Thirty Tapes

At the beginning of 2016, I told my best friend that this would be the best year for music we’ve seen in years. As this rollercoaster comes to a close, I can say, despite all the other nonsense that happened this year, good music saved all of us. I can’t stress the importance of synchronized sound and silence in our lives; but I will attempt to with this list. Below are thirty albums that made their way into my life this year, and healed/helped in an unique manner. I’m going to avoid big name ones such as TLOP, Starboy, Birds in the Trap etc., because you’ll probably read enough reviews about them. Instead, I plan to focus on artist and names you may or may have never heard about, previously before this list. Without further ado, I give you my Top Thirty Tapes of 2016 (in no particular order).

Also, below the list a playlist (Spotify) with one song from each of the albums. Enjoy. 

Princess – Abra

  • A sexually-charged disco wonderland courtesy of the first lady of Awful Records.

House of Diamonds – Angelo Mota

  • Poetry in real time sprinkled over fresh beats.

The Altar – BANKS

  • A self-expression of darkness and the hope that resides within it.

Freetown Sound – Blood Orange

  • The sounds of New York City  during the summer.

22, A Million – Bon Iver

  • The croons of a man living in harmony with nature.

CDW – Charlotte Day Wilson

  • The passionate voice of a fresh face coming up for air. 

“Awaken, My Love!” – Childish Gambino

  • Modern existential funk.

*Pilgrim’s Paradise – Daniel Caesar

  • *This album actually came out in ’15 but it was so good that it deserved an honorary spot on this list.

The Getaway – Red Hot Chili Peppers

  • Legendary Rock & Roll. Nuff said

Blonde – Frank Ocean

  • Love letters  written on a tab.

Ology – Gallant

  • Best Tape of 2016.

Energia – J Balvin

  • Dat fuego reggaeton.

The Colour In Anything  – James Blake

  • Mechanized sonnets written by lost astronauts.

It Is. – JMSN

  • The jazz that you’ve been missing.

Witchcraft – Lord Narf

  • Chants and hexes from Awful Records’ Sorceress.

The Divine Feminine – Mac Miller

  • Sexy bubblegum beats and romantic raps.

Game of Thrones Season 6 – Ramin Djawdi

  • The Medieval Apocalypse.

Westworld Soundtrack – Ramin Djawdi

  • The REM recordings of robotic dreams.

Secrets – Rendzevous At Two

  • The musings of millenial lovers.

Monday – StarRo

  • A fantastic smattering of Soundcloud legends

Thierry Disko – Sunni Colon

  • Miami Vice in the morning.

(m)edian – Ta-Ku & Waifa

  • Five songs to help you fall in love.

There’s Alot Going On – Vic Mensa

  • The private confession of a pro-black artist.

The Everlasting Wave – Xavier Omar

  • That “you don’t know nothing about this” R&B

Chapters – Yuna

  • A storybook with pop-up emotions.

*Good to Love – FKA Twigs

  • Only a single, but well worth it.

I’m a Piece of Shit – Father

  • American Grime.

Reflections in Real Time – Kilo Kish

  • Timeless thoughts translated over tunes.

Majid Jordan – Majid Jordan

  • The first mixtape you sent to your first girlfriend.

Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin – Kid Cudi





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