Staff Picks: Top Albums of 2016 Pt. I


At ZUMIX, all of the staff have one thing in common: music moves us. In our space, all tastes are welcomed and that is truly something to be celebrated. As a student, you are encouraged to bring the music you love to the classroom whether that be a video game theme song, the latest from Bruno Mars, an old favorite from Nirvana, or anything in-between. As staff, we like to share whenever we get a chance. With this year coming to a close, we thought we’d take this opportunity to share with you.

Enjoy Part I of our picks from this year and perhaps find something new to love on both a national and local scale. Check back in later this week for Part II of this list!

Tacocat – Lost Time

If you like your feminism with a side of pop-punk riffs, 90’s sci-fi references, and soooo many cats, this album is for you. I’ve listened to it on repeat for a month and I’m still not sick of it. – Kelly Baker, Staff

David Bowie – Blackstar

Somehow haunting yet irresistibly groovy – Bowie breathes epic soundscapes from beyond death. As usual he is fearless, and boundary defying – joined by the thoroughly monstrous members of Donny McCaslin’s jazz group. – Dan Fox, Staff

BLACKSTAR by Bowie, released three days before his death, was: (contradictions intended) elegant, enigmatic, authentic, dense, focused, new, and true; a blistering beautific swansong — as the song from the sessions (not included in the album but used for LAZARUS the show) lyric from “No Plan” zen-fully sings — “this is not quite yet.” – Ed Meradith, Staff

Wes Buckley – Eggs

Wes Buckley is a mystical-folk infused rock and roll musician who is as prolific as he is talented. His latest release, Eggs, explores themes of flying and the supernatural elements of everyday life. Shifting through a variety of perspectives, the overall sound never loses it’s sensitive and satisfying voice. – Scott Mizrachi, Staff

Weyes Blood – Front Row Seat to Earth

Reminiscent of 60s folk and 70s soft-rock, with synthy and new-age embellishment, Weyes Blood layers powerful vocals, celestial melodies, evocative lyrics, and intricate instrumentation that feels both nostalgic and distinctly new. This is a gorgeous album — psychy, haunting, and tender. – Sophie Kazis, Staff

Weezer – Weezer (White Album)

Very Beach Boysish – and for a band that has been around for a while, very fresh and fun. Of course, I already love Weezer – but there is not a song on it that I would skip. – Steve Snyder, Board President

Vulfpeck – The Beautiful Game

It’s more of the Vulfpeck magic. I can’t get enough of them. – Joel Edinberg, Staff

Mitski – Puberty 2

NYC-based Mitski Miyawaki sheds light on the strength that lies within vulnerability. Puberty 2 journeys through the day-to-day struggle of maintaining happiness if we’re lucky enough to feel certainty in knowing what that even is. – Jeeyoon Kim, Staff

The Avalanches – Wildflower

A DJ collective from Australia that features great guest artists (Danny Brown, Camp Lo, Father John Misty, and even Biz Markie) rapping or singing over eclectic samples mixed in with original live instrumentation. It has this crazy fun vibe because it surprises you over and over as you listen. It also has what I can safely say is my favorite video of the year– Jenny Shulman, Staff

Chance The Rapper – Coloring Book

I love this album too much. It’s uplifting, soulful, introspective, and also great to dance to. Chance covers topics like nostalgia for childhood, having a child (and openly loving his fiancé!) making positive changes in life, and counting your blessings. On top of all that, it’s an anthem to independent artists everywhere. In the words of Corey DePina “listening to this album is like adding color to the blank page in your soul and allowing you to color outside of the lines because it’s all okay.” – Sarah Saydun, Staff

Check back in later this week for Part II!


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