It’s a new year, but we’re still listening to the great records released in 2016. Here’s a list of our favorite releases by Southern artists.
8. MY WOMAN – Angel Olsen
Angel Olsen’s third studio album delivers a wonderful mix of folk and dream pop. According to the artist herself, the album explores “the complicated mess of being a woman.”
Song picks: Shut Up and Kiss Me; Heart Shaped Face; Not Gonna Kill You; Sisters
7. A Sailor’s Guide to Earth – Sturgill Simpson
A Sailor’s Guide to Earth is one of the more polished, unique country albums I’ve listened to lately. It’s a fresh take on popular country – combining elements of outlaw country and psychedelic rock.
Song picks: Brace For Impact (Live a Little); In Bloom; Sea Stories
6. American Band – Drive-By Truckers
They’ve been around for years, but this was the first album by Drive-By Truckers I picked up and got into. It’s the Southern rock outfits 11th album – and it’s definitively a protest record, fitting for the times we live in.
Song picks: Surrender Under Protest; What It Means
5. True Sadness – The Avett Brothers
This is the album that got me forever hooked on The Avett Brothers. Combining their typical country-folk styles with an overtly pop production made for an incredibly catchy, easy to listen to set of songs.
Song picks: Ain’t No Man; Divorce Separation Blues
4. The Weight of These Wings – Miranda Lambert
This album is very different, it’s not your generic country-pop album, and definitely not what I expected. Lambert combines some of that old formula with a production very reminiscent of contemporary Americana and folk music. It’s certainly worth a closer listen.
Song picks: Vice; We Should Be Friends
3. Lemonade – Beyonce
Lemonade was all I heard about for the summer for 2016 – for good reason. It’s Bey’s second visual album and girl, it is cathartic. It includes a diverse group of other artists including Kendrick Lamar, Jack White, and The Weeknd.
Song picks: Hold Up; Sorry; 6 Inch; Freedom
2. Shape Shift With Me – Against Me
Against Me’s Transgender Dysphoria Blues was the soundtrack to my own transition. Vocalist and transgender woman Laura Jane Grace’s public transition inspired so many trans girls to live their truth – including me. Now, Against Me is back with an album less about transition and more about romance – romance as a transgender woman.
Song picks: Delicate, Petite, & Other Things I’ll Never Be; Boyfriend; Norse Truth
1. A Seat at the Table – Solange
Without a doubt, A Seat at the Table was my favorite album of 2016. Solange’s latest explores themes of blackness, prejudice, and self-care. It also pulls in a diverse group of featured artists, including Lil Wayne, The-Dream, Kelly Rowland, and more.
Song picks: Cranes in the Sky; Mad; Don’t Touch My Hair; F.U.B.U.
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