Meghan Music: Top 20 Songs of 2016

Picking 20 songs is always a tricky task, but at least now Spotify sort of summarizes it for you (although man, I still am waiting for that raw data export so I can weight it like I used to with iTunes back in the day). Still, here are my faves of the year. Yes, I know some were released as singles before the albums, and one is a single from a forthcoming album, but there are no rules here (not like my top 10 albums list). Anyhoo, please enjoy.

New for 2016: After recently having the conversation about how I’m more of a melody person than a lyrics person, I’m adding standout lyrics (after all, this is the year Dylan won the Nobel Prize)!

Links: Video Playlist &  Spotify Playlist (doesn’t include Beyoncé, grr).

20. Daughter – How

Holding on, souvenirs/His words inked from birthdays/Goodbye to our empty ruins/ Yeah that’s when I saw her

I’ll never not like dreamy shoegaze.

19. Allah-Las – Terra Ignota

Plan a day to slip away unseen/Hone your mind/Live for the time and me

Every year I have a California song, and this sounds like 70s LA canyon rock. It’s also a really good running jam, although it’s probably about acid.

18. Preoccupations – Anxiety

I’m not here purely for the sake/Of breathing, I am wide awake/Excuse my efforts for today

2016: The Song

17. Fruit Bats – Baby Bluebird

Writing songs about coming under/I’ve fallen in love with the idea of someone/Who is it gonna be

I thoroughly enjoyed the Fruit Bats album and glad to see a strong return. No song will ever touch my favorite, but this is a lovely little ditty.

16. Lucy Dacus – I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore

Lately, I’ve been feeling like the odd man out/I hurt my friends saying things I don’t mean out loud

If you know me, like really know me, you know how much I identify with this song. Ha ha, just kidding, everything is totally fine.

15. Radiohead – Daydreaming

Dreamers/They never learn/Beyond the point/Of no return

While A Moon Shaped Pool didn’t grab me as much as past Radiohead albums, it’s still one I’ll revisit time and again. The piano intro on this is enough to put the song on any list.

14. David Bowie – Lazarus

This way or no way/You know, I’ll be free

If we could only raise him from the dead.

13. Michael Kiwanuka – Black Man in a White World

I don’t mind who I am/I don’t mind who you are/I’m not wrong, I’m not wrong

Another song for the awful year that was 2016.

12. Margot Price – Since You Put Me Down

If I see your face again don’t consider me a friend/You made me feel like an orphan and act like a clown

This is everything a country song is supposed to be and I really needed it this year.

11. Lydia Loveless – Out on Love

Now I’m  walking away, I guess/I don’t understand/Why someone like you would be cruel/Well, I don’t know what the truth is

Lydia songs usually make me laugh, dance and rock n’ roll, but this one cut into my soul. It’s just a really beautiful ballad.

10. Car Seat Headrest – Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales

Forget what happened in the morning/There are notes in your handwriting/But you can’t make it out

The best Pavement song released this year.

9. Deap Vally – Smile More

And yes, I am a feminist/But that isn’t why I started doing this/And sometimes I am full of bitterness/But I am trying to work through this

While Royal Jelly is my everyday jam, this song is a big ol’ feminist fuck you and I love it. AND THOSE GUITAR RIFFS.

8. Y La Bamba – Ostrich

In the wilderness is where/We meet god hanging in the air/It’s my oxygen

This sounds like a pretty lullaby for a sunny afternoon nap in a meadow.

7. Blood Orange – Best to You

And I can’t be the girl you want but I can be the thing you/Throw away

This album is full of pop gems, including this near-perfect one, which also super resonates with me personally. From the lyrics to the production to the beats, I would 1000x rather hear this repeated on the radio than that Bieber crap.

6. Margaret Glaspy – You and I

Oh, tonight I’m a little too turned on to talk about us/And tomorrow I’ll be too turned off and won’t give a fuck/About you and I

Catchy, brash and on repeat a large chunk of the year.

5. The Gift with Brian Eno – Love Without Violins

If love is a role in your private theater/It’s better to follow the casting director’s whims

The best Annie Lennox song released this year.

4. Beyoncé – Sorry

Middle fingers up/Put them hands high/Wave it in his face/Tell ’em boy bye

Queen B is queen for a reason.

3. Angel Olsen – Shut Up Kiss Me

I could make it all disappear/You could feed me all of your fears/We could end all this pain right here/We could rewind all of those tears

I should probably maybe just send this playlist to my therapist.

2. Savages – T.I.W.Y.G.

You mess with love when you go out tonight/Doesn’t matter who’s wrong or right/All you want is that feeling again/When someone is camping in your head

This pounding beast pushed me across the finish line for the SF Half Marathon in July and provided a soundtrack for lots of rawwwwwwwwwr solo dance party moments this year. I’ve never heard a truer song.

1. Lucius – Born Again Teen

Never seen your moves like this and all with such self confidence/I’m thinking how your lips taste next to mine

If Kate Bush and Wilson Phillips made a song together maybe it would be this. It’s so weird, yet poppy, and absolutely impossible not to dance to. In a dark, dismal year, this was a bright spot and a song I have had on repeat since the beginning of 2016.

About Meghan A.

creative & professional creative professional | communications, content & community | nasty woman | adventurer & inspiration seeker | bicyclist & feminist | walk san francisco board | current: Adobe Typekit Product Marketing Manager, former: TYPO SF magic maker
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