Mid Album Of The Year Staff Picks: Taylor Concannon

With the terrifying realization that we are more than halfway through 2016, it is time to reflect on all that has happened this year. We have mourned fallen stars and bid farewell to longtime favorite acts. However, we have also cheered on our favorite up and coming acts as they broke into the spotlight and reveled in nostalgia with comeback tours and albums. Most overlooked through is the sheer amount of music that has been released thus far. With a mind-boggling list of longtime beloved artists and promising newcomers  dropping albums in the first six months alone, it was extremely difficult to narrow down a list of favorites. While no release has particularly fallen short of expectations, the five below truly blew me away. Without further ado, below are my five favorite albums of the first half of 2016.

letlive. – If I’m The Devil… (Epitaph Records)

About midway through the first track, I knew this would be one of my favorite albums of the year. Jason Aalon Butler‘s vocals are raw and emotive, giving life to deep lyrics. The songs range from pounding rock anthems to quiet, suspenseful, tracks that rely on negative space more than instrumentals. If I’m The Devil… is striking and moving.

 

Kongos – Egomaniac (Epic Records)

Kongos never fail to impress me. Egomaniac is a distinctive album with powerful beats and passionate instrumentals. Emotion bleeds out of the tracks, and each tells a compelling story.

 

Pierce The Veil – Misadventures (Fearless Records)

I had been (im)patiently awaiting this album since last summer, when Pierce the Veil released their single “The Divine Zero,” and Misadventures was still better than imaginable. The vocals and instrumentals are more refined yet still carry a punch, and there is a lot of complexity within the tracks that makes each one exciting, even after replaying the album more times than I would like to admit.

 

We Are Scientists – Helter Seltzer (100% Records)

I admire the experimental nature of the Helter Seltzer. The songs are mesmerizing and whimsical, laced with unexpected bursts of instrumentals. We Are Scientists have developed a unique and complex sound, and this album showcases their growth and continuous potential.

Panic! at the Disco – Death of a Bachelor (Fueled By Ramen Records)

Death of a Bachelor is infectious, laced with catchy beats and clever lyrics. Brendon Urie’s vocals shine over theatrical arrangements, blending modern pop rock with Big Band nostalgia. I can play this repeatedly and instead of tiring of the tracks find something new to appreciate each time.  

What did you think of these releases, and what are some of your favorite albums of 2016? Let us know in the comments below!

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