It’s that time of year again, time to think about our favourite songs of 2016. Below are sixty of the tracks that stood out alongside our pick of the best lines and lyrics. It gets a bit (extremely) long, so feel free to scroll to the bottom where we’ve collected the tracks into a handy 8tracks playlist. Or perhaps read the entire thing as some experimental poem.

And the usual disclaimer applies, there were too many great tunes to include them all, so treat this more as a selection rather than a comprehensive round-up of the year. Enjoy.

 

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson – Constellation

You’re used to quiet words
and so am I
so I’ll just whisper

Tiny Ruins – Dream Wave

always a dream wave drawing you off track
dream wave, a coast calls you back

Magana – Get it Right

You were red but my gold turned you green
So you stood there lying through your teeth

deer scout – holy ghost

I could find a new kind of devotion
I could know you by another name

Hovvdy – Meg

“Speak because i know you feel a certain way
but ill pass it along anyway

Bedbug – Leaving Town, Moving to a National Park <3

I’m too young for that anyways
everyone’s just tryna skip town these days

Soccer Mommy – Skinned Knees

i left
burning streets in tennessee
for a north east feel

Mitski – Your Best American Girl

Your mother wouldn’t approve of how my mother raised me
But I do, I finally do

LVL UP – Hidden Driver

God is peeking
softly speaking
fucking everything
until I slowly do see

Lisa Prank – Starting Again

You say you’re not still drinking
you just started again
I swear I don’t still miss you
I just started again

Dicktations – Dicktations Forever

It’s hard to say when I first figured out something was wrong

Joyride! – Running on Empty

Young and running on empty
you said that you thought I looked pretty with my makeup on
so I went home and I took it off

Sioux Falls (now Stranger Ranger) – Dom

“Spending too much time on the internet
are you ok? you don’t seem very into it

Camp Cope – Jet Fuel Can’t Melt Steel Beams

It’s the trophy wives raising trophy wives raising children on TV
Scared of people like you and me
Just don’t ask questions you’ll sleep peacefully
We will not go out in silence and we will not go quietly

Fake Boyfriend – BUMTOWN

Why do I cling to the threads that mean the least?

Outer Spaces – I Saw You

I saw you, a shedding snake

American Enthusiasm – Holy Wow

Make a note of all the words I cough out on my death bed

The Hotelier – Soft Animal

Fawn, doe, light snow
Spots on brown of white 
make me believe that there’s a God sometimes

Beach Slang – Future Mixtape for the Art Kids

We’re not lost, we are dying in style
We’re not fucked, we are fucking alive

CHUCK – Death

You hold on to whatever kin
that keeps on breathin’ in
that keeps you from driftin’
like paper in the wind

You Won’t – Ya Ya Ya

So your daddy was a poltergeist
sent your little sister screaming down the hallway
well I don’t know about the afterlife,
but I can help you to forget about the old days

Mountain Almanac – Kids Playing Outside

Saturday morning, cartoon time, let’s go

Basement Revolver – Johnny

Please just stay away from Johnny
cos I love him understand

Boy Scouts – Did You See My Cry

walking walmart shopping center
i’d never been better
on my own two feet
i guess

Free Cake For Every Creature – First Summer in a City

i’ll be singing when i’m 90
climb a tree to see
what tastes to smokey sweet
first summer in a city

Haley Heynderickx – First I’m Sorry

Mother knows I drown in my lies
Father knows I learned my lesson the second time.
Ask me where I’ll go I’ll say do not know
No, I do not know

ARMS – Missing

I don’t want to force your hand
but wishes disguised as plans will never do
Like the king of deathbed regrets
and the queen of last requests could ever choose

Naps – Bad Vibrations

Can’t stand up to the world’s expectations
I’m living on a bad bad vibration

The Washboard Abs – Day Draws Nearer

Your backyard
you talked to God
about the heartbreak you forgot

Trace Mountains – Forgiveness

old dirt you thrown underneath the stair
is right there
right where you said i’d tremble and stare
at the vast unforgiving spirit lurking there
but it takes time, to realise forgiveness

Nassau – Desert Blues

I took a marker and wrote your number on the bathroom stall
That’s just my way of reaching out cos I’m too proud to call

Adeline Hotel – Near You

Sleep better tonight
In the heat of red moon light
Whatever we are, whatever we’ll be
I used to live near you, you used to love near me

Simon Balto – Foothills

I’ve never been a faithful man
I’ve always been too proud to pray
But won’t you come out to the foothills
And hold me together for one more day

Cloud Cult – No Hell

There’s no use in running unless you run like heck
The best things we’ve learned we learned from the wreck
Jesus coming back as a woman this time
Handing out hugs in the clinic line
Someone tell the devil we don’t need no hell
We’re all pretty good at beating up ourselves

Slingshot Dakota – Break

And in the end there’s two of us
it was always two of us

Good Good Blood – No Sadness/Furrowed Brow

We’ll have no sadness/furrowed brow
There is no shame in dying now
I said from my death bed

Ben Seretan – Bowl of Plums

My friends call me when they’re feeling low
We talk quietly for hours and walk the room
Flowers growing in a coffee can
Our lives are wonderful and sad sometimes

Chris Bathgate – Big Ghost

I got a Big Ghost
of static in my throat
from coming up too short

Wintersleep – Metropolis

The man that you are, the man you were, the man you left
Turn into stars, flowing in through the wilderness

Mothers – Lockjaw

I don’t want your kind words
I want your ghost inside a thimble

Car Seat Headrest – Drunk Driver / Killer Whales

You build yourself up against others’ feelings
And it left you feeling empty as a car coasting downhill
I have become such a negative person
It was all just an act
It was all so easily stripped away

Space Mountain – Never Lonely

Met a friend today
And im feeling okay
She’s in my head
I’m never lonely

Hallelujah the Hills – What Do the People Want?

What do the people want?
The people don’t know what they want

Mount Moriah – Calvander

Carry on and on and on on
With your cosmic reach
Newport river whispered fate
Spells cast with every crashing wave
Neon lines and a new name

Frederick Squire – Bike Thief

The lights are on
And we are sinking way down in our chairs
We don’t say much of anything
Even though there’s still a lot to say

Kevin Morby – We’ve Been Here Before

Running my mouth off at the storm
Yelling, “man, what the hell did you do that for?

Sam Moss – Vertebrae

Did you watch my vertebrae
Slendering out
Or did you watch your own?
Stretching skin over the bone
I’ve grown
Learning to be proud

Arlo Aldo – House & Home

O’er the mountains out past the trees
where the grasslands, meet the sky
you’ll find me singin’ my songs
with my lover in my mind

Will Johnson – Nervousness Fangs

Jesus what a mess
what they’re all selling
and what’s being sold

Jeremy Squires – After All

There’s an old painting of Jesus on a wall
and a tapestry that hangs by a cross
that weighs heavy on my shoulders now and then
I get caught up with why the things we love ain’t never last

The Dead Tongues – Stained Glass Eyes

Fifth wind brought a howl got me in a storm
I saw a lighthouse spinning at the edge of the world
like looking through a window to the day
I was born

Kyle Morton – Automatic

It’s my head, it’s my head
breaking itself to make a thought but instead
Just some pornographic images to stave off my death
It’s all automatic

Keaton Henson – Alright

Obviously
My wounds are open to see
But don’t take them seriously
I’ll be fine

Talons’ – Work Stories

Is this what the end of the world looks like?
Or is this just life?

Jordan O’Jordan – A Lonely Road

There are truths we may or may never know friend
and that is the point

Mal Devisa – Sea of Limbs

Honey-lover
keeper of the bees
Soft-spoken
seldom-seen

Young Jesus – Hinges

“I’m pretty sure I’m a kind of collection of things
scattered throughout the backyard
under the moon
pulling weirdo slow dance moves
maybe always losing it a little
i am ashamed to believe in myself!

Lung Cycles – For a While

I feel like sharing
so I’ll press record
and I’ll tell you that I had a vision

Sister Grotto – UNCANNY

When we go, we go alone

John K. Samson – Virtute At Rest

You should know I am with you, know I forgive you
Know I am proud of the steps that you’ve made
Know it will never be easy or simple
Know I will dig in my claws when you stray


If you missed it, you can see the list of our favourite albums of 2016 here, and stay tuned for our collection of the best name-your-price releases on Bandcamp next week.