We’re deep into July now, which means we’re just over half way through 2016! We’ve rounded up the best releases of the year so far into a list of the top five albums and top three Eps released since January commenced. We’ve also embedded a top track from each album so you can try it out if you’re not familiar yet.
The Top 5 Albums
1. Black Peaks’ album Statues deserves the top spot on this list for a multitude of reasons. The musical range the band display is phenomenal, the refusal to conform to a single genre, the complex themes running through the album are just a few of these. Perhaps most importantly however, this is Black Peaks’ debut album. This record has enough material to keep it interesting for many listens, and this mastery of crafting appears on the band’s first full-length album. A truly stellar piece of work.
2. Letlive. have been around the block now, and If I’m The Devil… is their fourth studio album. It’s at this stage that many bands have sat back to churn out slight variations on the same formula to appease their fans. Not so Letlive., who have produced their most forward-thinking record yet. Stripping back some of the hardcore elements of their sound somewhat, they have wave written a challengingly thoughtful album, deftly handling the modern world.
3. Thrice’s comeback album To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere silenced many doubters of the band’s return. Four years is a long hiatus, and to write an album capable of making even a large band relevant against is a mighty challenge, yet a challenge that Thrice rose to. To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere straddles social, political and philosophical concepts without being swallowed by the consequences of these themes.
4. Architects’ All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us planted itself staunchly in the sand as a flag for a band that had something to prove to fans. Architects’ somewhat unstable career had many people dubious over the quality of their upcoming record. Nevertheless, from the blistering opening of Nihlist to Memento Mori, the most ambitious song the band have ever written, All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us is a well-achieved mission statement for the band.
5. Trash Boat’s debut album Nothing I Write You Can Change What You’ve Been Through proves the flexibility of pop punk with its faster, harder approach to the genre. Featuring some of the best song-writing to be found in recent years with raw, honest lyricism, this album is a pleasure from start to finish.
The Top 5 EPs
1. Creeper released their third EP The Stranger early this year. The Stranger followed soon after their 2015 EP The Callous Heart, and expanded the band’s repertoire of incredible tight, catchy yet complex songs. The Stranger excels because it displays a depth of emotional fidelity that very few bands can capture, is stylistically distinct in the current moment.
2. Enter Shikari’s EP Live & Acoustic at Alexandra Palace is very impressive, displaying a new facet of songs from their 2015 album The Mindsweep. Rou Reynolds comfortably hits some incredibly high notes, proving the true talent of the band as they perform to a live audience. Live & Acoustic at Alexandra Palace proves just how skillful Enter Shikari continue to be.
3. The Summer War are a name you might not be too familiar with (yet), but their EP released earlier this year, Cult of You, is exceptional. This five-track EP demonstrates remarkable depth, touching on styles similar to that of Brand New. It’s progressive, and lyrically mystic.
Agree with our choices? Disagree, perhaps? Let us know which releases have topped your expectations this year in the comments below!