The 10 Best Songs of 2016

2016 has taken many of our musical heroes away from us, including Prince and David Bowie, it’s also given us some of the most potent and paradigm-shifting music in recent memory.

1/ “Send My Love (To Your New Lover),” Adele


Adele’s bouncy “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” is the perfect example of taking the higher road in this scenario.


2/”Formation,” Beyoncé


It was the call heard ’round the world: “Okay ladies, now let’s get in formation.” Beyoncé’s first single from Lemonade is a no-holds-barred account of what it means to be black in America today, with all of its beauty and fraughtness.


3/”Needed Me,” Rihanna


Rihanna adds to the canon of anthems for independent women and, with warbling beats backing her up, throws shade at a guy who treats her badly


4/”Blackstar,” David Bowie

David Bowie released Blackstar a mere few days before catapulting off into the cosmos forever. And what a gift this last album is, especially cuts like the title track “Blackstar,” a lonesome—and eerily prescient—saxophone dirge that finds Bowie contemplating life after death.


5/ “Existence in the Unfurling,” Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith 

“Existence in the Unfurling,” is the central single from her album EARS, Smith croons like a sentient robot over a slowly rising crescendo of horn toots, gentle twinkles, and gurgling synthesizers.


6/ “Get a Yes,” Sad13

“Get a Yes.” The shimmering song also tackles a critical subject that’s not typically the stuff of pop: consent. “I say yes to the dress when I put it on,” she sings, “I say yes if I want you to take it off.”


7/ “Fool,” Frankie Cosmos

On the great poignant pop tune “Fool,” she berates someone who left her waiting and feeling like a fool, when all she wanted to do was “talk on darker days, with our boots kicked off.”


8/ “Love Is Not Love,” Cate Le Bon

Her stunning track “Love Is Not Love.” A downtempo beat and saxophones behind her, Le Bon wonders aloud on the melancholic song about the so-called universality of love.


9/ “Only Girl,” Kali Uchis

“Only Girl,” is a throwback that’ll make you want to cruise around in a lowrider, windows rolled down, with no particular destination in mind.

10/ “Work From Home,” Fifth Harmony ft. Ty Dolla $ign 


Fifth Harmony make a strong case for working from home, which is becoming more popular for couples who are both practically and emotionally.