It’s that time of year again, the time for the music of 2016 to be rounded up into comprehensive lists. Spanning genres such as drum and bass and house, to rap and hip-hop, here is a 35-song list of the year’s best songs, some you will know, others you may not. Enjoy.
35. Snakehips – Cruel (ft Zayn)
34. Bukka – Cocaine Dub
33. Fred V & Grafix – Together We’re Lost (ft Franko Fraize & Tone)
(Drum and Bass)
32. Dusky – Sort It Out Sharon (ft Wiley)
31. Kano – This Is England
30. DJ Hazard – Roll On My Level (ft Summer Rayne)
(Drum and Bass)
29. Domo Genesis – Dapper (ft Anderson Paak)
28. Flume – Never Be Like You (ft Kai)
27. Glass Animals – Youth
26. Hybrid Minds – Touch (ft Tifanni Juno)
(Drum and Bass)
25. James Blake – Meet You In The Maze
24. JME, Tempa T & Skepta – CD Is Dead/That’s Not Me (1979 Edit)
23. Drake – Too Good (ft Rihanna)
22. Kaytranada – You’re The One (ft Syd)
21. Tourist – U
20. Flume – Smoke & Retribution (ft Vince Staples & Kucka)
19. Baauer – Day Ones (featuring Novelist and Leikeli47)
18. Francis & The Lights – Friends (ft Kanye West & Bon Iver)
17. Chase & Status – NRG (ft Novelist)
(Drum and Bass/Jungle)
16. Chance The Rapper – How Great (ft Jay Electronica)
15. DJ Shadow – Nobody Speak (ft Run The Jewels)
14. Moby – Do You Feel Lost In A World Like Me
12. Skepta – Man (Gang)
11. Desiigner – Panda
10. Chance The Rapper – No Problem (ft Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz)
Nobody has had a year quite like Chance The Rapper, who has rightfully cemented himself of one of rap’s most important figures. On his outstanding new mixtape
Coloring Colouring Book, No Problem was one of the most memorable moments.
9. Massive Attack – Voodoo In My Blood (ft Young Fathers)
Massive Attack finally returned with long-awaited new material, and on their recently-released Ritual Spirit EP was the project’s highlight Voodoo In My Blood, a collaboration with experimental Scottish trio Young Fathers.
8. Kanye West – Waves (ft Chris Brown)
In a messy album that lacked direction and grasp, stood the Chris Brown-featuring, Chance The Rapper-written, and Kid Cudi-assisted Waves. An absolute behemoth of a track that lay dormant following the self-reflecting I Love Kanye skit, Waves suckerpunches you, catches you off guard, and fills you with an indescribable fire.
7. Underworld – Nylon Strung
Underworld’s latest album featured some of their strongest material to date, and Nylong Strung shone as one of those highlights.
6. The xx – On Hold
The xx‘s first single in 5 years was well and truly worth the wait. Jamie xx clearly has more influence in the band’s sound, and if their new album is a shade on this lead single, then we have a lot to look forward to.
5. A Tribe Called Quest – Conrad Tokyo (ft Kendrick Lamar)
An instant anthem, Conrad Tokyo reminded us all what rap was missing with the absence of A Tribe Called Quest, and collided it with one of modern day rap’s finest.
4. Radiohead – Present Tense
One of the standout tracks from Radiohead’s celebrated seventh studio album, Present Tense recalls the days of In Rainbows, the most lauded over album in the band’s discography.
3. Bon Iver – 00000 Million
Final track of Bon Iver’s excellent new album, 00000 Million sends the listener off into a folktronica-induced lullaby.
2. Massive Attack – The Spoils (ft Hope Sandoval)
Found on the recently released EP of the same name, The Spoils is one of the most beautiful songs of the year. Delicately constructed with hypnotic vocals from Hope Sandoval, a mesmerising film-score-like production, haunting piano and drum claps, and an equally impressive video to go with, The Spoils is one of Massive Attack’s strongest songs in their catalogue.
1. Kanye West – Ultralight Beam (ft Chance The Rapper, The-Dream & Kelly Price)
Undeniably one of Kanye West’s strongest pieces of music to date, despite being under a year old. As we now do with the likes of Jesus Walks and Runaway, in years to come we’ll look back on Ultralight Beam as one of the most groundbreaking songs of modern times.