With 2016 at the half way mark we thought we’d present our list of the ten albums that have impressed us the most so far. All within our broad focus on indie and alternative music, we’ve some old stagers, new bands and plenty of rage. We’ve also got an act at number one who probably never would have thought they’d be acclaimed as the best indie act of the year in 2016 back. In addition to the ten below we also wanted to mention new albums by Shearwater, Pete Astor, The Wave Pictures, Steven James Adams, Picture Box and Rapid Results College, which are all in contention for a place in our end of year extended best albums list.
10. Robert Pollard – Of Course You Are
Incredibly, this is now the 22nd solo album from the hardest working man in music and proves another high point in an illustrious career. Read the full review here.
9. Bob Mould – Patch the Sky
Third album from the former Sugar and Husker Du man’s most settled line up for years. The key to its success is its ability to tackle the tough issues of life in the most fun way possible, as Mould’s rage and melody once again combine perfectly. Read the full review here.
8. Dressy Bessy – King Sized
Fabulous return from a six-year break for the US act. This works particularly well by merging their beefier pre- hiatus sound with the pop nous that made their early work so infectious. Read the full review here.
7. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Nonagon Infinity
Like an extended rock jam, taking in science fiction, monsters and, naturally, some awesome guitar riffs this is another stellar release from the Australian psych rockers, with a little help from some robots and a gigantic wasp. Read the full review here.
6. Woodpigeon – TROUBLE
Heartbreak, loss and a globe trotting meander prove the powerful inspiration for Mark Andrew Hamilton’s latest album. Beautiful and inspiring. Read the full review here.
5. Evans the Death – Vanilla
On album number three London act Evans the Death have upped, shredded, beaten up and garrotted the ante. It’s full of rage, the guitars are heavier than before, the vocals fiercer and the ambition turned to stadium sized proportions, with a brass section and even a funky bass added to the mix. Incendiary album from what very well be Britain’s best rock band. Read the full review here.
4. Papernut Cambridge – Love the Things Your Lover Loves
Former Death in Vegas man Ian Button and crew have created their very own 1970s pop band. Full of fuzzed up guitar riffs and stomping rhythms there would have been plenty to satisfy the charts back in the day, especially the album’s title song, and its best pop tune, Radio. Read the full review here.
3. Darren Hayman – Thankful Villages – Vol 1
One of Hayman’s best pieces of work and possibly his most important, preserving the oral history of the relatives of those who survived the horrors of the Great War as well as paying tribute to the village life these soldiers left and thankfully returned to. Read the full review here.
2. Emma Pollock – In Search of Harperfield
Childhood memories and the toils of adulthood mix wonderfully on the former Delgados singer’s latest album. With the track Parks and Recreation she has also created one of the best songs of recent years. Read the full review here.
1. The Monkees – Good Times
The comeback to beat all comebacks. Originally planned as merely something to sell on their 50th anniversary tour this album has ended up grabbing the headlines in its own right. With Fountains of Wayne man Adam Schlesinger at the helm, a stack of lost demos to dust off and new tracks from talented Monkees fans such as Andy Partridge and Ben Gibbard, Good Times both pays tribute to their place in 1960s pop history and creates a great, modern day indie and alternative pop album in its own right. A well deserved number one slot. Read our full review here.
Top Ten Albums of 2016 So far was compiled by Joe Lepper and Dorian Rogers