Best of 2016 Playlist

December 31, 2016

Quick Picks: Best Songs of 2016

The best songs, from some of the best artists, from some of the best albums. Please keep in mind, we can only listen to so many songs before our heads explode. We also shy away from "mainstream" songs, so don't expect to see things from Beyonce or the like. 

If you think we missed a song, be sure to check our honorable mentions. Leave a commend to tell us what songs you loved the most this year. To see our other Top 10s of 2016 click this (link). 

7. "Circles" - Pierce the Veil (8 to 8.5/10)

One of the songs that resulted in the delayed release of this album, the wait was worth it. Released as the third single off this triumphant album, "Circles" tells the story of two lost lovers searching for the other. Inspired partly by the November 2015 attacks in Paris, France, which took the lives of 130 innocent lives, we're glad the band took the extra time to write this song. Aside from the age old love story the song tells, the song is also notable for its slower and much more accessible tone. A sequel to "Bulletproof Love" or "Hold on Till May" in many senses, "Circles" is a catchy pop punk, emo track that instantly grabs your attention. From the mellow opening, to the bouncy chorus. This song is a win-win for everyone. 

"Colourblind" - Hands Like Houses (8.5 to 9/10)

A standout from the album, and the band's overall repertoire, "Colourblind" shows how intelligent Hands Like Houses are. Their decision making skills are spot on. This is one band who know when to use something, how to use it, and when enough is enough. Starting the song with some calm, almost folksy drums, HLH steadily bring things up to a crescendo. The chorus fits in with existing songs "This Ain't No Place for Animals" and "Antarctica" perfectly with its bright piano melodies, grand production and the slightly unclean vocals from Trenton Woodley. 

5. "Heathens" - twenty one pilots (8.5 to 9/10)

The duo that can't be stopped, twenty one pilots proved they're more than one-hit wonders. With "Heathens" they elevate themselves to the next level of stardom, and rightly so. The simple message of this track is only outdone by the delivery. Shifting from his "Blurryface" delivery of lyrics, Tyler Joseph goes back to a more "Vessels" approach of half singing, half rapping. This electronic rock number punctuates everything that's right about top. The lyrics about misfits and the misunderstood, Joseph's twinkling piano line, and Josh Dun's ever steady drum beats which ground the songs. This song is equal parts "eerie" and melody. "Heathens" finds a home with the likes of "Fairly Local" and "Hometown". 

4. "Good Mourning America" - letlive. (8.5 to 9/10)

Another politically charged call to arms, this song perfectly sums up this year. Jason Butler tackles subjects that most wouldn't dare touch. Police corruption, death, loss, and discrimination, just in one song that touches the tip of the iceberg. From the djent style guitar riff to the half-rapped verses, the song triumphs where other bands might have failed. Not just conveying an important message, but providing a great listen for fans of hardcore music. The crisp production is undercut with grittier moments, that punctuate certain lines. "Good Mourning America" lacks the certain frenetic charm previous tracks have had, but the second half of this song more than makes up for that lack of energy. The funk and soul infused into the song is unparalleled. Heavy enough for fans of the band's hardcore punk oriented music, but on a level that is far superior to other acts in the field. 

3. "Redshift" - Enter Shikari (9/10)

Taking a page from fellow Brit-rockers Muse, Enter Shikari try their hand at "space-rock". One of the most complex songs in terms of lyrical content, this isn't for the casual listeners. A combination of the band's signature punk aesthetic and some more atmospheric space/prog. rock. Rou Reynolds shows his skills as a writer, and the song plunges into some fairly complex subject matter. Not just discussing themes about the universe's creation, but Reynolds also tackles things like our place in the cosmos, life after death, and the limit of our minds. A lot to swallow? Ya it is, but you'll hardly notice as you listen to this song. It's a trip, but in a good way. 

"Eiley" - Too Close To Touch (9/10)

This band should be on everyone's radar. Perhaps America's answer to Hands Like Houses, Too Close To Touch take things to the next level with the final song from their spectacular sophomore effort, "Haven't Been Myself". Frontman Keaton Pierce writes about the loss of his three year old sister throughout the album, but on this final song, he really lets it all out. The raw emotion gives you chills, and the bridge before the last chorus is something that will have you in tears. Everything the album's been building up to climaxes here, and overflows. Pierce is allowed to show just how powerful his voice can be, clean and unclean vocals combined. There's really no other way to describe or praise this song. You just have to experience it for yourself. 

1. "A Match Made in Heaven" - Architects (9/10)

About as perfect as it gets, Architects owned 2016 with this lead single off their tremendous album "All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us". A sequel to "Gravedigger" in many ways, the song captures the anger and discontent that many of us have known in the last year. "A Match Made in Heaven" would also pair nicely with Enter Shikari's "Anaethetist", whose pace and style make these two songs one in the same. A muted guitar riff blends with those signature atmospheric effects before the riff really gets your blood pumping and head banging. A rhythmic beat, pounding drum, and a strong breakdown make this one of the strongest songs of the year. But the lyrics, penned by the late Tom Searle, are what really make it the best.