Oh what a year. 2016 has been baffling. If it wasn't our heroes reminding us that they may actually have been mortal, there's been the political avalanche of bad news sending even the least compassionate amongst us to breaking point. Even just a few minutes on Facebook on any given day this year will have shown you the worst of humanity or unbelievable stories of survival in warzones (thinking about that guy feeding cats in Aleppo still makes the gravity in my stomach shift).
There are a lot of people really struggling right now and it's taken a lot to live through 2016 without adding to the suicide statistics (if you're one of the people finding life challenging right now, look up CALM). You've made it this far, just keep going, it isn't like things on this planet can actually get much worse, can they?
Here at DiS we've tried our best to keep you distracted from the dismal, dark and debilitating reality of this year. We've published 3 reviews almost every day in 2016 and at least 5 new features a week. We're a few 1000 eyeballs shy of 3million readers this year, so have some of that all you doubters who seem to think the internet is dying and people don't read no more...
Here are the 16 most read in-depth articles that we've published this year. All of which - in my humble but I guess somewhat biassed opinion as editor in chief - are worth bookmarking to read on your festive commute or when your attempt to try to drink Jager-bombs like you're still an invincible 18-year-old leaves you pinned to your bed...
1) OUR PAUL SIMON INTERVIEW
We met a legend. He was delightful. If you missed it, read it now: "I didn’t think that Bridge Over Troubled Water was a hit”: DiS meets Paul Simon
2) YES, IT'S OPETH!
Perhaps not a big shock that a rare interview with one of the biggest metal bands got people clicking. "There's a lot more to Opeth than death metal": DiS Meets Mikael Åkerfeldt
3) SECRET GARDEN PARTY FESTIVAL PREVIEW
A festival that a lot of you were excited about attending (or perhaps curious to go to next year based on the image we chose): 10 Reasons Why You Should Go To Secret Garden Party
4) DREAM THEATER + BOWIE
The Grammy-nominated band, who formed in 1985 and have since sold tens of millions of records, are well-known for grandiose epics, dazzling virtuosity and complex structures. However, their latest album The Astonishing seems one step even further.
5) INDEPENDENT MUSIC MONDAY
Halfway through this year our editor compiled the best Independent tracks from his playlist that he makes every Monday (as a bit of an alternative to Independent Music Monday). Liste now: The 50 Finest Independent Tracks of 2016 (So Far) — Playlist or subscribe to Independent Music Monday now.
6) RIP DAVID BOWIE
When I started looking at our Google Analytics I was a little surprised this fantastic tribute wasn't the most read thing we published this year: Sorrow, or: why it's okay to be upset at David Bowie's death.
7) RIP ATP
'But, right, the thing about Riot Grrl is that, like, they didn’t know what it was at the time. It was proto-Riot Grrrl. It’s, like, punk for women, like, proto-punk.'
There’s a guy behind me in the queue for the chip shop. He must be about 20, long hair, kind-of posh sounding. He beat-boxes under his breath, and he’s mansplaining Riot Grrl to his girlfriend. Badly. At one point he refers to her mates as 'norms' because they go clubbing. I fucking hate him. To be honest I fucking hate both of them, privileged art-student types talking about why the Rocky Horror Picture Show is too mainstream to be a cult film, and whether The Raincoats are a punk band or not. I hate them. I want to punch the boy one in the face. And because I’m pretty sure he is exactly what I was like 15 years ago, only less well spoken, I hate myself as well. I hate myself for being so judgey, and for having such an instinctive chip on my shoulder about privilege, for the fact I’m pretty sure I was that kid once. I hate myself now, I hate the version of myself then, and I fucking hate this kid behind me. I’m in a 40-minute queue for a chip shop, and I hate that too. It’s one of only two places to buy hot food on site, and it’s not even a real chip shop, the chips are frozen, the sausages and chicken legs in the heated counter are shrivelled and burnt. They ran out of fish hours ago. I hate this. And because I’m aware how much of a snob that makes me, I hate myself for hating it.
Marc Burrows reviewed Stewart Lee's ATP
8) NICK CAVE MOVIE REVIEW
This misadventure into the mist of grief is made less unbearable by the presence of Warren Ellis, steering the ship away from the abyss with warmth and kindness. It should be everyone’s ambition to find that kinship in another human being. We all need a Warren Ellis.
9) THE VERVE
Why A Storm In Heaven Is The Verve’s Masterpiece - and if you think that is clickbait then you're probably in the wrong place.
10) 25 YEAR LISTICLE
Whilst the rest of the web was full of Nirvana-gasms, we decided to do something little contrary and nostalgic and yeah, maybe a bit clickbaity but in a well-intentioned, Friday afternoon, conversation-starting kinda way: Nevermind Nevermind - 25 Albums Released 25 Years Ago We Still Adore
11) PLANET GEAR
DiS definitely isn't read by geeks. Definitely. Deerhoof’s Sonic Power Zone 9-Step Recording Technique being the 11th most read article of the year should allay any fears that we are a bunch of super-kool hipsters. If you liked this, read lots more Planet Gear guides here.
As I was saying, we're super-cool around here. Check out this Berlin-based sadcore indie act we discovered: Travis Everything at Once Album Track by Track.
13) PRINCE ESSAY
Ok, this was originally published in 2013 but Prince's Purple Rain, Sex and Misogyny: A Contemporary Perspective is a must read if you missed it, and on sharing it one of the saddest days in a year of sad days, this article found a new audience.
14) ANOTHER LISTICLE
These articles are always handy in the middle of the year to make sense of things for you and for me and the entire (indie loving) human race: Best Of 2016 (so far).
15) RANT + VIDEO GAMES
Around the release of their soundtrack to the massive video game No Man's Sky we had a catch up with perennial DiS favourites who said things like this: "80% of bands don't need to exist": DiS Meets 65daysofstatic
Two thumbs up and a tongue poking out: Forget The Beatles, The New Skype Love Mojis Are Peak Paul McCartney.
We've also shared the top 150 most read In Depth articles of the year over on this thread.