The latest content and news from the Barbican. Book tickets at
The latest content and news from the Barbican. Book tickets at

Programmer’s Pick: Bryn-ter is coming

With our live concerts, experimental music voyages and playlists throughout the year, we hope we’ve helped provide some of your tunes of the year. But have you ever wondered what’s on our Contemporary Music team’s playlist…?

There might not be any snow or White Walkers in town, but Bryn-ter is sure coming… Our programmer Bryn Ormrod shares what he’s been listening to this year, from hip-hop flavoured groove samba to Frank Ocean’s latest tracks.

Why Did You Separate Me from the Earth? – ANOHNI

Barbican presented Anohni’s ‘Hopelessness’ performances early this year, a profound deeply moving experience surely one of the most courageous, prophetic and beautiful albums of 2016.

Yègellé Tezeta (My Own Memory) – Mulatu Astatke
I’ve been getting back into the ‘Ethiopiques’ albums & Mulatu’s music recently, they’re so special and oh..that groove!

33 “GOD” – Bon Iver
More glitchy experimental genius… Justin Vernon delivered another gem in 2016,

Other Side – C Duncan
I heard this recently on the radio I just love gorgeous soundscapes that Glaswegian C Duncan creates.

Ketamine For Breakfast – Kate Tempest
I saw Kate live at Airwaves Festival festival recently -it’s stunning the way she weaves between the narratives of the characters of her literature, astute socially commentary and polemics & combines with edgy electronica.

La Mamba Te Invita – La Mambanegra
Hip-hop flavoured groove samba combo from Cali, Colombia, muy caliente!

Secret Heart – Anoushka Shankar
Anoushka has inherited the legacy of her father Ravi and is a fearless collaborator – her recent album Land of Gold is stunning

Am I Wrong – Anderson .Paak, ScHoolboy Q
Another 2016 discovery … Dr Dre Protege has a bright future judging by this offering.

The Mountain – Spoek Mathambo, Pegasus Warning, DJ Spoko, Dj Mujava
South African Spoek is a musical alchemist and amazing producer.

Oisin’s Song – The Gloaming
Gloaming are a musical treasure trove, combining traditional and contemporary threads with extraordinary virtuosity, some of the best live shows I’ve ever seen.

Describe You – Nico Muhly, Teitur
Nico gave me some samples of this new recording along with a terse lesson on how to pronounce Faroe Islander Teitur’s name properly ( ‘It’s Tie- toor Bryn!’). The results are enthralling.

Breach – Fatima Al Qadiri
New York based Kawati Al Qadiris electronic music is like the soundtrack for shadowy corporate manipulation perfect for our modern day dystopia.

Scarlet Town – Chris Thile, Brad Mehldau
I saw these two in a live collaboration a couple of years ago – it blew my mind. Hoping they will play the Barbican next year…

A Mulher do Fim do Mundo – Elza Soares
Elza Soares album ‘ Woman at the End of The World’ was another gem of the year. She brought the house down at the Barbican, with her ‘dirty samba’ a mix of squelchy electronica, junkyard jazz and art rock

You Want It Darker – Leonard Cohen
So many musical legends were lost this year. He didn’t leave us empty handed though…

Pink + White – Frank Ocean
Blonde is undoubtedly one of the stand-out albums of 2016, its enigmatic beauty takes some time to fully reveal itself, but I’m hooked…

If You Are so Beautiful – Katie Melua
Here’s the curveball:  alumni of the BRIT school Melua was known best for her MORish tracks in early 2000. Not many people know of her Georgian roots. Her gorgeous new album Winter is recorded with Gorki Womens Choir in her native tongue.

U’Huh – Sinkane
Sinkane were the band behind the ‘William Onyeabor – Atomic Bomb’ sensation of 2015. They make amazing music of their own too!

100 Days, 100 Nights – Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
2016 struck again this time taking the Queen of the Daptones Sharon Jones. A truly great soul singer..

Familiar – Agnes Obel
A devastatingly beautiful song. Everyone should listen to this album.

In Care Of 8675309 – Lambchop
Kurt & co returns with this classy offering all 11’.51 mins of it.


Find out what you’ll be listening to in 2017