IV is the Canadian group’s fifth studio album. Released earlier this year, it features several guest collaborations including Future Islands frontman, Sam Herring, and American hip hop artist, Mick Jenkins.
For 6 Music Recommends: Album of the Year, the presenters each selected their top five favourite albums of 2016 and since mid-December the network has been counting down the top ten. The number one choice will be celebrated by Gilles Peterson tonight (midnight-1am) in a special 6 Music Recommends show, where he’ll be playing the winning album in full. And this show will also be available to download and listen to at bbc.co.uk/6music.
The top ten albums represent the wealth of new music that can be found on BBC Radio 6 Music from an eclectic range of artists and genres. Now with 2.34m listeners (RAJAR Q3, 2016), the station is the largest digital-only radio station in the UK.
IV was Gilles Peterson’s top album choice. He said: “This is a complete record for me. BadBadNotGood have managed to mature over the three or four years that I’ve been listening to them, they’re great live and they continue to make brilliant music in the studio. They’ve got great ears, they manage to keep the jazz in the right place, the hip hop in the right place, they’ve been going down the psychedelic route a little bit and I’m absolutely delighted that their album has reached the top of the pile. ”
The top ten albums are:
1) BadBadNotGood – IV
Lauren Laverne – who also picked the album as her No 1 choice, says: “It’s got enough space in the music for you to lose yourself in it, and for me that’s just been absolutely critical this year. I don’t know why but I’ve been drawn back and back to music that lets me do that. I also love the collaborations on this record – it is intensely pleasing and quite diverse really. The album on its own is really pleasing, a really brilliant piece of art, but it also points to lots of other things that are going on in the world at the moment that are exciting and creative and brilliant, so for me that why I’ve chosen this album as my favourite of the year. Also the cover is hilarious, and while that hasn’t informed my judgement it certainly doesn’t hurt!”
2) David Bowie - Black Star
Mark Radcliffe says: “David Bowie was my idol at 14 and still my idol when he released Black Star. Ultimately this album has what all great Bowie albums have - a different sound from the previous album, great tunes, surprisingly powerful vocals, intriguing imagery, glamour, panache, tenderness and mystery. Some of it gives itself to you easily and some of it remains tantalisingly unfathomable, a masterpiece.”
3) Nick Cave - Skeleton Tree
Mary Anne Hobbs says: "A deeply intimate album written before and recorded after the tragic death of Nick Cave’s 15 year old son Arthur, as a listener and a fan you’ve never felt so close to Nick."
4) Michael Kiwanuka – Love & Hate
Stuart Maconie says: "Love And Hate is a huge evolutionary leap on from his promising first album, into a world of moody, orchestral soulful sound that evokes giants of both black and white music from Bill Withers and Isaac Hayes to Pink Floyd. Dark and intense without ever being overwrought.”
5) Anchorsong – Ceremonial
Gideon Coe says: “Masaaki Yoshida has made a wonderful album, one which has stayed with me all year. The fact that the record came out in January may give it an advantage but, equally, January releases can sometimes get a bit lost as the year wears on. Not this one. Brilliant use of rhythm and melody, beats and samples and vocal loops. It's not ground-breaking to use such things but his skill and feel and touch is exceptional. The vocal on Monsoon is one of the most beautiful things I've heard all year. The record gives the impression of someone operating at the very top of their game. That said, I can't wait to hear what he does next.”
6) Kate Tempest – Let Them Eat Chaos
Tom Robinson says: “Let Them Eat Chaos is a work of exceptional density and eloquence. A cinematic 47 minute journey embracing both the innermost workings of the human heart and the widescreen sweep of the approaching storm - social, political and environmental - enveloping all our lives in 2016. With music every bit as fresh and adventurous as Kate's own lyrics and delivery, Let Them Eat Chaos stands head and shoulders above every other album I've heard this year, if not this decade."
7) Bon Iver – 22 A Million
Mark Radcliffe says: “I love Bon Iver because of the development of his sound over three albums and this new one is about as strange and mangled as a white rock record can be, whilst still being accessible and beautiful, enigmatic pop music. I could live without the obfuscation of the titles if I’m honest, but I don’t pay much attention to those. I just let it wash over me like a breaking wave with lots of weird but pretty little sea creatures wiggling around in it.”
8) Car Seat Headrest - Teens of Denial
Steve Lamacq says: “The first proper new album since Will formed a band around himself. It’s a record which pulls off that trick of being complicated and, sometimes, a skewed version of alt pop music. It’s very simple and to the point in places. But I like it because Will’s obviously got a story to tell. He’s got a slightly world weary view of life to share with us. It’s about how some aspects of the world are a bit broken. And couldn’t we just do a bit better?”
9 Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
Mary Anne Hobbs says: "It is a mercurial and devastatingly beautiful album from the most important band on earth."
10) Thee Oh Sees - A Weird Exits
Marc Riley says: “I pity AND envy anyone who has just discovered the unbeatable Thee Oh Sees because their back catalogue is a very deep treasure trove which to plunder from scratch could leave you penniless. Well worth it though. I always advise newcomers to start with A Weird Exits (and work backwards) which is, for me, not only their best album so far - it’s also the best album of 2016 - bar none. Best live band in the world too. Honest!”
The 6 Music presenters that picked their top 5 albums were: Lauren Laverne, Steve Lamacq, Iggy Pop, Marc Riley, Cerys Matthews, Guy Garvey, Mark Radcliffe, Stuart Maconie, Shaun Keaveny, Tom Robinson, Gilles Peterson, Mary Anne Hobbs, Gideon Coe, Tom Ravenscroft, Nemone, Huey Morgan, Don Letts, Liz Kershaw, Chris Hawkins, Nemone and Craig Charles.