In wake of what most consider one of the most turbulent years in recent memory, 2016 carried a heavy weight. From the death of idols, poets and American democracy, this year challenged our collective patience and sanity leaving no stone unturned. That being said, 2016 reared its resilient head by means of music, the ultimate rebellion. And Detroit? Well, my sweet little city on the rise broke new ground with a slew of releases that eased our troubles, cooled our fevers and incited a burning fire that not even 2016 could extinguish. Below are a few notable moments in Detroit’s music year and perhaps a telescopic view of the year to come.
Best album to cry, drive and reflect to:
Anna Ash: Floodlights
Anna Ash’s sophomore record Floodlights is, without much deliberation, my favorite album of 2016. Having spent the better part of the year collapsing and mending Ash’s innate ability to give power and strength to her raw and exposed vulnerabilities paired with the sincere Midwestern, orchestral dashboard dust makes Floodlights a strikingly honest portrayal of (my) hearts fragile design.
Best album to start a new life on Mars to:
Zoos of Berlin: Instant Evening
Okay, so I lied. Zoos of Berlin’s masterfully produced and cosmic journey Instant Evening is in constant contention for my favorite release this year. What Instant Evening offers is a poignant and tireless orbit that explores the depths above and below without ignoring our enslavement to gravity. A dizzying leap into perceptions of time, Zoos of Berlin delivered this years soundtrack for your existential eclipse.
Best record to drop acid and make-out with a stranger to:
Mountains and Rainbows: Particles
There is something pleasantly debaucherous about Mountains and Rainbows LP Particles. A loosely woven parade of psych-pop jams and zombie-beach-party rock that is intended for the night you’ll forget to remember. Unwashed, untamed and yet, politely tethered to a structure all their own, Mountains and Rainbows delivered a much needed dose of revelry.
Undoubtedly one of the most anticipated releases of 2017, Stef Chura’s specialized brand of tortured kitsch kept 2016 afloat. Chura’s first single “Slow Motion” from her upcoming record Messes, is a hazily languid, hickey-necked crisis that begs to get caught (and to be kept awake by thoughts of the “what the fuck am I doing? variety.)
Artist most likely to score a foreign sci-fi film:
Eclectic and texturized dream house artist Humons busted through a few atmospheres with his debut EP Spectra. A multi-dimensional, electro-pop collision course of cosmos and other worldly feels, Humons arrangements channel the extraterrestrial and the extraordinary complete with danceable, sensuous beats that any human or alien could get down to.
Song most suited for a girl-gang rebellion/club takeover:
Bevlove: “Do What I say”
A word of warning and a call to arms, “Do What I Say” from badass hip-pop game changer Bevlove, was the girl gang anthem we all needed in 2016. Laced with tenderness but swollen with commanding and demanding pussy power, “DWIS” was the most radio-ready song out of Detroit this year, channeling the likes of RiRi and Queen Bey, our Lady Love delivered one hell of a punch (and maybe even a groin stomp or two.)
Video most likely to feature yours truly:
Gosh Pith: “Scoop”
Our beloved Josh x Josh trip-hop duo Gosh Pith were busy boys this year. They toured, recored, released and churned out several videos for their EP Gold Chain all of which embody their sexy poetry and big heart lifestyle. And yeah. Okay. This is a shameless plug of sorts but being a love interest in a music video has been a life long goal of mine (well, I think it started with Mariah Carey’s “Heartbreaker” but whatever.) So when GP (I get to call them that now that I’m on the inside) asked me to star in the video for “Scoop”, a catchy, love lorn groove about the girl that got away (and then slept with someone else at her heartbroken ex’s house party. SAVAGE!) I immediately said yes and actually brushed my hair for the occasion. Full of cameo’s by Detroit’s many intermingled squads, this video is a fun look back on the year that was as brutal as, well, a breakup but as hopeful as a new spark.