Trying to put everything that happened during the span of a whole year into one playlist is impossible. Usually, I tend to connect certain memories of moments to certain songs (wow, finally feeling as normal as ordinary people! 😀 ). Initially, I intended to make a list of songs that I connected with memorable events from the past year. Since there were just too many, I’m going to stick with a small playlist (70 songs – probably to be extended once a forgotten song comes to mind). I will enlist the titles and a brief description/connection to my „real life“ (ok you got me, I’m bluffing there, obviously 😉 ) hoping to help you understand the reason behind my choices of songs a little better. A source for many songs have been TV shows I was watching, e.g. such as Lucifer, Banshee, Better Call Saul, and also through following music blogs and my favourite bands and labels on facebook/youtube. Special mentioning goes to David Dean Burkhart and the Mondobongo Radio, both of them playing a big role in my musical discoveries, as well as the excellent labels Secretly Canadian, Jagjaguwar, Matador Records, Domino Recordings and many more. Checking them out is a big MUST not only for indie music fans (Mondobongo Radio is offering a web player and many many excellent mixtapes).
Not all songs are in the best possible (based on style) order, I was just too lazy for that, but I think it’s quite okay. Also descriptons on potential background of my choices are given – as this will reveal details about my complex emotional thought processes – I will take care of my explanations thoroughly 😉 ).
To start listening on Youtube (My channel), just click here (I’m planning to create a Spotify playlist later as well) or on the first song in the list and it will start playing in a new tab.
1. Motopony – Daylight’s gone
Not long after my return from London I stumbled across this song. Not sure if it’s from an episode of Lucifer but I instantly liked this song. It’s catchy and very upbeat.
2. Kings of Leon – Waste a moment ★
My heartbeat was going up as I was so happy to hear some new stuff from them after quite some time. Reminds me of my „older days“ when ‚Sex on fire‘ and ‚Use somebody‘ were literally in our blood…
3. The Growlers – I’ll be around
Also some new stuff by those „Hippies of the Indieworld“ 😀 Groovy and funky as always, gets you going when you’re having a bad day.
4. POP Etc. – Bad Break
Not exactly published in 2016, but another song on the list of catchy, upbeat, indie rock (pop) songs. Check out this band, they seem like really humble, nice guys – always smiling!
5. Juliana Hatfield – Needle in the hay
Very nice cover of an evergreen Elliott Smith song. From the album ‚Say yes – A tribute to Elliott Smith‘ (various artists).
6. Grimes – Kill V. Maim ★
Well I just have no words for this. It’s a crazy song that came out long before Suicide Squad hit the cinemas but looks almost like the official background video. Special taste required, otherwise you’ll say it’s shit.
7. Men I Trust – Lauren
Typically slow, relaxing, dreamy indie pop sound. Lean back and enjoy!
8. Frankie Cosmos – On the Lips
Good mood guaranteed! Check out her Album ‚Next thing‘.
9. Savages – Adore
One of the most talked about and praised songs/albums („Adore Life“) of 2016. Not that I would give a shit, but this one is definitely worth it.
10. Massive Attack ft. Hope Sandoval – The Spoils ★
Ok, it’s Massive Attack AND Hope Sandoval (from Mazzy Star), do I need to say anything more? Dive deep!
11. Colleen Green – Deeper than love
Sounds cool aaaand again it’s from the indie pop category. Smooth!
12. Sofi Tukker – Drinkee
If I had to choose the catchiest song from 2016 – ‚Drinkee‘ it would be! VERY fresh sound by the newcomer duo from New York.
13. Mike Posner – I took a pill in Ibiza (Seeb Remix)
No comment necessary, nice song often played on the radio but not too annoying 😀
14. Alle Farben – Bad Ideas
Late discovery. Especially suited if you’re feeling down. Sounds like: ‚Vance Joy – Riptide‘ meets Milky Chance.
15. Rae Sremmurd ft. Gucci Mane – Black Beatles
I noticed this guy (Rae Sremmurd) for the first time in 2016. This song has a pretty cool vibe to it, the rap part is ok and not too dominant, which I like.
16. Yelawolf – Daylight
Once under the wings of rap god Eminem, Yelawolf got better and better in recent years. This track is simply badass. If you’ve seen the trailer to the Johnny Depp movie ‚Black Mass‘, you know what to expect from Yela.
17. No money kids – Government
„Really the only song I need for the entire year“ – I posted on Facebook some time ago in 2016. Relatively unknown band, they have a unique sound (remotely comparable to ‚The Neighbourhood‘).
18. Warpaint – New Song
It takes some time to get a feel of the characteristic Warpaint sound, but once you like it, it’ll stick.
19. Michelle Gurevich – Russian Romance
Formerly known as ‚Chinawoman‘, Michelle Gurevich impresses with her soothing, at times melancholic touch. IMHO, still one of the more underrated artists.
20. Natalie Taylor – In the air tonight
Another one from the cover section, this time from the witty TV series Lucifer. A successful version of Phil Collins‘ all-time hit.
21. MILCK – Devil Devil
Hailing from ‚Lucifer‘ again, this song fits into the same category as the previous one. Starting slow, building up some drama and also quite emotional.
22. Kurt Vile – I’m an outlaw (live) ★
Former member of ‚The War on Drugs‘, Kurt Vile has done pretty good solo work and in my view his distinctive vocals adds the special something to his songs.
23. Saro – Test
A new and pleasant discovery at the end of the year from the French electro/indie rock label Kitsuné. Anything they deliver is always FRESH!
24. Mike Perry ft. Shy Martin – The Ocean
Pretty mainstream (commerce), nevertheless and uplifting tune. To me it sounds like: Kygo meets Benjamin Francis Leftwich. Nice!
25. MØ – Final Song
And on we go with the popular music we all heard blasting from our radios. Another mainstream tune you really like listening to until it gets annoying 😉
26. Austra – Future Politics
Not much to say about this one except mentioning the unrivalled voice of Katie Stelmanis. Make Austra great again!
27. Leonard Cohen – You want it darker
One of his latest works until this true legend left our world.
28. Rationale – Fuel to the fire
From my days in England when I went for an evening/night run in the Hendon park. Another (at the moment) underrated great artist (vocalist!).
29. NEEDTOBREATHE ft. Shovels & Rope – Great Night ★
Thanks to the series Lucifer again! Belongs to the kind of (rock) song you listen on a hot summer day driving with your top down. One of my favourites of 2016.
30. Cigarettes after Sex – K.
This band shows that not only Trip Hop can be sexy. Absolutely amazing sound – and yes, it’s definitely „bedroom music“ 😉
31. Tegan and Sara – 100x
The two Canadian siblings made their way to my list of preferred bands a long time ago – eight to be exact. Nice album as always – they are already evergreens of Indie pop/folk/rock.
32. Allie X – BITCH: XHIBIT I ★
Allie X was a nice new 2016 discovery for me. Lovely trippy sound and video there, cudos! Sounds like: „When your getting groceries and the acid kicks in.“
33. Wax Tailor ft. IDIL – For the Worst
Not the usual Wax Tailor, but maybe even better. Has a Lana del Rey-ish sound but with more guitar and a touch of ‚Wicked Game‘ – definitely recommended.
34. L.E.J. – Summer 2016 ★
Ok, if you don’t already know the French girl trio L.E.J., shame on you! They are really GREAT and this is their mashup from some of the most popular songs of 2016.
35. Agnes Obel – Familiar
Danish singer/songwriter Agnes Obel has impressed me ever since I fell in love with one of her first songs – „Just So“ (2009).
36. San Cisco – B Side
Pure indie. Even the band’s name and the song title. Also quite addictive and upbeat. When you should listen to it: While having a picknick in the park on a nice and breezy spring day.
37. Silversun Pickups – Circadian Rhythm
38. L’Aupaire -The River
39. Charlie XCX ft. Lil Yachty – After the Afterparty
Lil Yachty is a bit annoying here, but hey, as long as it’s Charlie XCX, it has to be an awesome song.
40. Alice Phoebe Lou – Berlin Blues
Very nice – sounds a bit like Brandi Carlile so it has to be good 🙂
41. Mitsky – Happy
42. Sia – Cheap Thrills
That song just rocked the scene! (and I’m not that big of a Sia fan). P.S.: Better listen without Sean Paul!
43. Twenty one pilots – Ride
Even better than their debut single „Stressed out“. They managed to bring in some fresh sound we don’t already know from other bands.
44. The Temper Trap – So much Sky ★
Finally, after a long time, a new album from this amazing Aussie band. Lead singer has long hair now and shakes a rattle during their songs – but hey, they kick ass! Other great songs from the album are „Alive“ and „Burn“. If you liked „Sweet dispositon“ in 2009, you’ll love them again!
45. Blues Saraceno – Run on for a long time
A pretty cool song sampling Johnny Cash’s „God’s gonna cut you down“ – also discovered through ‚Lucifer‘.
46. Alex Cameron – She’s mine
Listed as one of the overlooked artists/albums of the year 2016. I don’t share this opinion, but he definitely brought some new sound to the scene and this song is easily the best off his album „Jumping the shark„.
47. ALMA – Karma
Found on the „SELECTED“ channel, this song immediately kicks in and itches to be played in a club where you just wanna dance your socks off to it.
48. Enrique Iglesias – Duele el corazon
The ultimate spanish summer hit – „SI TE VAS YO TAMBIEN ME VOY …“
49. The Cactus Channel ft. Chet Faker – Kill the doubt
Cool song I got to know from the Aussie label HopeStreet Recordings. You can’t go wrong with Chet Faker…
50. Wiley ft. Devlin – Bring them all/Holy Grime
Well, part of my music taste is still connected with British sounds of all kinds. Once you’ve lived in London, you HAVE to get a little bit into some Grime! Don’t google it, just listen to this song and you’ll know what I mean.
51. Run the Jewels ft. DJ Shadow – Nobody Speak
Could be more popular – Hip hop meets DJ Shadow – this is good stuff.
52. Ellem – That thing you do
Catchy song – also from a ‚Lucifer‘ episode, you’d think you rather clean up your flat to this or walk out of something with a big smile upon your face 😀
53. Craft Spells – Our park by night
54. La Femme – It’s time to wake up 2023
La Femme – this French band is labelled as ‚Psychobilly‘, don’t ask me what that is but they are definitely cool!
55. Neroche – And then she was gone ★
Slow, downtempo, relaxing . Yes, the kind of song you start thinking about life listening to it.
56. Lucifer (Tom Ellis) – All along the watchtower
Speaking for itself – a great version and I especially like Lucifer’s (Tom Ellis‘) emotional adding to it.
57. Nicolas Jaar – Space is only noise if you can see ★
Once, I came home after an exhausting day, opened a bottle of red wine, had a bath and listened to that song. Says it all – and hey! – Nicolas Jaar!
58. Birdy Nam Nam – Abbesses ★
A simply amazing DJ crew from France. When those guys are on the turntables – they rock the house! Incredible feel for rhythm and beat!
59. Sylvan Esso – Radio
Number 2 on the list of catchy songs of 2016. You just wanna MOVE to this song!
60. Robin Schulz ft. Akon – Heatwave
One of my ’summer songs‘ of 2016, each and every time I went swimming I had this playing. Ok it’s kind of mainstream (at least in Germany and Austria Robin Schulz is already famous) but as I said, it has a nice summer vibe to it.
61. Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders ft. Sharon van Etten – To keep and to be kept
A very soft song that makes you feel comfortable and safe.
62. Misun – Eli Eli
Another catchy one from the Kitsuné label – I told you, they are fresh.
63. Black Sabbath – Planet Caravan (DJ Steef edit)
Ideal for middle- or long distance train rides, especially when the rain is whipping the drops against the glass.
64. Bobby Gaylor – Suicide
A classic spoken word song. Contains lots of wisdom and good spirit – try listening to the whole thing at least once.
65. Estas Tonne – Who am I?
Brilliant musician Estas Tonne also uses spoken word in his songs – slow, clear and very very calming song.
66. Klemen Slakonja – Putin, Putout (Vladimir Putin) ★
One of my favourites from the year 2016. Slovenian comedian Klemen Slakonja is INDEED overlooked by the media and deserves to be more well-known. His parody of Vladimir Putin is a brilliant act of healthy critic concerning current world politics. Must watch and must laugh!?
67. Modest Mussorgsky – The Old Castle (Pictures at an exhibition) ★
68. Modest Mussorgsky – Bydlo (Pictures at an exhibition) ★
Somehow this brilliant Russian composer kept crossing my mind several times and still continues to do so. Although it’s said that ‚Pictures at an exhibition‘ is from a time where he was way past his peak (his state of health was already declining) I’m not able to notice anything of that. It’s simply outstanding and those two ‚Pictures‘ are my favourite pieces from the suite.
69. The Chemical Brothers ft. Beck – Wide Open ★
If you ask me, THE BEST song of 2016, if not one the best songs ever produced. Sounds like: Not from this world!
70. BBC’s Luther: There is love in the world! (Outro)
DCI John Luther has the last word. Enjoy 2017!