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.

“BEFFY”- Ladi6

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.

“Blisters”- serpentwithfeet

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.

“Fay”- Koloto

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

Grief personified.

“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.

“Rubicon”- Deftones

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.

“Solitude”- m83

Have fun with your Grammy Sam Smith, this should have been the title song for “Spectre.”

“Supermoon”- case/lang/veirs

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.”

“Wriggle”- Clipping.

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.