I posted my list of favorite from the first half of 2016 back in June (here and here). Rather than replicate that list for my full year review, consider this a continuation — the best songs from the second half of the year.
(from the Dangerbird Records release Stay Gold)
My pick for rock anthem of the year.
(from the Sonic Unyon Records release Every Time My Mind Runs Wild)
Lightfoot gives Butch Walker a run for his rock anthem money. An insanely infectious melody does little to hide the fact that it’s another gem for my Kiss Off playlist.
(from the Bloodshot Records release Real)
I cycled through a number of favorites on the Loveless long player but always found my way back to this one. The melancholy and restraint in her vocals makes this song of heartbreak even stronger.
(from the self-released Turn Me On)
I spent a few weeks trying to decide which of these two songs should make the list. In the end, I called it a draw. Let there be rock.
(from the self-released Bound to Meet the Devil)
Talk about making a statement. This new singer-songwriter boldly (and rather defiantly) announces her presence with the lead-off track from her debut release.
(from the Dry Lightning Records release Good and Dirty)
Pounding drums set the stage for the epic rockness that follows.
(from the Blue Elan Records release The Revealer)
Break-ups are rarely fun but Texas guitar-slinger certainly makes it sound that way with the rumbling swagger of this song.
(from the self-released Great Shakes)
A melancholy tale of failing love that allows a ray of hopeful sunshine to peek through the clouds.
(from the self-released Lula Wiles)
A heartwrenching tale of love lost and the struggle to carry on. As powerful musically as it is lyrically.
(from the Rounder Records release Midnight Motel)
Don’t jump in the sea if you don’t wanna swim
The tide takes you out, it don’t bring you in
Don’t fall in love if you don’t have a heart
That you’re willing to break right from the start
(from the self-released Hellfire and Amazing Grace)
If these are the type of songs that youngster Crump is writing at the start of his career then we’re in for some great music for decades to come.
(from the self-released Love and Protest)
I knew this song was a winner from the title alone.
(from the Yep Roc Records release Blindfaller)
Deceptively beautiful. Proof that sometimes simplicity can make the boldest statement.
About the author: Mild-mannered corporate executive by day, excitable Twangville denizen by night.