Best Songs of 2016

Leonard Cohen (1934–2016)

It’s the end of the year, so it’s time for lists again. Here are my top 50 songs of the year. As always, this list is presented with the standard disclaimers: primarily, it’s some Frankensteinian hybrid of what I think are the best songs of the year, my personal favorites and songs that should be heard more. This is not an attempt to declare this the definitive list of the top songs of the year. You can look to and argue with Pitchfork if you want that. In fact, I’m not even going to rank this list, but just present them in alphabetical order by artist. I featured Leonard Cohen at the top, solely because he is the only artist with two songs on the list.

You can listen to the list on Spotify here.

1. Anderson .Paak — The Bird

2. Andrew Bird — Saints Preservus

3. Austra — Utopia

4. Bat for Lashes — Sunday Love

5. Blood Orange — Augustine

6. Britta Phillips — Do it Last

7. Cass McCombs — Bum Bum Bum

8. Chance the Rapper — No Problem

9. Charlie Peacock — White Bikini

10. Childish Gambino — Redbone

11. D.D Dumbo — Walrus

12. David Bazan — Oblivion

13. David Bowie — Blackstar

14. Dawes — Roll with the Punches

15. The Dig — Bleeding Heart (You are the One)

16. Empire of the Sun — To Her Door

17. Florence + The Machine — Stand by Me

18. Foy Vance — She Burns

19. Frightened Rabbit — Get Out

20. The Growlers — I’ll be Around

21. Hiss Golden Messenger — Tell Her I’m Just Dancing

22. J.Views — Into the Light

23. Jenn Champion — No One

24. The Joy Formidable — The Last Thing on My Mind

25. Kishi Bashi — Can’t Let Go, Juno

26. The Lagoons — California

27. Leonard Cohen — It Seemed the Better Way

28. Leonard Cohen — You Want it Darker

29. Noble Oak — Another Way

30. Lissie — Don’t You Give Up on Me

31. Lucius — Gone Insane

32. Lydia Loveless — Heaven

33. Maggie Rogers — Dog Years

34. Morgan Delt — Some Sunsick Day

35. Mr Little Jeans — Stitches

36. Nick Cave — Jesus Alone

37. Pete Yorn — Lost Weekend

38. PJ Harvey — The Wheel

39. Radiohead — Burn the Witch

40. Rogue Wave — What is Left to Solve

41. Sälen — Copper Kiss

42. Sarah Jarosz — House of Mercy

43. Savages — Adore

44. Sho Baraka — Maybe Both, 1865

45. Solange — Cranes in the Sky

46. Starflyer 59 — Wrongtime

47. Sturgill Simpson — In Bloom

48. Two Door Cinema Club — Bad Decisions

49. Young the Giant — Amerika

50. Yumi Zouma — Short Truth (Southern Shores Remix)