Top 25 Songs of March 2016

Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s how much good new music is constantly being released, maybe it’s Maybelline. Maybe it’s an amalgam of everything. Whatever the case, I never have a shortage of (good, really good, great) music to listen to. Here are my favourite songs from March. (My god Wintersleep, you are incredible).

25. Future/Weeknd – Low Life

 

24. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis f. Leon Bridges – Kevin

 

23. Monster Truck – Don’t Tell Me How To Live

 

22. Ria Mae – Gold (JordanXL Remix)

 

Bonus: Rabbii – Hang Us High

 

21. Holy Esque – Hexx

 

20. Tinie Tempah – Girls Like

 

19. The Thermals – My Heart Went Cold

 

18. Miike Snow – I Feel The Weight

 

17. Run River North – Run or Hide

 

16. Ra Ra Riot – Bad Times

 

15. Jordan Klassen – Baby Moses

 

14. 2 Chainz & Lil Wayne – Gotta Lotta

Best use of a sample in forever. So cheeky and so funny. Scatman John would be proud.

 

13. Yeasayer – Silly Me

 

12. Bleached – Wednesday Night Melody

 

11. All Saints – One Strike

Nice comeback tune.

 

10. Wintersleep – Spirit/More Than

Could be the best Canadian band around.

 

9. case/lang/viers – Atomic Number

Neko wins at whatever she does. Really digging this tune.

 

8. Mothers – It Hurts Until It Doesn’t

Love the melody and how the tempo slows to a crawl and builds again.

 

7. Lumineers – Ophelia

Very solid comeback single.

 

6. Sundara Karma – A Young Understanding

Such an earwormy tune. I’m going to take note of this English band.

 

5. Fifth Harmony – Work From Home

Absurdly stupid lyrics, but the song is the embodiment of incessant. Wickedly catchy.

 

4. Wintersleep – Lifting Cure/Who Are You

My love for this band knows no bounds. These two songs are bloody brilliant. I love the melody, lyrics, and music of Lifting Cure, and Who Are You is such a wonderfully simple, guitar-led ditty. Wintersleep can write any type of song and slay it.

 

3. Frightened Rabbit – Get Out/Death Dream

Triumphant first two singles from the Scots’ latest LP. Frightened Rabbit’s combo of melody, relatability, and rootability (making up words as I go, no biggie) is ever charming.

 

2. The Boxer Rebellion – Big Ideas

I don’t love every single song these guys put out, but when they hit, they hit huge for me. This is one such behemoth. Love the build up and the guitars.

 

1. Wintersleep – Shadowless/Metropolis

Shadowless and Metropolis are the beating heart of Wintersleep’s indefatigable new record. They’re two of the best songs that will be released in 2016, and they’re two of the best songs that Wintersleep have ever created. There are only a select number of songs any given year that are so powerful that they elicit a physical and emotional response. Shadowless is one such song. I feel fortunate to have seen their intimate show in Hamilton at The Casbah this March. I was lucky enough to meet all the members of the band I tried to impart to them how much I love their music. Artists need to know they’re fighting the good fight. I can only hope this band keeps making music and touring.

Top 100 Songs of 2014 (40-26)

Self-awareness in 2014.

Self-awareness in 2014.

Massive, massive hits reside here. I think all of these tunes are phenomenal. My Top 100 Songs of 2014 (40-26):

40. Allie X – Bitch

A mesmerizing and distortion-fuelled pop gem. Contains one of the most representative-of-the-times lyrics of the year: “I’m your bitch, you’re my bitch, vroom vroom.” (Repeat ’til infinity, bitch.)

 

39. The New Pornographers – Brill Bruisers/Champions of Red Wine

For my money, the two best songs on The New Pornographers’ 6th full-length album. “Brill Bruisers” is a punishing pop-rock pulverizer. It’s catchy as all fuck too. The bo-ba-bo-ba-ba-bo’s are incredible. “Champions of Red Wine” is just… Neko. It’s always Neko, isn’t it? It is for me. Champions of red wine, red hair, red lips, red rum, and all levels of scarlet, crimson, vermilion, cherry, and ruby in between. Seeing red never felt so good.

 

38. Justin Timberlake – Not A Bad Thing

This song made my Honourable Mention list in 2013, but was released as a single in 2014, the year I really heard the tune, playing the shit out of it. It could be the best song on either 20/20 album, and that’d be an impressive feat, as there are a bunch of high quality tunes in the fold. I think JT does his best work when his silky smooth voice works over deliriously catchy pop tracks, and this is one such example.

 

37. Kendrick Lamar – I

Didn’t expect Mr. Lamar to go in this direction for his much anticipated follow-up. But that’s why he’s many people’s best rapper alive. Doing the unexpected and killing it every step of the way. “I” gets better with each listen.

 

36. Manchester Orchestra – The Mansion (Cope)/Cope (Cope)/The Ocean (Cope)/The Ocean (Hope)/Top Notch (Hope)/Indentions (Hope)

If I could only listen to six songs for an entire year and they were the following sextet, I’d be okay. These songs would comfort me, scold me, profess to me, demand of me. I’d need it. I’d want it. I’d have it. I have it. Thank fucking god.

Manchester Orchestra produced the best rock music of anyone in the world in 2014. I believe this and I don’t have an inkling of doubt about it.

That six (6!) fucking Manchester Orchestra songs have placed this high for me in a year with so many good songs is a testament to how incredible their output (two amazing albums!) was in 2014. And oh yeah, I’m not even close to being done listing them on the Top 100…

 

Bonus: Marc Anthony – Vivir Mi Vida (from 2013)

Discovered it in 2014. Amazing interpretation on an all-time melody.

 

35. Kyla La Grange – Cut Your Teeth

I like Kygo’s style of remixing. I really dug his take on this track. But I can’t understand why the remix seems to be more popular than the original, which is a slithering, sexy, deep cut of a chomper. One of the most under-appreciated, great pop songs of 2014. Super cool video too.

 

34. The War On Drugs – Under The Pressure

If you want to go to dream-land, this is your vehicle. If you want to take a trip to the best 60’s/70’s rock song to be released in 2014, this is your vehicle. If you miss Don Henley, this is your jam. If you want your boys to be of summer, this is the season. If you like foreplay and extended climaxes, this is your sex.

 

33. Bear’s Den – Sahara Pt. 2

It’s fucking criminal that this track/video has just 13k views on Youtube. It happens though. Things are missed. Not everything that deserves ears and eyes gets it. But this more than deserves it.

This is the sound of trekking an entire desert, and the relief that comes at the marathon’s end. The journey made you stronger, didn’t it? It made you feel alive, even when you thought you’d die. It has that power, and you’ll never forget it.

 

32. Royksopp and Robyn – Every Little Thing

Favourite song from Royksopp and Robyn’s delicious EP. An electro-pop banger of the highest order.

 

31. Beth Jeans Houghton & Samuel T. Herring – Pelican Canyon

Samuel T. Herring (of Future Islands) like you’ve never heard him before. His and Beth Jeans Houghton’s voices could not be more different, and they couldn’t fit more perfectly against, on top, and combined with each other. This song is from 2014, but it really sounds like nothing else, a sound out of time.

 

30. Wye Oak – Glory

By far, my favourite track Wye Oak has ever done. The verses, chorus, instrumentation, vocals: everything’s appealing. This song is an uncontained light, and everything is illuminated.

 

29. Night Terrors of 1927 f. Tegan and Sara – When You Were Mine

I discovered “When You Were Mine” relatively late in 2014 and I haven’t stopped listening to it since. It’s a mostly straightforward synth-pop-rock tune, but I find it so striking, beautiful, and attractive to my ears. Maybe it’s the lyric, maybe it’s the lead singer’s powerful voice, maybe it’s the amazing harmonies, maybe it’s Tegan and Sara. It’s all of it. And I love it.

 

28. Future Islands – Fall From Grace/Sun In The Morning/A Dream Of You And Me/Like The Moon/Doves

There’s no way I can separate any of these tunes. All five are awesome. From one of the best albums of 2014, Future Islands’ indomitable Singles.

“Fall From Grace”, the hunter, the incapacitating. “Sun In The Morning”, the eye-opener, the life-affirming, the daily reminder. “A Dream Of You And Me”, the ocean canvass, the brush-stroked clouds. “Like The Moon”, the chilly crescent , the mysterious deep sea dive. “Doves”, the cooing pleas, the will-you-please.

Future Islands, the time stoppers, the level jumpers, the artists.

 

27. Magic! – Rude

Overplayed, yes, but it doesn’t diminish the fact that these canucks wrote an impossibly catchy song. They’ll never top this one, but that’s okay, when you have something this good, you hold onto it and relish in it for all time.

 

26. Angel Olsen – Windows

I almost didn’t want to link the music video to this track. The song, and in particular, Angel Olsen’s harrowing, heavenly vocals, need no visual accompaniment. There’s a magic in her delivery, in those devastatingly simple words, “what’s so wrong with the light?” It is a good video though; if someone presses play on the link below and likes what they see, then it’ll have been reason enough to link the clip. But I don’t need it. All I need is to open a window, and let this melody disperse into the air, into the world. It will make things better.