Even if 2016 found you rocking back and forth in the fetal position, we can all agree that the year was not without a glorious selection of groovy tunes. Reminisce with us on 2016’s close as we pay a musical tribute to the year that changed everything.
“Formation” by Beyonce
Proving that she can sing songs about love and activism in equal measure, Beyonce gave the world a lot to think about (and dance to) with the release of this track in early February. Despite the controversy and backlash that followed the song, one thing about Queen Bey is quite clear: she slays.
“Fireworks” by Mitski
Indie singer Mitski keeps it real with this stellar track off of 2016’s celebrated “Puberty 2” album. While Mitski’s haunting vocals and gritty instrumentation would be enough to endear one to her music, it is her lyrics that truly pack a punch.
“I will go jogging routinely, calmly and rhythmically run,” she sings casually on “Fireworks,” before adding that “when I find that a knife’s sticking out of my side, I’ll pull it out with questioning why.” Yow.
“Angela” by The Lumineers
Completely obliterating the myth of the “sophomore slump,” the Lumineers followed up their self-titled 2012 release with 2016’s stunningly heart-wrenching “Cleopatra.” This album is dripping with pain from beginning to end, offering a melancholy take on folk music that is perfect for mourning a break-up or taking a road trip to a remote locale.
“Purple Rain” by Prince
If there’s anything that 2016’s taught us, it’s that we should keep our friends close and our musical legends closer. It’s been a tough year, the deaths of Prince, David Bowie and Leonard Cohen, among others, brought longtime fans a noted amount of grief. While some of our musical heroes might be gone, we still have the genius of their songs to live on in our hearts.
“Tear In My Heart” by twenty one pilots x Mutemath
Although their fourth album, “Blurryface,” was released in 2015, 2016 was the year of twenty one pilots. The alternative, introspective duo’s music was everywhere, from the radio to the stage, and the pair even penned a track for the “Suicide Squad” soundtrack. At the end of 2016, the band also released a collaboration EP with tourmates Mutemath, featuring five reworkings of their most popular songs. Download the EP for free, through Jan. 18, at http://www.twentyonepilots.com/.
“City of Stars” by The Cast of La La Land
This charming duet from the much-buzzed-about 2016 musical “La La Land” is a pleasant and pleading throwback to old Hollywood, and showcases actors Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling’s musical talent. Both the soundtrack and the score to the film offer inspiring and upbeat jams to help you get your homework done and put a bit of a spring in your step.
“Welcome to the Black Parade” by My Chemical Romance
Grab the eyeliner! Embrace the angst! 2016 marked the 10-year anniversary of My Chemical Romance’s iconic “The Black Parade” album. Although the group has long since disbanded, their September release of a special edition of “The Black Parade” had former emo kids up in arms, sparking hope of an MCR reunion. No? Just me? I’m still not okay.
“I Feel It Coming” by The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk
Bust out your dancing shoes, folks, because this electronic groove from the Weeknd has a decidedly dancy feel. Equal parts Michael Jackson and Daft Punk, “I Feel It Coming” has both a modern and throwback vibe, with the song’s catchy chorus never getting old. Perfect for a night drive with the windows down and the stereo blastin’.
“Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen
We’ve made it this far, folks. Enjoy the brand new start that a fresh year brings, and let 2017 find you optimistic and excited for whatever lies ahead. Happy New Year!
You can find this playlist on our website.