This year, it was especially hard to pare the list down to a mere 40 songs. So much great music out there! And across a broad range of genres. My #1 song, “Sunday Candy” by Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment is a ridiculously good hip-hop record featuring the great Chance The Rapper and an insane drum track, while my runner-up, “Before The World Was Big” is by female punk duo Girlpool, who don’t even have a drummer. It was actually a close contest between the two for the top slot on my list.
Meanwhile, I continue my intense love for the PC Music label, who are represented here by Hannah Diamond, GFOTY and sort-of PC’er Sophie. C’mon world, get with this most-poppy of pop music!
While I wasn’t moved by Kacey Musgraves’ debut album, there she is on my list with “Family Is Family” from her sophomore effort, which might contain the year’s most clever lyrics. Jana Kramer’s “I Got The Boy” contains another great Nashville lyric, while “Girl Crush” shows you can be musically left of center in country music and still have a hit.
Sigala proves that a killer dance track combined with the Jackson 5 is a winning combination in any era.
Amazingly, Justin Bieber appears on this list—and with an Ed Sheeran composition, no less. I love “Love Yourself”! So therefore anything’s possible on this good earth.
My two fave sample-based tracks of the year are both here—Drake’s “Hotline Bling” which shines a light on Miami soul legend Timmy Thomas’ brilliant “Why Can’t We Live Together” and Alessia Cara’s “Here,” which is, by my count, the third hit single to use Isaac Hayes’ “Ike’s Rap II” as it’s musical spine.
Questions: How did Lunchmoney Lewis land two songs on this list—and why isn’t he more popular? How does Paul Simon put out a single—a duet with Dion, no less—and have it go entirely unnoticed? Why doesn’t Johnny Stimson do more songs like “So. Good.”? And, am I the only person in the world who waits until the year is actually over before compiling a best-of list?
As usual, I conclude my list with some great singles we were involved with this past year here at S-Curve (they are disqualified from the main list, but deserve inclusion nonetheless). I love them all, but I especially feel the need to point you in the direction of the criminally overlooked “Ulay, Oh” by How I Became The Bomb and the awe-inspiring “Elvis Presley Blues” by 75-year-old Tom Jones.
Have a great 2016. On September 1st, the decade will officially be two-thirds over. How can that be?