Top 50 Tracks of 2016 (30-21)

#30 Cold Pumas “Slippery Slopes”
Despite being around since 2008, this UK outfit has flown under the radar here in the US. Often linked to fans of Viet Cong/Preoccupations and Deerhunter the quartet finds it’s roots in fellow Brits such as The Fall and My Bloody Valentine as well as stateside noisemakers such as Sonic Youth and No Age. While their sound draws from these established acts they bring a new sound with them. Greg Scranton

#29 Xiu Xiu “Blue Frank/Pink Room”

Experimental artists, Xiu Xiu, released their own rendition of the sounds behind the bizarre moments within the cult-classic Twin Peaks. The album plays through all the classic songs from the show, but at the moment it gets to “Blue Frank/ Pink Room” the album goes into an experimental overdrive of noisy psychedelic freak-outs. This track is for fans of Xiu Xiu, Twin Peaks, or just fans of quality experimental art in the audio department. Prepare your brain to melt and fill the space surrounding you. – Jay Gostynski

#28 Claypool Lennon Delirium “Mr. Wright”

The Claypool Lennon Delirium is a frightening, yet amusing, psychedelic trip that you might not come back from. Of course this is to be expected from the great Les Claypool, but add Sean Lennon to the mix and it’s a unique, complex trip of a band that is incomparable to anything else. “Mr. Wright” has Claypool’s signature bass lines and humorous lyricism, but also a synth and mellotron chiming in with Lennon’s kaleidoscopic guitar. It’s a funny, complicated, groovy, and trippy song born from two of today’s psychedelic leaders. – Jay Gostynski

#27 B Boys “Seagulls”
Brooklyn trio who recently supported Parquet Courts on several dates in 2016 have gone overlooked by most. Their latest EP “No Worry No Mind” was released by Captured Tracks to rave reviews. See why… Greg Scranton

#26 Of Montreal “Chaos Arpeggiating”

Of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes is known for his high-end art-pop tracks with poetic lyrics lapped onto complex yet catchy rhythms and melodies. Innocence Reaches was an album of its own style, but was a throwback to the Hissing Fauna days. “Chaos Arpeggiating” is a track that balls up all of Barnes’ vast styles, lyricisms, and artistic abilities. It has build-ups that compare to the epic peaks within Queen tracks. It shows that even tapping into more traditional styles of musical composition within the rock realms, Of Montreal is a force that can make anything an interesting listen. – Jau Gostynski

#25 Shovels and Rope “This Ride”

An unblinking lyrical analogy of life’s glorious ups and shattering downs, “This Ride” is the finale to Shovels & Rope’s 2016 record, Little Seeds. Amidst minimalist handclaps and acoustic guitar, the South Carolina husband and wife duo of Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst beautifully harmonize lines like, “It’s just like Old Yeller and Lonesome Dove, when you hate how it ends but you can’t get enough.” With “This Ride” Shovels & Rope manage to create a miniature masterpiece that’s ubiquitously relatable to anyone who’s lived even a single day on Earth. – Andy Mascola

#24 Animal Collective “Mountain Game”

Post-Painting With, Animal Collective released a track that was not on any label, and was originally intended to be on the soundtrack of Red Dead Redemption, but never was used. It has elements spanning from Campfire Songs all the way to MPP, and was recorded around the Centipede Hz era. Its layers and melodies are something esoteric to Animal Collective’s repertoire. All around a good listen for those who want fresh material from the band that also contains a mixture of eras for a nostalgic experience. – Jay Gostynski

#23 The Weeknd “Starboy”

After their huge 2013, fans have been clamoring for new music from Daft Punk. While 2016 didn’t see a new album, the French duo did produce two tracks on The Weeknd‘s album Starboy. The titular track is sexy and moody, the perfect soundtrack to a contemplative late night drive. – Adam Morgan

#22 Avalanches “Subway”

Based around a vocal sample of 12-year-old post punk artist Chandra, “Subway” was the most classically Avalanches song on Wildflower. Flipping between a joyous disco beat and a dream-like space jam, the track is dynamic, fun, and danceable, all the hallmarks of what the Avalanches do best. – Adam Morgan

#21 Zammuto “My Dog’s Eyes”

The Book’s founding member Nick Zammuto released a three track EP titled Veryone, and “My Dog’s Eyes” closely resembles something from the The Book’s in their prime. It consists of a beautiful ensemble of instrumentation typical to Zammuto’s style, along with his impeccable sound collages, coupled with a computerized voice chanting lyrics filled with beauty and hope. A good feel song that is put together flawlessly to push the listener in a state of meditation and bring them down to earth, something Nick Zammuto has perfected over time. – Jay Gostynski

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