2016. What a year for new music. There have been some mentionable releases from the already established bands, but the fresh sounds we’ve been lucky to have hold of are what’s going to define this year in music.

Amidst all of it, there has been a lot of punk, which comes as no surprise. Whilst the music has been fantastic, the political situations the country has been thrown into haven’t. But let’s not just plug the punk, there has been a huge amount of shoegaze. There has even been a lot of love songs written, looking at you Trudy and The Romance you lovely lot.

So below are The Pentatonic’s picks of 2016.

Trudy and The Romance – Chosen by Shannon Carragher 

What a year for this band, they’ve been up and down the country like a Virgin train. Their doo-wopping, mutant indie pop is the kind of sound that once it has been heard it can’t be unheard. And yes that is meant in an ugly way, but in a weird I don’t want to look at it again but I must ugly way. Addictive, and equally charming, you simply cannot refuse these loveable rogues.

Her’sChosen by Sam Meaghan 

Their laid back, “I’ll do it later” attitude is the kind that speaks to a lethargic post-teen scenester. Which by that description is just about every single person with access to a vinyl player. They play cute indie-pop, the kind with jangly guitars, deep, monotonous vocals, and deeper-than-the-ocean lyrics. But do you know what, it all comes together and works to make a really versatile sound. You need Her’s if you’re sad, you need Her’s if you’re happy, you just need Her’s.

HMLTD – Chosen by Ross Crane 

Loud, annoyed, but almost certainly fantastic. HMLTD actually sound quite similar to the now defunct Icelandic band Jakobinarina. A jagged sound that is lamented by the staccato vocals with an intention to be unpleasing to unbeknownst listeners. But it is this kind of band that will entice listeners of similar artists and generally gain interest from the wider public for being oh so very different.

Black Honey – Chosen by Samantha Daly 

Some would claim that Black Honey’s year was 2015, but we can’t help but think their year was 2016. Reason being, is that whilst they were known amongst avid music fans in 2015, they’re the kind of band that are reaching the cult status new bands have just before breaking the mainstream. Black Honey’s cool, coming-of-age sound is the kind that can be admired, at the very least appreciated, as being one of the few gems of this year.

Eat Fast – Chosen by Leaharen Russo 

Big, loud, and a huge wall of sound. Eat Fast’s year could be described by simply watching that Bohemian Rhapsody scene in Wayne’s World. Eat Fast are another band that can join a long line of those bands sounding similar to the mid 90s. Without meaning to offend, Eat Fast sound as though they could have easily slipped onto the American Pie soundtrack. This year saw the band playing the BBC Introducing Stage of Reading and Leeds, which furthers the reasoning that they are one of the best new bands of 2016.

The Magic Gang – Chosen by Sam Meaghan 

A band’s first real year in the limelight isn’t meant to go this smooth, but The Magic Gang’s year has gone smoother than the happy go lucky sound they convey. One absolutely mega EP under their belt, led them to another great EP, that was more of the same and all the more welcome. This was all then summed up by the band signing to Warner Brothers Records.

Novellas – Chosen by Sam Meaghan 

Admittedly, Novellas aren’t the kind of band who are going to change the musical landscape indefinitely. But Novellas are a band that come packaged with a level of professionalism that is second to none of their peers. Not just that, but their infectious shoegaze rock is unforgettable, and after you have saw them live at one of their hundreds of shows along the south-coast, it will be pretty hard for you to shake the Novellas bug.

Free Money – Chosen by Shannon Carragher 

Similar to Hard-Fi, of all the bands we could relate to (sorry, guys), the band write completely fun songs, that are set to become party anthems. Finding the middle ground between fun music, and pushing it as serious is a hard objective, yet Free Money have done it, and then some. Instantly memorable, if not for their odd, and sometimes grimacing sound, definitely for the grooves they exude.

Anteros – Chosen by Samantha Daly 

Anteros are just complete and utter fun to listen to. They sound like the kind of music that could play in the background of one of those cutesy IKEA ads. Not a bad thing, more a good thing. If you ever need one thing in life, it’s flatpack music. Their debut EP is the same kind of fun on your seventh listen that it is on your first lesson. This kind of fresh sound is endless, and is testament to the great band Anteros are becoming.

Blaenavon – Chosen by Shannon Carragher 

At a time when jangly guitar pop is the order of the day, it’s interesting to hear a band follow a same routine but with darker tinges. Lyrically the band sound exhausted of the norm, and wish to do away with this idea that every lyricist is a sucker for love. Some of them are quite the opposite, and Blaeners are living proof of that very thing.

Asylums – Chosen by Sam Meaghan 

Asylums have been at the very front of this hysteria evolving the punk genre of 2016. Their album was released fairly early, but is going to be a cult classic in years to come. It is the kind of marker that people will look at in future and note as where it all started, or restarted. Asylums were our very first Band of The Week back in April, and they are, no doubt, going to be a lot of people’s favourite band of 2017.

Check out our playlist of the bands below: