2017 is just under a week in, so there’s still time for a look back on the previous year right? Well, it’s happening anyway. This probably won’t feature the usual big hits and artists that generally feature on Top 5 lists, but is instead is made up from an assortment of albums and singles that caught my attention throughout the mess that was 2016. There are so many more artists that I could mention, but then I’d be writing forever, and five is a nice number anyway. So, in no particular order, let’s get started!
1. WHITE – Cuts That Don’t Bleed
This was probably the latest entry that I considered, with this EP being released at the tail end of the year. Every track differs slightly from each other, but still retains an overall vibe that I can’t get enough of – with penultimate track ‘I Liked You Better When You Needed Me’ just edging it as my favourite. The mixture of synth, guitar and multiple vocals that feature give off a unique sound that you won’t easily find from any other band. That, paired with the energy and passion that WHITE give off from their live performances, made sure that they were a name to recognise and remember, with bigger things coming this year for sure.
2. Mt. Doubt – In Awe of Nothing
If you’ve looked through Musicalist before, you’ll know I’ve already talked about how much I liked the second album from Edinburgh based project Mt. Doubt. The instruments and vocals mix together seamlessly, and Leo Bargery’s voice delivers his lyrics in a manner that catches attention everytime. 2016 was a year to remember for Mt. Doubt, with appearances at T in the Park’s T Break Stage and as on BBC Scotland’s Quay Sessions. They perform on January 16 as part of King Tut’s New Year Revolution at the infamous Glasgow venue, and I’ll be making sure I’m there.
3. Vulfpeck – The Beautiful Game
Okay, this is a break from the normal artists featured on here, as Vulfpeck aren’t a Scottish act. But I couldn’t stop listening to this album upon its release, and I still haven’t. There’s something about Vulfpeck that just makes any of their tracks enjoyable and fun, and this album is no exception. From the effortless grooving on ‘Dean Town’ to the Jackson 5-esque feel on ‘Animal Spirits’, each track is a joy to listen to. If you’ve never listened to these guys, most of their music is freely available online so WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! You’re missing out, and you’ll come out with a smile on your face.
4. Fatherson – Lost Little Boys
When I first discovered Fatherson’s ‘I Am an Island’ a while back, I absolutely loved it and the band immediately. Cut to February of 2016, and YouTube informed me that a new video had appeared on their VEVO channel. With high expectations, i clicked on the link which led me to this track, which did not disappoint. The chorus had me hooked, and ‘Lost Little Boys’ has become one of those songs that makes me stop and listen whenever it comes on. I was gutted to miss out on their Barrowlands show last month, but I’m sure I’ll catch them this year at some point.
5. The Lapelles – Grab Life By
No list of Scottish music in 2016 would be complete without mentioning this band. With slots with Last Shadow Puppets and at T in the Park, 2016 was the year for The Lapelles, and everyone knew it. Sadly though, the career of this band was cut far too short. There’s not much more to say, except that this song is brilliant. So just listen.