Top Of The Talk About Pop Music
I produce a yearly playlist of my Top 40 most played tracks of that year. Thanks to last.fm, this is a fairly simple process.
It’s time to produce the 2016 playlist and usually by now I have done a pre-check to see what will be Number One but so far I have refrained and will leave it as a surprise. In true countdown style let’s look at them all from 40 down to 1!
40: ‘Ascension’ – Holly Johnson
This is an anthem of a song! It’s taken from the soundtrack to the movie ‘Eddie The Eagle’ which is also an awesome, feel-good film. This song was around when I passed my driving test in February and I will always associate this song with my first solo road trip.
39: – ‘Alone’ – Alan Walker
Only released towards the end of the year I instantly loved this song. Norwegian DJ, Alan Walker, followed up some other amazing tracks such as ‘Faded’ & ‘Sing Me To Sleep’ with this one featuring the fantastic vocals of Noonie Bao.
38: ‘Afterglow ‘ ‘CHVRCHES’
2016 was the year I really ‘discovered’ CHVRCHES. I had heard them before but never really ‘listened’ and now I love them. I think watching them perform at Glastonbury really opened my eyes. ‘Afterglow’ is one of their more chilled songs but really shows off Lauren’s beautiful, innocent voice.
37: ‘We Don’t Talk Anymore’ – Charlie Puth feat. Selena Gomez
This is first surprise of the countdown. Not a bad surprise by any means as I like both Charlie Puth and Selena Gomez – I just never realised I’d listened to it so much.
36: ‘Leave A Trace’ – CHVRCHES
CHVRCHES again – yes, I have a feeling they will feature a lot in this playlist. A little bit more up tempo and again taken from their album ‘Every Open Eye’ – well worth a listen. Oh and they are Scottish as well which is a bonus!
35: ‘Good Grief’ – Bastille
A cracking return from Bastille with their latest album ‘Wild World’ and a great leading song with ‘Good Grief’.
34: ‘Treat You Better’ – Shawn Mendes
This young guy was everywhere in 2016 and he’s only 18! I’m sure he has a big career in front of him so long as he doesn’t implode like many of the young artists these days.
33: ‘Say Yay!’ – Barei
The first (of many, I’m sure) Eurovision related songs this year. ‘Say Yay!’ was one of my favourite songs in Eurovision this year – it was just so high energy and I was lucky enough to attend the grand final in Stockholm this year and it was simply out of this world! It was a tragedy that it only finished in 22nd place!
32: ‘I Hate You, I Love You’ – Gnash feat. Olivia O’Brien
I think the mixture of the two voices on this track made me particularly love it. Together with the simplicity of the piano for such a ‘sad’ song it’s quite beautiful.
31: ‘The Flute’ – Petite Meller
AWESOME! I love this so much and to be honest I’m surprised it’s not higher in the list. It was absolutely the sound of my summer vacation in 2016. She’s bonkers but brilliant at the same time!
30: ‘Living Inside My Heart’ – ABC
Another track inspired by the movie, ‘Eddie The Eagle’ where various 80s artists produced new songs. This was one of my favourites from the album and again reminds me of my first solo road trip. Sadly, I couldn’t find any kind of video for this track…
29: ‘Clearest Blue’ – CHVRCHES
The third entry in this list and I’m sure it’s not the last we have seen of this fantastic Scottish band. ‘Clearest Blue’ received acclaim from critics. NME called this song “the album’s most heart-bursting moment”. A review from Stereogum said this “might be the strongest for a simple reason: it builds and builds and builds and doesn’t break down until you’ve nearly lost faith that it will”.
28: ‘The Ocean’ – Mike Perry
My music listening habits this year have been heavily influenced by the Scandinavian countries – I simply love Scandipop. This song was one of the first I discovered via various Swedish playlists on Spotify. The song reached number 1 in Sweden but only number 39 in the UK. Come on UK – catch up!
27: ‘Please Don’t Go’ – Joel Adams
Joel Adams is a 20 year old Australian and this song is another one that surprised me. Sometimes songs that play automatically after other songs get played a lot by default. But it’s a grower and I have grown to like it too.
26: ‘Move Your Body’ – Sia
Sia has featured heavily on my yearly playlists for the past couple of years. ‘Chandelier’ was the most played song in 2014 and 2015 – where will it appear on this list. Sia released her latest album ‘This Is Acting’ in January and it was a belter of an album and one of those albums where I just love every track. This track ‘Move Your Body’ is very energetic and, well, you just can’t help moving your body when it comes on.
25: ‘Happiness’ – Pet Shop Boys
Yes, they have been around forever but their latest album ‘Super’ which was released early in 2016 totally reignited my interest in this electronic duo. I love the chorus on this track ‘Happiness’. Also, it sounds a little bit like he is talking about having an ‘itchy penis’ which always makes me laugh. I was also just shocked with the fact that Neil Tennant is 62!
24: ‘No Money’ – Galantis
Another fab Swedish export but this time the UK recognised their awesomeness and this song made the Top Ten in the UK. Interestingly, Cathy Dennis of 90s fame is heavily involved with this group and rumour has it she has also provided vocals for some of their songs.
23: ‘Feel My Love’ – Phebe Starr
Another Australian and another great track. I was lucky enough to get an interview with Phebe earlier in the year and it’s well worth a read while you listen to ‘Feel My Love’.
22: ‘Never Ending Circles’ – CHVRCHES
This has to be one of my favourites from CHVRCHES. I loved watching them perform this at Glastonbury…from the comfort of my sofa!
21: ‘Magnetised’ – Tom Odell
Tom Odell has featured a lot on my previous playlists of the year and his latest album ‘Wrong Crowd’ was one that I was most looking forward to in 2016 and I wasn’t disappointed. He’s taken a slightly new direction this time and I’m hoping to catch him live again soon! ‘Magnetised’ will definitely get you bouncing!
20: ‘Loin d’ici’ – Zoe
Eurovision again and I have to say I LOVE this. I didn’t think too much of it at first but it slowly took over my life for a while. I love the fact it’s in French and it just has such a good rhythm to it. It was also brilliant watching her live in Stockholm! She eventually finished in 13th place which was quite impressive but I think it should have been much higher.
19: ‘Bird Set Free’ – Sia
Another track taken from Sia’s latest album ‘This Is Acting’ – an album of songs that she had intended other people to sing but they didn’t want to. That’s madness – every song on this album is a pure pop classic! I love Sia but I think it’s time to ditch the little dancing girl – you’ve done it to death Sia so if you are looking for a new dancer – you know where to find me!
18: ‘Last Days Of Dancing’ – Maja Francis
I’m pleasantly surprised that this song is so high up in the countdown! It was the soundtrack to my 2015 summer vacation but I guess I played it a lot during this year’s summer vacation. Maja has a few other great songs available and I’m really hoping she brings out a full album in 2017.
17: ‘Empty Threat’ – CHVRCHES
CHVRCHES! Again! Yes, why not? Aren’t they amazing? I’m kind of hoping that they will read this and see that I am some kind of superfan and invite me along to one of their gigs!
16: ‘Born To Be Alive’ – Patrick Hernandez
This song has been a ‘monster’ for me in 2016. Monster in a good way! In 2016 I started doing an online radio request show (which will be back for 2017 by the way) and this song was requested by Helen Jones and I had never heard it before and I was blown away by it – and still am, thanks Helen!
15: ‘Alive’ – Sia
This is undoubtedly Sia at her absolute best. Wow – can this lady sing! I’ve heard she is already working on a new album so here’s hoping we get some more new songs in 2017. Take a look here for my best impression of Sia.
14: ‘Bury It’ – CHVRCHES feat. Hayley Williams
This is pure dead banging so it is! It also introduced me to Hayley Williams of Paramore which was an amazing discovery.
13: ‘Rookie’ – LCMDF
This song was one of the first to be featured on the Discovered 2016 playlist (stay tuned for the 2017 edition starting in January) and it’s such a fun song! These girls come from Scandanavia but it’s Finland this time. Go the Scandipop!
12: ‘Chandelier’ – Sia
Wow! The reigning number one from the past two years drops 11 places. This is still a stunning song and is one of my all time favourites now. I’ve become so obsessed with it that there’s a video of me out there somewhere doing an impression of the little girl in the video – there were curtains involved and everything but no one needs to see that!
11: ‘On The Radio’ – Donna Summer
This was a song that I played as an ‘outro’ to my radio show and isn’t it just a true disco classic. Donna Summer – legend!
10: ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’ – Justin Timerlake
This song was EVERYWHERE in 2016 and I’m still not fed up of it. Justin performed live at the Grand Final of Eurovision and it was pretty good seeing him live although I wasn’t so excited about seeing him – that night was ALL about Eurovision!
9: ‘Sing Me To Sleep’ – Alan Walker
The second entry for this Swedish DJ. I just think there’s something so soothing about this song. The vocals this time are provided by Iselin Solheim. For a dance track it’s very lullaby-ish and I love it!
8: ‘Unstoppable’ – Sia
I have no doubt that this was the song that helped me pass my driving test. If you ever need a confidence boost then put this song on and crank up the volume and you will believe that you can do ANYTHING!
7: ‘If I Were Sorry’ – Frans
Frans, or ‘awww wee Frans’ as I call him was the Swedish entry in the Eurovison Song Contest in 2016 and it’s such a simple song but so cool. The crowd went crazy when he performed this in the final (as did I) and it was such a great atmosphere. I actually watched the Swedish national final selection, Melodifestivalen, live online in 2016 and guess what? I will be going to see it live in Sweden in 2017!
6: ‘Pop Muzik’ – M
Well it’s only the theme tune this blog! Love it.
5: ‘Bara få va mig själv’ – Laleh
Laleh – a Swedish superstar and yes this song is in Swedish and it is my number 5. I can sing along don’t you know and I even know the English translations! Listening to all this Scandinavian music has definitely made me want to learn other languages in 2017…oh and also move to Sweden!
4: ‘Reaper’ – Sia
Another brilliant track by Sia which I listened to a lot at the start of 2016 and as the year went on, with all the celebrity deaths of 2016 I did start to wonder if this song was the cause.
3: ‘Dancing On My Own’ – Calum Scott
This guy has had a crazy 2016. Coming from where he did on Britain’s Got Talent he has done amazingly well with this cover of a Robyn song. I’ve been a huge fan of his voice ever since I watched his very first audtion. Who knows – maybe one day in 2017 he will actually respond to one of my tweets #NotBitterAboutIt
2: ‘Cheap Thrills’ – Sia
I played this so much when it first came out before it got a lot of airplay and it’s then went on to be one of Sia’s biggest hits. Personally, I think Sean Paul ruins it and much prefer not hearing his ‘input?’
1: ‘Tilted’ – Christine And The Queens
I’m not surprised that this is number one and what a great number one it is. I was introduced to this song by Juls (of music bubble fame) and I am so glad she did. It’s such a brilliant song as is the entire ‘Chaleur Humaine’ album. You won’t be surprised when I say that I always attempt the dance moves when this songs comes on. Thanks Juls and thanks Christine for a fantastic number one of 2016.
What do you think? Are any of your favourites in here? Let me know in the comments below or tweet @PopAndTalk.
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…or watch all the videos…
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