In addition to photographing, there is two things I really love; writing and music. Now I’m going to combine all those things and write about the music I discovered and loved in 2016 – both new and old music. When the year ends and a new starts, you see all these lists with ‘the best’ music from that year. Can you really define the best music from 2016? What is best for someone, might be the worst for someone else. These list of ‘best of’ is just one persons taste in music. I read a good article about that, but when you don’t bookmark stuff, it just vanish into the air. So no link from me.
So I’ve decided to make a list of music I that I discovered in 2016 that I love. There is a nice mix of old and new music. It’s a red thread through most of what I’ve discovered this year. It might not be so obvious, that red thread, but it’s there and I think it’s kind of funny how discovering one artist can lead to so many new musical discoveries.
Early this year I read about Troye Sivan in the newspaper. He was going on tour in Europe and was bringing my fellow Norwegian Astrid S on tour. I like Astrid S and thought I should check him out. I instantly fell in love with that young Australia based guy, who grew up on Youtube and eventually became a big musical star. His debut album Blue Neighbourhood is awesome. I love his lyrical ambient electronic dance-pop songs. I can listen to Youth, Heaven, Talk Me Down etc over and over, and I will not get tired. The Blue Neighbourhood trilogy (Wild, Fools & Talk Me Down) is amazing. Watch it.
So while I was hooked on Troye Sivan, I decided to connect with Twitter again, because I wanted to follow him there. It had been several years since I had been active there. I looked at the people I followed, unfollowed some I didn’t care to follow anymore and followed some new people. Since I already followed the Gaslight Anthem, I decided to follow the lead singer Brian Fallon. While following him, I found out he was releasing his first solo album. I knew I had to check that out and that was not a mistake. His album Painkillers, which came out in April, is one of my favorite albums of 2016. There isn’t a bad song on that album.
Following Fallon on twitter, I saw he was going on tour and with him was his friend Chris Farren. If Brian Fallon brings him on tour, he must be good and I should check him out, I thought to myself. I was right. Chris Farren is AWESOME! He’s played in Fake Problems and Antarctigo Vespucci (alt-country, punk, emo) and both is great. In addition to release a Christmas album on his own, he’s released singles and demos. In 2016 he released his first full length solo record Can’t Die (melodic pop) which also is one of my favorite album of 2016. This is the album I’ve played the most according to my last.fm stats.
Brian Fallon has also brought other musician on tour, both Ryan Bingham and Dead Swords. I saw Dead Swords open for Brian Fallon in Oslo in December and that was one of the best opening acts I’ve seen in a really long time. Chris Farren was also playing that night and his 45 minutes was worth the ticket alone. Ryan Bingham was touring with Brian in the US so I didn’t get to see him live, but I hope to catch him live some day. I got a Spotify playlist with all his songs and I love lots of them. the Weary Kind, Southside of Heaven and a Country Called Home is some of my favs. In addition to bringing great bands on tour, Fallon also tweet about great music. I got to know Jason Isbell (Cover Me Up, Traveling Alone are two great songs) and the Felice Brothers (top notch songs: Aerosol Ball, Frankie’s Gun) through him and they both make great music.
After I discovered Chris Farren I started to follow him on twitter and my oh my, he’s a funny guy. I love his twitter feed. There is so much humor and quirkiness there, he often makes me laugh. Chris tweeted about this band called Hurry. I thought Hurry was a cool name for a band and since I love to discover new music, I thought I should check them out. Hurry had released two albums (one all by himself and one with two brothers). I didn’t fell in love with the guitar rock he played on those records, but in May the band released a new record called Guided Meditation. It was still guitar rock, but slightly different. The guitar was toned down a bit and to me it felt more melodic pop/rock. It took me a few listenings, but it didn’t take long before I fell in love with that album. Guided Meditation was last summers BIG album. I think I listened to it like 50 times during June and July. It’s top three of this years fav albums. Their EP Casual Feelings, which came out one day before my birthday, is equally as good.
Anothe great guy I discovered following Chris Farren on twitter is Miwi La Lupa. I would NEVER had listened to him if it wasn’t for Farren. I wouldn’t know he even existed. His 2016 album Ended Up Making Love is very good.
Talking about guys… I should not forget the girls. Chris Farren stared in a music video from a song from Allison Weiss and shared it on twitter. I looked at it and the song was really good. Once I’d heard the song, I looked her up on Spotify and soon I had a playlist with many of her songs. She makes songs that makes me dance on my own in the livingroom, like no one is watching!
Aurora is also on the list of my favorite discoveries of 2016. She’s from Norway like me. It took a little while for me to really get into her music. I’d heard her sing on some talk shows and on the radio, but it wasn’t until I saw her perform on the Late Night Show with Jimmy Fallon, I was hooked.
When I want to find new music, I have a method I often use. I go to Spotify and find an artist I like. Then I look at the related artist and listen to what comes up. I have discovered so much new music that way. One evening last summer I decided to do exactly that. Since I’d listened to Brian Fallon for quite some time, I decided to check out related artist on Spotify. One of the first guys I found was Dave Hause. OMG! Three seconds into he had started singing on his song We Could Be Kings I was sold! His voice was so amazing I had to gasp for air. I was blown away and knew there and then that this was a guy I needed to listen a lot more to. Dave Hause’s voice is something I could bottle up and keep forever. Hause is releasing a new album in February and going on tour in Europe in March. I’ve bought tickets to see him in Amsterdam (will go there for a weekend trip, visiting a friend in Alkmaar that will join me see him, YAY).
London Grammar is a band I randomly found on youtube. I instantly fell in love with their song Strong, which is one of my favorite songs of 2016. They have released some EP’s with lovely songs.
Last, but not least we got Lars Winnerbäck, a swedish singer which I’ve loved for years. It might be ten years since I discovered him, I can’t remember. This year he released a record called Granit och Morän, which is so, so good. I stood in line for one and a half hour to get the LP signed by him, when he was visiting a record store in Oslo last summer. I also saw him live in Oslo last August and it was a fantastic concert!
Oh, one last thing. I must not forget Biffy Clyro’s song Re-arrange. I think I heard that song like 30 times in a row after I heard if for the first time and about 80 times during that weekend. That’s how good it is.
What kind of music did you fall in love with in 2016?