Happy new year. While you’re all chomping at the bit to find out who won the LA Music Critic Awards for the second half of 2016, we thought we would give you our take on the best indie albums of 2016. The list is in alphabetical order, as we could not rank them otherwise. Each of these albums has been reviewed by Indie Voice Blog (except for one), so we are providing the link so you can check out the full review. Here we go . . .
We have been fans of Bloom for many years, and her latest masterpiece is also one of her best ever. You cannot go wrong in adding this one to your musical collection.
Chely Wright – I am the Rain
This is the one album we have not previously reviewed. Wright was a huge country star 20 years ago when she was signed to MCA Nashville. I discovered her talent in the late 90’s when she and another “unknown,” Kenny Chesney, opened a show for Confederate Railroad at the Date Festival in Indio, California. Since MCA stupidly dropped her, Wright has continued making music, as well as being the first country artist to come out. We were privileged to have been a supporter of her crowd-funding campaign for this album, which is one of her most intimate and profound projects to date. Needless to say that most people will be deeply touched by the music on this album, and we highly recommend it to all our readers.
Thanks to our friendship with the Big Kahuna, Laura Goldfarb, of Red Boot PR, we discovered this gem in September. It has all the right elements to propel this band into the spotlight. Grab it while you can.
This band took us by storm after Jennifer Allison introduced them to us. They are gorgeous and even more talented, and are taking the rock world by the sheer force of their music. This is a band that will only get better as they mature. Check them out now – you won’t be sorry.
We must admit, what first caught our attention about this band was their collaboration with Lydia Loveless on “Wasted on You.” However, once we had a chance to hear their CD, we were equally impressed by them. We think you’ll be hearing about them for years to come. Thanks to Michelle King for introducing them to us.
Janey Street has been writing great songs for as long as Janice Ian, but has remained relatively obscure, until now. Her latest on Blue Élan Records is amazing, and truly deserving of recognition and industry attention. Definitely add this one to your collection.
Sharif is another artist we have followed for years while we were in Los Angeles. He has since returned to college for his Masters degree in music. While there he discovered Middle Eastern music, and incorporated it into his style as part of his thesis. The resulting album is by far one of his best. Check it out and we think you’ll agree.
Another artist who reached out to her fans for crowd-funding help, Sonia Rao is just becoming known outside of the indie music scene. Her recent tour in support of this album was a rousing success. Take a listen to these tunes and we think you’ll understand why.
We have followed the work of VK Lynne, lead singer for The Spider Accomplice through her journey from singer-songwriter, country, pop, rock, and metal to her rightful place as the voice of indie music. This EP is the second in their Los Angeles trilogy, and solidifies their place as one of the premiere indie rock bands in the world.
We at Indie Voice Blog have always been fans of reggae music, and no one did it better in 2016 than Spiritual Rez. Not only are their tunes impossible to sit still through, they have also incorporated and featured other amazing artists into their groove, including Daddy B of Dirty Heads, HIRIE and Billy Kottage of Reel Big Fish. In addition, their music videos are ‘off the hook’ wicked. Thanks again to Laura Goldfarb for introducing them to us.
Looking forward to revealing the LA Music Critic Award winners on January 17.