Re-evaluating albums from 2016

Okkervil River - Away.

As a big OR fan…I was pretty underwhelmed by this at first. It’s taken a while to worm itself into my brain (it was in my car’s CD drive for a long rotation), probably down to the more “freeform” nature of the songs…but it’s certainly better than The Silver Gymnasium (which I never warmed to) and I Am Very Far (which I loved at first but it’s very messy and one of their weakest). The production is gorgeous throughout…and there are strong melodies on Okkervil River R.I.P., Comes Indiana Through the Smoke, Mary on a Wave and Days Spent Floating, alongside others.


Joyce Manor - Cody

Found the pop-punk with emo-ish vocals massively annoying so ditched it after a couple of listens. Re-visited the album in May/June when the weather got good and realized it was a total banger. The songs are a lot better put together than it first appears and have a lot of heart. Yeah it’s super cheesy but that adds to the charm for me.


I saw Okkervil River at Islington Assembly Hall a day after Trump’s win. I think the whole crowd used their set as collective soothing music to a world turned shit. That was the first time I’d seen them live for years. The first time was at The Water Rats many many years ago. Islington last year was a great set.

Oh. That album’s pretty good too.


Frank Ocean’s blonde is my most listened to album of this year and I really wasn’t that into it for most of last year.


Mitski - Puberty 2.

Great album on release. Still great in 2017. Relatively underrated for her talent. If you haven’t heard it, hear it.


I was going to say Joyce Manor’s Cody as well, but for different reasons - namely, I’d missed it completely, and only got into it a few months ago and it’s bloody ace and massively appeals to me. Still not sure why I didn’t really get it, when I really enjoyed Never Hungover Again. Oh well.

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Not so much re-evaluation as re-affirmation. Preoccupations album is just very bloody fantastically good. Cobalt too. I could never be an album reviewer. Be one sentence everytime. Great / Good / Give it a go / shite

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*or just words

Yep. Still play it and like it more than most I’ve heard this year to be honest.

I haven’t heard it…basically I’ve wrongly associated a number of indie rock songwriters with Courtney Barnett (who I don’t rate), meaning I dismissed them at first. I was the same with Car Seat Headrest…and I love that now, so I need to sort this out.

Still play this whole album back to front a couple of times a week, though I loved it when it came out too. The singles since have helped keep it fresh, I think. Chanel, Biking and Lens are all fantastic.

My favourite songs have definitely changed. Used to brush over tracks like Siegfried but I now think it’s the most beautiful on the album.

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I listened to Minor Victories yesterday for the first time in ages and I bloody loved it. Seem to recall it got middling reviews but I think it’s great

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I didn’t get Lite’s 5th album much last year and didn’t even bother buying it but this year I heard it again and it sounds amazing.

Big votes for Blonde, Cody and Preoccupations. Those are the ones still floating to the surface for me.

I do like this album but whenever I put it on I always think I’d rather be listening to never hungover again. Then I remember they’re both about 20 minutes long so just listen to them both.