This Year In Records 2016

What made 2016 tick, from ANOHNI to The xx.


July 1st: Jerry Williams – ‘Mother’

One more thing to note about LANY is that their support acts on both occasions I’ve trekked to London this year to watch them have been impeccable. The tour itself featured Nimmo, a hypnotic dance ensemble whose subsequent single ‘Dancing Makes Us Brave’ landed on a fair few radars for the year ahead, and their one-off sellout at Camden’s newly-renamed Assembly on a rest day from Ellie Goulding’s tour saw Portsmouth singer Jerry Williams take the stage for an acoustic stint. Just three days beforehand she’d joined our friends at Surge Radio for a little session (and did the same again on the eve of releasing her Let’s Just Forget It EP) to showcase her splendid set of tunes. ‘Mother,’ one of the catchiest singles of the year, followed soon after, and on reaching Spotify three million people seemed to agree.

July 8th: The Knocks – 55.5

Hey, remember The Knocks? You’ve (finally) read my thoughts on 55 as a whole, but it was 55.5 that truly stole my heart in the way their previous tracks and edits had done. They honed their craft weaving gold from the mists of The 1975 and Of Monsters And Men, so its self-remixes must have come naturally – five tracks from 55 landed in the early summer, with four extended beyond five minutes to restore my faith in their nu-disco funk, spinning Carly Rae Jepsen linkup ‘Love Me Like That’ into one of the year’s grooviest heartbreak anthems. Within a couple of months of its release, they’d been via Guatemala with Jepsen and were opening for Justin Bieber all over Europe’s arenas. Coincidence? I think not.

July 15th: KDA feat. Tinashe – ‘Just Say’

After her role on Snakehips’ ‘All My Friends’ at the tail of last year, it was indeed a shame that Tinashe’s latest string of collaborations (GTA, Far East Movement “x” Marshmello, Enrique Iglesias, Britney Spears) didn’t even come close to having the same impact. Most confusingly was ‘Just Say,’ KDA’s throbbing followup to number 1 debut ‘Turn The Music Louder (Rumble).’ A big hook? A flashy video? A beat that sounds exquisite for every one of its nine minutes? ‘Just Say’ seemed poised to smash for months. In the end, it peaked at 88 in late November because clearly we don’t deserve nice things.

July 22nd: HONNE – Warm On A Cold Night

Back in January, we picked HONNE as the first of our acts to watch for the year. Here’s what we’ve written about Andy Clutterbuck and James Hatcher since.

We chose wisely.

July 29th: The Chainsmokers feat. Halsey – ‘Closer’

Here’s a list of questions posed by or regarding The Chainsmokers in 2016 that neither they nor their Collage EP could come up with answers for.

  • What happened to ‘Roses’ after half a year of little traction to make it become a massive hit? (I’m not complaining, but it’s hardly anything exceptional.)
  • Why does ‘Don’t Let Me Down‘ let me down so much?
  • Who told Drew Taggart that singing, especially on stage on live TV, was a handy strategy?
  • Where does any Rover have room for a stolen mattress? And don’t just say in a song that finds space for liberal tributes to The Fray and Fetty Wap.
  • When is that track with Chris Martin coming along? I’m more than a little bit excited.

Author: Xavier Voigt-Hill

I write words. Sometimes say them on the radio too.