For part 1 of the countdown click here. #100 – #91
Continuing with the next ten songs…..
90. “Way Down We Go” – Kaleo
The best thing to come out of Iceland since Björk’s swan dress, Kaleo, burst onto the American music scene this year with the massive hit, “Way Down We Go.” Leave it to a band from Iceland to take their video to the next level and film a live performance at the bottom of a volcano. Which volcano, you ask? Well, it was filmed in Príhnúkagigur, obviously. What other volcano would it have been filmed in?
The epic video just adds to the grit and passion that exude from Kaleo. It may have been a pain in the ass setting up shop at the bottom of a volcano, but way down they went, and it could have been any more perfect.
89. “Dark Necessities” – Red Hot Chili Peppers
It may have taken six months, but “Dark Necessities” finally grew on me. 25 Years after their 1991 release of Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magic and the Chili Peppers are still rocking just as hard as they did when they were kids.
In 1991, if someone asked me to envision what a Red Hot Chili Pepper’s video would look like in 2016, I would have imagined this video for “Dark Necessities.” A shirtless Anthony Kiedis flailing around, Flea playing guitar while sitting in a kitchen sink, presumably naked, teenagers skateboarding at night, and a bunch of middle aged men doing things that middle aged men shouldn’t be doing for fear of pulling out their backs.
The song itself starts with a bass line that is immediately recognizable as Flea. And quickly follows with Kiedis’ million-words-a-minute rap rock. Kiedis says that the lyrics to the song “speak to the beauty of our dark sides and how much creativity, growth and light actually comes out of those difficult struggles that we have on the inside of our heads that no one else can see.”
Think of all the great music we would have missed out on over the past 33 years if the Chili Peppers didn’t have interpersonal struggles and dark sides. One thing is for sure, the Red Hot Chili Peppers are not going to let their ages stop them from being the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
88. “Cassidy” – Brett Dennen
Just in time for lounging around the pool on a hot summer day, Brett Dennen released his sixth studio album, Por Favor back in May. “Cassidy”, is an easy listening, carefree, laid back track that Brett Dennen is known for.
Unfortunately we are not able to spend all day, every day laying by the pool and sipping on Piña Coladas, but thankfully Brett Dennen is around to help us get through the less enjoyable life moments when we are not doing such enjoyable things. “Cassidy” is the musical equivalent of day drinking on a blow up raft in the warm summer sun and without a care in the world. The way life should be.
87. “Over And Over” – Goo Goo Dolls
The Goo Goo Dolls are back with their 11th studio album, Boxes, and the first single, “Over and Over” is exactly what you would come to expect from the band. To be honest, when I first heard they had a new album out, I couldn’t have cared any less. And this is coming from a guy that couldn’t be spoken to when any song from A Boy Named Goo or Dizzy Up the Girl was playing.
It would be easy to lump Goo Goo Dolls into the same category as a band like Nickelback, but that would not be fair to them. They may be older, but they are significantly less cheesy than Nickelback, and if you don’t write them off as a 90’s band struggling to find their place in 2016, you may realize they actually have some solid tracks, with “Over and Over” being one of their best in years.
86. “White Flag” – Joseph
Joseph is three sisters from Portland, OR. There sophomore album, I’m Alone, No You’re Not, was released in August of this year, and contains their biggest track to date, “White Flag.” The song is about facing your fears, and not letting your fears get in your way.
“…I’ll be an army
no you’re not gonna stop me getting through
I’ll sing a marching song and
stomp through the halls
louder than you
I could surrender
but I’d just be pretending
no I’d rather be dead than live a lie
Burn the white flag!
Burn the white flag!”
Only sisters can harmonize as beautifully as Joseph does. And the chorus is so catchy and inspirational that it makes me want to go out and conquer all my fears. Except for my irrational fear of birds. I have absolutely no desire to conquer that fear. Birds suck.
85. “Fire” – Barns Courtney
Barns Courtney, a Brit turned Seattleite, turned Brit, had a breakout year in 2016. Courtney wrote “Fire” after being dropped by a record label. He told radio.com that the song is “an appeal to myself to remember why I got into music and what it was all about and to hold on to whatever that spark was.” The song is a great reminder that the hard times you go through are temporary, and to never give up on your dreams.
The chorus of “Fire” will get your adrenaline pumping and your blood flowing. Put this song on repeat when you go for a run, and you are sure to break your previous pathetic personal best running time.
84. “Coming Alive” – Kodaline
The Irish lads from Dublin are back with their latest track off their 2015 album, Coming Up For Air, “Coming Alive.” 2016 marks the 4th consecutive year, Kodaline has had a song make the end of the year countdown. “All I Want” in 2013, “High Hopes” in 2014, “The One” in 2015 and now “Coming Alive” in 2016 are all examples of why Kodaline are major players in the alt rock world.
“Coming Alive” is a love song. It is so much of a love song, that it could bring a tear to your eye for one of two reasons. One reason may be that the song reminds you of your signification other, and how much joy they bring into your life. Or another reason, the song reminds you that you are alone, and will likely remain alone for the remainder of your days.
“From the morning sun to the midnight hour
From the break of day to the dark of night
You’re in my head and my heart and it feels much better
Yeah, it feels so good and it feels so right.”
Thanks Kodaline for the reminder that I think about wine the way that normal people think about their significant other.
83. “Wish I Knew You” – The Revivalists
The Revivalists are a seven piece rock/soul band from New Orleans. They found massive success in 2016 with their hit “Wish I Knew You,” which has such a unique sound that proves that The Revivalists are in a class of their own.
Jazz, soul, funk and rock combine to create one of the most fun and colorful songs of the year. “Wish I Knew You,” which sounds like a perfect blend of 2 parts Alabama Shakes, 2 parts JJ Grey & Mofro, and 1 part Maroon 5, becomes even more fun when paired with the video of the New Orleans Septet jamming on stage as an older crowd of fans rip it up on the dance floor.
82. “Wake Up Call” – Nothing But Thieves
Released back in 2014 in the UK, “Wake Up Call” finally made its way over to the States in 2016. The band Nothing But Thieves, out of Essex, England, has said of their music, “We try not to say too much about the lyrics……One of our favorite things is for someone to say to us ‘oh I think the song is about this.’ It’s not, but that’s so nice for us to hear.”
So don’t go over analyzing this modern rock anthem. Take it for what it is; a killer track from one of the England’s best up and coming bands that could easily be on track towards becoming the next Radiohead or Muse.
81. “Bonfire” – The Hunna
One of the best surprises of the year is the band The Hunna, yet another killer new band out of England. “Bonfire,” though released in 2015 in the UK, was released just a few weeks ago here in the States. The Hunna’s first single to hit the US earlier this year was the unbelievably catchy “You And Me.” And with the release of “Bonfire” the band proved that they were more than just one hit wonders.
“Bonfire,” quite possibly the breakup song of the year, is fast, loud, and in your face. Exactly what you want from a breakup song.
Come back Friday for the next ten songs on the countdown. #80-71