2016 has been a sad year for music with the untimely passing’s of David Bowie and Prince who have influenced so many of the artists I enjoy as well as being massive fans of both.
This year people will say has not been good for popular music but I still maintain that if you want to find good music then you have to search for it but it IS out there and I have enjoyed many albums and tracks in 2016.
This list is my own and this is in no way the gospel of songs. It is just my favourites from what I have been listening to over the course of the year.
There are some track in here that you may have been able to hear in 2015 but if the artist released an album in 2016 then it was likely to be the first time I heard the song so it will qualify for this list!
There were lots of tracks that didn’t make the top 10 but here are some of the notable mentions of songs I really enjoyed.
Laura Mvula – Phenomenal Woman
TCTS – Live For Something
David Bowie – Lazarus
Solange – Don’t Touch My Hair
Mac Miller (ft Anderson Peak) – Dang!
So onto my favourite songs of 2016.
10. Sigala & Craig David – Ain’t Giving Up
This was problem the only track in my top 10 that I wasn’t sure about including. The song lyrically is pretty basic (as per most Craig David tracks) but it is such an uplifting and catching dance song. The comeback from Craig David over the last 18 months has been relentless and this is such a great feelgood song.
Taken from the album “Following My Intuition”.
9. Kungs vs Cookin’ On 3 Burners – This Girl
This track is one of two UK number one songs in my list. This track was orginally released in 2009 by Cookin’ On 3 Burners but remixed by French producer Kungs. It stormed the charts and was played heavily on radio throughout the world.
The use of the horns, infectious guitar and soulful vocals makes this the best house song of the year. Another feel good track and one I reckon we will be playing for a while yet.
Taken from the album “Layers”
8. Jack Garrett – Breathe Life
This song was around at the back end of 2015 but I only heard it on his debut album which was released in this year. This song was the best song on that project by some way and whilst it never gave Garrett the pop hit that he continues to seek this is a wonderfully produced track which has some great lyrics. A great song.
Taken From The Album “Phase”
7. Raleigh Ritchie – Bloodsport
I played this song so many times my Spotify must have thought there was a malfunction. The debut album from Ritchie was released in 2016 and included was this beautifully honest song. Catchy, but lyrically engaging. Absolutely superb.
Taken From The Album “You’re a man now, boy”
6. Bruno Mars – 24k Magic
This may be the one that is frowned upon given how popular it was but hell this is a gargantuan song. The 80’s funk production, the Michael Jackson style vocalling – this isn’t a tribute, this is a fresh and exciting idea with influences from the past. It’s so crisp and clear and I love it.
Taken From The Album “24K Magic”.
5. Bruno Mars – Chunky
This was the latest entry into the top 10. This as of yet is just an album track off Bruno Mars’ brand new album “24k Magic”. This is a song that I can’t get enough of with it’s funky baseline and catchy chorus. I really hope they do release this is a single because the masses need to hear a magnificent song.
Taken From The Album “24k Magic”
4. SG Lewis (ft Dornik) – All Night
For most of the year this was my number one song but the fact it fell to number four has no baring on how much I think of this track. SG Lewis is at this point an unknown in the pop music market but is a young producer with Disclosure influences in his production style. This was the first song that made me aware of him and I think it is brilliant.
3. The 1975 – Somebody Else
The 1975 are a band who divide opinion and it really is a case of loving them or hating them. I don’t think much of the lead singer Matt Healy and his live performances are often way off but this song is wonderful. It’s heart wrenching and quite depressing as this person struggles to come to terms with a break up and the other person moving on with their life. The synth beats and overall production is what turns it from a decent song to a great one.
Taken From The Album “I like it when you sleep for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it”.
2. Gallant – Bourbon
How this hasn’t got to number one on my list is just due to what actually did but this song is one of the most stunning R&B/Soul songs I have heard over the last decade. This fella may not be a household name yet but I urge you to check him out.
Lyrically the song is devastatingly desperate but engaging nonetheless. The vocal range is ridiculous and almost gospel choir background vocals give the song that extra edge. Just magnificent.
Taken From The Album “Ology”
1. Maxwell – Lake By The Ocean
I have been a fan of Maxwell for many years and when you hear that someone you like has a new song you hope you’ll like it but generally accept that it won’t be anything near as good as what has come before. But “Lake By The Ocean” bucks that trend as is one of the finest songs the man has ever penned.
The song was one of those instant classics with a sound that is timeless. The song was nominated for a Grammy award earlier this week and I can’t say I am too surprised as it is a beautiful song, with wonderful vocal, and a song I can’t imagine not playing.
If you would like to listen to all the songs on Spotify just click here: https://open.spotify.com/user/1136068738/playlist/7cR496IKzslRQtdSlzOu8f
So that is my list of my favourite songs in the year 2016. I am sure 2017 will bring many more great tunes.