We honestly had a collective in-office meltdown whilst trying to pick our favourite Australian song of 2016. We must be masochists because then shortly after recovering from this trauma, we then decided to tackle the ‘Best International Tracks of 2016’ list. Yes. We’re that crazy. Even though it almost broke us – we named names (in no particular order). Listen to the full list on Spotify and read on to see if you made the cut.
We named names. Did you make the cut?
01. Beyoncé - 'Formation'
Steve: “El Camino with the seat low, sippin’ Cuervo with no chaser.” Beyoncé ain’t a rapper, but the Queen laced the beat of the year with some of 2016’s hardest bars. Thematically, and culturally, ‘Formation’ is richer than delta soil. Sonically, it slays. This one wasn’t even close.
02. Anderson .Paak - 'Silicon Valley'
Khai: I am high-key obsessed with anything Anderson .Paak does and he’s dropped some absolute jams this year but this album cut probably got the most rotation for me this year. It’s incredibly superficial (for the most part) but it’s sexy af and after the general shitstorm that was 2016, sometimes a girl just needs a really good slow jam. Nothing suss. Everything suss.
03. Solange - 'Cranes in the Sky'
Mitch: Explaining this choice is redundant. You and I both know it belongs here and needs no further explanation.
04. Chance The Rapper - 'No Problem'
Rachel: This is my fave track of 2016 because it is the ultimate feel good track and encourages me to do ambitious dance moves similar to Chance. Also, Coloring Book came out just before I went to Europe so this tune is heavily associated with my hot Italian summer.
05. D.R.A.M ft. Lil Yachty -'Broccoli'
Mia: Earlier this year I impulsively mobbed Lil Yachty’s car after a show in New York because everyone else was doing it. It was a trap. I got sucked straight into the hype machine and ‘Broccoli’ was conveniently released shortly after that iconic moment. A catchy hook, a fun af clip and Lil Yachty (Lil Boat!), D.R.A.M and his puppy Idnit all being painfully cute were tools in their elaborate ploy to win me over. This track was marketed directly at suckers like me and I can confirm that it worked.
06. Childish Gambino – 'Redbone'
Dan: Kendrick predicted it last year – “by the time you hear the next pop, the funk shall be within you”. In a year where some of the best pop was funk-filtered (see: Kaytranada, Goldlink, Bruno Mars) Childish Gambino took it to the extreme, summoning the dormant spirits of Funkadelic and Bootsy Collins to manifest the best song of the year. In eight years, Donald Glover went from doing a nasal Lil’ Wayne impression, to making an album full of songs that are all this beautiful – dude was playing at the long game this whole time. He already warned us, but now we might actually have to believe him – Gambino is a mastermind.
07. Blood Orange ft. Empress Of - 'Best to You'
Eleanor: There’s something about Lorely Rodriguez’s (a.k.a aka Empress Of) vocal on this track that completely ensnares you. The beginning of the track is clear and quietly perfect before giving way to an agile percussion that seamlessly gels with a strange sense of sadness and hope. The lingering effect is heartbreaking, and it kind of sums up 2016 for me.
08. Skepta - 'Man'
Jade: 2016 has been a massive year for grime, especially for Skepta. He released Konnichiwa (my fave album of 2016) which won the Mercury award. ‘Man’ is a banger with Skepta honouring his own crew and letting everyone know he isn’t here for your Instagram likes. Best line of many: “I got day ones and I got new ones/ No fake ones, trust no one.” He cancelled his Australian tour this year, gun fingers crossed he will make it out here in 2017!
09. Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions - 'Let Me Get There'
Damian: Hope Sandoval is the singer from ’90s anthem creators Mazzy Star. ‘Fade Into You’ is one of a trillion songs that represents the girl I love, and by default, ‘Let Me Get There’ became another one. Like that girl, this song is fucking beautiful.
010. Solange - 'Don't Wish Me Well'
Zac: This was the stand out to me with its minimal moody openness and I think I listened to ‘Don’t Wish Me Well’ on repeat for an hour and a half when the album first released. But really tho, how do you pick a fave song from one of the greatest albums of all time where every song is perfect? 4 minutes and 15 seconds of true vibe in these true vibe hours. Froth Level: Extremely Extremely High.