In no particular order, and somewhat arbitrarily selected from a bunch of other great stuff that came out in 2016 (and also collected in a Spotify play list)
- Karó, “Silhouette.”
- Florrie, “Real Love.” A bass line like a thunderstorm.
- Carly Rae Jepsen, “Fever.” “My breath was lost when you said ‘friends’ / well that could work but I’m still hot for you.”
- Brandy Clark, “Since You’ve Gone to Heaven.”
- Little Mix, “Power.” On the one hand, Glory Days was a kind of disappointing album, but on the other hand, “Motorbike / motorbike / motorbike / motorbike / bike bike / bike bike / bike bike bike bike / bike bike whoo!”
- Rihanna, “Work.”
- AlunaGeorge, I Remember. The fluttery romantic anxiety of the title track.
- Beyoncé, Lemonade.
- Miranda Lambert, The Weight of these Wings. The production on this is extraordinarily tactile; you can feel every creak and resonance of the instruments.
- Ladyhawke, Wild Things.
- Anohni, Hopelessness.
- Shura, Nothing’s Real.
- Surprisingly bad: Pet Shop Boys, Super (“The Pop Kids” is great, the rest of the album is between mediocre and actively bad)
- Surprisingly good: Craig David, Following my Intuition
- Surprisingly finally making a record as good as Popjustice have been insisting for years they are: Niki and the Dove, Everyone’s Heart is Broken Now
Top artists I first heard of in 2016
- Girli. Surly feminist banger “Girls Get Angry Too.”
- Chelsea Lankes. Breezy country-ish pop, “Home.”
- Jess Kent. The Australian bassline/pop crossover track we’ve all been waiting for, “Low Key.”
- Sizzy Rocket. “We’ll never stop feeling if it kills us“
- Kilo Kish. Neurotic R&B, “Hello, Lakisha.”
- Nadia Rose. “Skwod” just does not put a foot wrong.
- Annabel Jones. Vulnerable electropop on “Magnetic.”
- Kiiara. The midwestern bassline/pop crossover track we’ve all been waiting for, “Say Anymore.”
- Let’s Eat Grandma. Pop as dream logic, “Eat Shiitake Mushrooms.”
- Sounding like Taylor Swift
- Sounding like Robyn
- Sounding like Sally Shapiro
- Sounding like tATu
- 90s revival
- Country reggae
- #Actually tropical house is good