Favorites of 2016


This year, we discovered almost 1,300 new and hidden songs. They aren't all the talks of the town and they aren't all underground gems, but they're all a chance to find a new passion. It only takes one song you didn't expect to surface your new favorite thing of all time. Here are 31 of my favorite songs we discovered this year. Not every song was released in 2016, but each has a special place in my heart.

Thank you for listening and I'll see you in 2017.


Get this playlist on
Song Title Artist Year
We Got U Lemaitre & The Knocks We Got U - Single
God, this just wins hands-down. My favorite music acts, candy-coated Disney lyrics, Lemaitre's lazy crooning, whistling???? Cuh-mon.
Very First Breath (feat. Irfane) Hudson Mohawke Lantern
That synthline in the second half of the choruses is honestly iconic for as simple as it is.
For What It's Worth (feat. Angus & Julia Stone) Kygo Cloud Nine
What an unsettling song! It doesn't explode and it sounds wrong in 7/4 time, but that makes this so engaging.
One More (feat. MØ) Elliphant Living Life Golden
The unspoken plea for companionship in the lyrics totally match the music. The song-length build up into a desperate, full-synth punch is unmatched.
Sing Me to Sleep Alan Walker Sing Me to Sleep - Single
It takes confidence and courage to make a chorus synthline the most vocal part of a song with sung vocals. It alone holds up both choruses and I hum it basically every day now.
Come Down Anderson .Paak Malibu
Unrepentantly funky. Paak isn't afraid to let loose and get a little confrontational.
I Can't Control Myself Strange Names Use Your Time Wisely
It's a catchy love song and goddammit I love it.
Hello!!!!! Elzhi Lead Poison
High-level concept songs get me so worked up and this isn't even the only one on "Lead Poison." I always feel bad just listening.
Own Life (feat. Anderson Paak) Vindata Through Time and Space... - EP
Vindata does these huge, huge choruses and Paak's voice is warm butter to my bread.
No One Wants It to Happen to You Small Black Best Blues
This floaty garbage-indie-alternative-hipster rock just washes over me. For all its lushness and wispiness, it's auditory ecstacy.
With You (feat. Kurt Kristen) [Live] Flight Facilities Live with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
The original version of this doesn't wow me, but damn this live version is sexy. The string arpeggios and bold horns elevate a simple beat and knowing vocals.
Man of the Year (feat. Charlotte OC) Karma Kid Man of the Year (feat. Charlotte OC) - Single
This song is gold. Rich and sultry and ready to whisk you away.
Let It Go A. Sinclair Get out of the City
A. Sinclair are just pure energy here. Roadtrip, bruh!
Crave You (feat. Giselle) Flight Facilities Down To Earth
In the ways that "With You [Live]" is sexy in its lushness, this is powerful in its simple sophistication. I sing the hook all the time.
Best Friend Foster the People Supermodel
Structurally, this song is just backwards, but this is peak Foster the People-being-a-rock-band.
Forever Tonight Galantis Pharmacy
That little "tonight" tag just gets me everytime. For a traditionally anthem-y dance song, the vocal treatment is unique and easy to join in on.
Resonance Home Odyssey
Kind of like "One More," this is a song-length build and each step of the way is new and fresh.
Cool Blue The Japanese House Clean - EP
One of The Japanese House's more active songs and it can still retain the charm of the ultra-layered vocals.
Vroom Vroom Charli XCX Vroom Vroom - EP
The appeal of SOPHIE's production is that it condenses pop music into just the elements it needs and cuts out the fluff. It makes for a hyper-focused showcase for Charli XCX's vocals.
Stronger (feat. Alex Newell & Sean Bass) [Vindata Remix] Clean Bandit Stronger (feat. Alex Newell & Sean Bass) [Remixes, Pt. 2] - Single
Again, Vindata: master of explosive choruses. Newell's belting is used to perfection.
Mirai Mord Fustang Fragments: The Kingdom and the Juggler - EP
This is 100% sugar. It doesn't try to have too much in terms of dynamic range and building. And why should it? The chorus is really intricate.
What If I Go? Mura Masa What If I Go? - Single
Mura Masa songs all kind of run together for me? But that's not bad because I love them all?
yea, babe, no way LANY kinda - EP
It's kind of a sad break-up song, but it doesn't really care? But it also seems to describe a casual relationship, so it's doubly fitting.
Clean The Japanese House Clean - EP
There's a holiness in this that can't be ignored and the ultra-layered vocals don't feel robotic the way they could have.
Thinking About You Axwell Λ Ingrosso Thinking About You - Single
Kind of a dumb dance song here, but it hits the right anthemic notes.
Brainwasher Autolux PUSSY'S DEAD
What a trip. It's a bespoke experience in mood-setting.
Waving Goodbye Sia The Neon Demon (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
It turns out Sia and Diplo are better than Nicolas Winding Refn. You heard it here first, folks.
Trampoline Kero Kero Bonito Bonito Generation
I love a good key-change and Kero Kero Bonito can do no wrong.
Tongue Tied Shura Nothing's Real
One of the more underspoken pop songs here, but it's clean and sneakily catchy.
Safe & Sound (feat. Danyka Nadeau) Nitro Fun Safe & Sound (feat. Danyka Nadeau) - Single
I love the little ways this plays with rhythms and drop structure. Nitro Fun has a really nice take on wonky dance-pop sounds.
Go Time Digitalism Mirage
Always straddling the line between rock and electro, you can't think of Digitalism as a poor man's Phoenix.
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