Ian’s Favorite Songs of 2016

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These are my favorite songs of the past year. I don’t really feel like going on at length about why these songs are “good” and trying to convince you as much, I just know I really liked them.


11.) Frankie Cosmos – “I’m 20”

Clocking in at 1:37, this is a standard quick-hitter from Frankie Cosmos, whose catalogue is made up almost exclusively of songs that are 2 minutes long or shorter. For my part I wish it was much longer because it is extremely good and catchy. Try listening to it, like, three times in a row and it’ll feel much longer. That’s what I do.


10.) Methyl Ethyl – “Idée Fixe”

Methyl Ethyl is from Australia and, honestly, what is in the water in Australia? I’m not sure if everyone else has been noticing that there’s been a lot of very good music coming from down under lately. “Idée Fixe” means “Obsession” in French, and that’s your foreign language lesson for the day.


9.) Whitney – “No Woman”

Whitney had a good year it seems. Last I saw they were playing, like, network television spots! That’s cool! Good for them. Their album Light Upon the Lake was warm and summery, but “No Woman” is a bit more subdued. It’s got a pretty dang cool guitar lick in it too.


8.) Nada Surf – “Cold to See Clear”

If this list was based purely on the number of times I had listened to a given song in the past year, this song would be NUMBER ONE. It’s total cotton candy indie rock, probably borderline garbage, but I completely love it and listen to it all the time.


7.) The Shins – “Dead Alive”

As a huge fan of the Shins, I consider it an incredible feat of self-restraint not putting this song higher on my list. Finally they gave us some new material and it feels like a strong return to form for James Mercer and whoever else is in the band these days.



6.) Margaret Glaspy – “You and I”

Margaret Glaspy is, in my estimation, extremely bad ass. This song cuts lyrically, and smashes musically. Who doesn’t love a good riff? Don’t count me among them. Riffs rule.


5.) Porches – “Underwater”

Have you ever been in a pool at night and watched the light shimmer on the surface of the water? I think this song is the soundtrack to that image.


4.) Bon Iver – “29 #strafford APTS”

On 22, A Million, Justin Vernon reimagined Bon Iver, introducing new sounds and techniques, and in many ways totally departing from the bare bones sound of For Emma, Forever Ago. Maybe that’s why I like “29 #strafford APTS” as much as I do; it sounds the most like a Bon Iver song, while still incorporating all of the new styles Vernon wants you to hear.


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3.) Frank Ocean – “Ivy”

Frank Ocean finally came back, guys! This song is so great and just crazy beautiful; it feels like an incredible genre blend I can’t even quite explain. There are guitars! Rostam Batmanglij (formerly of Vampire Weekend) helped with the production. “Everything sucked back then, we were friends.” Damn, Frank. I’m not crying, you’re crying.

You can hear Frank Ocean’s “Ivy” here.


2.) Car Seat Headrest – “Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales”

I think there’s something some people find really relatable about Car Seat Headrest’s music. A lot of it is very personal and introspective. Parts of this song feel like a stern talkin’-to; but I can’t tell if Will Toledo is talking to himself or someone else. Also, hey, don’t drink and drive, ok?


1.) Anderson .Paak – “The Season | Carry Me”

Is this one song or two? I suppose it doesn’t really matter. When it switches from what you could call “The Season” to “Carry Me” it is my absolute favorite. Anderson .Paak is characteristically open and personal with his lyrics and the whole thing is just so dang groovy.