ūüéľ #GuelphMusicClub: Best of 2016

TOP SONGS of 2016

the 1975 – “Love Me”

from the album, I LIKE IT WHEN YOU SLEEP, FOR YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFUL YET SO UNAWARE OF IT 

After a promising debut, the 1975 (@the1975) return with their sophomore record with the stupidly long name.

Personally, I felt the album fell short of expectations. At 75 minutes, it’s a long listen and towards the end, you do get the impression that a lot of fat could have been trimmed to make this a truly great album.

Because when these guys are on, the songs are huge. “Love Me” has shades of David Bowie, INXS, and other 70s/80s hallmarks that are so prevalent, to say the 1975 wear their influences on their sleeves would be a huge understatement.

Nevertheless, this is just a great song.

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Candiria – “Mereya”

from the album, WHILE THEY WERE SLEEPING

After a substantial absence, Candiria returned last year and “Mereya” made it seem as if they’d never left. On the whole, While They Were Sleeping was a much better album than it maybe should have been, especially given¬†their mostly 7-year absence, however, this track was definitely the standout above the rest. Heavy, catchy, and the addition¬†of a mid-song jazz interlude¬†– classic Candiria.

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Giraffe Tongue Orchestra – “Blood Moon”

from the album, BROKEN LINES

The term “supergroup” is too easily applied nowadays but a band consisting of members of the Dillinger Escape Plan (@TDEP_), Mastodon (@mastodonmusic), the Mars Volta (@themarsvolta), and Alice in Chains (@AliceInChains) certainly fits the definition.

To be honest, I thought Broken Lines, the debut from Giraffe Tongue Orchestra (@GTO_Band), mostly sucked but this song was an earworm.

Check this one out if you’ve ever been a fan of Faith No More (@FaithNoMore).

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Magic City Hippies – “Hush”

from the single, HUSH

Here’s a user description I read¬†for this track online: “Tarantino trip-hop meets dusty, rock-and-roll-infused, post-apocalyptic R&B in this escalating ode to make-up sex.”

Can’t put it much better than that myself. Looking forward¬†to hearing more from the Magic City Hippies (@magicityhippies) in the new year.

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Alex Newell, Jess Glynne & DJ Cassidy – “Kill the Lights (w/ Nile Rodgers)”
&
Trey Songz – “Life on Mars?”

from the album, VINYL: THE ESSENTIALS: BEST OF SEASON 1

I bundled these two together because they are both taken from the soundtrack of the short-lived HBO original series, Vinyl.

“Kill the Lights” is a punchy disco throwback that acts as a genuine throwback to the height of the era. To this day, I can’t get enough of this track. Over the past few years, “Life on Mars?” seems to have been covered by everyone and their grandmother, but accompanied only¬†by a piano, Trey Songz offers a memorable take on the Bowie classic.

With the latter song, I chose to attach a clip from Vinyl that the song was actually featured in, as I consider¬†it to be one of the better¬†moments from¬†the show. Ray Romano (ūüė∑) plays a record executive with this scene translating¬†the genuine feeling of wonder and awe one would imagine a music scout feels¬†upon the discovery of¬†an exciting unknown talent.

It wasn’t a great series but it did feel like it was beginning to find its rhythm towards the end of the season. Rarely does HBO cancel a show after one season but this unfortunately happened to be one of them. I’m saddened to see it go because the subject matter is tailor-made for television, but then again, I’m probably not as bummed as Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger who reportedly spent more than a decade attempting to get the series produced.

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Frank Ocean – “Nikes”

from the album, BLOND

This might be the best song Frank Ocean¬†has produced to date. Textural, emotional, and hypnotic, “Nikes” introduces¬†the Blond album, which makes sense given¬†how much this track instantly demands your attention.

After a long wait between solo albums, Frank¬†released¬†Blond, as well as a second Apple exclusive release, entitled Endless. Which reminds me, I’ve yet to hear the latter because, well, fÔ£Ņck Apple! It’s probably pretty good, though!

* full disclosure Рthis blog was composed using a MacBook Pro.

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Phantogram – “Answer”

from the album, THREE

Phantogram (@Phantogram) makes their second consecutive appearance on my year-end list, this time due to their latest solo effort, Three. While there are some good songs here, overall, the effort feels a bit muddled.

Having said that, “Answer” is a gem.¬†Dark and haunting, yet hopeful, the repetitive piano bars underscore their brooding shoegaze tendencies¬†rather than their more prominent poppy ‘trip-hop’ side. I wish they’d put a heavier emphasis upon creating songs in this vein¬†a little more frequently as the results tend to be positive.

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Jalen Santoy – “Foreplay”

from the EP, CHARLIE EASTERN

This may very well have been my favourite track of 2016 – I’ve probably listened to it hundreds of times. “Foreplay” is pretty close to a perfect hip-hop track. The lyrics aren’t the most complex but the tale is certainly picturesque.

Unfortunately, I’ve yet to hear anything else from Jalen Santoy (@JalenSantoy) that’s hit me as hard as this song has but he is definitely one I’ll be keeping an eye out¬†on¬†going¬†forward. Beyond this track, the rest of the Charlie Eastern EP is kinda ehh.

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Ty Dolla $ign – “Stealing”

from the mixtape, CAMPAIGN

This and “Zaddy” were two of my favourite songs of the year but I think I preferred this one due to its simplicity. I actually really dug Campaign in its entirety and was big on Free TC, too. What can I say, I guess I’m a fan of Ty Dolla $ign (@tydollasign)…

ūüė∂

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Kanye West – “Ultralight Beam (feat. The-Dream, Kelly Price, Chance the Rapper & Kirk Franklin)”

from the album, THE LIFE OF PABLO

I feel like one of the very few who doesn’t miss the old Kanye (@kanyewest). Personally, I consider him to be a more interesting artist now than he has ever been previously. Deeply conflicted, hypocritical, and downright crazy at times, his music from the past few years has become¬†just as erratic as his own personality.

Overall, I’m a fan of The Life of Pablo but “Ultralight Beam” is the cream of the crop. When Kanye first described TLOP as a gospel album, I was a little taken aback, however, if he made an album full of tracks like this, I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

The above SNL performance was something else.

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LOCAL BONUS #1

Dont Mind Dyin – “Kickin’ a Can”

from the EP, RESURRECTED


Love these guys and am so happy to see they’re back. With a retooled lineup featuring former members of Arise and Ruin, Farewell to Freeway, and Kobra Kobra, Dont Mind Dyin¬†is highly recommended for fans of Burnt by the Sun¬†(@BurntByTheSunNJ),¬†Doritos, and chicken burgers.

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LOCAL BONUS #2

Noah23¬†– “High With You”

from the UNICORN EP


One of the most prolific and underrated rappers in the game is proud to refer to¬†Guelph as his home. I love the directions Noah23 (@THENOAH23) has been heading¬†in of late and this track was genuinely one of my faves of 2016. Dreamy, spacey, shoegazey…it seems there can be no limits placed upon the evolution of the Guelph Oracle.

Go to the next page for the TOP MUSIC VIDEOS of 2016

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