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Best of 2016: Staff Picks

Best of 2016 Staff Picks
by

See: Listener Poll Results

Skip down to: Corny O'Connell | Carmel Holt | Dennis Elsas | Alisa Ali | Darren DeVivo | Rita Houston | Russ Borris | Paul Cavalconte | John Platt | Kara Manning | Eric Holland | Sarah Wardrop | Bob Sherman | Cara Tobin | Danielle Waltrip | Laura Fedele | Sean Todd | Ali Feldhausen

Corny O'Connell

WFUV Morning Host

Top 10 Songs (alphabetical)

1. case/lang/veirs, "Best Kept Secret"
2. Cass McCombs, "Opposite House"
3. De La Soul with Snoop Dogg, "Pain"
4. Death Cab for Cutie, "Million Dollar Loan"
5. Dori Freeman, "Ain't Nobody"
6. Dylan LeBlanc, "Cautionary Tale"
7. Leonard Cohen, "You Want It Darker"
8. Lion Babe, "Jump Hi"
9. Radiohead, "Burn the Witch"
10. Warpaint, "New Song"

Top 10 Albums (alphabetical)

1. Amos Lee, Spirit
2. case/lang/veirs, case/lang/veirs
3. Dylan LeBlanc, Cautionary Tale
4. Jamie Lidell, Building a Beginning
5. Jeff Lynne's ELO, Alone in the Universe
6. Lissie, My Wild West
7. M. Ward, More Rain
8. Norah Jones, Day Breaks
9. Tedeschi Trucks Band, Let Me Get By
10. The Record Company, Give It Back to You

Discovery of the Year

Seratones
 

Carmel Holt

WFUV Midday and Saturday Morning Host, Assistant Music Director

Top 10 Songs: I couldn't stop at just 10! Here are my Top 15:

1. Beck, "Wow"
2. David Bowie, "Lazarus"
3. Sylvan Esso, "Radio"
4. Warpaint, "New Song"
5. Bob Mould, "Voices In My Head"
6. Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam, "A 1000 Times"
7. Radiohead, "Burn The Witch"
8. Iggy Pop, "Gardenia"
9. Chance The Rapper, "Blessings"
10. Regina Spektor, "The Trapper & The Furrier"
11. Frightened Rabbit, "I Wish That I Was Sober"
12. Yeasayer, "I Am Chemistry"
13. Michael Kiwanuka, "Black Man In A White World"
14. Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions, "Let Me Get There (feat. Kurt Vile)"
15. Andrew Bird, "Capsized"

Top 15 Albums

1. Radiohead, A Moon Shaped Pool
2. David Bowie, Blackstar
3. Bon Iver, 22, A Million
4. Okkervil River, Away
5. Blood Orange, Freetown Sound
6. Regina Spektor, Remember Us To Life
7. Angel Olsen, My Woman
8. Frightened Rabbit, Painting of A Panic Attack
9. Parquet Courts, Human Performance
10. Sam Beam & Jesca Hoop, Love Letter For Fire
11. Warpaint, Heads Up
12. case/lang/veirs, case/lang/veirs
13. Cass McCombs, Mangy Love
14. Beth Orton, Kidsticks
15. Santigold, 99 Cents

Discovery of the Year

Sunflower Bean
 

Dennis Elsas

WFUV Afternoon Host

Top Songs, Alphabetical

1. Dinosaur Jr, "Tiny"
2. Drive-By Truckers, "Surrender Under Protest"
3. Margaret Glaspy, "You and I"
4. PJ Harvey, "The Community of Hope"
5. The Jayhawks, "Quiet Corners and Empty Spaces"
6. The Lumineers, "Cleopatra"
7. Angel Olsen, "Shut Up Kiss Me"
8. The Pixies, "Classic Masher"
9. Radiohead, "Burn the Witch"
10. The Revivalists, "Wish I Knew You"
11. Seratones, "Don't Need It"
12. Shovels & Rope, "I Know"
13. Regina Spektor, "Older and Taller"
14. Sting, "I Can't Stop Thinking About You"
15. Sylvan Esso, "Radio"
16. Teenage Fanclub, "I'm In Love"

Top 10 Albums, Alphabetical

1. The Avett Brothers, True Sadness
2. Band of Horses, Why Are You Ok
3. Brian Fallon, Painkillers
4. The Head and the Heart, Signs of Light
5. Nada Surf, You Know Who You Are
6. Bonnie Raitt, Dig in Deep
7. The Record Company, Give It Back to You
8. The Rolling Stones, Blue and Lonesome
9. Paul Simon, Stranger to Stranger
10. Tedeschi Trucks Band, Let Me Get By

Discovery of the Year

The Record Company
 

Alisa Ali

WFUV Evening Host and Producer

Top 10 Songs, In no particular order

1. Beck, "Wow"
2. Angel Olsen, "Shut Up Kiss me"
3. Billie Marten, "Milk & Honey"
4. Weaves, "Coo Coo"
5. Dinosaur Jr, "Tiny"
6. Disclosure, "Feel Like I Do"
7. Rihanna, "Same Ol' Mistakes"
8. Sylvan Esso, "Radio"
9. Middle Kids, "Edge of Town"
10. Bob Mould, "Voices In My Head"

Top 10 Albums, In no particular order

1. Andrew Bird, Are You Serious
2. Jim James, Eternally Even
3. Radiohead, A Moon Shaped Pool
4. Rihanna, Anti
5. Rufus Du Soul, Bloom
6. Chance The Rapper, Coloring Book
7. Kishi Bashi, Sonderlust
8. Nada Surf, You Know Who You Are
9. Tribe Called Quest, We Got It from Here...Thank You 4 Your Service
10. The Avalanches, Wildflower

Discovery of the Year

Lucy Dacus, An amazing new talent with a unique voice. She's also a thoughtful and witty lyricist.
 

Darren DeVivo

WFUV Night and FUV Music Weekend Host

Top 30 Albums

1. David Bowie, Blackstar
2. Billy Bragg and Joe Henry, Shine A Light, Field Recordings From The Great American Railroad
3. Eric Clapton, I Still Do
4. Leonard Cohen, You Want It Darker
5. David Crosby, Lighthouse
6. Dinosaur Jr., Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not
7. Dion, New York Is My Home
8. Alejandro Escovedo, Burn Something Beautiful
9. Jim James, Eternally Even
10. Elton John, Wonderful Crazy Night
11. Kansas, The Prelude Implicit
12. Ray LaMontagne, Ouroboros
13. Bob Mould, Patch The Sky
14. Van Morrison, Keep Me Singing
15. Graham Nash, This Path Tonight
16. Pixies, Head Carrier
17. The Posies, Solid States
18. Radiohead, A Moon Shaped Pool
19. Santana, Santana IV
20. John Scofield, Country For Old Men
21. Richard Shindell, Careless
22. Paul Simon, Stranger To Stranger
23. Sting, 57th & 9th
24. Syd Arthur, Apricity
25. Tedeschi Trucks Band, Let Me Get By
26. Teenage Fanclub, Here
27. Robin Trower, Where You Are Going To
28. Van Der Graaf Generator, Do Not Disturb
29. Suzanne Vega, Lover, Beloved, Songs From An Evening With Carson McCullers
30. Ryley Walker, Golden Sings That Have Been Sung
Released after this list was complied: Kate Bush, The K Fellowship Presents Before The Dawn; The Rolling Stones, Blue & Lonesome and Neil Young, Peace Trail.

Discovery of the Year

Sunflower Bean
 

Rita Houston

Program Director and Host of The Whole Wide World

Top 13 Songs

1. Beck, "Wow"
2. Paul Simon, "Wristband"
3. Lake Street Dive, "Mistakes"
4. Big Gigantic with Angela McCluskey, "Little Things"
5. Maxwell, "Lake By the Ocean"
6. Bob Dylan, "That Old Black Magic"
7. Sia, "Cheap Thrills"
8. Cass McCombs, "Opposite House"
9. LP, "Lost On You"
10. Childish Gambino, "Redbone"
11. Mavis Staples, "High Note"
12. Justin Timberlake, "Can't Stop the Feeling"
13. Michael Kiwanuka, "Love & Hate"

Top 11 Albums

1. The Head and the Heart, Signs of Light
2. Amos Lee, Spirit
3. case/lang/veirs, case/lang/veirs
4. Adele, 25
5. Corinne Bailey Rae, The Heart Speaks in Whispers
6. A Tribe Called Quest, We Got it From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service
7. Jennifer O'Connor, Surface Noise
8. Bear's Den, Red Earth and Pouring Rain
9. David Bowie, Blackstar
10. Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop, Love Letter for Fire
11. De La Soul, And the Anonymous Nobody

Discovery of the Year

The Record Company
 

Russ Borris

Music Director, Host of WFUV Saturday Midday and The Alternate Side on FUV

Top 10 Songs (alphabetical)

1. Bear's Den, "Red Earth & Pouring Rain"
2. Eric Bachmann, "Mercy"
3. Frightened Rabbit, "I Wish I Was Sober"
4. Kristin Kontrol, "X-Communicate"
5. Okkervil River, "Okkervil River R.I.P."
6. Roosevelt, "Fever"
7. Savages, "Adore"
8. St. Lucia, "Dancing on Glass"
9. Sturgill Simpson, "Welcome to Earth (Pollywog)"
10. The Weeknd, "Starboy"

Top 10 Albums (alphabetical)

1. A Tribe Called Quest, We Got it From Here...Thank You 4 Your Service
2. Blood Orange, Freetown Sound
3. Bon Iver, 22, A Million
4. Brian Fallon, Painkillers
5. David Bowie, Blackstar
6. Har Mar Superstar, Best Summer Ever
7. Okkervil River, Away
8. Pixies, Head Carrier
9. Solange, A Seat at the Table
10. Sunflower Bean, Human Ceremony

Discovery of the Year

Seratones
 

Paul Cavalconte

WFUV and Cavalcade Host

Top 10 Songs

1. Local Natives, "Fountain Of Youth" - Think we'd better listen to these kids.
2. Warpaint, "New Song" - Club song, radio song, hit song.
3. Regina Spektor, "Older And Taller" - "Enjoy your youth" sounds like a threat. They DO write 'em like that anymore.
4. Suzanne Vega, "We Of Me" -  Lovely and literate. ...as you are me and we are all together.
5. Karl Blau, "Falling Rain " - A gentle wash of West Coast Weird.
6. White Denim, "Had 2 Know (Personal)" - Thin Lizzy's best record in 40 years.
7. The Record Company, "Off The Ground" - Bluesy and badass.
8. The Lemon Twigs, "These Words" - From the mouths of babes, a prom song for all ages.
9. Mondo Cozmo, "Shine" - More proof that good sense and innocence did not cripple mankind.
10. Honus Honus, "Heavy Jesus" -  I ain't got time for that now.

Top 10 Albums

1. David Bowie, Blackstar - A valedictory from the head of the graduating class of 2016.
2. Radiohead, A Moon Shaped Pool - Luminous, languid and lovely, Radiohead gets back to cranking out instant classics.
3. case/lang/veirs, case/lang/veirs - Crosby, Stills and Nash, but female. Yes, it's that good.
4. Bob Weir, Blue Mountain -  Sublime autumnal comeback.
5. Ray LaMontagne, Ouroboros - Ray's personal journey keeps unfolding, in longform songs of depth and character.
6. Tedeschi Trucks Band, Let Me Get By - A solid rock and roll album, made the good old fashioned way. Yes, that happens too.
7. Brian Fallon, Painkillers - Alone time works for an introspective storyteller.
8. Sunflower Bean, Human Ceremony - The kids are alright.
9. Band Of Horses, Why Are You Ok - Bring on the dancing band of horses!
10. Andrew Bird, Are You Serious - He is, about being quirky and musical.

Discovery of the Year

Sunflower Bean
 

John Platt

Sunday Supper Host

Top 10 Songs (in alphabetical order)

1. The Avett Brothers, "True Sadness"
2. Brother Sun, "Source of the Sun"
3. Leonard Cohen, "You Want It Darker"
4. Dion (with Paul Simon), "New York Is My Home"
5. Riley Etheridge, "Everything You Wanted"
6. Sarah Jarosz, "House of Mercy"
7. The Jayhawks, "Lovers of the Sun"
8. James O'Malley, "The Writer Remains"
9. Paul Sachs, "Love Is Love"
10. Wilco, "If Ever I Was a Child"

Top 10 Albums (in alphabetical order)

1. Sam Beam & Jesca Hoop, Love Letter for Fire
2. Birds of Chicago, Real Midnight
3. David Bromberg, The Blues, The Whole Blues, and Nothing But the Blues
4. Brother Sun, Weights and Wings
5. case/lang/veirs, case/lang/veirs
6. Leonard Cohen, You Want It Darker
7. The Jayhawks, Paging Mr. Proust
8. Norah Jones, Day Breaks
9. Amos Lee, Spirit
10. Bob Weir, Blue Mountain
Honorable mention:
Gathering Time, Max Hatt/Edda Glass,No Fuss & Feathers, Lucy Wainwright Roche & Suzzy Roche, Paul Sachs, Mavis Staples,Allen Toussaint, Sloan Wainwright, Scott Wolfson & Other Heroes

Discovery of the Year

Birds of Chicago - With lead singer Allison Russell, a protégé of Rhiannon Giddens, providing the compelling vocals for JT Nero's smart songs, they've got the ingredients to reach a sizeable audience that appreciates both roots and hook-filled rock.
 

Kara Manning

UKNY Host, Digital Editor and On-Air Interviewer

Top 10 Songs (well, 16)

1. Softer Still, "Bliss"
2. Bromide, "Mr. Ciccone's Daughter"
3. Viola Beach, "Swings and Waterslides"
4. Savages, "Sad Person"
5. Unknown Mortal Orchestra, "First World Problem"
6. Laura Mvula, "Show Me Love"
7. Honeyblood, "Sea Hearts"
8. Kiran Leonard, "Pink Fruit"
9. Billie Marten, "Bird"
10. Gwen Stefani, "Make Me Like You"
11. She drew the gun, "Poem"
12. The Divine Comedy, "To The Rescue"
13. The xx, "On Hold"
14. Two Door Cinema Club, "Bad Decisions"
15. Whitney, "Polly"
16. Weaves, "Coo Coo"

Top 10 Albums (which became 13)

1. David Bowie, Blackstar
2. Radiohead, A Moon Shaped Pool
3. Underworld, Barbara Barbara, We Face a Shining Future
4. Laura Mvula, The Dreaming Room
5. C Duncan, The Midnight Sun
6. Blood Orange, Freetown Sound
7. Julia Jacklin, Don't Let The Kids Win
8. Corinne Bailey Rae, The Heart Speaks in Whispers
9. Anna Meredith, Varmints
10. Angel Olsen, My Woman
11. A Tribe Called Quest, We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service
12. California Snow Story, Some Other Places
13. Meilyr Jones, 2013

Discoveries of the Year

1. Softer Still — A Surrey band with a just-released debut EP that deliciously sounds like a contemporary Cocteau Twins.
2. She drew the gun — Liverpool-based Louisa Roach and her bandmates write astute, politically searing songs. "Poem" could be the anthem of 2016.
3. The Lemon Twigs — Long Island brothers who not only charm fans with their eclectic, psychedelic quilt of songs, but fellow musicians too.
4. Viola Beach — The shocking February car accident that killed the members of Viola Beach and their manager was sadly what gave their effervescent pop songs the universal attention they richly deserved. The release of Viola Beach's posthumous debut album, lovingly cobbled together by their family and friends, vaulted to No. 1 on the UK charts, helped along by Coldplay's touching tribute to the band at Glastonbury.
 

Eric Holland

WFUV and FUV Music Weekend Host

Top 10 Songs

1. Charles Bradley, "Ain't It A Sin"
2. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, "I'm Still Here"
3. Radiohead, "Burn The Witch"
4. Beck, "Wow"
5. Ben Harper, "When Sex Was Dirty"
6. Jamie Lidell, "Walk Right Back"
7. Andrew Bird, "Capsized"
8. Lake Street Dive, "Call Off Your Dogs"
9. The Record Company, "Off The Ground"
10. Marcus King Band, "Ain't Nothing Wrong With That"

Top 10 Albums

1. Tedeschi Trucks Band, Let Me Get By
2. Iggy Pop, Post Pop Depression
3. David Bowie, Blackstar
4. Car Seat Headrest, Teens of Denial
5. Corinne Bailey Rae, The Heart Speaks In Whispers
6. Paul Simon, Stranger To Stranger
7. Peter Wolf, A Cure For Loneliness
8. Bob Mould, Patch The Sky
9. Margaret Glaspy, Emotions and Math
10. Leonard Cohen, You Want It Darker

Discovery of the Year

Sunflower Bean
 

Sarah Wardrop

Assistant Program Director, WFUV Host

Top 10 Songs (turned up to 11, alphabetical)

1. Blood Orange, "Best to You"
2. The Head and the Heart, "Library Magic"
3. Hiss Golden Messenger, "Biloxi"
4. The Julie Ruin, "I'm Done"
5. Lori McKenna, "Humble & Kind"
6. Erin McKeown, "The Queer Gospel"
7. MUNA, "Loudspeaker"
8. Angel Olsen, "Sister"
9. PWR BTTM, "New Hampshire"
10. Corinne Bailey Rae, "The Skies Will Break"
11. Yeasayer, "Silly Me"

Top 10 Albums... alphabetical

1. David Bowie, Blackstar
2. case/lang/veirs, case/lang/veirs
3. Chance the Rapper, Coloring Book
4. Frightened Rabbit, Painting of a Panic Attack
5. Laura Mvula, The Dreaming Room
6. Solange, A Seat At The Table
7. Regina Spektor, Remember Us To Life
8. Sunflower Bean, Human Ceremony
9. Tedeschi Trucks Band, Let Me Get By
10. Tegan & Sara, Love You To Death
...and then these were released!
A Tribe Called Quest, We Got it From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service
Various, The Hamilton Mixtape

Discovery of the Year

Seratones
 

Bob Sherman

Woody's Children Host

Top 10 Albums

1. Joan Baez, The 75th Birthday Celebration
2. Spook Handy, Pete, Woody and Me
3. Lara Herskovitch, Misfit
4. David Maloney, My Father's Shoulders
5. Lisa Redfern, Chickadee
6. Sally Rogers & Claudia Schmidt, We Are Welcomed
7. David Roth, So Far So Good
8. Cosy Sheridan, Sometimes I Feel Too Much
9. Dan Schatz, The Promise of the Sowing
10. Josh White, Josh at Midnight (60 anniversary 2016 reissue, on LP only!)

Discovery of the Year

Erika Kulnys
 

Cara Tobin

Membership Director

Top 10 Songs

1. Michael Kiwanuka, "Love & Hate"
2. Amos Lee, "Spirit"
3. The Record Company, "Feels So Good"
4. Michael Kiwanuka, "Black Man in a White World"
5. Cage the Elephant, "Mess Around"
6. Dr. Dog, "Bring My Baby Back"
7. Lake Street Dive, "Call off the Dogs"
8. Adele, "Hello"
9. Leonard Cohen, "You want it Darker"
10. The Suffers, "Stay"

Top 10 Albums

1. Michael Kiwanuka, Love & Hate
2. The Record Company, Give It Back To You
3. Okkervil River, Away
4. Tom Waits, God Don't Never Change: The Songs Of Blind Willie Johnson
5. Norah Jones, Day Breaks
6. The Avett Brothers, True Sadness
7. My Morning Jacket, Magic Bullet
8. Moby, These Systems Are Failing
9. Local Natives, Sunlit Youth
10. case/lang/veirs, case/lang/veirs

Discovery of the Year

Local Natives - Digging their sound and their songs
 

Danielle Waltrip

Membership Manager

Top Songs

1. Maggie Rogers, "Alaska"
2. Angel Olsen, "Shut Up Kiss Me"
3. Sylvan Esso, "Radio"

Top Albums

1. Angel Olsen, My Woman
2. case/lang/veirs, case/lang/veirs
3. Corinne Bailey Rae, The Heart Speaks In Whispers
4. Michael Kiwanuka, Love & Hate
 

Laura Fedele

New Media Director

Top 10 Songs

1. David Bowie, "Lazarus"
2. Radiohead, "Burn the Witch"
3. Beck, "Wow"
4. De La Soul with Snoop Dogg, "Pain"
5. Ra Ra Riot, "Water"
6. Bear's Den, "Red Earth & Pouring Rain"
7. Sylvan Esso, "Radio"
8. Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop, "Every Songbird Says"
9. Warpaint, "New Song"
10. case/lang/veirs, "Best Kept Secret"

Top 10 Albums

1. Radiohead, A Moon Shaped Pool
2. Michael Kiwanuka, Love & Hate
3. Adele, 25
4. The Head and the Heart, Signs Of Light
5. Various Artists, Day Of The Dead
6. Wilco, Schmilco
7. Yeasayer, Amen and Goodbye
8. Okkervil River, Away
9. Corinne Bailey Rae, The Heart Speaks In Whispers
10. Dawes, We're All Gonna Die
Honorable Mentions:
Leonard Cohen R.I.P., Amos Lee, Lake Street Dive, Regina Spektor, Bob Weir, Jim James, Jennifer O'Connor, Margo Price, Sturgill Simpson

Discovery of the Year

The Record Company
 

Sean Todd

Music Manager

Top 10 Songs

1. Father John Misty, "Real Love Baby"
2. case/lang/veirs, "Atomic Number"
3. Maggie Rogers, "Alaska"
4. Charles Bradley, "Ain't It A Sin"
5. Band Of Horses, "Casual Party"
6. Unknown Mortal Orchestra, "First World Problem"
7. Sampha, "Timmy's Prayer"
8. White Denim, "Ha Ha Ha Ha (Yeah)"
9. Jim James, "Same Old Lie"
10. The Avalanches, "Subways"

Top 10 Albums

1. Michael Kiwanuka, Love & Hate
2. Anderson .Paak, Malibu
3. Regina Spektor, Remember Us to Life
4. Blood Orange, Freetown Sound
5. Bon Iver, 22, A Million
6. Angel Olsen, My Woman
7. Isaiah Rashad, The Sun's Tirade
8. KAYTRANADA, 99.9%_
9. James Blake, The Colour in Anything
10. Chance the Rapper, Coloring Book

Discovery of the Year

Charles Bradley - Though FUV has been rocking with Charles Bradley since before 2016, he was a personal discovery for me. My first training session was on his FUV Live performance and I'll never forget it.
 

Ali Feldhausen

Development Associate

Top 10 Songs

1. Pusher (feat. Mothica), "Clear"
2. Kiiara, "Gold"
3. Kehlani, "CRZY"
4. Chainsmokers (feat. Daya), "Don't Let Me Down"
5. Major Lazer, "Cold Water"
6. Milky Chance, "Cocoon"
7. Leonard Cohen, "You Want it Darker"
8. Ra Ra Riot, "Absolutely"
9. Sia, "The Greatest"