Something You Said’s Top 10 songs of 2016

Our contributors have been busy choosing their favourite tunes from the past 12 months. We’ve tallied their lists and here is our top 10:

1. RADIOHEAD – Burn The Witch

Burn the Witch by Radiohead easily had me the most excited about music in years. The track is so tense and dramatic thanks to Yorke’s howling vocals and the backing instrumentation of violin strings streaking through like a train with no brakes. But what equally made this song so spectacular for me was the music video clip by the team at Jacknife who have turned a visually stunning and innocent claymation into a twisted The Wickerman-like horror, hinting that there is most likely a dark message behind this song. Melissa Barrass

2. DAVID BOWIE – Lazarus

3. SIA – Cheap Thrills

4. CAR SEAT HEADREST – (Joe Gets Kicked Out Of School For Using) Drugs With Friends (But Says This Isn’t A Problem)

Car Seat Headrest’s Drugs With Friends contains my favourite lyric of the year, “Last Friday I took acid and mushrooms I did not transcend, I felt like a walking piece of shit In a stupid looking jacket”. It then finishes with the year’s best anthemic singalong, “Drugs are better with friends, are better with drugs”. Teenage slackerdom absolutely nailed. Genius. Neil Martin

5. ANDERSON .PAAK – Come Down

This guy has to be one of my favourite artists right now. Dre honestly must have some sort 6th sense, first birthing Anderson .Paak to the world with a handful of features on his Compton release back in 2015. This song just makes you want to dance. I first discovered it on his Tiny Desk Performance for NPR, he drums and raps at the same time (as he does in most of his live shows) and it’s one of the most bullshit things I’ve ever seen. Travis Jordan

= 6. JAMES BLAKE – Radio Silence

= 6. LUSH – Out Of Control

The bittersweet story of the year.  The revered Lush return after a nearly 20 year hiatus and the 4 track “Blind Spot” EP was as good as anything in their oeuvre (or most others for that matter). The highlight is the soaring “Out Of Control”. Unfortunately after a stellar tour, the band announced they were discontinuing again. Sad. G William Rex

7. THE LEMON TWIGS – These Words

8. KANYE WEST – Saint Pablo

Saint Pablo, the final song of Kanye West’s self-proclaimed “living breathing changing creative expression,” The Life of Pablo, lets the world inside the rapper’s misunderstood personal life for a captivating six minutes. Covering money troubles (“Got friends that ask me for money knowin’ I’m in debt/And like my wife said, I still didn’t say no”), race (“400 years later we’re buying our own chains”) and his decision to side with Tidal over Apple (“Cause if Jay a billionaire then I’ma never go broke”), Kanye raps with incredible self-awareness and emotional honesty.

This self-awareness and honesty is what divides the public’s opinion of Kanye, but whether you like him or not lines like “Skate on the paradigm and shift it when I feel like” show no matter what mental or emotional state he’s in, Kanye realises the power of his great cultural influence and importance. This is most obvious in the line “this generation’s closest thing to Einstein”; perhaps less a comment on his genius and more the fact everyone will be talking about Kanye long after he’s gone? Matt Lengren

(Check the tune out on Tidal)

9. JULIA JACKLIN – Coming of Age

10. DODIE – When

Singer-Songwriter Dodie (Clark) has gained an audience publishing of songs both covers and originals on her YouTube channel which lead to the release her first EP Intertwined. Dodie’s song When addresses the uncertainty of relationships and the fragility associated with romance (or idealised notions of romance) through a melody that almost imitates this sorrowful longing for what could be. It’s a simple melody composed of drawn out strings, carefully placed piano chords played in a way that alludes to this hesitancy in moving on or fearing change. There is an almost angelic quality to Dodie’s voice strengthened by her well-known use of harmony that evokes this sense of innocence which influences how we interpret her work. When addresses the darkness of waiting and wondering its lyrics casting shadows of doubt and uncertainty in what seems at first a mere love song written by a girl in her bedroom. Addie Fong