23 December 2016

top 50 of 2016 | 50-41

50. Wet - "These Days"

The world finally got to hear Wet's debut LP back in January, and it was worth the wait. There were a handful of songs that those of us who've seen them live over the last few years recognized, alongside some beautiful new surprises. This track closes the album and finds lead singer Kelly Zutrau in the highest highs of her register, calling into the night after a departed lover.

49. Khia - "Santa Baby"

We were long overdue for a new Christmas classic. It didn't seem to capture much attention on release, but I hope that just means it's going through the usual path of American pop Christmas tunes that end up becoming standards by going unnoticed for a few years first.

48. M.I.A. - "Go Off"

M.I.A. is nothing if not consistent. She's delivered what is indubitably a signature sound for over a decade now. This little slow burner from her latest (and supposedly final) release has a super cool music video to accompany it of a bunch of shit blowing up being filmed from a helicopter. Doesn't really get more M.I.A. than that.

47. Era Istrefi - "Bonbon"

Probably the most fascinating pure club tune of the year. Superficially, it blends in with plenty of other unmemorable club tracks you'd hear on the floors today, but there are intricacies in the production that make it stand out. In particular I love the razzy synth bass line.

46. Ninja Sex Party - "Cool Patrol"

An ode to being aggressively uncool told by a bunch of folks who are undoubtedly walking that walk.

45. Dodie - "Sick Of Losing Soulmates"

I love this one because of the tacit admission that it's possible to feel a soulmate connection more than once in your life. Usually, songs that deal with the topic of begging a lover to return put the entire universe on that person, but Dodie admits that she's felt this way before about others and that frankly it's getting exhausting.

44. Years & Years ft. Tove Lo - "Desire"

A song about the benefits of hooking up, because love hurts, or something? Honestly the lyrics seem a bit disjointed to me, but the production and his voice are just so solid. Great stuff.

43. Raylo - "Winner"

The song from the greatest commercial of all time finally gets a proper release. A perfect track to get you hype as hell.

42. Jean-Michel Jarre - "Oxygène Pt. 20"

Part 1 of the Oxygène series was released back in 1976, with Part 2 following in 1997. Now here with are with the next movement of the piece. The idea of creating one long piece across three albums and 40 years is simply stunning, and man does Jarre nail it. Electronic music was born in France in the 40s and 50s, and it's pretty safe to say that Jarre drew from those early "musique concrète" pieces and was an early pioneer of what we now call "ambient" music. This is the final cut on the album, and it's a perfect example of his ability to take the listener on a ride with his vivid soundscapes.

41. Computer Magic - "Been Waiting"

Her husky voice, those puffy snares, that little popcorn motif -- this is just everything that's great about modern synthpop.