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Artist - Song Title

1Twin River - Hesperus

Album:Passing Shade

Released:June 2016

Courtney continues to sound more like Neko while the band's wall of sound gets bigger and bigger.

Artist - Song Title

2LIV - Wings of Love

Album:Wings of Love - Single

Released:Oct 2016

LIV is Lykke Li and some dudes from Peter Bjorn & John, and Miike Snow. They're being called a supergroup but they only have 2 songs out, so it might be premature to call them a "supergroup". Either way, it sounds like Fleetwood Mac and it's wonderful.

Artist - Song Title

3Chairlift - Ch-Ching

Album:Moth

Released:Jan 2016

This feels like a pop-sibling of a Grimes song, which I realize sounds flippant, but I don't mean it that way.

Artist - Song Title

4Rihanna - Work (feat. Drake)

Album:ANTI

Released:Jan 2016

The first time I heard this track I hated it. The second time I told myself I ironically liked it. Listens three through one thousand this year came from a place of euphoria.

Artist - Song Title

5Beyonce - Hold Up

Album:Lemonade

Released:April 2016

It's ok. I get it. Lemonade wasn't produced with me, as a listener, in mind. That's ok. Why should it be? But, oh dang, "Hold Up" is infectious and full of hooks.

Artist - Song Title

6Frank Ocean - Solo

Album:Blonde

Released:Aug2016

This might be one of my favourite albums of the year. The minimalist production paired with the nihilistic weekend (note: not Weeknd) lyrics make this track a highlight for me.

Artist - Song Title

7Andrew Bird - Left Handed Kisses (feat. Fiona Apple)

Album:Are You Serious

Released:April 2016

More songs like this please. This is a 10/10 duet.

Artist - Song Title

8The Tragically Hip - Tired As Fuck

Album:Man Machine Poem

Released:June 2016

The announcement of Gord's terminal illness and the resulting coast to coast Canadian tour was a unifying moment for Canadians, and I'm thankful to have been able to take in a small part of it. "Man Machine Poem" is the best made and most relevant Hip record in 20 years. I learned first hand this year that Cancer is a monster, and this almost sarcastic track about it is therapeutic (for me, at least).

Artist - Song Title

9case/lang/veirs - Best Kept Secret

Album:case/lang/veirs

Released:June 2016

Guys, Neko Case, KD Lang, and Laura Veirs collaborated and put out an album and you expect me to write up some sort of justification about why this made my "best of" list?

Artist - Song Title

10Jay Arner - Personal Line

Album:Jay II

Released:June 2016

Vancouver represent. Jay Arner can do no wrong.

Artist - Song Title

11D.D Dumbo - Walrus

Album:Utopia Defeated

Released:Oct 2016

What if Sting put out an album powered by Ableton? Might be terrible, but D. D. Dumbo did it anyway and it's great.

Artist - Song Title

12Chance The Rapper - Smoke Break (feat. Future)

Album:Coloring Book

Released:May 2016

This might be the best album I heard all year. Celebratory hip hop in a time of despair. Ironically, this track is the calmest one on the album.

Artist - Song Title

13Bon Iver - 10 d E A T h b R E a s T

Album:22, A Million

Released:Sept 2016

Is this post-folk? Doesn't matter. You can't get upset that Bon Iver stopped doing camp fire ballads and went into Kid A territory, he's been hinting at this for years. This album is better listened end to end as opposed to a single track at a time.

Artist - Song Title

14Jessy Lanza - It Means I Love You

Album:Oh No

Released:May 2016

While easily digestible, this track is weird when you pull it apart. A kinda Chicago Footwork style beat, with sparse R&B vocals, and some sort of African drum line? Shouldn't work, but works perfectly.

Artist - Song Title

15Sylvan Esso - Radio

Album:Radio - Single

Released:Sept 2016

My understanding is that Sylvan Esso is a side project of a couple of folk singers, which is great because folk has never sounded so good next to big electronic synths.

Artist - Song Title

16Anderson Paak - Come Down

Album:Come Down - Single

Released:Oct 2016

Nasty.

Artist - Song Title

17Mac Miller - Dang! (feat. Anderson .Paak)

Album:The Divine Feminine

Released:Sept 2016

I kid you not, the first time I heard this song I only caught about 10 seconds of the chorus. Such a groove. I shazammed and purchased on the spot. Hi, this is the most boring story about one of the most un-fuck-wit-able songs of 2016.

Artist - Song Title

18A Tribe Called Quest - Black Spasmodic

Album:We got it from Here... Thank You 4 Your service

Released:Nov 2016

This is my favourite three minutes of music in 2016. This track doesn't actually take place in a specific moment. For the first minute and a half Phife posthumously leads while Q Tip backs him up in real time. The second half of the track is just Q Tip by himself rapping about his life-after-death relationship with Phife and his dedication to preserving his legacy through creating more music. I realize that when I try to explain it sounds a bit cliche, but when it's actually delivered in the song it is WONDERFUL.

Artist - Song Title

19Kaytranada - Lite Spots

Album:99.9%

Released:Jan 2015

99.9% is a must listen to, cover to cover, album. The first five star album of 2016. Yeah, Lite Spots leans real heavy on a Gal Costa track but the flip he creates is so infectious.

Artist - Song Title

20Kanye West - Fade

Album:The Life of Pablo

Released:feb 2016

I struggled with Kanye and TLOP in a major way. Such a mixed album, but when he dialed it in he created magic (see also: Ultra Light Beams). I chose to include Fade on the almanac because when I was in LA this fall EVERY radio station played this track three times per hour and I always turned it up.