Top 30 Songs of Summer 2016

It was a summer I will cherish for years. Memories of Portugal, Spain and a plethora of festivals/concerts/sets will never leave me. The past couple times I’ve done a songs of the summer list, I’ve only included songs from the year in question. I’ve asked different questions in 2016, so the songs herein are from whenever. Here are the songs that helped soundtrack my unforgettable summer:

30. Ryan Hemsworth – Surrounded


29. That Poppy – American Kids


28. Biffy Clyro – Friends and Enemies


27. Daughter – Doing The Right Thing/How


26. The Joy Formidable – Liana


25. One Republic – Kids


24. Ofelia K – I Love My Lawyer


23. Bob Moses – Tearing Me Up


22. The Tragically Hip – The Depression Suite


Bonus: Grimes – Go


21. Catfish and The Bottlemen – 7


20. Fidlar – Cheap Beer


19. Broods – Freak of Nature f. Tove Lo/1000x/Bedroom Door


18. Bear’s Den – Gabriel


Bonus: Wolf Alice – Soapy Water


17. Kanye – Fade/Waves/Saint Pablo


16. Glass Animals – Youth


15. Band of Horses – Casual Party


14. Gareth Emery – Reckless


13. Britney Spears – Make Me/Love Me Down


12. John Grant – Marz


11. The Chainsmokers – Roses


Bonus: The Vaccines – Post Break-Up Sex/A Lack of Understanding


10. Benjamin Francis Leftwich – Some Other Arms

Slow-tempo magic. I adore this song.


9. Dan Deacon – When I Was Done Dying

The sound of flight. Of rebirth. Of mice and men and death back then. The sound of making anew, and birds as your crew.


8. The 1975 – Loving Someone

Loving Someone really came alive as I saw the band twice this summer, thrice overall this year. The chorus is massive.


7. Marshmello – Alone

Undeniably dope, Alone is one monster dance track.


6. Hana – Clay/Underwater/White

I fell in love with Hana’s music this summer. These 3 songs are why.


5. The 1975 – A Change of Heart

It’s been several months since I first heard this track, and I cannot escape it. It remains indomitable. One of the best songs of the year, hands down.


4. Two Door Cinema Club – Cigarettes In The Theatre

When I experienced this song at Nos Alive in Lisbon, the crowd went mental. Out of the countless songs and sets I’ve heard live, this ranks at the top for/of memorable performances. An already fabulous song made immortal.


3. Jamie XX – Gosh

I threw all kinds of shapes and danced like my body was a singular fit conniption. I saw Gosh at two different festivals this summer, on back-to-back nights, in Portugal and Spain, and the music took me to another place both times. A place where my body and the beat were present, but where my mind moved to nether regions. I will never forget that transportation.


2. Villagers – Nothing Arrived (Acoustic)

I waited for something, and something died, so I waited for nothing, and nothing arrived.


1. The 1975 – You

I didn’t know You.

I heard the song live thrice this year, though it didn’t immediately clutch claws into my arm and smack me upside the head. Only on the last occasion did I get an inkling. But I didn’t really know You until…

I found You in Barcelona.

I was walking down Passeig de Sant Joan to the Arc de Triomf and the sun was grinning cheekily behind marshmallow-white clouds. I saw a man blowing soap bubbles for passers by, children rapt by the disappearing orbs, a rollerblading girl with strawberry blonde hair dressed in a black tank-top and black shorts, and I found You there.

I locked into You as my over-ear headphones carried the message. I sat and smiled, I walked and smiled, and the sounds that held my face muscles in place encouraged — necessitated — the abandonment of everything. Everything but You.

It takes a bit more. More than any or most or pretty much all other songs to do what You did.

To add marvel to the day. To forge some clarity amidst the fray. To let me see the shadows shake hands with the brightness. To take a moment. To make that moment linger. To reveal a layer or two, about me, about You.

You did all that.

Top 100 Songs of 2015 (40-21)

Each and every song that follows is amazing (to me). My Top 100 Songs of 2015 (40-21):

40. The Vaccines – Handsome/Dream Lover

The Vaccines deserve to be huge. I hope they find their way to that some day.


39. The Wombats – Greek Tragedy

Right up there with the best they’ve ever done.


38. Robert Plant – Rainbow

His voice sounds splendid singing this type of music.


Bonus: Bear In Heaven – Autumn

Frenetic and fantastic.


37. Imagine Dragons – Shots

Best song on their most recent record.


36. Kurt Vile – Pretty Pimpin

Favourite tune Vile has ever done. Undeniably catchy.


35. Hot Chip – Need You Now

Hot Chip are so reliable. This is an absolute banger with soul pouring out of every pore.


34. Dear Rouge – Black To Gold

Immeasurably slick. Nodding to M83 and sage for doing so.


33. Foals – Mountain At My Gates

A slow burner that took a bit of time to become massive in my head. And how it did. Wicked video too.


Bonus: Alvvays – Ones Who Love You

What a sweet, sombre melody. I can’t not sing along when I hear it.


32. Sufjan Stevens – Should Have Known Better

Sufjan tugs on heart strings unlike any other. The shift to a more relaxed, jubilant sound in the second half really makes it special.


31. Glass Animals – Gooey/Hazey

Sooooooo sexy. One album in, and Glass Animals already have a sound all their own.


30. Modest Mouse – Lampshades On Fire/The Ground Walks, With Time In A Box

The lead single, “Lampshades” is classic Modest Mouse, and the Indie-disco strut of “The Ground Walks” is a jolly ol’ romp.


29. Brandon Flowers – Can’t Deny My Love/Lonely Town

“Can’t Deny My Love” is the best song on Flowers’ second solo LP, but the bridge in “Lonely Town” is so strong I have to include it with the lead single.


28. Grimes – Flesh Without Blood/Kill V. Maim

Grimes’ latest album is one of the best of the year, a jaw-droppingly good electropop album, and these are the two best songs on it. Wish there was a studio version of Kill V. Maim to share. Alas.


27. Cage The Elephant – Trouble

Just came out the last month or so of the year, but won me over right away. Possibly the best song on their brand new record. I love it when Cage goes tender.


Bonus: Wolf Alice – Blush

“Punch drunk, dumb struck, pot luck, happy happy…” I love alternative music that sounds like this. Rare that it’s ever this good though.


26. Tame Impala – Let It Happen

I don’t think I’ll ever tire of this song. There’s so much to latch onto in this 7-minute-plus epic.


25. Christine and The Queens – Saint Claude/Paradis Perdu

I discovered Christine and The Queens not long before I went to Osheaga, and they became dear to me almost overnight. A revelation.


24. Jr Jr – Gone

This is happiness incarnate. I worry I haven’t ranked this song high enough. I don’t think it’s possible to quantify this much ebullience. I simply adore this song.


23. Jack U f. Justin Bieber – Where Are U Now/Justin Bieber – Sorry

When I roasted him, I ended the piece by saying all he needed was a hit and a lot of the negative stuff would fall away. He got it, with Skrillex and Diplo’s help, on “Where Are U Now”. It’s a gargantuan banger. #ThatDropThough. And then a few months later “Sorry” came along, the best song he’s ever put his name on.


22. El Vy – Return To The Moon

This is the sound of The National on vacation, fully relaxed and enjoying the sun, all the way from the moon. I’ve always wanted to hear Matt Berninger do a song like this. I really like the guitars in this song.


21. Years and Years – King

I’m not sure how big this song got in North America, but it should’ve been bigger. That chorus is really special.