The Best Songs of 2016 (So Far)
Here’s a bunch of songs I like from 2016. The only rule I used was that I had to describe them in under 140 characters. Happy hunting.
“Abyss Watchers”- Dark Souls 3 OST
This game is as hard as it is sad and this tearjerking piece is a nice reminder of how far we’ve come in video game music.
A squelchy bit of futuristic R&B with rays of optimistic light bursting out from the initial cloudy outlook.
“Benaz”- Riz Mc
Lock the doors, sit down with tea and be ready.
“Building Machines”- Stephen Steinbrink
With only three (count them!) notes, Steinbrink creates a lost 70s American rock classic.
“Better”- Mood Hut
Bury me with my disco records. And tell Mood Hut I love them.
Aching gospel sung by a dude with glitter in his beard and a pentagram on his head. This is the future and it’s lovely.
“Coconut Crab”- TTNG
The TTNG boys can’t get enough of their animal dedicated songs, but I don’t care if they’re as fun as this twinkling guitar tune.
“Confessions II”- BBNG
Young jazz-hop wizards BBNG team up with actual wizard (and saxophone destroyer) Colin Stetson? Sign me the fuck up.
“Dollar Days”- David Bowie
See you Space Cowboy.
“Dorothy Jeanne”- Brandee Younger
Harp funk. That is all.
I don’t know if self-destruction has been this fun since the Sex Pistols.
Like a thousand tiny fairy creatures spinning around your head in a blinding dance.
“Forgive Me for Giving Up”- Hundred Waters
Downtempo, faded gorgeousness that doubles as a tribute to Bowie. Find some light through the tears.
“Get Out of the Car”- Aesop Rock
“Glass Eyes”- Radiohead
On a massive, acclaimed, hype-baiting album, the emotional center is its smallest moment. Perfection in two minutes.
“Heaven Sent”- Parker Millsap
We’ve got a new master storyteller on our hands.
“Human Performance”- Parquet Courts
Hey what do you know. They stop being sarcastic for five seconds and, instead, make you fall to the floor and bawl.
“I Don’t Wanna be Funny Anymore”- Lucy Dacus
Golden voice, fuzzy chords and a quick reminder that high school sucks.
“I Need a Forest Fire”- James Blake
Who knew vampires could have this much soul? Or sing harmonies that ascend directly into God’s beard?
“Ice Cream”- Lady Bones
I didn’t know they had “grunge” flavor ice cream.
“Inside Out”- soccer mommy
I really wish I had this song as a teenager.
“It G Ma”- Josh Pan”
The best rap song of the decade? — I’ll get back to you on that. The most ambitious? Undoubtedly.
“Kiburu”- Leon Vynehall
Have you ever danced so hard that your face melted off and became its own sentient being? Yeah.
“Landslide”- Jimi Tents
The beat is as breezy and fluffy as a cloud, but Mr. Tents’ raps are sharp as tacks.
“Mudafossil”- Ash Koosha
Why are these mystic temples filled with decaying computers?
“Nie wiem, Myślę”- Jachna / Mazurkiewicz / Buhl
Tranquilizing and hypnotic free jazz from Poland. It makes staring into the void feel like slipping into a bath.
“Power User”- Olga Bell
The bridge is the most unsettling, yet addictive, minute of music released this year.
“Prefiero Olvidarlo”- Daniela Spalla
Slinky Argentinian pop with a Spaghetti Western sense of drama.
“Right Beside You”- Conga Radio
I don’t remember the 80s being this plush, or replacing the oxygen with velvet.
Deftones’ new concert closer until the end of time.
“Rye Lane Shuffle”- Moses Boyd
The jazz world’s version of final boss music.
“Saint Thomas”- Bibio
Who needs a loop pedal when you have a guitar peon?
“So Tired”- Hockey Dad
Even the world’s most charming surfer boys need naps.
Have fun with your Grammy Sam Smith, this should have been the title song for “Spectre.”
Three women with full careers of making shatteringly beautiful songs, why not add another one?
“The Pilgrim’s Song”- The Gloaming
It could have been recorded in the 40s, the 1700s or 10 years after the end of the world.
“The Woman that Loves You” -Japanese Breakfast
And ode to shiny guitars and oral sex. Need I say more?
“ULT”- Denzel Curry
Rap that must soundtrack the live action version of Akira.
“Uno De Tus Ojos”- Maria Usbeck
Forget your “Ojos” try to keep your ears peeled after layer upon layer of sound is added.
“VRY BLK”- Jamila Woods
Hard to say, but this may very well become the most important song of 2016. Doesn’t hurt that it’s gorgeous.
“With My Back To The Tower”- Torn Hawk
Somewhere between the last level of “Final Fantasy 7” and “Silent Hill.”
Dirty, disgusting, putrid and unstoppable. Also this MC now has a Tony.
“You And I”- Margaret Glaspy
It’s not you. It’s her. And her guitar.
“Your Best American Girl”- Mitski
The first song from 2016 I wanted to learn the guitar chords for.