The Best Southern Albums of 2016

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

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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 FaceNot Gonna Kill YouSisters

 

7. A Sailor’s Guide to Earth – Sturgill Simpson

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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

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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 ProtestWhat It Means

 

5. True Sadness – The Avett Brothers

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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

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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

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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

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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 BeBoyfriend; Norse Truth

1. A Seat at the Table – Solange

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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 SkyMad; Don’t Touch My Hair; F.U.B.U.

 


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Header Credit: Raven; CC BY-NC 2.0