Soca music fans subsist in a feast-or-famine world. Feasts come during Carnival — especially Trinidad Carnival, king of them all — when the exuberant, dance-driven tunes are released faster than soca icon Machel Montano can wine his waist (i.e. very, very fast). Famine follows, as we wring every last drop of delight from these soca hits while waiting for another island's Carnival — there's one somewhere, most months — to serve up a trickle of new music.
Enter Barbados Crop Over, bequeathing ravenous soca lovers with a banquet. It's the only Caribbean Carnival that can rival Trinidad's in terms of quality of parties and musical output. Thanks to a thriving local music scene and a prominent forum for its products — Crop Over annually attracts thousands, from all over the world — Barbados has lodged itself at the forefront of the soca music industry. Pour yourself a Mount Gay on ice and feast your ears on some Bajan gems from 2016's Crop Over celebration, which wrapped this week on the streets of Bridgetown.