Tracks of the Year 2016

Last week I gave you my albums of the year, today the ten songs that gave me most pleasure in 2016.

10: Frankie Cosmos – Sappho

Any number of tracks from Frankie Cosmos’s excellent album ‘Next Thing’ could have made the cut, but Sappho encapsulated her melodic, lo-fi indie perfectly.

9: NZCA Lines – Two Hearts

This came out very, very early in 2016, but was such a catchy electro-pop stormer that it was still stuck in my head at the end of the year.

8: Anna Meredith – Something Helpful

Anna Meredith’s Varmints album contained everything from huge riotous electro, to sugary, almost twee indie. The excellent ‘Something Helpful’ fell somewhere between the two and was my highlight of a fine album

7: Sacred Paws – Everyday

Sacred Paws may not have put out that much material to date, but everything they have released has been excellent (their song Vince was favourite of mine in 2015). Everyday may perhaps be their finest moment yet. Lighter than air, but catchy as hell, post-punk of the most melodic, joyful kind.

6: John K Samson – Postdoc Blues

John K Samson (and his former band The Weakerthans) was a new discovery for me in 2016. I love ihs voice, his wry humour, and his slightly nerdy subject matter. “So, your presentation went terrible, all wrong dongle, sweat stains and stares” may well be my favourite opening lines of the year.

5: Tindersticks – Hey Lucinda

A wonderful duet from one of my albums of the year, and my new favourite old band. Lyrically, perhaps the best song I heard all year “I only dance to remember how dancing used to feel”

4: The Veldt – Sanctified

I wrote about how much I love this track back in May, and my opinion has not changed since. A wonderful band, who more people need to know about.

3: Basement Revolver – Johnny

Glorious indie-pop in a Camera Obscura kind of territory. One of those songs that ignores the verse-chorus-verse structure to go chorus-chorus-even better chorus.

2: Hologram Teen – Hex These Rules

In a year when most of my favourite albums covered themes of death, destruction and more death, it was great to discover some truly joyous music. I bought this record on 7″earlier in the year (and there still seem to be some copies left so I can only recommend you get yourself a copy), and when I first wrote about it I couldn’t decide which side I loved the most. In the end, Hex These Rules won out, a glorious piece of electronic pop that made me want to dig out my raving shoes, but instead I just danced round my living room like a loon.

1: Anohni – 4 Degrees

It’s rare to discover a song that’s both a perfect pop record, and a powerful treatment of a supremely important subject matter. Anohni’s apocalyptic electro-pop number ‘4 Degrees’ managed it, presenting a dystopian view of our world under climate change, but was also so catchy that you couldn’t help singing along, even if feeling a little wrong about doing so.

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