Leonard Nevarez – Best of 2016


What were the best records of 2016? Leonard Nevarez is here to tell you!

1. David BowieBlackstar
It was released on a Friday in January, and by Sunday he was gone. Backed by his most adventurous music in decades, the starman delivered a eulogy for himself and a lament for the condition of justice in the world.


2. Angel OlsenMy Woman
Cinematic, full-throated, vulnerable, maybe a little crazy, she’s ready to assume the title of this generation’s Stevie Nicks.   


3. Big ThiefMasterpiece
On the debut album of the year, this hungry, wiry band play forlorn campfire grunge with an idiosyncratic swing.


4. SumerlandsSumerlands
Headbanging lifers shrug off the customary modifiers (thrash, death, black, doom etc.) to release an utterly distinctive, stylistically classic heavy metal record.  


5. WhitneyLight Upon The Lake
One of the year’s easiest-on-the-ears albums, these guys spin Laurel Canyon soul with the wandering spirit of early Neil Young and Paul Simon.


6. Cory HansonThe Unborn Capitalist From Limbo
Speaking of Laurel Canyon, set the dial on the wayback machine a few years earlier to arrive at the stunning Forever Changes-style orchestral balladry by the dude from that freaky psychedelic band Wand.


7. Idiot GleeIdiot Glee
On this charming, goofy album, vintage-Eno flights of fancy hot-wire campy piano-man songwriting.


8.  Iggy PopPost Pop Depression
World, take note: after this inspired, cranky album, the world’s forgotten boy may be exiting the stage once and for all, leaving us all the poorer for it.


9. Hannah GeorgasFor Evelyn
Affecting bedroom pop and a fetching voice that pitch an intimate story (the songwriter’s relationship with her aging grandmother) at a universal scale.


10. Steve GunnEyes On The Line
The fullest, best-sounding album yet by this guitarist and reluctant jam-band iconoclast. It could almost distract me from the fact that 2016 was a really bad year to stop smoking pot.