Music: Best of 2016

Angel Olsen

Still from Julianna Barwick’s 2016 music video Nebula, directed by Derrick Belcham.

1 JULIANNA BARWICK, WILL (Dead Oceans) Barwick is a celestial wizard. I listened to Will, her latest album—a compilation of multilayered vocal arrangements soaked in heavy reverb—quite a bit over the summer, to clear my brain on the way to rehearsals or while getting ready for long days of nonstop press.

2 BIG SEARCH (The BlindSpot Project, Los Angeles, February 12) While recording in LA in February, I went to see this rock band at a warehouse party and really enjoyed the show. I became obsessed with their track “Please Do Not Explain.”

3 DAVID BOWIE, BLACKSTAR (Columbia/ISO/RCA) In January, I walked into a bar in my hometown and actually heard Blackstar for the first time, not knowing it was David Bowie. When I found out, I was amazed that someone could keep making records that are surprising and curious, music that still makes people ask, “Who is this?” A few days

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