TLMT Readers Top 20 Albums of 2016

Stephen White

TLMT logo

The votes are in and the Last Mixed Tape readership have had their annual say in who is the TLMT Readers Album of the year 2016. Check out the full rundown and Spotify playlist below.

20. All Tvvins – IIVV
What TLMT had to say: “IIVV is one big celebration of infectious highly stylised electro-pop. It’s a kitchen sink type album, built upon a production that fills the entire sonic spectrum. In this way All Tvvins’ debut is a record of bold choices.”

19. Heroes In Hiding – Curtains
What TLMT had to say: “Curtains turned my own perception of Heroes In Hiding on its head and now I’m hooked. Delivering a record filled with thematic weight and a large depth of field, the band take indie-rock genre expectations and throw them out the window, resulting in a dramatic first outing from the four-piece.”

18. I Have A Tribe – Beneath A Yellow Moon
What TLMT had to say: “Beneath A Yellow Moon is written to elegantly, it reminds me of a classic black and white Hollywood movie. In its starring role is songwriter Patrick O’Laighaire, an artist whose way with words and commanding vocal has all the qualities of a golden age leading-man.”

17. The Altered Hours – In Heat Not Sorry
What TLMT had to say: “In Heat Not Sorry is musique noir. Made to be projected onto a late-night cinema screen in flickering black and white, this is music of the night.”

16. Lisa Hannigan – At Swim
What TLMT had to say: “It would be easy to say that At Swim is Lisa Hannigan’s best work, it certainly feels that way. But rather than an isolated piece, it seems Hannigan’s entire solo career is entwined. There could be no At Swim without Passenger, and no Passenger without Sea Sew.”

15. Rusangano Family – Let the Dead Bury the Dead
What TLMT had to say: “Let the Dead Bury the Dead is the kind of album that will be studied in future as an artistic impression of Ireland circa 2016. It’s important, it’s real and speaks of the here and now. Rusangano Family are a voice for a generation that feel they have none.”

14. King Kong Company – King Kong Company
What TLMT had to say: “King Kong Company is a bold tour de force. You’re either with it or against it, there’s no in-between and that does seem to be purposely built into the record’s DNA”

13. We Cut Corners – The Cadences of Others
What TLMT had to say: “We Cut Corners’ The Cadences of Others is a finely tuned album. Using the medium to its utmost the pair have delivered their best album to date, as their upward momentum continues. This is the sound of a band who know what they want to get across to us, and know exactly how to do it.”

12. August Wells – Madness Is The Mercy
What TLMT had to say: “Madness is the Mercy is a love-letter to songwriting. The theme of August Wells second album is simple, great music for the sake of great music. From the performances to the production the record is just that, a record in the truest sense of the term.”

11. Bleeding Heart Pigeons – Is
What TLMT had to say: “Is is densely atmospheric album, weighed down by strong themes of frustration, angst and deep desire for something else. Given the dark tone of the record, it’s simply astounding to see how Bleeding Heart Pigeons are able to wrap this all up in a sound that is both beautiful and foreboding.”

10. No Monster Club – I Feel Magic
What TLMT had to say: I couldn’t help but smile the way though reviewing this record. I Feel Magic s is playful, inventive and personal, and wholly gratifying to listen to because of it. Bobby Ahearne is a underated songwriter on the Irish music scene, but I Feel Magic proves he’s possibly one of our most essential.”

9. September Girls – Age of Indignation
What TLMT had to say: “Throughout Age of Indignation September Girls have you right were they want you, and use this space to be heard. And, in a world were safe mediocrity is often rewarded it is essential that September Girls’ be listened to. There’s no “difficult second album” syndrome here, instead Age of Indignation is the sound of a record that needed to be made, and needs us to hear it.”

8. Katie Kim – Salt
What TLMT had to say: “In a world where blandness and safety sells, Katie Kim stands apart. However, Kim is not defined by her difference to the mainstream. At the start of this review I said those not used to (or unfamiliar with) Katie Kim should take the journey that is Salt, this is not only because of how different it is, but because it deserves to be heard by everyone.”

7. Plutonic Dust – Grand Delusions
What TLMT had to say: “Grand Delusions asks you to follow it down a rabbit hole. Taken by the hand by Veronica Moran’s enchanting vocal, the album leads you through darkened clubs and sweaty dance floors, scored by Plutonic Dust’s great pulsing electronic sound. Indeed, you find yourself immersed in it before you realize you’ve come along for the ride.”

6. CC Brez – The Nightfall
What TLMT had to say: “The Nightfall is a no boundaries trip into a world of funk and R&B, you’re either coming along for the ride or you’re going to be left behind.”

5. Jack O’Rourke – Dreamcathcer
What TLMT had to say: “Throughout Dreamcatcher we take a journey into Jack O’Rourke the artist and the man. A fact that makes the twilight touched production feel all the more sentimental and grand, in comparison to the intimate words expressed. This wonderful contrast means songs like ‘I’ll Forget You In The Morning’ have an added sense of wonder, and more importantly stops the album from becoming too introspective or dark.”

4. James Darkin – Go No Matter What
What TLMT had to say: “Big, bold and brooding Go No Matter What is a full experience as an album. Demanding to be listened to as one whole-piece James Darkin’s debut identifies the producer as someone making sounds that set him apart.”

3. Swords – Tidal Waves
What TLMT had to say: “An emotionally melancholic album, Tidal Waves finds Swords looking to create a bigger picture musically. And with its atmospheric production and the trio’s emotive songwriting the record does just that and more besides.”

2. Mongrel State – Mestizo
What TLMT had to say: “There is some reckless brilliance to Mestizo. It bursts forth on numerous occasions during the record’s 10-track running time, undulating between more standard country-tinged rock Mongrel State do enough to stand-out from the pack.”

And the TLMT Readers’ Albums of the Year 2016 is…

Learning to Growl cover art

1. Overhead, the Albatross – Learning to Growl
What TLMT had to say:
 ” These songs have lived long before the album, and the journey they and the band have been on is evident throughout Learning to Growl itself. Some records need immediate impact, others need to ferment, and time was on OTA’s side. Monumental.”

%d bloggers like this: