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Top Songs of 2016

January 1, 2017 — Leave a comment

An annual tradition on my blog – My Top 100 Songs of the Year.

To further explore amazing music, here are my Top Songs from 201520142013201220112010 and 2009 (click “Follow” at the top of Spotify if you want to add any of the playlists to your sidebar of playlists)

There weren’t any clear “song of the year” candidates in 2016. I like every song in the top 8 equally.

2016 was the year of experimental/weird indie pop – with Yeasayer, Animal Collective and M83 all turning in a slew of great songs. Also really liked Phantogram’s album. But really, 2016 was Twenty One Pilots‘ year. By FAR my kids’ top album of the year. And as much as I’m a hipster music-snob and pretty much hate anything that is on the radio, I begrudgingly REALLY like Twenty One Pilots. Easily the best album of the year. Every song is different and good. Those two dudes have a knack for crafting perfect pop songs. AND their lyrics are super solid – with most songs referring to God.

Despite my hipster tendencies, my top 100 songs are actually really fun to listen to. If you follow indie music at all, you’ll find that most “Top Songs of The Year” are trying really hard to be cool and prove their hipster-ness. My Top Songs list is Indie Music for the Masses – Indie Music that’s actually enjoyable to listen to (not grating avant-garde or sleep-inducing-singer-songwriter).

Most of these songs are Indie-pop, Indie-rock, or Indietronica.

Here are my 100 favorite songs of 2016 (click to play individual tracks or here to play the full list in Spotify): 

100        Family And Genus – Shakey Graves

99        Swim Against the Tide – The Japanese House

98        The Moment – Tame Impala

97        Arizona – Frances Cone

96        Everything All At Once – Local Natives

95        Crazy Eyes – Brother Moses

94        Strangers – Psychic Twin

93        Gemini Feed – Banks

92        Waving Goodbye – Sia

91        Sunday Love – Bat For Lashes

90        Do You Remember – St. Lucia

89        Prophecy Gun – Yeasayer

88        Gold – Jorgen Odegard Remix – Imagine Dragons, Jorgen Odegard

87        Dead Alive – The Shins

86        Wings of Love – LIV

85        Time – Mint Royale, Tom Cane

84        LIFE – HEALTH

83        Drifting – On An On

82        Way To Go – Empire of the Sun

81        Never Going Back – Caveman

80        Cheap Thrills – Sia

79        The Sound – The 1975

78        Silly Me – Yeasayer

77        I Can Only Stare – Sleigh Bells

76        Human – Caveman

75        Free – Broods

74        80 West – Caveman

73        All in My Head – Porcelain Raft

72        Club Aso – Palmistry

71        Two Vines – Empire of the Sun

70        I Was Wrong – A R I Z O N A

69        Celestial Creatures – Wild Beasts

68        For U (feat. Charli XCX) – Miike Snow, Charli XCX

67        8 (circle) – Bon Iver

66        May I Have This Dance – Francis and the Lights

65        A 1000 Times – Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam

64        High And Low – Empire of the Sun

63        Ablaze – School Of Seven Bells

62        Choose Me – James Blake

61        Bird Set Free – Sia

60        Don’t Let Me Down – The Chainsmokers, Daya

59        Broken Glass – Sia

58        I Feel The Weight – Miike Snow

57        Gone – Day Wave

56        Way Back Home – Cameron AG

55        Here’s To Us – Ellie Goulding

54        Lane Boy – Twenty One Pilots

53        22 (OVER S∞∞N) – Bon Iver

52        Easier – Mansionair

51        Conrad – SOHN

50        Tear In My Heart – Twenty One Pilots

49        I Need A Forest Fire – James Blake, Bon Iver

48        Same Old Blues – Phantogram

47        Sledgehammer – Rihanna

46        Mother Emanuel – Local Natives

45        Turning a Hand – Francis

44        Past Lives – BØRNS

43        Run Run Blood – Phantogram

42        Past Lives – Local Natives

41        Burn the Witch – Radiohead

40        Radio Silence – James Blake

39        Get Right – Jimmy Eat World

38        American Money – BØRNS

37        River – Bishop Briggs

36        Heathens – Twenty One Pilots

35        I Need Your Light – Ra Ra Riot, Rostam

34        Turn It Around – HAERTS

33        Warrior – AURORA

32        Doubt – Twenty One Pilots

31        Friends (feat. Bon Iver) – Francis and the Lights, Bon Iver – favorite part= “I’m Francis!”. Worth watching their goofy music video featuring Kanye

30        Chariots – Paper Route

29        In a Black Out – Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam

28        What Is Left to Solve – Rogue Wave

27        Cruel World – Phantogram

26        Golden Gal – Animal Collective

25        Divine Simulacrum – Yeasayer

24        If You Should See – Wye Oak

23        Hocus Pocus – Animal Collective

22        Trouble – TV On The Radio

21        Fairly Local – Twenty One Pilots

20        33 “GOD” – Bon Iver – pretty disappointed with Bon Iver’s album, overall. But a few solid songs.

19        You’re Mine – Phantogram

18        Malachite – Lydia Ainsworth – Lydia opened for Yeasayer when we saw them this fall in Tulsa and had some great songs. Eagerly anticipating a full length album from her.

17        Loan Shark Blues – Yeasayer

16        Ride – Twenty One Pilots

15        Warning Call – CHVRCHES

14        Lying in the Grass – Animal Collective

13        You Don’t Get Me High Anymore – Phantogram

12        Polarize – Twenty One Pilots

11        Used To – Mutemath

10        Watching the Waiting – Wye Oak – got to see Wye Oak in Kansas city this summer. She’s super talented and amazing live.

9        Fountain Of Youth – Local Natives – this song reminds me of the crazy election season with it’s lyric “I have waited so long, Mrs. President”.

8        Go! (feat. Mai Lan) – M83, MAI LAN

7        I Am Chemistry – Yeasayer – you’ll never hear a better song about the gas C4H10FO2P (sarin gas) and other toxic chemicals

6        Dream Awake – LIV – an early single from one of my most anticipated albums for 2017 from supergroup LIV – made up of two of  my favorites, Lykke Li and Miike Snow

5        Do It, Try It – M83 – give this song a chance. Super weird at first progressing to what M83 does best – epic soundscapes

4        FloriDada – Animal Collective – another super weird song. But you can’t help but have a smile on your face and tap your toes as you listen to it. And surprisingly deep song on the Dadaism and the elite’s snobbery toward Floridians.

3        Take Me Home – Phantogram – easily the best cover song this year. Who knew Phil Collins could be so cool?

2        Hometown – Twenty One Pilots – a great song from the best album of 2016. They did a smaller concert in NW Arkansas (which is an absolute miracle – NO ONE comes to Arkansas). I took all 5 of our kids to the show and they LOVED it (It was a few days after we got back from our summer in East Asia so we didn’t have tickets – we just scrounged up a few at the gate!). Those two dudes are legit entertainers and great musicians. My kids wouldn’t let me play anything but Twenty One Pilots in our van ALL fall. Seriously. “DA-AAD, can you put on Twenty One Pilots – this music is boring!”

1        Cold Night – Yeasayer – we got to see Yeasayer in concert in Tulsa and they were absolutely amazing – cementing their status as our #1 alltime favorite band. I thought their new album was pretty disappointing – but still a few gems on it.

Would love to hear – What were your favorite songs from 2016??