These decisions were made based on the whole team's opinions and are in no particular order. 2016 was a great year for rock music and we're looking forward to what 2017 has in store.
Twenty One Pilots - “Heathens”
2016 was the year for American musical duo, Twenty One Pilots! “Heathens” was released as the lead single for Suicide Squad‘s motion picture soundtrack. This helped attributed to the popularity of the song, but it is also the catchy beat and lyrics that have made this one of the best pop songs of 2016. “Heathens” has a deeper lyrical meaning than the catchy chorus would suggest, but it still shows the well-versed musicians Twenty One Pilots are. One of the main messages in the song is to be tolerant of other people’s values and beliefs, essentially meaning, we should be sensitive to others. I think we should all take this message as a reminder to ourselves to act this way, as we head into the New Year.
Mitski - "Your Best American Girl"
Mitski, a smaller (yet great!) artist, released her song Your Best American Girl in the spring of this year. What a great season for it, too! This song has such a fresh sound, and an airy vibe to it. It’s very multi-layered too, which is one of the reasons I think it’s one of the best of the year! The majority of the song has an indie feel to it, but the chorus is when the guitar really kicks in and brings a whole new emotion to it. Being a song about some of the potential difficulties about interracial relationships, the emotions behind the chorus’s lyrics and instruments make it easy to sympathize with Mitski. This song is very unique, and not in the slightest over-produced! It oozes honesty, personal experience, and an original sound, which are three things that I’m an absolute sucker for. One thing’s for sure: Mitski earned her spot on our top songs of 2016 list!
The Strokes - "OBLIVIUS"
The Strokes are undeniably an iconic band. Their song OBLIVIUS, released in June of this year, definitely helps them hold this title. Right off the bat this song seems like a upbeat song. Once the singing kicks in it sounds a tad muted, but in a way that adds that unique sound we know and love and associate to The Strokes. This song is definitely one that frankly, kind of makes me feel like experimenting with hallucinogens. The entire time I’m listening to it, I have a mental image of a kaleidoscope. Once the chorus kicks in, the song quickly transforms into a sort of experimental power-ballad. The guitar solo that happens just over halfway through that gradually builds up to the chorus once again is just the icing on top of the wonderfully auditory cake. Honestly, The Strokes basically but themselves on our top songs of 2016 list.
Arkivist - "Satellite"
The song Satellite by Arkivist opens up with a catchy cohesion of guitar and drums, which help to guide the lyrics up to their point of climax at the chorus. A crashing of symbols makes the track come alive, and a thickness is produced by the layering of voices of the members of Arkivist. The track exposes the feelings of confusion and delusion that so often come in the face of losing someone. You can sense the desperation, and the eventual discovery that it might be too late. Arkivist is a brand new band stemming from Portland, Oregon. Their first show was played on September 8th of this year at The Satellite in Los Angeles, California and it comprised of eight original songs, including Satellite featured below.
Catfish And The Bottlemen - "Soundcheck"
“Soundcheck” was the first single to come out of the British indie rock band, "Catfish and the Bottlemen" since their 2014 debut album titled, “The Balcony”. This year was a big one for the boys of Catfish and the Bottlemen as they won their first Brit Award for British Breakthrough act. They also released their second studio album “The Ride” on May 27th, 2016. In June of this year, the album ultimately reached the #1 spot on the Official UK Charts with 38,000 unit sold.