M&T Best Songs of 2016

Maimed & Tamed Best Songs of 2016

Let’s cut to the chase, 2016 was a pretty shitty year. That doesn’t mean that we didn’t have plenty to celebrate though and one silver lining was all of the incredible music that was released in 2016. Here we’ve compiled a playlist of the 100 best songs from the year that was and highlighted our top 20 below. Make sure to subscribe to the full 100-track Spotify playlist and then peruse our top 20 below.

Full Spotify Playlist

20. Grammar- “Americana”

19. Joan As Police Woman- “Broke Me In Two”

18. Vita and the Woolf- “Qiet”

17. Big Thief- “Real Love”

16. Car Seat Headrest- “Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales”

15. Florist- “The Birds Outside Sang”

14. Ray LaMontagne- “Part One – Hey, No Pressure”

13. Radiohead- “Burn The Witch”

12. Baba Sonya- “Human-Made Machines”

11. A Tribe Called Quest- “We The People…”

10. Blood Orange- “Best to You”

Equal parts dance-pop and Emily Dickinson, the lushest, catchiest song of the year is complemented by acutely painful lyrics of romantic insecurity.


9. The Low Anthem- “am i the dream or am i the dreamer”

The five-year wait between albums from these Providence folk rockers was well worth it. eyeland was quite the sonic departure from 2011’s Smart Flesh and that was highlighted by the expansive textures and layers of “am i the dream or am i the dreamer” which I’d be more than happy to argue is their best song to date.


8. Local Natives- “Past Lives”

Local Natives came back on the scene in a big way in 2016 and “Past Lives” is just one example of why this band is poised to make stellar records for a long, long time.


7. Leagues- “Slow and Steady”

Once this one catches on expect it to be featured in about 100 breakup scenes in television and movies.


6. ANOHNI- “Drone Bomb Me”

ANONHI has always had a gift for drama, and she has outdone herself with “Drone Bomb Me.” Told from the vantage point of a suicidal Afghani girl whose family has died in a drone strike, “Drone Bomb Me” is devastating yet too beautiful to turn away from – the best “car crash” you’ll ever listen to.


5. Carl Broemel- “4th of July”

We all know and love Carl from My Morning Jacket, but his second solo effort gave him the opportunity to showcase his lyrical ideas and expand on the killer guitar chops he’s been known to show off with MMJ. With “4th of July” Carl creates an epic journey that would be worthy of the upper echelon of MMJ’s catalogue had he lent it to the band.


4. The Avalanches- “Because I’m Me”

When you don’t release an album for 16 years there’s sure to be lots of hype and I think it’s safe to say that The Avalanches lived up to that hype. It’s tough to pick just one standout track from Wildflower, but “Because I’m Me” is the perfect album opener and sets the bar ridiculously high for the group’s glorious comeback.


3. Mitski- “Your Best American Girl”

Through both whispers and screams, Mitski shares her all-too-relatable ache to be “American enough” via the most epic crescendo of the year.


2. Band of Horses- “Dull Times/The Moon”

Speaking of album openers, “Dull Times/The Moon” is another example of a band opening with a big statement. The 7-minute track includes two very distinct movements that play perfectly into each other. Nearly 15 years on and the band is still making bold choices that further cement their place as one of our best Americana bands in the 21st century.


1. Kanye West- “Ultralight Beam”

Kanye, Kanye, Kanye. You beautiful, crazy bastard. They say there’s a very thin line between genius and insanity and Mr. West has been toeing that line for years now. It seems The Life of Pablo might have been the project that pushed him firmly over that line, but before he started all of his paranoid rants he gave us the best track of 2016. Between the preaching child sample, Kirk Franklin, that choir, and Chance’s masterful verse, Kanye made good on his promise to deliver the perfect gospel track for TLOP. The production on the track is some next level stuff (as evidenced by this super interesting article and mini-doc on Vox) and if you don’t feel something otherworldly in your bones when that choir kicks in then you better check your pulse. Finally, if Kanye’s never the same on stage again let’s try to remember him like he was during this unreal performance of “Ultralight Beam” on SNL.


Posted on by Eric in Best of 2016

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