a wormhole: Driveways leak into dimensions seemingly stranger than fiction, but their absurdity is all too real. Bonus points for the group’s one-off single, “Meteors in Gorges,” which compresses pressing matters into mantras, delivered via a sugary blast so powerful that its impact may serve as a grand reset. After all, the beauty of an apocalypse lies in it being a once-in-a-lifetime event. Circle of life, etc.

 

12. Durand Jones & The Indications - s/t

Jones and his band aren’t reinventing the wheel, but the tight playing and slammed-tape production make these catchy songs all the more exciting. His voice, which falls somewhere on the Wilson Pickett / Curtis Mayfield axis, seals the deal. Short, bordering on slight, this powerful collection demands repeat listening -- and you will capitulate. Brought to you by Colemine Records, a new label that’s shaping up to be the Daptone of the Midwest. And speaking of Daptone, fans of Charles Bradley (who also put out a killer record in 2016) will surely fall in love.

 

13. Anderson .Pakk - Malibu / NxWorries - Yes Lawd!

Pakk is 2016’s MVP, showing up several of the year’s best releases as well as dropping two of his own. Malibu is a double-album stunner that puts his artistry on full display. Yes Lawd! -- the new album from NxWorries (a joint effort with producer of the moment, Knxlwledge) -- is the naughty to Malibu’s nice. And where Malibu sprawls, Yes Lawd! is much more fragmented, though no less ambitious. I think Malibu’s the better record but, your milage may vary.