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10. “Ain’t No Man” – The Avett Brothers
The first release off The Avett Brother’s ninth studio album, True Sadness, was the soulful sing along, “Ain’t No Man.”
Bassist Bob Crawford told Consequence of Sound that “Ain’t No Man,”… there is a higher level to it. I’m trying to avoid the word ‘religion’ and ‘spiritual,’ but there is something about finding your place in the universe, or being able to put your finger on where you sit in this life, whatever your religion is or your worldview is.”
Regardless of how you interpret the song there is no denying that it is fun as hell and one of the Avett Brother’s most catchy songs in their extensive, and impressive catalogue.
9. “Pride” – American Authors
American Authors scored a top 10 spot on last year’s “Top 100 Songs of 2015” with their hit “Go Big Or Go Home”, and the boys from Boston have followed that up this year with their ultra fast paced, “Pride.”
I’ve had a few moments of pride in 2016, but learning the tongue twisting chorus to the American Author’s single has to be near the top of the list.
The first time I heard the song, I knew that I would not let myself sleep until I was able to sing along flawlessly. To this day, I still give a little fist pump each time I nail the vocals. It may have taken my entire commute to and from work, but I accomplished my goal, and nobody can never, ever, ever, never, ever, take away my pride.
8. “Roll Up” – Fitz and the Tantrums
Fitz and the Tantrums burst onto the scene in 2010 with their debut studio album, Pickin’ Up the Pieces, and I’m convinced that they have not taken a day off since. Not only have they released two additional incredible albums, but each track they release continues to be better than the previous one.
“Roll Up” is arguably Fitz’s best effort to date, and has enough energy “rolled up” into three minutes and thirty-eight seconds to get even the most miserable buzz kill you know to start tapping his feet and pumping his fists.
7. “Talk Too Much” – COIN
“Talk Too Much,” about one’s inability to leave it unsaid, was the first track that Nashville rock band, COIN wrote for their still unreleased sophomore album. “The song came easier than any other song I’ve ever written,” says lead singer, Chase Lawrence.
If “Talks Too Much,” is any indication of how good the new album will be, 2017 will be the biggest year yet for the Nashville foursome.
6. “Put Your Money On Me” – The Struts
If The Struts next album is a fraction as good as Everybody Wants, their debut studio album, they will solidify themselves as one of the best new bands in the past 20 years. With last year’s “Kiss This” and “Could’ve Been Me,” combined with this years “Only Just A Call Away,” and “Put Your Money On Me,” they have proven they are a massive force to be reckoned with.
“Put Your Money On Me” is 80’s, 90’s and modern alt rock all rolled up into one song that is as addictive as the band themselves. If I were a gambling man, which I am, I will put all of my money on The Struts to be releasing gems like this for a very long time to come.
5. “Cleopatra” – The Lumineers
Recently the Lumineers revealed on Facebook the real story behind their summer hit, “Cleopatra.”
“It’s inspired by a true story about a female taxi driver who, when was younger, was proposed to. But her father had just passed away, so she didn’t give her boyfriend an answer. So he left the village broken-hearted and rejected, and never returned again. He was her great love and she wouldn’t wash the footprints off the floor after he left.”
If that doesn’t make you appreciate the song than you need to check your pulse. Paired with their massive radio and chart topping hit, “Ophelia,” The Lumineers are cruising into 2017 after accomplishing their most successful year yet.
4. “Supermassive Automatic” – Kick the Robot
I can’t exactly recall how, when, or where I heard this song for the first time, but I am forever grateful that I did. “Supermassive Automatic” by the Atlanta trio, “arena garage rock” band, Kick the Robot, is badass.
It is the definition of rock and roll, and far and away the most underrated song of the year. The fact that this song isn’t the most requested song on every major radio rock station in the country, is nothing short of a travesty.
Of the 50+ people I have personally sat down and forced to listen to this song, every single one of them (fans of all types of genres) were thoroughly impressed. I implore you to spend the next four minutes rocking out to this track. The last minute and five seconds is without question the best ending of any rock song this year, or in recent memory.
3. “I Need Never Get Old” – Nathaniel Rateliff and the Nightsweats
Nathaniel Rateliff burst into the spotlight last year with his hit “S.O.B.” And this year, not only did he continue to stay in the spotlight, he shone even brighter.
“I Need Never Get Old” is a song that everyone can relate to no matter what age you are. I recently had the pleasure of seeing Rateliff and the band in concert, and their performance of this song was one of the most electric performances I have ever seen in my many years of concert going. Every ounce of all of their bodies are performing, and their energy is as contagious as the black plague.
Additionally, their appearance on Late Night Jimmy Fallon is in the top 5 late night performances I ever recall seeing. I dare you to watch it and not get the chills.
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2. “You and Me” – The Hunna
If you have not caught onto The Hunna train yet, you better hop on now before you’re left in the dust. The four piece band from London had a breakout year in the States much in part to the wildly addicting “You and Me.” I am not exactly sure that the hell a hunna tree is, but my mission in 2017 is to find one and smoke underneath it.
“You and Me” is meant to be played in an arena, and after this year The Hunna is well on their way to being able to fill that arena with adorning fans. Their other US release, “Bonfire” was amazing, but “You and Me” is easily one of the most memorable songs of 2016.
1. “Spirits” – The Strumbellas
I’m certain that I could just attach the video, and no words would be necessary for why this is the song of the year. If you’ve heard this track already, you know how catchy it is, if you have not heard it yet… what the hell were you doing with your life in 2016?
The Strumbellas, formed in 2008, are from Ontario, Canada, and made up of a six piece band. After 8 years, they have struck radio gold with “Spirits.” The inspiring song that reminds you to live your life to the fullest, will have you in deep thought about whether or not you are enjoying life as much as you should be.
“….And I don’t want a never-ending life
I just want to be alive, while i’m here.
And I, don’t want to see another night
lost inside of our own life, while i’m here.”
With the success of “We Don’t Know,” “Shovels & Dirt,” and specifically “Spirits,” it is undeniable that 2016 was the year of The Strumbellas.