6 Albums Released in 2016 You Need To Listen To

As of right now, we are currently on day 57 of the year 2016. According to my math, that means we’re about 15 percent of the way through the year. With each year that passes, a countless number of inspiring and beautiful alternative and indie albums are released into the world that will grace our ears for years to come. This year is no exception. Personally, I’ve already found six new albums that will continue to shape my 2016, and should shape yours as well. Here are the six best alternative and indie albums that have been released thus far. (Listed from most to least recent)

Artist: The 1975
Album: I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It
Release date: February 26
Where you can buy the album: Find it on The 1975’s website 

This past summer I visited London, England, and happened to find a The 1975 sweatshirt at a street vendor for 15 pounds (about 30 USD). This album makes me so happy that I bought the sweatshirt because I know this is a band that is making an impact in the music world, and is here to stay. Once you get past the extremely long album title, each song is a pure work of art. I am in awe of Matty Healy’s bold/Bowie influenced voice. I wasn’t sure if the band would be able to top their last album, The 1975, but I am glad to say that I have been proved wrong. If you listen to one song today, make sure it’s the band’s newest hit, Love Me.

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Bryce Avery and I at a The Rocket Summer concert in 2012

Artist: The Rocket Summer
Album: Zoetic
Release date: February 26
Where you can buy the album: Check out The Rocket Summer’s website

I have been anticipating the release of The Rocket Summer’s new album since Bryce Avery released his last album, Of Men and Angels, in 2010. One of the things I love most about The Rocket Summer is that Avery makes every single album distinct from one another, and gives each album it’s own personality. This one happens to be filled with passion, charisma, energy and a hint of audacity. It’s been a long six years, but I can eagerly say welcome back, Bryce. Make sure to listen to my favorite song from the album, Cold Air.

Artist: Ra Ra Riot
Album: Need Your Light
Release date: February 19
Where you can buy the album: Find it on Ra Ra Riot’s website

Every time I listen to Ra Ra Riot the only thing I want to do is dance, and frankly it’s hard to prevent myself from doing just that while listening to Need Your Light. Although I wasn’t alive during the 1980’s, the synthesizers, guitar and overall beat in this album reminds me of the music from this era. If you’re in the mood to dance, make sure you check out Suckers.

Artist: St. Lucia
Album: Matter
Release date: January 29
Where you can buy the album: Check out St. Lucia’s website 

If you’re a fan of Walk The Moon, you’ll definitely be a fan of St. Lucia and their newest album, Matter. Their song, Dancing on Glass, is currently a top hit on the indie music charts, and I couldn’t be happier. I love the funky/upbeat energy from this entire album, and almost every song has such a catchy chorus. If you want to listen to the best song from Matter, check out The Winds of Change. 

Artist: Panic! At the Disco
Album: Death Of A Bachelor
Release date: January 15
Where you can buy the album: Panic! At the Disco’s Website

This album takes me back to my middle school days. Panic! At the Disco definitely has a signature type of energetic/alternative/dynamic sound, and it’s nice to hear that the group is still able to portray that signature sound through five albums. Instead of the poor groom’s bride, it’s the bachelor’s time to shine with this album. Check out my favorite song from this album, Crazy = Genius.

Artist: Daughter
Album: Not To Disappear
Release date: January 15
Where you can buy the album: Check out Daughter’s website

Listening to daughter on a regular basis makes me feel like I’m floating above clouds, and this new album is no exception. Elena Tonra’s voice is filled with dreamy and haunting lyrics that make me want to fall asleep, but in a good way. You’ll want to listen to this album all the way through to truly appreciate the beautiful sounds. If you only give one song a listen, make sure it’s Numbers.

With approximately 85 percent of this year left before 2017, I can’t wait to see what other alternative and indie musicians have in store! Think I’ve missed a great album that’s been released this year? Let me know in the comments below!

The Top 7 Upcoming Cleveland Concerts You Must See

Stuck in the winter woes? Going to a concert always makes me feel better, and will make you feel better too! Check out the top seven best alternative and indie concerts coming to the Cleveland area within the next few months. All concerts are listed in order by date. Feel like I missed one? Let me know in the comments below.

1.) The Mowgli’s
Venue: Brite Winter
Date: February 20
Cost: Free
You can find the full festival schedule here.

Since 2013, The Mowgli’s have made their mark in the up-and-coming indie scene. Their messages of positivity and love throughout their songs are ones that can expectedly be seen in their live shows. The energy created by the band is an experience you won’t want to miss. Check out their best song, San Francisico, here.

2.) The Moxies
Venue: Beachland Ballroom
Date: February 27
Cost: $10
You can purchase tickets here.

Moxie is definitely something you can expect to see when watching The Moxies live. The energy of the lead guitar along with lead singer Marco Ciofani’s voice really drives their music, and makes it almost impossible not to at least nod to the beat. Their old school sound is something you have to hear in person. Check out their best song, Main Street Drive-In, here.

3.) Beach House
Venue: The House Of Blues
Date: February 29
Cost: $25
Click here to purchase tickets.

What better way to spend leap day than with Beach House? The band’s dreamy music will give you all the feels as you float away on an imaginary California coast. You’ll never want to leave the House Of Blues once Victoria Legrand starts singing their best song, Zebra. Listen to it here.

4.) The Arkells
Venue: The Grog Shop
Date: March 30
Cost: $16
Click here to purchase tickets.

I’ve loved The Arkells since I was in 10th grade, and they were actually a part of the first ‘real’ alternative concert I saw. Their shows are always charged and electric, and I couldn’t be more excited to see this band if I tried. Although watching The Arkells will bring me back to my glory high school days, the band’s newest album, High Noon, shows their progression from my personal favorite Arkells album, Michigan Left. Check out the song that made me fall in love with them, Michigan Left, here.

5.) The Rocket Summer
Venue: Musica
Date: March 31
Cost: $15
Purchase tickets to this show here.

The Rocket Summer has held a special place in my heart since middle school, and will continue to do so until the day I die. Bryce Avery is one of the most talented and inspirational musicians I have ever met, and I will forever be amazed at the pure energy found at his performances. It’s easy to see how much he truly loves his talent and his fans at each show. If you see one show this upcoming spring, make sure it’s The Rocket Summer’s. Listen to one of my all time favorite songs, So Much Love, here.

6.) The Griswolds
Venue: Beachland Ballroom
Date: April 20
Cost: $20
Find tickets to the show here.

If you like high energy, sweaty, Australian men, this is the show for you. The Griswolds put on a performance, and love to engage the crowd. Their catchy and chill sound will keep you entertained and wanting more. I promise the song, Beware The Dog, will get stuck in your head in a good way once you listen to it here.

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(From left to right) Me, Laura Wester, The Griswolds lead singer Christopher Whitehall and Amanda Beck at The Griswolds concert at the Cleveland House Of Blues.

7.) Twenty One Pilots
Venue: The Wolstein Center
Date: June 8
Cost: $45, $35 or $25
Purchase tickets here.

Native to Ohio, Twenty One Pilots are sure to put on a great show for their home state. Their rise to popularity has been well earned with their multiple hit singles. It’s almost impossible to listen to the radio and not hear one of their tunes. I can’t wait for these musicians to come to Cleveland and play one of my current favorite songs, Tear In My Heart. You can hear it yourself here.