It’s almost the end of the year and that means one thing for music lovers like myself. It’s time to review the year in music. And 2016 has been without a doubt a year for some of the BEST music I’ve heard in a long time. This year has given us the best work from some of our favorite artists, outstanding comeback albums from veteran rockers, successful solo efforts from well-known powerhouses, and excellent debut albums and singles from new and breakthrough artists who I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot more from in the near future. So, if you’re looking for some new music to fill your earbuds during your holiday travels, then read on because these are my lists of the best single releases, the best EP’s, and the best albums of 2016.

Let’s start with the best EP’s of this year first. There are only 5-6 songs on each of these EP’s, but they’re so damn good, you find yourself listening to them on repeat because you just can’t get enough of them. It takes seriously talented artists to create EP’s that are as great as these three. From the laid back grittiness of down home Georgia boy Tyler Hammond, to the smooth, easygoing crooning of Waterloo Revival, to the soulful powerhouse that is Caitlyn Smith, each of these artists has something unique to offer the country music lover.

1)Waterloo Revival – Front Row EP
2) Tyler Hammond – Take a Sip EP
3) Caitlyn Smith – Starfire EP

The next I’m going to share with all of you is what I think are the best single releases of 2016 that weren’t part of an EP or full length album. These songs are so incredible, they stand on their own and you almost don’t even care that you don’t have more new music by these artists to listen to. From new singles by veterans like Brad Paisley and Darius Rucker to the debut of new material from up and coming artists like Lindsay Ell and Jon Langston to the premier of breakthrough artists like Ryan Hurd, Bailey Bryan and Brandon Ray, I guarantee there’s a song on this list for everyone to love.

1)Brad Paisley – Today
2)Tyler Farr – Our Town
3)Eric Paslay – Angels in this Town
4)Darius Rucker – If I Told You
5)Candi Carpenter – Burn the Bed
6)Ryan Hurd – City Girl
7)Ryan Hurd – We Do Us
8)Kristian Bush – Sing Along
9)Brandon Ray – That Could Be Us
10)Jon Langston – All Eyes On Us
11)Bailey Bryan – Own It
12)Lindsay Ell – All Alright
13)Dylan Scott – Closer
14)Adam Sanders – About to
15)Lauren Alaina – Road Less Travelled
16)Logan Mize – Ain’t Always Pretty

Finally, the last list I have for you is my picks for the best albums of this year. These aren’t just the albums I’ve listened to the most frequently. These are the albums I genuinely believe were the most fantastic albums released in 2016. These albums were on point across the board vocally, musically, and lyrically. They’re packed full of hits that either pull every emotion possible out of you, get you dancing to their toe-tapping beats, singing along to their catch hooks or all of the above because they literally have it all! From country and singer-songwriter to pop punk and hard rock, this list has all the heavy hitters that brought their A game in 2016. These are the albums that deserve your attention.

1)Jon Pardi – California Sunrise
2)Blake Shelton – If I’m Honest
3)Dierks Bentley – Black
4)Maren Morris – Hero
5)Blink 182 – California
6)Good Charlotte – Youth Authority
7)Real Friends – The Home Inside My Head
8)High Valley – Dear Life
9)Jason Aldean – They Don’t Know
10)Lacey Sturm – Life Screams
11)Charles Kelley – The Driver
12)Dylan Scott – Dylan Scott
13)Florida Georgia Line – Dig Your Roots
14)Chris Lane – Girl Problems
15)Locash – The Fighters
16)Adelitas Way – Getaway
17)Through Fire – Breathe
18)Dan and Shay – Obsessed
19)From Ashes to New – Day One
20)Sixx:A.M. – Prayers for the Damned
21)Sixx:A.M. – Prayers for the Blessed