It was a huge year in Australian music so you can only imagine the level of struggle it took to compile this short and simple playlist. The ACCLAIM team sat around and individually selected their top five tracks of 2016 – which was difficult enough. Then came the savage task of picking the most iconic song of the lot which inevitably caused a collective end of year meltdown. We survived, the list exists and in no particular order we named names. 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. Fortunes. - '501's'
Mia: I’ve had absolutely no chill when it comes to backing Fortunes this year. Barnaby and Conor are superstars. Their ‘Jacket’ EP came through with back to back singles so it’s no surprise that they signed to Future Classic shortly afterwards. This track is their first release through the label and is undeniably a banger. Hate to say I told you so but like, I told you so.
02. Baro ft. Nasty Mars & Marcus - 'wdubi'
Dan: This song represents everything really dope about our rap scene in 2016 – it’s remarkably forward-thinking, unruly music that’s able to stand on its own against the best of the best around the world. Nic Martin’s jazz-tinged, trumpeting trap production made this the perfect sound-bed for Baro’s lovesick hook, Nasty Mars’ signature lyrical charm, and Marcus’ blistering, show-stopping verse. The fact that Chance’s Coloring Book came out only days before this, and Baro’s song was apparently finished forever ago is testament to the fact that them 90s RD boys are always ahead of the curve. Baro’s next project is likely to be one of the most important of 2017 – stay woke.
03. Maribelle - 'Shout'
Jade: I’m still obsessed with this track and with Maribelle. It’s so catchy. The poppy instrumental coupled with her smooth R&B vocals are perfection. Also the Bobby Brown inspired video clip for ‘Shout’ is just beautiful.
04. Spit Syndicate - 'Inhibitions'
Steve: You like garidge m8? Cos, I mean, I love it. I may be a washed old father of two, but this ode to clandestine drug use is my jam for 2016. Nick & Jimmy wrote the hell out of this, but really I’m here for Styalz’ throwing me back to the late 90s with that garage influence.
05. Wafia & Ta-ku - 'Meet in the Middle'
Khai: These two are so adorable, I can’t take it. Wafia’s voice is effortless, as always, and is the perfect partner for multi-hyphenate Ta-ku’s first foray into lead vocals. Their whole EP was sweet but this one was a definite stand-out and speaks directly to my constant state of compromise. (For added feels, peep the Tiny Desk Concert rendition of this one).
06. Kllo - 'Bolide'
Mitch: This song is the thinking man’s banger. It shows up to the party looking flawless, immaculately dressed but in that effortless way where you know it didn’t have to try. This song asks to borrow your lighter and you get excited that it asked you before any one else in the smoking area. Later you’ll realise that this song didn’t give your lighter back but you don’t care, it’ll give you a chance to listen to it again later.
07. GL - 'Grip'
Rachel: I really can’t get enough of Ella Thompson’s dreamy af vocals. This song transports me back to Meredith last year. I took off my shoe for GL’s set. Iconic.
08. Sampa The Great - '2 4'
Eleanor: This track is super slouchy and the way it stutters in and out before increasing in tempo is weirdly addictive—the perfect short dance jam.
09. Spike Fuck - 'Guts'
Damian: I’m still a pretty ignorant and naive boy from the country in many ways. The concept of transgender identification was something I was yet to take the time to comprehend and understand. The moment I first heard Spike Fuck sing it all suddenly made sense.
010. Jensen Interceptor - 'XL'
Zac: Since grabbing my attention back in 2012 with his stand out remix of Light Years “Moderation”, techno lord Jensen Interceptor has stayed firmly on my radar with releases on Motorik and BNR. This years release Memorial Park Tapes, Vol 1 gives us a bag full of hammers, with the third completing the hammer-fest. ‘XL’ is un-f*ckwiddible and rave AF with that organ and Amen, and in this era of Maschine and Sylenth presets Jensen stands out dropping gem after gem like a clumsy thief. Froth level: Extremely High.