Owner & Editor of The Hook here, just hoping to share my top 10 albums of 2016! As far as music goes, I've listened to a lot this year. With The Hook's birthday right around the corner (March), I've spent most of my time listening to a lot of really good local music, so this list is representative of some of the best albums I've heard this year - on repeat all day, every day.
10. Curtis Cooper - Laughing In Line
Honestly, I heard Curtis Cooper back in March when I first started the magazine, and I begged them to let me write about them. Since then, we've had many conversations regarding shows and anxiety and civil rights. A good friend, and a talented musician who I can't wait to see more of in 2017. Laughing In Line was an expertly crafted album that showed of Curtis Cooper's impressive vocal and instrumental prowess - favorite track is for sure "Today L.A."
9. gnash - us
us is a perfect little diddy of an EP that brings together all of the reasons I loved gnash in the first place. gnash to me is the perfect mixture of electronic sound with singer/songwriter & R&B influences. gnash always knows the right way to say how I'm feeling, and that voice makes me melt inside. I saw gnash at firefly, right up front, and I only cried a little bit. Favorite track off of us is definitely "u just can't be replaced (ft. rosabeales)."
8. SWMRS - Drive North
While this album came out in February, I only recently got into about two months ago and it's everything I've been looking for since the end of summer. With gut punching, angst filled anthemic tracks - to stupid american punk themes, I spend most of my time listening to Drive North wanting to kiss people - maybe in 2017. Favorite track off of Drive North is "Lose It."
7. The Hip Abduction - Gold Under The Glow
This album was the first album I ever fell in love with in 2016 and I've been listening to it nonstop ever since. Gold Under The Glow is exactly what I want from indie - a softness that radiates an ethereal, almost ghostly, but happy sound. All of these tracks remind me of being in the sunshine, and that's why I have to make it one of my favorites for 2016. Gold Under The Glow kept me happy in some of the toughest times of the year, and I'm grateful. Favorite track off of the album is "Ka'iwi."
6. Halogens - Kitchen Sink
Halogens is another band that I had heard while in Brooklyn, and my first major triumph as a magazine owner. From NJ, my home state, Halogens have this great sound that sounds even better underground, in a basement. So much so that I made sure to have them on my very first gig in September! Kitchen Sink is an impactful EP for me because of it's pure rawness. Each track is guttural and hungry. Much like how I felt upon first listening. "Kitchen Sink" is my absolute favorite track off of the EP, so check it out!
5. Waterparks - Cluster
Another EP that I heard while seeing Never Shout Never and Metro Station (yikes) last spring! Waterparks really impressed me with their throwback pop punk sound. I swear it's like listening to music from 2009 - but with better lyrics and production. Cluster is a great little EP that is biting and unassuming. My absolute favorite track (hard to choose) is "Crave" despite a huge repetition of chorus.
4. the Weeknd - Starboy
3. Hands Like Houses - Dissonants
This album gets me so pumped at the gym, honestly. The heaviness in the instrumental background highlights the lyrical power. Favorite track is "I Am."
2. Bon Iver - 22, A Million
Folktronica is alive and well thanks to Bon Iver. This album makes me thankful that they didn't ditch the project even though they left us all waiting for five years before this album came out! One of the strangest albums I heard this year, as each track was signature Bon iver-esque, but each was imploring a new technique, something different. My favorite track off the album is "33 'GOD.'"
1. The Neighbourhood - Wiped Out!
Okay, so what this album came out in the tail end of 2015. This album is still my all time favorite. An album that is a growth for The Neighbourhood, but does so in a way that keeps listeners happy by maintaining familiarities of the band! "Single" is a track I want imprinted on my skin for the rest of my life, but for now I'll just keep it on repeat.
Thanks for checking out my Top Ten for 2016, and maybe we had some agreements, or disagreements, either way I know I'm definitely looking forward to what 2017 has in store for us!