Top Instrumental Albums of 2016


So, following my top albums of 2016 – here’s a list of my favourite instrumental records of the year.  And again, these are my favourites of records I have heard, there are many I have not heard.  In no particular order:

Ben Chatwin – Heat and Entropy

Federico Albanese  – The Blue Hour

Johann Johannsson – Orphee

Alva Noto/Ryuichi Sakamoto – The Revenant OST (technically 2015 but 25th December release date so I’m allowing it in my 2016 list)

Ben Lukas Boysen – Spells

Kinbrae – Tidal Patterns

Dead Light – Dead Light

Marconi Union – Ghost Stations

Western Skies Motel – Settlers

Jherek Bischoff – Cistern

Explosions in the Sky – The Wilderness

Sten Erland Hermundstad – Mountains

Seabuckthorn – I Could See the Smoke

M. Ostermeier – Tiny Birds

Jean-Michel Blais – II

Alex Kozobolis – Weightless


Top Albums of 2016

lot of records in sleeves full frame

So, it’s that time of year again.  List time.  For me, 2016 has been a great year for new music.  Some years I sit struggling to come up with 20 records that I love but this year I’ve had to spend more time deciding on my favourites.  So I’m clear from the outset, whilst undoubtedly some of the albums in my top 20 will make other end of year lists, this list consists purely of my favourite records of 2016.  As always, there’s a big mix of things in this list so hopefully something for everyone.  And I’d also say that the top 3 are pretty interchangeable.  Was not easy putting them in order as they’ve been my most played and most loved records of this year without a doubt.    But I’ve loved each and every one of these records and I hope you take time to explore some of them.  So here we go.

20. Explosions in the Sky – The Wilderness

19. Anna Von Hausswolff – The Miraculous

18. TE Morris – Newfoundland

17. Keaton Henson – Kindly Now

16. Johann Johannsson – Orphee

15. Old Earth – Lay for June

14. Swans – The Glowing Man

13. Ben Chatwin – Heat and Entropy

12. Wilco – Schmilco

11. Andy Shauf – The Party

10. Dead Light – Dead Light

9. Katie Dey – Flood Network

8. Andrew Bird – Are You Serious

7. Little Kid – Flowers

6. DM Stith – Pigeonheart

5. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool

4. Katie Kim – Salt

3. PJ Harvey – The Hope Six Demolition Project

2. Western Skies Motel – Settlers

1. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree