December 2016 Playlist

December 31, 2016 • Music

December is traditionally considered the slowest music month of the year, with most artists hunkering down for the holidays. Maybe they release a Christmas remake or a cover ode to their favorite fallen artist from the previous year (RIP Prince, David Bowie, George Michael, Sharon Jones, Leonard Cohen, Leon Russell, Merle Haggard, Phife Dawg, Glenn Frey, and so many more), but for the most part, new releases are few and far between in the 12th month of the year.

But 2016 bucked that trend, with tons of great under-the-radar projects, early mega-drops, and mid-career pivots coming our way. Indiana’s Permit slayed it with their classic rock on steroids. Run The Jewels brightened the end of a very dark year with the surprise drop of RTJ3 (accompanied by a killer Portlandia parody, no less — stay tuned for a full review on this one). Maine native Lady Lamb went in a new heart-on-sleeve direction with her EP Tender Warriors Club. Exciting hardcore hammerers Youth Funeral brought the noise and the pain with aggressively beautiful album Heavenward. Iconic artists like John Cale and The Clean released intriguing reissues, and a whole slew of other bands dropped lead singles for their forthcoming 2017 albums.

Was December the best month for music ever? No — it also wasn’t the worst, either. And it sure did sound good. Let us know what you think after listening to this December 2016 playlist…

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