2016 Year in Review Staff Picks- Brooklyn Doran

Everyday we will be posting a year end survey submitted by team members, they appear unedited with contributors told to interpret questions how ever they see fit. -Dakota, Music Editor

How long have you been with Live in Limbo and what do you do for the site?

About a year! I do concert reviews; the odd Spotify playlist and I secure live session premieres for Live in Limbo. I also play folk music!

What were your three favourite albums of 2016?

The Party – Andy Shauf

This album is pure magic, and has been playing on repeat in my home for months. There is something about the 70’s referenced pop composition that fills the entire room with warmth. The album is entirely set in a house party and the lyrics are too real. Take “Early to the Party” for example, the tale of the first guy to arrive to a house party, sitting like a wallflower. This album is totally like said guy at said party who casually bumps into you and who stays in your head all night.

Lemonade – Beyonce

There is no contest. Beyonce is the reigning queen of music these days. When we look back many years from now, this album will have made an indelible stamp on our history. Surrounding herself with a team of writers including Father John Misty, Ezra Koenig and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, to name a few, Beyonce has created an amazing album front to back. Each frame of the visual album, a 60 minute film released on HBO, is a piece of art in itself. All of this is woven together by powerful spoken word. Most importantly though, this album unpacks so many complex and empowering political ideas – about the lives of black women, police brutality, conflict in relationships and so much more. Genius.

Telluric – Matt Corby

From the first few notes of “Monday” I was struck. This album is the first full-length release following the Australian artist’s first two EPs “Into the Flame” and “Resolution.” The vibe of this album is lush, earthy and full. Listening to this album is like taking a journey. The songs pour into each other like waves, and the lyrics resonate.“I was never lost, I only chose to never go home” he sings on the single “Monday” which was recorded in less than 10 minutes. So good.

What was the most underrated album of 2016?

Andrew Bird – Are You Serious

Ever since his 2005 release “Andrew Bird & The Mysterious Production of Eggs” I have been following him closely. His newest offering is no different- an expert at crafting the indie-folk record, Bird has been steadily creating work that has grown and shifted over time. Like his other work, this record is one that I could spin a million times and hear something new and exciting each time.

What was your favourite Canadian album of 2016?

Wild Rivers – Wild Rivers

Recorded at Catherine North Studios in Hamilton, ON and produced by Dan Hosh (Rose Cousins, Said the Whale), I knew from the start this record would be incredible. The self-titled folk record features gorgeous harmonies, heartbreaking lyrics and absolutely beautiful arrangements. “Heart Attack” is the single that I can’t get out of my head. Listen closely for strings from acclaimed cellist Kirk Starkey.

What were your three favourite songs of 2016?

“Coming on Strong” – Jane’s Party

What a party anthem! and the video features some of Toronto’s best and brightest!

“Roses” – The Staves

Harmonies for days, the perfect song for a cold winter afternoon

“Martha Sways” – Andy Shauf

A beautiful song that makes my heart feel all sorts of feelings.

How many concerts and/or festivals did you go to in 2016?

So many! Including the shows I played, I’d say at least over 100 shows.

What were your three favourite concerts of the year?

Gingerale and the Monowhales at The Horseshoe Tavern

If you are looking for a party, this is the place to be. With the release of their newest album “Bang!” these guys are stars on the rise! This is one of the most energetic live shows I have seen in my life! There is great music and pool noodles and confetti and all sorts of good vibes.

The Staves at Lee’s Palace

I have been such a fan of The Staves for the longest time, and this show was truly magical.

Milk Carton Kids at Hillside Festival 2016

There is something about a warm summer night and listening to Milk Carton Kids that makes me feel at home. Fireflies were buzzing in the sky, and music from another stage was floating in the air in the distance- but as soon as the first note was sung, the rest of the world faded away. Plus, I got to say hey, and they are super nice in person.

What was your favourite festival you attended of the year?

Trout Forest Music Festival in Ear Falls, ON

Amazing festival vibe, from the community of music goers to the epic backstage meals. I had a blast both playing this festival and attending it!

What festival had the best lineup (regardless if you attended or not)?

I would’ve loved to be at Austin City Limits this year.

What/who was the biggest musical disappointment (live or album) for you?

Dang. No comment.

In your opinion, what was the biggest music story?

I was very proud to see women standing up to misogyny and rape within the music scene. From Kesha’s legal battle with Dr. Luke, Lady Gaga talking about sexual abuse and PTSD, Amber Koffman of the Dirty Projectors calling out Heathcliff Berru of Life or Death PR for his conduct and so many more brave women in the scene taking a stand against sexual assault.

What band did you see live for the first time that really impressed you?

The Cave Singers

What was your favourite new musical discovery of 2016?

Charlotte Day Wilson’s “CDW”

Who were you disappointed to miss seeing live this year?

I wish I’d been able to go to Beyonce’s Formation World Tour.

Who should we be looking out for in 2017?

I think 2017 will see a surge of politically motivated and protest music. Music has always been one of the best tools for expressing frustration with the status quo- and I think in our current political climate, I think a lot of great music will emerge out of that.

Who’s going to be headlining (or at least playing) all the 2017 festivals?

Despite his super active movie and television career, I hope more than anything that it’ll be Childish Gambino.

What was your favourite review or photo set you did for LiL this year?

I had an absolutely wonderful time at Hillside Festival 2016 this year:

Is there anything else you want to say about 2016 or predict about 2017?

We lost so many amazing artists in 2016, but I think out of that we were able to rediscover some of our favourite songs.

About author

Brooklyn Doran is a freelance writer and PR consultant based in Toronto, Ontario. She is also a folk singer-songwriter whose music can be found at brooklyndoran.com and on Twitter @brooklyndoran.