Top 50 Tracks of 2016 (40-31)

#40 Heron Oblivion “Oriar”
San Francisco acid folk/psych rockers debut album doesn’t disappoint. Look forward to what’s next from these newcomers. Greg Scranton

#39 D.R.A.M. featuring Lil Yachty “Broccoli”

There will never be a shortage of goofy songs about weed that become hits but there is something slightly different about D.R.A.M.‘s “Broccoli.” The high pitched piano hits over a handclapped beat make for a fun instrumental that Lil’ Yachty and D.R.A.M. make into their playground. When I say playground, I mean it; the song is 3:45 of feel-good smiles in a year that needed them. – Adam Morgan

#38 Kano “GarageSkankFREESTYLE”

Kano has long been one of grime’s leading men and “GarageSkankFREESTYLE” highlighted all the attributes that got him there. He raps with ferocity lyrics that seamlessly transition from witty wordplay to high braggadocio like “who put metaphors in this grime shit?” The answer is Kano and over 10 years in the grime game he is showing no signs of slowing down. – Adam Morgan

#37 Anderson .Paak “Come Down”

Anderson .Paak’s “Come Down”, an adamant party jam about getting high, is the funkiest track on his sophomore album, Malibu. Lifting the hook directly from a portion of the Israeli National Anthem, “Come Down” begins with a sampled choral group singing in Hebrew before .Paak signals the beat to drop and we’re off to the races. By channeling the boundless energy of James Brown, Anderson .Paak lays down an infectious groove that is simultaneously, undeniably tough and irresistibly danceable. – Andy Mascola

#36 Ty Segall “Diversion”

A cover song in title and lyrics alone, “Diversion” finds Ty Segall reimagining The Equals’ 1976 straightforward rock and roll single as a hard, driving, psych-rock tour de force. After Segall’s laser-like vocals are finished casually cutting through the track’s thick wall of distorted guitars and crashing percussion, the song is generously topped off with one of his blazing solos. Ty Segall breathes new life into this forty-year-old song, making it his own. – Andy Mascola

#35 GOAT “Alarms”
Few know anything about these anonymous Swedes other than the fact that they can rock! Greg Scranton

#34 Preoccupations “Anxiety”
New name, same post-punk sound. The Calgarian quartet picks up where they left off only with a less offensive name. Greg Scranton

#33 Deakin “Golden Chords”

The opening track to Deakin’s Sleep Cycle sets a tone that can only be replicated through singing bowls, gongs, and chants that are most likely backed up with sounds of nature. But instead of playing a synthetic audio track containing these properties on Youtube for hours on end, just put this song on and get lost within 6 ½ minutes. Dibb does something prolific with this one, somehow he is able to capture the atmosphere of a serene summer night and take it to another level. No singing bowls, gongs, chants, throat singing, or some spiritual guy annoyingly talking you through a hypnosis, “Golden Chords” is an easily digestible tune of a person and their guitar. – Jay Gostynski

#32 Dinosaur Jr. “I Walk For Miles”
25+ years and still killing it. This track recalls classics such as Sludgefeast and Raisins from their You’re Living All Over Me and Dinosaur era. Greg Scranton

#31 Gap Dream “College Music”

As if leading a ramshackle parade made up entirely of alienated weirdos, “College Music” finds Gap Dream’s creator, Gabe Fulvimar, proudly drumming up an eccentric three-and-a-half-minute lo-fi revolution consisting mostly of a triumphant lead guitar part and a simple, effective rhythm section. As the song progresses, Fulvimar layers his vocals until the piece concludes the same way it began, with the cryptic line, “too many soft machines” being repeated ad infinitum into the void. Considering this lyric in conjunction with the song’s title, you may find yourself asking, “What does it all mean?” Your guess is as good as any, and that’s part of what makes “College Music” so subversively delightful. – Andy Mascola


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