this isn't a "best of" list | 2016 |

overall, 2016 was a much more mellow year for me musically. a lot of the songs on this list are a little on the sad side too. i don't necessarily think that was a reflection of my personal life, but i suppose i was a little more stressed than usual. 2016 completely flew by which is probably an indication that i didn't do the best job at taking moments to pause + enjoy things. instead i just sought solace in my headphones (not the worst thing).

2016 was a pretty solid year for music though. the highlight was hearing radiohead's "true love waits." years ago i came across a super bootleg version of this song by illegally downloading it on napster. to hear it again years later cleaned up + beautiful was the most unexpected + wonderful gift ever. no words could adequately describe how much love i have for that song.

this list isn't just about the new to 2016 songs though. equally as important to me are the songs that i may not have previously given a good listen to or might have missed completely that ended up being incredibly meaningful to me. this year i listened to a lot of broken social scene, blonde redhead, interpol, + yeah yeah yeahs. for whatever reason they all sounded so relevant. also, sharon van etten. holy cow. how did she fly under my radar for so long? lou reed's "street hassle" was probably my favorite uncovered gem though.

i have to also give a shout out to stranger things + the survive guys. i'm always on the hunt for something new when it comes to music + synth nostalgia did the trick for me in 2016. it didn't quite make the list, but clint mansell's score from the san junipero episode of black mirror is done in a similar vein.

here's the full list you've all been waiting for (or not)...

1. finder || moderat
2. shut up kiss me || angel olsen
3. it hurts until it doesn't || mothers
4. true love waits || radiohead
5. cranes in the sky || solange
6. a 1000 times || hamilton leithauser + rostam
7. kids || survive
8. it means i love you || jessy lanza
9. your love is killing me || sharon van etten
10. because i'm me || the avalanches
11. my plants are dead || blonde redhead
12. funeral pyre || phantogram
13. do you still love me? || ryan adams
14. five minutes || her
15. orlando || exploded view
16. somebody else || the 1975
17. big black coat || junior boys
18. 22 (over soon) || bon iver
19. shampoo suicide || broken social scene
20. ivy || frank ocean
21. no || nicolas jaar
22. wolves || phosphorescent
23. i+1 || luh
24. staurolite stroll || night moves
25. street hassle || lou reed

2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010

you can also hear my full list of 2016 contenders HERE

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