Our annual list of the 20 best songs of the year. This year's list is a little earlier than usual as we will be doing a countdown of the best songs of the decade closer to New Year.
From A Tribe Called Red to Carly Rae Jepsen to Hozier, The Highwomen, Tenille Townes, Lana Del Rey, Brittany Howard and so much more...here we go!
#20) PUP - Morbid Stuff
Intense both musically and lyrically and just a great crank it song...from their Polaris Prize nominated album.
#19) Miami Memory - Alex Cameron
Explicit and very powerful...an undeniably great song.
#18) Jersey on the Wall (I'm Just Asking) - Tenille Townes
Raw and devastating. It asks the question we all would if we could. Why, if there is a God, would that car have crashed?
#17) The OG - A Tribe Called Red Ft. Black Bear
Exceptional piece from an exceptional band. Has a brilliant, political use of voice over.
#16) SonReal - Healing (Feat. Jessie Reyez)
Lovely song that makes the most of its guest vocalist, the simply stunning Jessie Reyez.
Just let this one carry you away...
#15) No Drug Like Me - Carly Rae Jepsen
There are so many songs to love off of Carly Rae Jepsen's new pop mini-masterpiece of an album Dedicated, but the largely overlooked No Drug is just about as good as anything she has ever done. Marvelously produced and atmospheric.
#14) Shovels & Rope - "Mississippi Nuthin'"
Off the By Blood album Mississippi Nuthin' is about working-class dreams gone wrong and lives derailed. Moving along at a breathtaking pace it draws you into the lives of two people in a way both involving and sad. One has had their life go a very different way than the other.
#13) Almost (Sweet Music) - Hozier
Hozier is back with this marvelously charming song...an homage to music, jazz and love.
“Almost (Sweet Music)”
11) Fuck it I love you / The Greatest - Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Ray continues with some of the most creative and interesting music of the era.
10) Not - Big Thief
Terrific intensity. Fantastic song.
"It's not the room
Not the crowd
Not the planet
#9) Cellophane - FKA twigs
Disturbing and visceral. A challenging song magnificently performed.
#8) Heavy - Dizzy
Lyrically stunning and infused with an almost aching, haunting sadness, this is a song that stays with you through repeated listening.
#7) Voicemail For Jill - Amanda Palmer
A difficult, emotionally saw song that is completely brilliant in its execution, Amanda Palmer lays herself bare in this powerful reflection on miscarriage, abortion and the terrible judgement and silences that women have to endure.
#6) Seventeen - Sharon Van Etten
A reflection on growing older and the impossible wish that you could send your wisdom now to that more free and reckless version of you all those years ago, this song hits it on every level.
#5) Thirteen - Haviah Mighty
Her album won the Polaris prize and this very moving, powerful song makes it very clear why.
#4) Highwomen - The Highwomen
An absolutely brilliant, feminist re-imagining of an iconic country song.
"We are The Highwomen
Singing stories still untold
We carry the sons you can only hold
We are the daughters of the silent generations
You sent our hearts to die alone in foreign nations
It may return to us as tiny drops of rain
But we will still remain
And we'll come back again and again and again
And again and again
We'll come back again and again and again
And again and again"
#3) The Spark - William Prince
Marvelously romantic, an incredible love song with great depth and feeling.
#2) Rich, White, Straight, Men - Kesha
An anthem of rage and a call for justice. A "Three Penny" Opera style rejection that is so richly deserved to a social order and patriarchy that has to end.
#1) Stay High - Brittany Howard
A truly wonderful, wonderful song. Uplifting, full of heart and a deep embrace of humanity and life, Howard of Alabama Shakes fame gives us a feel good masterpiece.