2016 has a been a strange year. Musically, there were a lot of new acts I enjoyed and great material from acts I followed. The year began with a bang, I got to see several Japanese artists such as Base Ball Bear, Do As Infinity, Aimer, Tanizawa Tomofumi, TK, and many more. How surreal it is to experience these artists for my own ears and eyes. I'm proud I took the initiative to live in Japan. I'm proud I did it all by myself. I'm proud I achieved my dream. Here is my soundtrack for 2016! For the frustrating times, the happy times, the lonely times, and everything in between. Hope these albums bring as much as joy and comfort as they did for me! (Note: All are listed in no particular order.)
1. Dangerous Woman by Ariana Grande
What can I say? Dangerous Woman is a solid album, backed with amazing vocals and catchy tunes. Personal favourites include Into You, Everyday, and Bad Decisions.
2. Right Where You Left Me by Perlo
From their Patterns EP, Perlo won my heart over with their endearing pop folk track. This single must have been on repeat for weeks, months and I am still not sick of the soft acoustics, hushed vocals, and haunting melody.
3. white noise by TK from Ling Tosite Sigure
A gorgeous, well-crafted album from beginning to end. Hearing some of the tracks live definitely made an impression. The raw energy and overwhelming passion will flow through my memories for all time.
4. Let It Fly by Leola
Break-out artist, Leola presents clean, slightly husky vocals with her fun, lighthearted songs. Her cheery and uplifting charm put an interesting spin to what would traditionally be just another plain pop hit.
5. Sumire by Hata Motohiro
Fitting for spring and all its florals, Sumire is a wonderful number to accompany a nature walk and bask in the sun. Motohiro continues his record of quality pop songs. This guy knows what he's doing.
6. Page Four by Page Four
Who knew I'd get into a Dutch boy band so seemingly easily? Regardless of my terrible pronunciation, their summery upbeat hits have me singing and dancing along.
7. Daydream by Aimer
It is evident by now I am a huge fan of Aimer. Even though I'm not the biggest fan of her latest album, I respect her journey and her efforts in becoming a diverse, experienced artist. Daydream was a step in moving her career forward and what a big step that was!
8. kinda by LANY
Albeit discovering LANY in 2017, I have completely fallen in love with their pop R&B sound. It is dreamlike and calming and atmospheric. There's no EP I'd rather listen to while on a drive out.
9. Toki - Acoustic Verison - by Da-ICE
Taken from their album Every Season, the acoustic version of Toki is everything I could have asked for. Sota Hanamura has the most gorgeous, raspy vocals that can melt the frostiest of hearts. Enjoy the harmonious wonders of the group's duo vocals in this stripped down track.
10. Black and White by Regina Spektor
The quirky and always charming Regina blesses the world with another heart moving album. In Remember Us To Life, there's one track that stands out and that is Black and White. It echoes in my mind hours even after the song's ended.
What was your soundtrack to the year 2016? I'd love to hear your favourites.