Top 100 Songs of 2016

Artwork by Isabella Bersellini

I’m not gonna sugar coat this for you — compiling and arranging the “best” songs of the year is inevitably a messy, upsetting, confusing, infuriating business, and I hate it. There never feels to be a truly right answer, and the process of convincing yourself there is one…well, it lends itself to sadness and over-indulgence. With albums, you can identify certain bodies of work that create a beautiful, lively, devastating, jovial, game-changing whole. Songs, though…songs are the wildcard. Singles, EPs, b-sides, hidden tracks, 7” record store day limited-edition pressings. There’s simply too much to wrap your head around and not enough time to truly explore the breadth of offerings each year — and that’s particularly true given the clusterfuck that was 2016.

So, with that in mind, we give you our list of top songs. The tracks that got us through the more difficult days and kept us going on long nights. The songs that weave incredible stories, break our hearts and elevate our moods. We probably missed a lot of your favorite songs, so please comment below with what you’d have added. Hope you enjoy, and happy end of 2016!

Click here to check out our Top 30 Albums of 2016.

Playlist

100 – 81

100. Japanese Breakfast – “The Woman that Loves You” – Listen
99. ELEL – “Change My World” – Listen
98. Local Natives – “Past Lives” – Listen
97. Hello Shark – “Drake Night” – Listen
96. Conor Oberst – “Goossamer Thin” – Listen
95. Birdy – “Keeping Your Head Up” – Listen
94. Band of Horses – “Solemn Oath” – Listen
93. Bon Iver – “666ʇ ” – Listen
92. American Wrestlers – “Give Up” – Listen
91. You Won’t – “Ya Ya Ya” – Listen
90. Nicolas Jaar – “History Lesson” – Listen
89. Foreign Fields – “I” – Listen
88. Young Thug – “Wyclef Jean” – Listen
87. Jack Garratt – “Surprise Yourself” – Listen
86. How to Dress Well – “Lost Youth/Lost You” – Listen
85. Andy Shauf – “The Magician” – Listen
84. PUP – “DVP” – Listen
83. Nothing – “A.C.D. (Abcessive Compulsive Disorder)” – Listen
82. Shy Girls – “Trivial Motion” – Listen
81. Hazel English – “Make It Better” – Listen

80 – 61

80. Maggie Rogers – “Alaska” – Listen
79. Sylvan Esso – “Radio” – Listen
78. Swet Shop Boys – “T5” – Listen
77. Robert Ellis –  “California” – Listen
76. Bon Iver – “22 (OVER S∞∞N) – Listen
75. The Lonely Island – “Finest Girl (The Bin Laden Song)” – Listen
74. Vagabon – “Fear & Force” – Listen
73. The Lemon Twigs – “I Wanna Prove to You” – Listen
72. Ta-Ku & Wafia – “Love Somebody” – Listen
71. Eagulls – “Skipping” – Listen
70. Islands – “No Milk, No Sugar” – Listen
69. Japanese Breakfast – “Jane Cum” – Listen
69. Parquet Courts – “Human Performance” – Listen
67. Preoccupations – “Anxiety” – Listen
66. Miya Folick “God is a Woman” – Listen
65. Gordi – “Can We Work It Out” – Listen
64. Drake – “Controlla” – Listen
63. Sløtface – “Take Me Dancing” – Listen
62. Iska Dhaaf – “Invisible Cities” – Listen

61 – 41

61. Kyle Morton – “Innuendos” – Listen
60. case/lang/veirs – “Atomic Number” – Listen
59. ANOHNI – “Drone Bomb Me” – Listen
58. You Won’t – “Revolutionaries” – Listen
57. Francis and the Lights (feat. Bon Iver) – “Friends” – Listen
56. Japanese Breakfast – “In Heaven” – Listen
55. Carseat Headrest – “Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales” – Listen
54. Drake (Feat. WizKid & Kyla) – “One Dance” – Listen
53. Rubblebucket – “If U C My Enemies” – Listen
52. Sunflower Bean – “Human Ceremony” – Listen
51. Bat For Lashes – “In God’s House” – Listen
50. Beck – “Wow” – Listen
49. The xx – “On Hold” – Listen
48. EZTV – “High Flying Faith” – Listen
47. Sad13 – “Devil in U” – Listen
46. Kanye West – “Fade” – Listen
45. The Julie Ruin – “I Decide” – Listen
44. Angel Olsen – “Shut Up and Kiss Me” – Listen
43. Lydia Loveless – “Longer” – Listen
42. Maragret Glaspy – “You and I” – Listen
41. of Montreal – “gratuitous abysses” – Listen

40 – 21

40. Frankie Cosmos – “Fool” – Listen
39. PWR BTTM – “New Hampshire” – Listen
38. Whitney – “No Matter Where We Go” – Listen
37. Lucy Dacus – “I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore” – Listen
36. Warpaint – “New Song” – Listen
35. BadBadNotGood (feat. Samuel T. Herring) – “Time Moves Slow” – Listen
34. Hamilton Leithauser and Rostam – “A 1000 Times” – Listen
33. Chance the Rapper – “Same Drugs” – Listen
32. Big Thief – “Paul” – Listen
31. Kanye West – “Wolves” – Listen
30. Kendrick Lamar – “untitled 03 | 05.28.2013” – Listen
29. Death Grips – “Giving Bad People Good Ideas” – Listen
28. Solange – “Don’t Touch My Hair” – Listen
27. The Avalanches – “Subways” – Listen
26. David Bowie – “I Can’t Give Everything Away” – Listen
25. James Blake (Feat Bon Iver) – “I Need a Forrest Fire” – Listen
24. Savages – “Adore” – Listen
23. Parquet Courts – “Berlin Got Blurry” – Listen
22. Big Thief – “Masterpiece” – Listen
21. Weaves – “Coo Coo” – Listen

20. Chance The Rapper (Feat. Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz) – “No Problem” 

19. Radiohead – “Burn the Witch” 

18. Blood Orange – “Augustine”

17. How to Dress Well – “Salt Song”

16. Nick Murphy – “Stop Me (Stop You)”

15. Anderson Paak (feat. Schoolboy Q) – “Am I Wrong”

14. Danny Brown (feat. Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul & Earl Sweatshirt) – “Really Doe “

13. A Tribe Called Quest – “We the People…”

12. Bon Iver – “8 (Circle)”

11. Rhianna – “Needed Me”

10. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – “Jesus Alone”

9. Pinegrove – “Old Friends”

8. Hazel English – “I’m Fine”

7. Flume (Feat. Kai) – “Never Be Like You”

6. ANOHNI – “4 Degrees”

5. Solange – “Cranes In The Sky”

4. David Bowie – “Lazarus”

3. Whitney – “No Woman”

2. Mitski – “Your Best American Girl”

1. Blood Orange – “Best to You”