The Five Songs of 2016

The older you get, the harder you have to work to stay musically fresh. (Somewhat fresh).

Who the hell am I kidding? It’s damn near impossible to taste-test new music if you’re working two jobs, going to school and raising two kids under the age of three.

Still, I did have enough time to catch wind of some of what 2016 offered musically. Sure we lost a lot of talented fixtures of the music world, (Bowie, Maurice White, Prince, Keith Emerson AND Greg Lake, Glenn Frey, Leonard Cohen as well as George Michael). But they left us with some remarkable discographies.

And those left behind, in the multitudes, continue to entertain us.

These are my favourites from the year. I’ve omitted “24K Magic” mainly because I can’t stand auto-tune. (It’s still a guilty pleasure, however).

Note: Feel free to peruse my five from 2014 and 2015.

5. Song: Something to Believe In
Album: Home of the Strange
Artist: Young the Giant
Release: August 12, 2016
Why: They call this indie rock, but really it’s just a head full of chemicals. That, and a mashup of ’80s new wave and Haight-Ashbury.
4. Song: Dark Necessities
Album: The Getaway
Artist: Red Hot Chili Peppers
Release: May 5, 2016
Why: The intro is contemplative, wounded and cynical. And then that bass riff just smacks you like a monger with a wet fish.
3. Song: Vice
Album: The Weight of These Wings
Artist: Miranda Lambert
Release: July 18, 2016
Why: Popping little ditty that tugs at the heartstrings. “When it hurts this good, you’ve gotta play it twice.”
2. Song: Take Me Down
Album: Who You Selling For
Artist: The Pretty Reckless
Release: October 21, 2016
Why: Little Cindy Lou Who grew up into an edgier blend of Sheryl Crow, Deborah Harry and Nancy Wilson.
1. Song: Black Honey
Album: To Be Everywhere is To Be Nowhere
Artist: Thrice
Release:May 27, 2016
Why: Country twang with a holler to the late ’90s alt rock. You can feel that Sturm und Drang just ripple through the vocals.
 

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About the author

Toronto-based journalist, fighting the power one deadline at a time.

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