Matt Froelich’s Top Songs of 2016

Although we lost many great musicians in the year 2016, it was still an incredible year for music. We saw lots of comeback albums from beloved bands from the past, and we also saw strong debut albums from fresh new artists. Here are my top picks from this year:

“715 – CrΣΣks” – Bon Iver

Bon Iver surprised many fans this year when he announced that he would be releasing a third studio album after an extended hiatus. The track “715-Creeks” features a hauntingly beautiful vocal performance devoid of any instrumentals. It is definitely a stand-out track on an already stellar album.

“On Paper” – The Descendents

The Descendents, to the surprise and joy of many fans, released their first album since 1996 this year. Out of the 21 tracks on the album, the song “On Paper” stood out among the others. It is easy to see that the Descendents are embracing their roots on this hilarious and catchy track, and I believe it represents a great return to form for the band.

“Burn the Witch” – Radiohead

“Burn the Witch” was the first single released off of Radiohead’s ninth studio album, “A Moon Shaped Pool.” The frantic string section combined with the deep and thought-provoking lyrics of Thom Yorke make this a unique track worth listening to.

“Youngblood” – Green Day

Green Day was among a number of pop punk bands that released 2016 comeback albums. The song “Youngblood” off of their album “Revolution Radio” is a classic punk song with lyrics about girls and alcohol, and it features a very ska-sounding guitar part. It is dangerously catchy and is a hidden gem among the other songs in Green Day’s sizable discography.

“Inspire The Liars” – Dance Gavin Dance

Post-hardcore band Dance Gavin Dance came back with full force this year with “Mothership,” their follow-up album for 2015’s “Instant Gratification.” The track “Inspire The Liars” off this album features verses driven with pure, raw emotion and an anthemic chorus. Listening to this song is an epic experience to say the least.

“Redbone” – Childish Gambino

Childish Gambino took a surprising turn musically this year when he diverted from hip hop and released a psychedelic funk album. The result was staggeringly amazing, and the track “Redbone,” along with every track on the album, includes dreamy synths and smooth vocals that channel chill vibes.

“Friend of a Friend” – Weezer

“Friend of a Friend” is a track off of the expanded edition of Weezer’s 2016 release “White Album.” Chugging power chords back Rivers Cuomo’s signature voice on this wickedly catchy track that is pleasantly reminiscent of Weezer’s “Pinkerton” days.

“The Space Program” – A Tribe Called Quest

A Tribe Called Quest is renowned for their lyrical flow and insightful lyrics. The song “The Space Program” from their new album showcases these talents with its fantastic beat and driving rap style that are consistent with the overall style and feel of the group’s original work, without it feeling like we’ve been there before.

“Postpone” – Catfish and the Bottlemen

Catfish and the Bottlemen wasted no time putting out new music for their fans after the success of their debut album “The Balcony.” The track “Postpone” off of their 2016 album “The Ride” is full of clever guitar riffs, catchy choruses and driving drum beats, easily making it one of the band’s best jam-out songs to date.

“Season 2 Episode 3” – Glass Animals

Glass Animals has built a reputation as one of the best new bands in indie rock. With the release of their new album “How To Be A Human Being,” they were able to strengthen this reputation. “Season 2 Episode 3” tells the story of a girl who is fun to be around, but isn’t going anywhere in life. The quirky synths and playful lyrics used on the track leaves us with one of the most fun Glass Animals songs on either of their two studio albums.