The Top 5 Artists of 2016

Becca Schwisow, Herald Copy Editor

As the year is coming to an end, I took time to reminisce on the many artists I listened to in 2016. While there were many to pick from, here are my top 5:

photo from @jonbellion on Instagram

1. Jon Bellion: I discovered Jon Bellion over the summer of 2015. Though I immediately loved all of his music, I slowly stopped listening to him by the end of the year. After the release of his newest album, “The Human Condition,” this summer, I was drawn back to his unique sound. “The Human Condition” is categorized under pop, but I wouldn’t necessarily call Jon Bellion a “pop” artist, as the sound in his songs can range from ‘rap’ to synth beats.

Songs to Listen to: Overwhelming, Guillotine, Morning in America

2. Hippo Campus: This band is a recent discovery of mine, and I am obsessed. Alternative music is a genre that I have found myself listening to most often, and this band lives up to all of my expectations. Their sound isn’t necessarily “mellow,” but the beat is pretty low-key compared to most popular music these days. The mix between guitar and drums in the background compliments the singer nicely, and their music can be compared to bands like Vampire Weekend.

Songs to Listen to: Souls, Violet, Opportunistic

photo from @thegriswolds on Instagram

3. The Griswolds: I discovered this Australian-based band over spring break of 2016. Their last album, “Be Impressive,” definitely has a more pop sound, and the tunes and lyrics can get stuck in my head for days. They have recently released their new album, “High Times for Low Lives.” While I haven’t had the chance to listen to all of the songs, it is clear the sounds throughout have a mix of the music from their previous album, and heavier or mellow music.

Songs to Listen to: Beware the Dog, America, Out of My Head


4. StrangeFacesLA: StrangeFaces has grown a lot since the end of summer. This is following the end of the CBS reality show “Big Brother,” with the guitarist of the band, Paul Abrahamian, being the runner up on the show. While the band has only released a few songs on SoundCloud, they have a large and growing social media presence, and is sure to be releasing new music in the new year. The band hasn’t really defined their sound, but could be categorized under alternative, edging on rock.

Songs to Listen to: Ruby, Party Kids, Swimming

photo from @newbeatfund on Instagram

5. New Beat Fund: This is a type of music I never pictured myself listening to, but honestly live for this band. While most of the songs have silly lyrics, the music behind is definitely upbeat and can get stuck in my head for days. Earlier this year, the band released a rock cover of Rae Sremmurd’s “No Type” which got a lot of attention. They have released two other albums: “($) Coinz” and their most recent, “Sponge Fingerz.” A new album is expected in the new year.

Songs to Listen to: Peachez, It’s Cool, Sikka Takin’ the Hard Way

Here is a Spotify playlist of the mentioned artists and songs:

And for StrangeFacesLA: