Best of 2016: 60-51

-60: Francis and the Lights - Farewell, Starlite

For all of the dour 80's styles that are coming back, at least the dancy bright stuff is coming with it. 

-59: A Giant Dog - Pile

Pure unadulterated sex, drugs, and rocknroll. A lively one!

-58: Jim James - Eternally Even

This is a dark, murky groover of an album. 

-57: Sunflower Bean - Human Ceremony

Slightly dreamy simple indie rock / pop, reminiscent of Hospitality but less wishy-washy. 

-56: Black Mountain - IV

Hazy, synthy, earthy, stonery, sometimes tender metal out of British Columbia.

-55: Mandolin Orange - Blindfaller

I'll admit at one point I wrote these guys off as a cutesy bluegrass duo that was pleasant enough to see live but not someone I'd listen to at home, but there's some really strong songwriting here. 

-54: Marco Benevento - The Story of Fred Short

I bet this is a concept album of some kind. I didn't bother to explore, because even without the concept this is a fairly straightforward groover from the always experimental and generally bubbly Benevento. 

-53: Daniel Lanois - Goodbye to Language

A beautiful collection of instrumental slide guitar. Somewhat experimental at times, the songs occasionally take left turns away from what my ear wants them to be, but this is a nice soundtrack to a nap or meditation if nothing else. 

-52: 75 Dollar Bill - Wood/Metal/Plastic/Pattern/Rhythm/Rock

In a year that I listened to a lot of instrumental guitar albums, both "traditional" and "experimental", this one stands in a genre of its own. African rhythms, long-ass songs. If you like that, check this out. 

-51: Nathan Bowles - Whole and Cloven

A spiritied banjo-focused set of americana that is impressive in a lot of ways and cohesive and worth your time.