Now that Summer Solstice has been and gone, we’re officially half way through the year! So to take our minds off the rather depressing fact that days are only going to get shorter again, we’re sharing what we think are the 5 very best albums released since January.

 

From mainstream pop to indie electronica, these 5 albums have been played to death in the Nobody’s Child office; they’ve helped us wake up on a Monday morning, they’ve got us through that never-ending Wednesday afternoon, and they’ve geared us up for the weekend on a Friday. A few tracks even made it onto the Spotify playlist at our recent blogger styling event. But onto the music…

 
 

1. Rihanna – Anti

 

Following a three year hiatus – the longest break between any of Rihanna’s record releases – the pressure was always going to be on for what would be her eighth studio album. But as far as we’re concerned, Anti absolutely lived up to the hype.
 
A darker sound for Rihanna, the Bardadian had stated how she wanted to create something more ‘real’ in contrast to her usual pop stadium anthems. But while the album might be what you’d call a ‘grower’, it’s certainly worth sticking with for what is arguable her most, authentic, artistic and atmospheric work to date. And don’t let work, work, work, work, work put you off….

 

rihanna anti music album coverRihanna - Anti

 
 

2. Haelos – Full Circle

 

The British trio’s debut LP is a haunting masterpiece, characterised by melancholic vocals, masterful harmonies and a futuristic synth sound. Full Circle is one of those albums you can listen to again and again and discover something new each time. If you haven’t listened to it before, wait until you’re on a long journey, and can fully appreciate the depth and multiple layers of Haelos’s unique sound.

 

haelos full circle music album coverHaelos - Full Circle

 
 

3. Beyoncé – Lemonade

 

Widely considered to feature some of Beyoncé’s most accomplished work ever, we couldn’t exactly list the 5 greatest albums of 2016 (…so far!) without giving Queen Bey a nod. Both personal and political at the same time, there’s a fury to Lemonade.
 
Like Rihanna, Beyoncé has also developed as an artist since her pop princess days, and the fact that its phenomenal success meant that she was the first artist in chart history to have their first six studio albums debut at number one proves this.

 

beyonce lemonade music album coverBeyonce - Lemonade

 
 

4. 1975 – I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It

 

Aside from the title (which actually beats Arctic Monkey’s debut - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not – in terms of being ridiculously overlong), the 1975’s second album builds in every way on their launch LP.
 
At 75 minutes long, with an ever changing tone that borrows from the likes of Sigus Ros, M83 and Bon Iver, 1975 are clearly out to demonstrate that they are anything other than a boyband. It’s a highly ambitious leap for the four piece and one that’s almost certainly paid off.

 

1975 when you sleep music album cover1975 - I Like It When You Sleep

 
 

5. Bloc Party - Hymns

 

Aptly named Hymns, Bloc Party’s fifth album explores themes of religion following the departure of two original band members, which, according to lead singer, Kele Okereke, was the result of “someone doing cocaine and someone not being into it” (…awks).
 
This new direction has had an interesting effect on their signature sound, which has drifted away from indie rock into something altogether more electro. Tracks such as ‘Only He Can Heal Me’ almost sound like pimped-up church songs, with synth-like organ sounds and choirboy vocals, and though that might sound odd, Okereke makes it totally work.

 

bloc party hymns music album coverBloc Party - Hymns

 

What do you think are the best albums of 2016…so far? As always, let us know over on twitter using #NobodysChild, and for more music based news, check out our recent interview with singer/songwriter, Mali-Koa.