When you think of the year 2016, do you think you’ll remember what you were listening to constantly on the way to work, on the way to class, or even on your way home? Yes? No? It’s okay to not know the answer to that, because you’ll most likely remember when you revisit some of the music that has been released last 8 months.
In 2016, we’ve slowly seen the album release date disappear, instead being replaced with the feeling of being left out on something really special due to you not paying enough attention to your never-ending timelines. It’s alright, what really matters anyway is that feeling you get when you experience something you love for the first time. Nonetheless, we’ve seen grand releases by artists ranging from Kanye West to Blood Orange, Kendrick Lamar to G.L.O.S.S., Beyoncé to The Julie Ruin, and plenty more that would be impossible to mention in a singular blog post. There’ll always be something to praise, so here are some of KZSC’s very own disc jockeys letting you know what you might’ve missed in 2016!
Gabriel Lopez (A/K/A null), Production Director
Psychic Mirrors, Nature of Evil (2016, Cosmic Chronic/PPU Records)
Fronted by Cuban-American funkster Mickey de Grand IV, Psychic Mirrors bring the boogie funk sounds of 80’s Miami into the modern moment with their first full length “Nature of Evil”. The album is even accompanied by a VHS-filmed “Miami Vice”-esque noir movie of the same name that the band created while writing the album. At times this album makes you wanna roller skate down the boardwalk on a half-tab of acid and in others soundtrack a long night of club hopping and groovin’. The band dubbed their sound “omnisexual funk” and that alone is all the reason you need to buy a copy from Cosmic Chronic records.
Black Marble, “Iron Lung,” from It’s Immaterial! (2016, Ghostly International)
Black Marble’s first song in four years since has them going back to the drum-machine and reverb soaked bass lines of their first critically-acclaimed EP “Up Against The Door”. Sinister grooves and drowned vocals make this song the perfect soundtrack to my walk home every night. Please listen to this song at full volume while swaying, eyes-closed, under a disco ball.
Check out Iron Lung below, and pre-order their 2012 follow-up, It’s Immaterial! out on September 30th via Ghostly!
Austin Brown (A/K/A/ ddlinkz), Station Librarian
James Blake – The Colour In Anything (2016, Polydor Records)
This album is such a journey from start to finish. Straight up, James Blake is the most deadly producer/singer/song-writer combo in the biz and each track has a part that shines so bright that I can’t bare to look away. Constantly in my rotation and I don’t expect it leaving anytime soon.
Mssingno – “Fones,” from Fones EP (2016, XL Recordings)
R&B and grime meshed together in probably the most unique EP I’ve heard all year with Fones being the most addicting jam on it. You need to hear this joint before his unique sound blows up.
Listen to Fones below, and check out Mssingno’s SoundCloud for some more heat!
Chris Jong (A/K/A/ Chris), Folk Music Director
Kaia Kater – Nine Pin (2016, Kingswood Records)
This is the 2nd release from this Canadian singer-songwriter-banjo player of Afro-Caribbean descent. She just graduated from Davis & Elkins College in West Virgina last month. [congratulations Kaia!]. has many attention-getting personal narratives delivered with a powerful voice and sparse instrumentation.
Kaia Kater – “Rising Down” from Nine Pin (2016, Kingswood Records)
This is a song that catches your ear to slow things down and listen; inspiration from Black Lives Matter movement.
Listen to “Rising Down” taken from her LP down below!
Shay Stoklos (A/K/A/ Lux), Station Manager
Wye Oak, Tween (2016, Merge Records)
This album includes 8 tracks lost in the making of Wye Oak’s Civilian (2011) and Shriek (2014). I love Jenn Wasner’s voice, and the airiness of this record. I think it’s important that the music has been recycled, repurposed from previous records — more artists need to find beauty in the scraps leftover from their other pieces of art.
Angel Olsen, “Shut Up Kiss Me” from the upcoming album, My Woman (2016, Jagjaguwar)
I’m simultaneously ecstatic, because it’s SO angsty and cathartic, and also worried that it’ll be the best song on My Woman. The bridge of this song is like a rebirth. Don’t laugh, just go f***ing listen to it.
Watch/listen to Angel Olsen’s self-directed video for her single down below! My Woman drops September 2nd via Jagjaguwar.
S. Dinay (A/K/A/ Crux), RPM Director
Lemaitre – 1749 (2016, Astralwerks)
The combination of real instruments, especially the sax, and the addition of the featured artists on 1749 is what I really like about the tracks. All the songs are very groovy and all show case different styles but somehow still work together for this fun EP.
TOKiMONSTA, Heart On The Ground (feat. Kiya Lacey), from FOVERE (2016, Young Art Records)
I became really interested in TOKiMONSTA when I found out I would be seeing her at a music festival. Then we received her newest album and I could not play this track enough. The vocals are smooth and catchy thanks to the talented Kiya Lacey!
Check out “Heart on the Ground” down below, and go cop Tokimonsta’s FOVERE on iTunes!
J. Ramirez (A/K/A/ crudo), New Media Director
Abra – Princess EP (2016, Awful Records)
This is one of my favorite releases of 2016 so far because Abra’s sound makes me nostalgic about memories I forgot I had. Doused with 80s vibes, PRINCESS is visceral & assured: moody music to put on while you burn some sage before placing a hex on your ex.
BADBADNOTGOOD, Time Moves Slow (feat. Sam Herring), from IV (2016, Innovative Leisure Records)
- This is one of my personal highlights this year because the collaboration is flawless; big s/o to Sam Herring for making me bawl my eyes out.
Listen to the collaboration made in heaven down below, and cop BBNG’s IV LP via Bandcamp.