A Year (2016) in Music

I used to rank my top fifty or so songs of each year, but this year I decided to do something a little different, mostly because I listened to about one-quarter the amount of new music that I normally listen to. So, I made a bunch of little lists. Some of them aren’t even about 2016 music. But I think the below is pretty representative of what I enjoyed or interacted with the most.

(If you are interested in my personal top fifty or so songs of the year, I made a playlist here.)

10 songs that I think were my favorites of 2016 (roughly in order):
1/ “Open Your Eyes” – School of Seven Bells
2/ “Do You Need My Love” – Weyes Blood
3/ “Your Best American Girl” – Mitski
4/ “Emma O” – Speedy Ortiz
5/ “It Means I Love You” – Jessy Lanza
6/ “Alaska” – Maggie Rogers
7/ “Below” – White Lung
8/ “No Woman” – Whitney
9/ “Razrushitelny Krug (Destructive Cycle)” – Kedr Livanskiy
10/ “Erase (Aubade)” – Fear of Men

5 2016 rock songs with male vocals that I loved:
1/ “Quite Like You” – Andy Shauf
2/ “Alabaster Snow” – Leapling
3/ “Take It Easy (Ever After Lasting Love)” – White Denim
4/ “Human Performance” – Parquet Courts
5/ “Two Deliverances” – The Hotelier

6 more 2016 rock songs with female vocals that I played on repeat:
1/ “Wednesday Night Melody” – Bleached
2/ “Door” – Nice As Fuck
3/ “Shut Up Kiss Me” – Angel Olsen
4/ “I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore” – Lucy Dacus
5/ “U Coulda Been An A” – Colleen Green
6/ “Denial” – Mannequin Pussy

5 new albums that I listened to a lot and didn’t really get sick of:
1/ Front Row Seat to Earth – Weyes Blood
2/ Oh No – Jessy Lanza
3/ Light Upon the Lake – Whitney
4/ The Party – Andy Shauf
5/ Fall Forever – Fear of Men

4 composers I listened to the most while at work:
1/ Claude Debussy
2/ Erik Satie
3/ Benjamin Britten
4/ Aaron Copland

5 Julia Holter songs that soundtracked my winter (because I made this Julia Holter Primer for my friend and then listened to it all the time myself):
1/ “Marienbad”
2/ “In the Same Room”
3/ “In the Green Wild”
4/ “Hello Stranger”
5/ “Don’t Make Me Over” (cover)

5 representative songs on a 70-song playlist I made specifically for a trip to my lake house with friends this summer:
1/ “In a Big Country” – Big Country
2/ “Country House” – Blur
3/ “Steal My Sunshine” – Len
4/ “Pepper” – Butthole Surfers
5/ “Born Slippy (Nuxx)” – Underworld

2 compilations I was obsessed with:
1/ Sky Girl
2/ Wayfaring Strangers: Cosmic American Music

7 songs I performed more than once at karaoke during 2016:
1/ “If It Makes You Happy” – Sheryl Crow
2/ “Live to Tell” – Madonna
3/ “If I Can’t Have You” – Yvonne Elliman
4/ “Linger” – The Cranberries
5/ “Heaven Is A Place On Earth” – Belinda Carlisle
6/ “S.O.S.” – ABBA
7/ “Insensitive” – Jann Arden

6 songs that unexpectedly made me cry (at least twice in public):
1/ “Thirteen” – Big Star
2/ “America” – Simon & Garfunkel
3/ “Walk Away Renee” – The Left Banke
4/ “Hang Me, Oh Hang Me” – Dave Van Ronk
5/ “Vienna” – Billy Joel
6/ “Living Without You” – Harry Nilsson

9 old songs that I had major moments with this year:
1/ “Any Major Dude Will Tell You” – Steely Dan
2/ “But I Might Die Tonight” – Cat Stevens
3/ “Lucky Strikes & Liquid Gold” – Jeff Cowell
4/ “Lopin’ Along Through the Cosmos” – Judee Sill
5/ “Long Promised Road” – The Beach Boys
6/ “All I Ever Wanted” – New Riders of the Purple Sage
7/ “Ballad of Geraldine” – Donovan
8/ “Hot Burrito #1” – The Flying Burrito Brothers
9/ “Sweet Talkin’ Woman” – Electric Light Orchestra

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