Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Best Songs of 2016


Sheer Mag destroys the room, via Rolling Stone.

***

This year I decided to use the lateness of this post to my advantage by listening through several other people, friends and publications' song lists, which resulted in the integration below of a fair bit of stuff I wasn't familiar with or had heard but hadn't really hit me. I've made a Spotify playlist of the top 40 songs (missing the acoustic Wave Pictures song and replacing it with one from their commercially released album from this year, which also slots in below; also put on Pet Shop Boys instead of a second Lizzo song since she's already represented.) which you can find by clicking here.

As usual, I only permit one song per album on each list, from up to three "finalists," so to speak, and I just want to mention that in multiple cases the task of narrowing these records down to even three songs was difficult. This was particularly true of Danny Brown's album; I'm not sure I've ever left off as many songs I think are absolutely masterful due to this restriction as I did this year. Anyway, what's here is fucking great; I don't think I've ever been happier with one of these, though I think everything in the top ten or eleven could honestly have justifiably taken the top spot.

Note that we're exactly one song off from having a top hundred.

1. Kate Tempest "Tunnel Vision" [Let Them Eat Chaos]
2. Underworld "Nylon Strung" [Barbara Barbara, We Face a Shining Future]
3. Thao and the Get Down Stay Down "Millionaire" [A Man Alive]
4. Rae Sremmurd "Black Beatles" [SremmLife 2]
5. Sheer Mag "Nobody's Baby" [III EP]
6. Whitney "No Matter Where We Go" [Light Upon the Lake]
7. Nicolas Jaar "The Governor" [Sirens]
8. Anthony Joseph "Neckbone" [Caribbean Roots]
9. Blood Orange "EVP" [Freetown Sound]
10. Rihanna "Love on the Brain" [ANTI]
11. Shura "Touch" [Nothing's Real]
12. The Weeknd "Secrets" [Starboy]
13. Chance the Rapper ft. Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz "No Problem" [Coloring Book]
14. Nao "Get to Know Ya" [For All We Know]
15. Danny Brown "Dance in the Water" [Atrocity Exhibition]
16. Leonard Cohen "You Want It Darker" [You Want It Darker]
17. Solange ft. Lil Wayne "Mad" [A Seat at the Table]
18. Kendrick Lamar "unitled 08" [untitled unmastered.]
19. Lizzo "Jang a Lang" [BIG GRRRL SMALL WORLD]
20. A Tribe Called Quest "Black Spasmodic" [We Got It from Here, Thank You 4 Your Service]
21. Kamaiyah "Niggas" [A Good Night in the Ghetto]
22. Lapsley "Operator (He Doesn't Call Me)" [Long Way Home]
23. Joey Purp ft. Chance the Rapper "Girls @" [iiiDrops]
24. The Avalanches ft. Danny Brown "Frankie Sinatra" [Wildflower]
25. The Radio Dept. "Committed to the Cause" [Running Out of Love]
26. The Wave Pictures "The Coaster in Santa Cruz" [A Season in Hull]
27. Flock of Dimes "Birthplace" [If You See Me, Say Yes]
28. Kyle Craft "Balmorhea" [Dogs of Highland]
29. Terry Malts "Gentle Eyes" [Lost at the Party]
30. NxWorries "Scared Money" [Yes Lawd!]
31. Pusha T "Untouchable" [King Pusha: Prelude]
32. Cass McCombs "Bum Bum Bum" [Mangy Love]
33. Eleanor Friedberger "He Didn't Mention His Mother" [New View]
34. Lizzo "Phone" [Coconut Water]
35. Jessy Lanza "Never Enough" [Oh No]
36. Swet Shop Boys ft. Ali Sethi "Aaja" [Cashmere]
37. Basia Bulat "Long Goodbye" [Good Advice]
38. Alex Cameron "Happy Ending" [Jumping the Shark]
39. Pity Sex "Burden You" [White Hot Moon]
40. BJ the Chicago Kid "Turnin' Me Up" [In My Mind]
41. Pet Shop Boys "Undertow" [Super]
42. Tegan and Sara "Faint of Heart" [Love You to Death]
43. Lydia Loveless "Out on Love" [Real]
44. Alicia Keys "In Common" [Here]
45. Kyle ft. Little Yachty "iSpy" [non-LP single]
46. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds "Rings of Saturn" [Skeleton Tree]
47. Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam "Rough Going" [I Had a Dream That You Were Mine]
48. Mavis Staples "Action" [Livin' on a High Note]
49. Beyoncé "All Night" [Lemonade]
50. David Bowie "Lazarus" [Blackstar]
51. Kevin Gates "2 Phones" [Islah]
52. The Wave Pictures "Panama Hat" [Bamboo Diner in the Rain]
53. Ezra Furman "Teddy I'm Ready" [Big Fugitive Life]
54. Angel Olsen "Shut Up Kiss Me" [My Woman]
55. Young Thug ft. Wyclef Jean "Kanye West" [JEFFERY]
56. Tacocat "Talk" [Lost Time]
57. Hoops "Cool 2" [EP]
58. Michael Kiwanuka "One More Night" [Love & Hate]
59. Frank Ocean "Pink + White" [Blonde]
60. Kanye West "FML" [The Life of Pablo]
61. M.I.A. "Birdsong" [AIM]
62. Holy Fuck "Neon Dad" [Congrats]
63. Kaytranada ft. Craig David "Got It Good" [99.9%]
64. Mr. Fingers "Qwazars" [Outer Acid EP]
65. Poliça "Lose You" [United Crushers]
66. PJ Harvey "The Wheel" [The Hope Six Demolition Project]
67. Robert Pollard "My Daughter Yes She Knows" [Of Course You Are]
68. Bat for Lashes "Sunday Love" [The Bride]
69. Todd Terje & the Olsens "Baby Do You Wanna Bump" [The Big Cover-Up]
70. Vince Staples ft. A$AP Rocky "Prima Donna" [Prima Donna EP]
71. Lake Street Dive "Close to Me" [Side Pony]
72. A$AP Ferg ft. Missy Elliott "Strive" [Always Strive and Prosper]
73. Ariana Grande "Into You" [Dangerous Woman]
74. The Jayhawks "Lovers of the Sun" [Paging Mr. Proust]
75. Ezra Furman "Crown of Love" {Arcade Fire cover} [Songs by Others]
76. Nels Cline "Snare, Girl" {Sonic Youth cover} [Lovers]
77. Brian Eno "Fickle Sun (iii) I'm Set Free" {Velvet Underground cover} [The Ship]
78. D.R.A.M. ft. Erykah Badu "WiFi" [Big Baby D.R.A.M.]
79. Common ft. Bilal "Home" [Black America Again]
80. Drive-By Truckers "What It Means" [American Band]
81. Maxwell "Fingers Crossed" [blackSUMMER'Snight]
82. Andrew Bird ft. Fiona Apple "Left Handed Kisses" [Are You Serious]
83. Skepta "Man" [Konnichiwa]
84. Savages "I Need Something New" [Adore Life]
85. The Julie Ruin "I Decide" [Hit Reset]
86. Jeremih "Paradise" [Late Nights - the Album]
87. Laura Gibson "Two Kids" [Empire Builder]
88. Radiohead "Identikit" [A Moon Shaped Pool]
89. Kate Jackson "The End of Reason" [British Road Movies]
90. Anohni "4 Degrees" [Hopelessness]
91. Public Access TV "Evil Disco" [Never Enough]
92. Sidestepper "Lover" [Supernatural Love]
93. Half Waif "Turn Me Around" [Turn Me Around]
94. Iggy Pop "Sunday" [Post Pop Depression]
95. Pantha du Prince "You What? Euphoria!" [The Triad]
96. Azealia Banks "The Big, Big Beat" [Slay-Z]
97. Gold Panda "Time Eater" [Good Luck and Do Your Best]
98. case/lang/veirs "I Want to Be Here" [s/t]
99. Yello "Limbo" [Toy]

******

I have a lot of re-listening to do before my albums list but it will honest to god be here next weekend.

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