12/15/16 11:40am
(l-r): Lucy Dacus (Matador Records); Gabriella Cohen (Kain Balzary); Angel Olsen (Pitch Perfect PR); Mitski (Ebru Yildiz)

(l-r): Lucy Dacus (Matador Records); Gabriella Cohen (Kain Balzary); Angel Olsen (Pitch Perfect PR); Mitski (Ebru Yildiz)

Unless you’re a Chicago Cubs fan or a tycoon-turned-politician with an affinity for spray tans, this year was pretty horrible on all fronts. The music world in particular suffered an alarming number of deaths—among them David Bowie, Prince, the Eagles’ Glenn Frey, Earth Wind and Fire’s Maurice White, Lemmy, Merle Haggard, Leonard Cohen, and most recently Sharon Jones.

Yet, during times like these, music continues to provide catharsis for wounded hearts.

It didn’t just take, 2016 also gave us some really wonderful albums by emerging artists that perhaps don’t get as much coverage compared to higher-profile releases by the Rolling Stones, Metallica, Beyonce, the Weeknd, Miranda Lambert, Kanye West and Lady Gaga.

There was also an unusually good collection of re-releases and greatest hits collections that came out in 2016, for old-school rock fans and adventurous listeners alike. Here are some of my favorite undersung albums of 2016, a re-release round-up and two playlists to listen to while you wrap presents and drink eggnog–or write letters to your representatives and plan a protest.

Lucy Dacus
No Burden
Only in her early 20s, this newcomer from Virginia put out one of the most outstanding albums of the year with No Burden, a very compelling collection of wistful introspective songs highlighted by Dacus’ distinct alto voice. (more…)

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