15 brilliant albums you may have missed in 2016 so far

Getting bored of A Moon Shaped Pool by now?

Incredibly, we’ve reached the midway point of 2016 already.

Six months down, and there have been some major album releases by the likes of Kanye West, Radiohead, Beyoncé, Coldplay and the late David Bowie.

But there’s so much coming out every week it’s easy to miss a few gems, so here are some of the WOW247 team’s favourite unsung records of 2016 so far.

As chosen by Nick Mitchell [NM] and Alex Nelson [AN].

Scroll down for a Spotify playlist featuring tracks from each album.

Hinds – Leave Me Alone


Released: January 8
Label: Mom + Pop Music

The grotty, lo-fi strain of rock pioneered by bands like The Black Lips was always one traditionally dominated by dumb, beer swilling men, so the release of Hinds‘ debut was a breath of fresh air. Sure, they still swill their fare share of beer, and sound like an unrehearsed school band at times (in the best possible way), but their effortless cool means you’ll be wanting to join your local girl gang in an instant. [AN]

Anderson .Paak – Malibu


Released: January 15
Label: Steel Wool

While the world is waiting on Frank Ocean’s much-delayed follow-up to Channel Orange, a very very good alternative is Anderson .Paak. The Los Angeles artist’s second full-length record is a futuristic take on old school R&B, and his boundless talents have earned him a deal with Dr Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment. [NM]

Suede – Night Thoughts


Released: January 22
Label: Suede Ltd.

Since their return in 2010, Britpop’s most flamboyant act have been going from strength to strength. Sure, they may have dropped the winking innuendos and subtle drug references of their trademarkedly huge choruses, but they’ve been taking on a grander, more mature oeuvre, so we’re not complaining. Night Thoughts is one part ambitious film score, two parts indie-rock stomper. [AN]

Basement – Promise Everything

basement promise everything album artwork

Released: January 29
Label: Run For Cover

Emo-rockers in the truest sense (i.e. not the angsty teenager pandering of bands like My Chemical Romance), Basement’s transatlantic sound is all the more surprising when you discover the five-piece hail from Ipswich. Their first album since a 2012 hiatus, Promise Everything may not be their highest ranking album, but it’s still well worth a listen for its brilliantly structured, punchy songs. [AN]

Milk Teeth – Vile Child

Milk Teeth Vile Child album artwork

Released: January 29
Label: Hopeless Records

Bristol’s Milk Teeth unleashed their debut album earlier this year, presenting a band with two very distinct sides. There’s the aggro punk of tracks like ‘Get A Clue’, and altogether more calmer, delicate offerings like ‘Swear Jar’. It’s when the two collide, on songs like ‘Driveway Birthday’ where the magic really happens. A promising start for the indie-rockers. [AN]

Field Music – Commontime


Released: February 5
Label: Memphis Industries

Field Music are the Talking Heads this generation needs. Fearlessly original and committed to their art, but with an honest love of pop. And Commontime is arguably the Sunderland band’s most accessible record to date, a brilliantly arranged collection of post-punk gems with spindly guitars, tight bass, inventive percussion and full-fat sax that feels like it’s bound together with super-glue. [NM]

DIIV – Is The Is Are

diiv is the is are album artwork

Released: February 5
Label: Captured Tracks

Clueless bassists and 4chan message board implosions aside, DIIV have been making some of the sweetest shoegaze inspired dream-pop for a good few years now. Their second album brought summer sounds to many listeners’ ears a good five months too early, and a retrospective listen in the sun now brings the record an even warmer touch. [AN]

Ulrika Spacek – The Album Paranoia


Released: February 5
Label: Tough Love

Deep, varied, textured… just some of the adjectives you could use to describe the debut album from Ulrika Spacek, one of the most exciting new bands around. Taking the melodic grunt of the Mary Chain at their height, the delicate guitar work of Sonic Youth’s quieter moments, and tying it all up with some Can-esque Krautrock, you simply need to be drawn in by Ulrika Spacek. [AN]

School of Seven Bells – SVIIB


Released: February 12
Label: Full Time Hobby

If indeed SVIIB is the final album Alejandra Deheza decides to release as School of Seven Bells following the death of Benjamin Curtis in 2013, it is a fitting ending. Recorded during his battle with lymphoma in 2013, and finished by Deheza, the record is a real grower, with swooping choruses, shimmering dream-pop and colossal guitars. ‘Signals’ exemplifies this in three and a half minutes of sonic bliss. [NM]

Yuck – Stranger Things

Yuck Stranger Things album artwork

Released: February 26
Label: Mamé Records

When founding member Daniel Blumberg left Yuck back in 2013, their second album – Glow & Behold – suffered as a result. But original fans of the London alt.rock four-piece will be glad to know they’ve found their footing again on Stranger Things, which kicks off in marvellous fashion with fuzzy three-chord wonder ‘Hold Me Closer’, and only gets better from there. [AN]

Steve Mason – Meet the Humans


Released: February 26
Label: Double Six

Following the fiercely political Monkey Minds In The Devil’s Time, Meet the Humans finds Steve Mason relenting on the narrative to focus on some of the most accomplished songwriting of his career. It was recorded over a six-week period in an ex-factory space in Salford in the summer of 2015, and the enjoyment of the process can be heard in every note and chorus from the former Beta Band man. [NM]

Bibio – A Mineral Love


Released: April 1
Label: Warp Records

Bibio, real name Stephen Wilkinson, is surely one of the most underrated artists working today. The Warp Records-signed producer has released eight albums of gloriously sun-bleached retro-pop, and A Mineral Love is no exception. The chirpy ‘Town & Country’ is a slice of pure ’70s funk-pop sure to crack even the glummest face into a smile. [NM]

Frightened Rabbit – Painting of a Panic Attack


Released: April 8
Label: Atlantic

It might seem odd to include a band of Frightened Rabbit’s stature in a list of albums you might have missed, but while their fanbase is as loyal as ever, perhaps it’s time a wider audience took notice of a group who consistently produce emotive indie-rock without an ounce of the maudlin falseness that so many of their contemporaries are guilty of. ‘Get Out’ in particular, with its thrilling refrain, is already a favourite. [NM]

Eagulls – Ullages


Released: May 13
Label: Partisan

If there was anything at fault with Eagulls‘ self-titled 2014 debut, it’s that it could have cracked a smile once in a while. Perhaps that was impossible, with its council flat tales of inner city desperation, but Ullages at least finds humour in that first record’s despair, introducing keyboards to the mix and giving the whole thing a Cure-esque tinge so bleak it’d make Robert Smith’s make-up run. [AN]

Eagulls talk album #2 – and Engelbert Humperdinck

PAWS – No Grace

PAWS No Grace album artwork

Released: June 17
Label: Fat Cat Records

The first two albums from Glasgow’s PAWS contained enough ramshackle, lo-fi punk to make a fan out of Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus, who opted to lend production duties to their third. No Grace is as poppy as they’ve ever been, and will make the perfect soundtrack to those summer skateboarding sessions, mixing catchy songwriting with grit and angst. [AN]

Listen to our Best Albums of 2016 playlist:


WOW247’s Best Albums of 2015: 5 – 1

16 new bands and artists to watch in 2016

25 new bands you need to hear