PERTH, AUS – Subiaco resident Andrew Lamont is reported to be finding 2016 an incredible year for stumbling upon new favourite albums after “discovering” artists through social media outpourings of grief following their death.

From an iTunes library comprised mainly of tracks by The Killers, Counting Crows and Skrillex, Lamont’s musical appreciation has blossomed after a year rich in tributes to high-profile artists spanning a diverse range of musical genres – from Prince to Phife Dawg, John Berry to Leonard Cohen.

“It began with Bowie, on January 10” Lamont recalled to reporters at a press briefing this morning. “I mean, I’d heard of David Bowie, sure. “Modern Love” had a fair cycle of repeats on 96fm, and “Rebel Rebel” was good for getting my ex in the mood. But I’d never really heard him before you know? I hadn’t listened. To be honest, I always thought he was a bit ‘out there’ for me. But then he conked it, and my Facebook feed was suddenly chockers full of people swearing he was the greatest musician of all time, that he was some kind of genius. Even Davo posted “Space Oddity!” So I was like, uh…what?? Have I missed something? And boy! Had I!”

Through clicking on links shared by friends and major news outlets like Time Magazine and news.com.au, Lamont’s understanding and respect for the work of those whom the Grim Reaper had led into eternal darkness flourished. By the evening of the same day the artist was pronounced forever gone, he would often find himself inconsolable, expressing his sorrow through long, beautifully-crafted Facebook tribute posts of his own. These gained above-average likes, and have been described by friends as “achingly sincere”.

“It’s been fantastic,” Lamont told reporters. “I’ve made at least ten new playlists on Spotify. This week, I’ve spent my downtime learning all the chords to Cohen’s I’m Your Man. I like to practice on the balcony at 2 a.m. with a bottle of red wine, or during my lunch break at work. Susie really likes my strumming technique I think – she does digital marketing for the PR firm I work for.”

Lamont expressed excitement regarding which yet-unknown artist will die next so that he can further develop his range.

“What this year has taught me is that there’s this whole other world out there, filled with radical jacketwear, weird instrument combos, and lyrics like “Will Nipper the doggy give a big shove? This rhythm really fits like a snug glove.” Classic Tribe! It has been such a journey. I can only hope 2017 will be just as rewarding.”

When one reporter asked for his response to the news of Sharon Jones’ death this morning, Lamont squinted quizzically for a few seconds, and said “who?” He then declared he had to cut the briefing short and rushed from the room, grabbing a box of tissues as he went.

Two minutes later he was found slumped in the outside corridor, croaking along broken-heartedly to the late soul and funk singer’s “What If We Stopped Paying Taxes?” playing from his iPhone.

Sociologists and social media analysists predict Lamont will not publish a tribute however, following on from his pattern of expressing public admiration mainly for dead men.

Words by Kate Prendergast