This is not a Best Songs That Were Released In 2016 list. What it is, is a list of songs that we discovered over the past year, that we’ve been listening to as we go about our lives. I hope you enjoy them.
Jidenna – Long Live The Chief
All hail Jidenna!
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats – S.O.B.
This raucous sing-and-clap-along was my absolute favourite discovery in February this year. Add this to the list of great songs that appear cheery until you listen to the lyrics. The Missouri-born Rateliff and his band The Night Sweats (what a great name!) have themselves a winner with this song and the good news is the rest of the album seems just as promising. A great start to the soundtrack of your week.
Eliza Shaddad – Run
On her song Run, Scottish-Sudanese singer Eliza Shaddad’s voice barely rises as she delivers a slow-burn, powerful word of caution – “Run before I ruin you“. She doesn’t need to resort to any theatrics to set the mood. Very very well done. I have a feeling you will be seeing a lot of Ms. Shaddad’s music in future editions of this playlist.
DJ Shadow feat. Run The Jewels – Nobody Speak
To use a social media phrase – ‘this song is everything’. Warning: Contains Strong Language
Disturbed – The Sound Of Silence
Whoa, this is good!
Noga Erez – Dance While You Shoot
Wow, I’m not entirely sure what’s going on here but I absolutely love how it sounds.
The Bones of J.R. Jones – Hearts Racing
What is this song? Who is this artist with the excellent stage name? I have just discovered him and can’t stop listening. This songs makes me feel good and want to cry at the same time. So so good.
Sam Hunt – Break Up In A Small Town
As if break ups weren’t bad enough already, country star Sam Hunt laments one with an added level of pain – the one that takes place in a small town. There’s only so many streets, so many lights / I swear it’s like I can’t even leave my house / I should’ve known all along / You gotta move or move on / When you break up in a small town. Yikes.
SG Lewis – Ministry of Sound Mix
When I find a new musician that I really like I always feature multiple tracks by them. Here is an hour-long mix Lewis did for Ministry of Sound. Listen straight through, it’s gorgeous.
Tay Salem – Iron
How cinematic is this! RBMA 2016 participant Tay Salem is one to watch out for.
The Internet – Special Affair
Lead singer Syd The Kyd has such a great voice that you could listen to any song from this album as your first interaction with the band and it would be okay. I really like their sound and I’m looking forward to checking out more from them.
Jake Isaac – Waiting Here
When you’re waiting for an hour for a show to begin the music better be good. At fashion week in Mumbai earlier this year, I discovered this beautiful song by British singer/songwriter Jake Isaac. Isaac has the kind of voice that grabs all your attention – whatever the auditory equivalent is of “I couldn’t look away from it” is. I’ve just discovered this song and I already love it.
Justin Timberlake – Can’t Stop The Feeling
When I first featured this song in May, I hadn’t properly decided how much I liked it but the first impression was a good one. Seven months later I can tell you that it is firmly in my favourites list for the year.
Ajay-Atul – Zingaat (Sairat OST)
I haven’t heard a bass thump this hard in an Indian movie theatre in ages. This movie is not for the faint of heart but this song you can enjoy without getting sleepless nights after.
Jack Savoretti feat. Violetta Zironi – Crazy Fool
This is the kind of song that catches you by surprise and gets you teary-eyed when you least expect it. And oh, the harmonies!
Roger and Over – Volvo B-18
A Danish country music song? Yes, please. This one really got the crowd going in the place I heard it, dancing and all. It’s easy to hear why.
GTA ft. Vince Staples – A Little Bit Of This
How nuts is this groove? Btw, lyrics are NSFW. You have been warned.
Nils Frahm – Une Soirée de Poche
That opening – just the one note – builds for so long it made me feel nervous. Then the chords kicked in, and the note kept going. How it all came together is masterful. Very very well done.
Max Jury – Numb
I think we have just listened to an artist that is going to be massive.
Hanson – MmmBop (Acoustic – ABC Greatest Hits)
I didn’t know I felt so strongly about this song until I heard it again this week after more than a decade. My heart felt like it would explode! Nostalgia combined with the joy of listening to an absolutely beautiful performance. So so good.