Top 100 Songs Of 2016 (Part 10) Songs 10-1


#100 – 91       #90-81     #80-71       #70-61       #60-51
#50-41      #40-31     #30-21     #20-11


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.


Top 10 Playlist

Top 100 Songs of 2016 Playlist 100-1

Top 100 Songs of 2016 (Part 8) #30-21


#100 – 91       #90-81     #80-71       #70-61       #60-51
#50-41      #40-31

30. “A 1000 Times” – Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam

The best collaboration of the year goes to Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam with “A 1000 Times.” The catchy repetitive chorus, “A thousand times, a thousand times, I’ve had that dream a thousand times” is made even better while watching the video which portrays the musicians throughout various stages of their lives.

What starts as something reminiscent to a lullaby, end with a fist-pumping, heart-wrenching scream fest, making “A 1000 Times” very easy to listen to over and over again.

29. “Bored To Death” – Blink 182

Any fan of old school Blink 182 will consider 2016 to be a huge success for the band. “Bored To Death,” the first single off their latest album California is proof that although the entire band may not be in tact (Tom Delonge is no longer with the band) Blink still has what it takes to be called the big men on campus in the alt rock genre.

It has been 22 years since Blink 182 released their first album, Cheshire Catwhich means that long time fans of the band now may have children that are being introduced to the band for the first time. And “Bored To Death” is Blink 182 that Blink 182 fans can be proud of.

28. “Lover Comes Back” – City and Colour

While “Lover Come Back” may be one of the most heartbreaking songs of the year, it is also one of the most beautiful. Canadian born Dallas Green (under the alias City and Colour) pleads to his ex-lover that he was foolish letting them leave and begs for their return.

“So, I sing lover come back, lover come back to me
Won’t you ever come back, ever come back to me
How could I have been so foolish to let you leave
Lover come back, lover come back to me”

Sung with enough passion and determination to earn a shot at redemption, “Lover Come Back” is an anthem for anyone that is willing to admit guilt and crawl back to someone you let go.

27. “Let It Burn” – Volbeat

If you’re like most people, simply the thought of metal music scares the hell out of you. And a Danish, heavy metal band… forget it, that is the stuff that nightmares are made of.

But fear not, Volbeat is here to take everything you thought you knew about metal music, and drop it on its head. “Let It Burn”, the new track off the bands sixth studio album, Seal the Deal & Let’s Boogie is a metal track that even your grandmother could rock out to. The catchy vocal melody, and inspiring lyrics, coupled with a killer guitar solo, combine to deliver what may very well be your favorite “metal” song since “Mama, I’m Coming Home”, you know, the only other “metal song” you have ever liked in your life.


26. “Good Grief” – Bastille

Quite possibly the most upbeat, jolly song about the grieving process in decades, “Good Grief” is about figuring out how the hell to move on after the death of a loved one.

“Caught off guard by your favorite song
I’ll be dancing at a funeral, dancing at a funeral
Sleeping in the clothes you love
It’s such a shame we had to see them burn, shame we had to see them burn

What’s gonna be left of the world if you’re not in it?
What’s gonna be left of the world, oh

Every minute and every hour
I miss you, I miss you, I miss you more
Every stumble and each misfire
I miss you, I miss you, I miss you more”

With the release of “Good Grief,” the first single off the band’s sophomore album Wild World, Bastille has proven to all the naysayers that they’re not just one album wonders, and are here to stay.


25. “We Don’t Know” – The Strumbellas

Canadian rock band, The Strumbellas had the year of their lives in 2016. “We Don’t Know,” just one of their incredibly catchy tracks from the year, is about what do to when you’ve found yourself in a pit of hopelessness. Yet, the track and even more so the video, is as uplifting and fun loving as it gets.

One thing we DO know for sure is that The Strumbellas are the best gift that the US has received this year. Thank you, Canada. Over and over again.

24. “Only Just A Call Away” – The Struts

After the year The Struts had in 2015, it was nearly impossible to imagine how they could compete with themselves in 2016. Well, not only did they compete, they may have done even better. While last year they did top the countdown with the number one song Could’ve Been Me, this year they have not one but two songs in the top 25.

“Only Just A Call Away” is about being there for someone even if you can’t be there physically, you will be there emotionally. The Struts have once again proven that they are the best thing to happen to modern rock music in a very long time.

23. “What the Hell Did I Say” – Dierks Bentley

The all too relatable, “What the Hell Did I Say”, is Dierks Bentley’s second video in his 4-part series about a pair of secret lovers. After Bentley’s 2014 super hit, “Drunk On a Plane”, he became one of the biggest names in country music due to the fact that the song resonated to fans of all genres, because, you know, who doesn’t like to get drunk on a plane?

What could possibly be a follow up to the lovable, drunk plane passenger’s journey, “What the Hell Did I Say”, tells a story about drunk dialing, and the regrets one may feel upon waking up in the morning after a night of heavy drinking.

Just as much a pop-rock song as it is a country song, Bentley has a knack of releasing tracks that are catchy as hell, and make you forget the fact that you have claimed that you have hated country music since you were an adolescent.

22. “Burn It Down” – Fitz and the Tantrums

Fitz and the Tantrums have proven that they can do no wrong. Year after year they continue to release the most catchy rock music that begs to be danced to. “Burn It Down” is the type of dance music with a rock twist that many try, but few are able to perfect. And there is not one single artist in music today that can do it as well and seemingly effortless as Fitz and the Tantrums.

21. “Dancing On Glass” – St. Lucia

No need to look at your calendars; it is not 1985, and no you are not watching a video from the first batch of MTV hits. Known as St. Lucia, Jean-Philip Grobler’s “Dancing On Glass” is one of the most unique songs in music today. “Dancing On Glass” is 80’s music on steroids and with a futuristic twist. It is like a hodgepodge of the past and the future all rolled into one flawless four minute gem.

Top 20 Coming tomorrow!

Top 100 Songs Of 2016 (Part 1 – #100-91)

To any music fan, the best part about the end of the year is not holidays, vacations, or time spent with family and loved ones: it is the end of the year music countdowns. This year, to commemorate the 7th year of Ryan’s Countdown’s “Best Songs of the Year”  there will be a Top 100 Songs of 2016 Countdown.

Each list of 10 songs will be released every few days throughout the month of December, until the reveal of the #1 Song of 2016.

While the majority of the Top 100 Songs of the Year are all Rock based, there is still a wide array of sub-genres represented in this years countdown. The list is littered with Alt-Rock songs, including Indie Rock and Folk Rock. But, there is also a significant showing of Pop Rock, Country Rock, Hard Rock, and even a dusting of Electric Rock songs.

Certainly the lines of what is considered “Rock” may be blurred, but each of these listener friendly songs, were either released in 2016, or released in 2015, but gained notoriety, in 2016.

Please feel free to chime in (comments section) and let me know whether or not you agree with my well thought out, carefully selected, and correct choices. Enjoy the countdown, and happy holidays!


TOP 100 Rock Songs of 2016…



100. “Shine A Light” – BANNERS

BANNERS, also know as Michael Joseph Nelson, is an English musician from Liverpool, UK. While “Shine A Light” technically was released in mid 2015 overseas, it was not until 2016 that it gained popularity and exposure in the States.

“Shine A Light” starts as a piano ballad and quickly escalates to anthem rock. BANNERS perfects both the sweet and savory as he sings about having a beacon of light that brings him through the storm. Dedicate this song to anyone that has gotten you through a rough patch in your life, and the lyrics will speak for themselves….. or play it for a loved one that wakes up before you and insists on turning a light on while you are trying to get some much-needed beauty sleep. They, too, will get the point.



99. “Up&Up” – Coldplay

As with just about every other Coldplay song that has ever been written, I have no idea what “Up&Up” is about, and to be honest, I’m pretty sure Coldplay doesn’t even know what they are singing about anymore.

Fortunately for the band, Chris Martin can sing about anything and people will swoon. And if having Chris Martin as your lead singer isn’t enough, the band also recruited Beyoncé to sing backup vocals, and Noel Gallagher to play guitar. You know you are one of the biggest bands in the world when you get Beyoncé to sing backup vocals on a track. The real life equivalent of that would be if I walked past Gisele Bundchen on the street and stopped her to ask if she could take a picture of me because I had just gotten a fresh haircut and wanted to show it off to all of my Instagram followers.

But anyway, “Up&Up” is catchy as hell, and with over 100 million views on YouTube it is yet another reason why Coldplay is one of the most iconic bands of the past 20 years.



98. “Sister Of Pearl” – Baio

It has been a few years since Vampire Weekend released any new music, which is heart-breaking, but manageable now that bassist, Christopher Baio released his solo album, The Names, in the second half of 2015. This song, “Sister Of Pearl” is an 80’s style, indie rock track that you can’t help but sing along with. And while “Sister Of Pearl” was released in mid 2015, it was in its peak of radio airplay at the beginning of 2016.

The song is about one a simple message: to be who you want to be. And from watching the video, I am damn sure I know who I want to be: best friends with Christopher Baio.

And yes, he is related to Charles in Charge’s Scott Baio. First cousins, once removed. Whatever the hell that means.


97. “Happy Pills” – Weathers

Quite possibly the happiest song about being sad since Third Eye Blind’s “Semi-Charmed Life”, the jolly track about ones decent into crystal meth addiction, “Happy Pills” will almost certainly brighten up your most dreary, depressing days. Weathers, the young rock quartet from LA perfectly summarizes the continuously rising trend of taking “happy pills” to deal with your problems.

Not only will you find yourself singing along to the catchy chorus…

I take my pills and I’m happy all the time, I’m happy all the time, I’m happy all the time…”

But you will also find it impossible to not sing along with the “LA LA LA LA LA LA’s” even more enthusiastically than the Smurfs do after yet another victorious encounter with their rival, Gargamel.


96. “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore” – Phantogram

Only by sheer coincidence is Phantogram’s first single of their album Three“You Don’t Get Me High Anymore” on the countdown directly after “Happy Pills,” but I am going to pretend that it was a stroke of genius.

“You Don’t Get Me High Anymore” is dark, edgy, and the definition of what good 2016 electronic rock sounds like. In an interview with Pitchfork the duo said of the song:

“Metaphorically, it’s about addiction. It’s also about certain things that we see in culture, pop culture, and even music that we find redundant, that we’ve always kind of strayed away from as a group…. It also taps into this idea of wanting to feel something. Basically, wanting to feel something strong and doing whatever it takes to feel it again, because you know it feels good and you miss it.”

Hopefully Phantogram will continue to get us high off their music in the new year.


95. “When The Tequila Runs Out” – Dawes

LA folk-rock band, Dawes, released their fifth studio album this year, and while their lead track, “When The Tequila Runs Out” sounds very similar to their previous work, it is one of their most laid back songs to date.

The video for the folky jam shows the band at a house party and is filmed entirely in slow motion. “When the tequila runs out, we’ll be drinking champagne” is the theme of the song, implying that the Dawes guys are not going to call it a night anytime soon. The fun, playful song is quite a variation from the guys that brought us 2015’s tear-jerking “All Your Favorite Bands.” And unlike “All Your Favorite Bands,” which was included on last year’s top 100 songs countdown, it is a track you can listen to when laying by a pool, without fear of crying your eyes out.

Now, to the laboratory, to test my holiday season drink special, The Dawes: 2 parts tequila, one part OJ, fill with champagne. Repeat. Then repeat again. And then repeat 3 more times.


94. “HandClap” – Fitz and the Tantrums

Not since the early 1900’s “If You’re Happy And You Know It” has a song about clapping your hands been so accepted into pop culture.

“HandClap,” the first single off Fitz and the Tantrums self-titled third studio album, is one of the most infectious tracks of the year. And fans of all genres of music are equally infected by how catchy it is. People of all ages can be caught clapping their hands and singing “I can make your hands clap.” Additionally, “HandClap” is a DJ’s wet dream, as even the most stubborn “I don’t dance” club visitors will find themselves out on the dance floor, because even they can’t mess up clapping their hands in unison with the crowd.

Fitz and the Tantrums were 100% right, they certainly can make our hands clap. They make us happy. And they know it.



93. “Heart Of My Hometown” – Matthew Szlachetka

Regardless of whether or not you still live in the hometown you grew up in, Matthew Szlachetka’s “Heart Of My Hometown” will have you reminiscing about your 1st grade teacher, your high school prep rally, your childhood best friends, the pharmacy that used to be where the new McDonalds is, that is the home of the former Blockbuster, and whatever else may remind you of the good old days.

“Heart Of My Hometown” is John Cougar Mellencamp’s “Small Town,” for a whole new generation. It is hard to decide if the track is folk-rock, country, pop, or just plain rock, but that doesn’t even matter. It is Americana at its best.

“Hometown” is the first track I’ve heard from Szlachetka, but it is difficult to imagine anyone else singing it, as his voice is both poignant and comforting at the same time. And it could be just because I wouldn’t want to have grown up anywhere in the world other than my hometown of Westerly, RI, but the lyrics “Farewell to the love forged in this ground / Farewell, don’t look back, just make ’em proud / No matter where I go, can’t let go to the heart of my hometown” may be some of my favorite lyrics of the year.

Hopefully we get more solid music from Matthew Szlachetka in the coming year, but one thing is for certain, “Heart Of My Hometown” will forever be a staple of all of my 4th of July playlists.


92. Regular World, Spirit Animal

Spirit Animal’s “Regular World” sounds like it could have received a coveted spot on NOW! That’s What I Call Music: Volume 1 back in 1998. And I mean that in the highest form of flattery.

“Regular World” is a big, bold, alt rock track that defines the genre. The song is about making the best with what you have been given, and focusing on what you need in life, rather than obsessing over the things you want.

Back in late 2015 the band told Consequence of Sound that “There’s a delicate balance between always demanding more — from life, from friends, from your job — and being satisfied with what you’ve got… This song is about walking that tightrope; about being able to want, want, want without having to need, need, need.”

I want more Spirit Animal in 2017, and I am pretty damn sure I need it too.


91. “Ringer” – The Unlikely Candidates

Move over Beyoncé and all of you single ladies, The Unlikely Candidates are here with some bromance advice to tell you to put a ring on her finger before she turns into a scorned woman who unapologetically tells you that if you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it. 

Just when I thought that the upbeat, pop-rock song couldn’t get any better, the acoustic version of the song appears on YouTube, and is just as good, if not better than the studio version. Listen to them both and judge for yourself which one you prefer.

So fellas, if you have that special someone, a “ringer” if you will, then take The Unlikely Candidate’s advice and put a ring, put a ring, put a ring around her finger.



Come back on Wednesday for #90-81 of the Top 100 Songs of 2016.