This Year In Records 2016

What made 2016 tick, from ANOHNI to The xx.

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Originally published in The Edge

Now we’ve finally reached the concluding moments of 2016, it’s time for This Week In Records to splash out a little bit. You may be familiar with our methods – trawling the web for every last morsel of new music worth your attention and delivering it promptly for breakfast every Friday, with an occasional side dish of irritability whenever someone dares to “spill” a piña colada over a marimba and ends up regurgitating a soulless rendition of a decent dance record from the last millennium. Today, to celebrate the end of all things, we’ve cast our glances right back to where it all began.

Elsewhere on this site, you will find serious collections and rankings of the year – albums, films, games, TV shows, etc. – but This Year In Records is for celebrating 2016’s music in all its delectable forms. Over the next twelve pages, we discuss one release from every single New Music Friday. Some are fantastic. Some are abominations. Some will be recalled as the releases that first caught attention from the music heroes of tomorrow. One is a miserable spawn from The X Factor.

If a rapid whiz through 366 days of music sounds appealing, allow me to be your guide. I promise I’ll only rap twice.

Continue reading “This Year In Records 2016”

EP review: The Chainsmokers – Collage

Another brief compendium that fails to convey the melodic character apparently lost in their year-long remix drought, Collage sees The Chainsmokers grate their way into your eardrums and out of your hearts.

Originally published in The Edge

What ‘#SELFIE’ did to promote The Chainsmokers across the globe, it counteracted by ruthlessly haemorrhaging their credibility. Before, they were merely two dudes – Alex Pall and Drew Taggart – making bad jokes in the SoundCloud descriptions of tender (and thoroughly enjoyable) amplifications of tracks by alt-indie luminaries like Jónsi, Phoenix, and The Killers. Then, one gimmicky pissabout signed by Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak label later, they had a string of club dates and festival appearances, a hilariously dreadful American Idol performance, and millions of new listeners who looked forward to their next move much as they did with DJ Ötzi and the Crazy Frog. Somehow, having resettled themselves with an official mix for Bastille, they began again, building up to 2015’s original EP Bouquet and global chart residency over the twelve months that followed. Continue reading “EP review: The Chainsmokers – Collage”

Album review: Justin Bieber – Purpose

It’s not horrendous, honest.

Originally published for The Edge’s album of the year countdown

Justin Bieber had it made. After a career as an irritating tween catnip saw him sell over 40 million records in the US and amass more Twitter followers than anyone but Katy Perry, he began the stereotypical descent into chaos that befalls many a young celebrity. He was getting arrested for egging neighbours and druggedly driving Lamborghinis. The rails he’d fallen off were bespoke, but rapidly fading away. 2015 changed that. Continue reading “Album review: Justin Bieber – Purpose”