Songs from 2016 That Need To Stay In 2016

2016 was a shitshow of a year in many ways – in all the ways, really. From entertainment to politics to social injustice, it really wasn’t the best of times. And that goes for music too. Every year we make January’s playlist a collection of songs that we think should stay in the previous year, but for some reason, this playlist came a little too easily to come up with.

Traci’s Picks

The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey – Closer

The Chainsmokers – A) I don’t care for their name. B) I don’t care for their music. C) This song is not good. I had to put it on mute when they performed it live on the VMAs.

Lukas Graham – 7 Years

Fact: Lukas Graham is a band, not a singular person. Other fact: I don’t like this song that’s supposed to ring nostalgic but is just grating on my ears as an old person.

Mike Posner – I Took A Pill in Ibiza

For the record, I thought this song and Lukas Graham’s song were the same thing. They’re not. Also, I don’t care what you did on the party island of Ibiza, rich white man.

twenty one pilots – Stressed Out

Twenty one pilots seemingly came out of nowhere, right? Or am I just that not in touch with the youth these days? They were the musical guest when Lin hosted SNL, I know that. Anyways, this song reminds me of the early 2000s era Good Charlotte types, which I wasn’t into, and I’m still not into now. I feel like I’m starting to sound like an Ethel with this post, guys.

Panda – Desiigner

This is one of those songs that’s semi-ok during the chorus and then the repetition makes you want to bang your head against the wall. Also have you ever heard Desiigner (sic) speak IRL? It’s not the greatest.

Molly’s Picks

Rihanna feat. Drake – Work

I like Rihanna, I like Drake, I even pretty much like this song. But after months on end of hearing “work work work work work work” it has taken up residence in my brain and I want it gone. By 2019 or so it’ll be a fun throwback, but I need a break break break break break break.

Flo Rida – My House

At first I thought it was refreshing that a top 40 hit was just about hospitality, offering friends a drink, and staying in. I still think that, but as with work, I just can’t hear this again for a while.

Fifth Harmony – Work From Home

I think the combo of this song and Work are the reason the word ‘work’ is stuck in my head roughly half the time these days. I don’t need that kind of negativity in my off hours.

G-Eazy x Bebe Rexha Me, Myself & I

This one’s fine, more or less. But I didn’t even realize it was a new song until it had been out for months because it reminded me of so many other songs that have come out in the past several years, and no hard feelings, but this one can live in 2016.

Meghan Trainor – Me Too

Meghan seems like a nice girl, some of her songs are very catchy, but I don’t think even SHE is sold on this one.

Playlist of the Month: Sadie Hawkins Day

Sadie Hawkins Day is one of those outmoded holidays that you only hear about on Happy Days reruns or when your grandma is talking about things she misses from the 1940s — and now, I suppose, on our blog**. Sadie Hawkins Dances were held in November, and were the one dance a year when girls were allowed, and even expected, to ask boys out. Oh, how the world has changed. Does anyone even ask anyone to dances anymore, other than promposals?

Sadie Hawkins Day doesn’t have as big a place in today’s world, but we still think it’s a cute historical footnote from the era when we got our holidays from Li’l Abner comics (a true thing). We thought a Sadie Hawkins Day playlist would be fitting: songs originally performed by male artists, covered by female artists. See, it’s just like they always told us when we were kids in the 90s: girls really can do anything.

** Okay, I googled it, and some schools do this. Sounds fun – just remember, you can be the asker-outer ANY day of the year. Or not. Sounds scary.

Traci’s Picks

Give Me Love by Ed Sheeran, Covered by Demi Lovato

Ever since their Disney days, I’ve always said Selena is the better actress and Demi is the better singer. And years later, that still rings true – Demi is a freaking powerhouse and I feel like the world’s finally recognizing that. Here, she takes Ed’s softer version of Give Me Love, and turns it into a song pleading for acceptance, and you can hear the pain in her voice. Gives me chills every time I listen to it.

Riptide by Vance Joy, Covered by Taylor Swift

While Vance Joy’s version is great and obviously suited for his voice, I feel like when I listen to Taylor’s version, it was always meant for her voice. It feels so settled and comfortable there, like a warm, cozy riptide.

Don’t Tell ‘Em by Jeremih, Covered by Lorde

Another gem from the BBC 1 Live Lounge, Lorde delivers yet another haunting performance, but this time with a rap cover. Who knew? Lorde did.

Thinkin’ Bout You by Frank Ocean, Covered by Fifth Harmony

Long before Fifth Harmony was telling you they’re Worth It, they started out as finalists on The X Factor, and after the show ended, they kinda needed to start from the bottom and work their way to the top. To do this, they released a bunch of acoustic covers with the hopes they’d go viral, or at least help build a strong fan base. And it worked. Three years later and they’re platinum selling artists with a VMA to their name. Here’s a reason why. Their voices blend so beautifully and – get ready for it – in harmony.

I Can’t Go For That by Hall & Oates, Covered by The Bird and the Bee

I had a really difficult time deciding which song from this Interpreting the Masters Volume 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates album I’d list here, because every single one is good. Let that be a testament to both Hall & Oates and The Bird and the Bee (which is a duo that includes one male, so I kinda cheated, sorry). But singer Inara George’s soft and relaxing vocals are the perfect match for the synth techno beats that make their version their own, while still respecting the OG.

Molly’s Picks

Skinny Love by Bon Iver, Covered By Birdy

I’ve finally gotten over my 2011-era annoyance at people calling this “Skinny Love by Birdy.”  I just felt like Bon Iver was pretty well-known by that point? But with a few years’ space, I can say that this is a beautiful cover, and Birdy’s arrangement is gorgeous. Can you believe she was only, like, 14 here? I can understand why people who didn’t know the song thought Birdy was the original artist, because this sounds like it was written for her voice.

Heart Shaped Box by Nirvana, Covered by Lana Del Rey

Remember Nirvana’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction? It included performances of several of Nirvana’s songs fronted by different female singers. The line up was crazy: Joan Jett, Kim Gordon, St. Vincent, and Lorde. And I could not choose between any of them, although I do have a soft spot for Kim Gordon because she’s just so cool. So instead, here’s a totally different female cover of Heart Shaped Box.

Where Is My Mind by the Pixies, Covered by Sunday Girl

Where Is My Mind is one of those songs where I can never decide if it makes me feel happy or sad, like the musical version of Sunday nights. This slowed-down, orchestral arrangement definitely brings out the more melancholy side of it.

Come On Up To The House by Tom Waits, Covered by Sarah Jarosz

I don’t know what it is about Tom Waits, but a lot of his songs sound great covered by female artists despite his signature not-so-feminine voice. Come On Up To The House is one of Waits’ great bluesy, rootsy songs, and Sarah Jarosz is just the artist to cover it – she’s great at both traditional bluegrass and more modern stuff. She always has a great band, too.

PYT by Michael Jackson, Covered by Tori Kelly

At first I thought it would be hard to come up with five songs, but I could keep at this forever. Just think of all the great Beatles, Paul Simon, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan covers there are! [I might be a dad. Like, there is a very real chance that I am your dad. But it’s true.] I figured I’d leave us off with Michael Jackson, an artist most male artists can’t cover without going into key change territory. But when you Sadie Hawkins classic MJ numbers, it really works.

 

Playlist of the Month: Summer Jams

Well folks, we’re well into the summer season now, and the sun is showing itself a little more often than it was a couple months ago. School’s out (which I’m assuming doesn’t effect most of our readers, but you can still feel the freedom in the air), the dresses and sandals come out from the closet, and eating ice cream and fro-yo everyday is more acceptable than in the winter months.

So to celebrate the season, here are our favorite jams for this summer. No ‘Call Me Maybe’, but a few good picks for 2013.

Enjoy the entire playlist on Spotify!

Traci’s Picks

We Can’t Stop – Miley Cyrus

I have no shame in saying I love Miley. She doesn’t give a fuck, and that’s why I appreciate her. Do I think the music video for this song is appropriate for her younger fans? Not really. But do I think she did it because she can and she looks good while twerkin’? Yes. It’s her party she can do what she wants.

Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke ft T.I. and Pharrell

This song should come with no explanation. Sex.

Disclosure – Latch

I first heard this song on a recent episode of So You Think You Can Dance, and ever since I found out what the song was, I haven’t stopped listening to it. Like it will end and I will immediately play it again. Plus nothing says summer like SYTYCD.

The Way – Ariana Grande ft. Mac Miller

Don’t know who Ariana Grande is? She’s a Nickelodeon starlet who’s 19, but has a lot of tween fans. Sound familiar? She’s still in her innocent phase, but boy does she have a great range.

Cruise – Florida Georgia Line ft. Nelly

Need a song to play while you’re driving through the country? Here’s your jam.

Miss Movin On – Fifth Harmony

I’ve mentioned Fifth Harmony here before, and again, no shame in liking them. They’ve come such a long way since they were thrown together on The X Factor, and this is the perfect first single for the girls to release as a hopeful summer hit (and their acoustic version is balls to the wall amazing). I have big hopes for these gals!

Molly’s picks

Q.U.E.E.N. – Janelle Monae feat. Erykah Badu

As soon as I heard that Janelle Monae and Erykah Badu were collaborating I was like “okay, then, that’s my new favorite song.” Like, before I even heard it, because how could you go wrong? And let me tell you, I was not disappointed. I will say, though, that this one’s a grower. The first time I heard it I was like yeah, it’s pretty good. Then by listen 4 or so I was all, this jam is my JAM.

Get Lucky – Daft Punk feat. Pharrell

First of all, who would have thought this would be the summer of Pharrell’s comeback as a featured artist? Second, I have plenty of fond memories of dancing to One More Time, and there’s always room for more Daft Punk. Third, it’s only the first day of summer, but I can already tell you that no Summer 2013 playlist would be complete without Get Lucky and Blurred Lines.

Gun – Chvrches

Once you get over the thing of like, “wait, I just pronounce it “churches, right?” this is pretty great.

Diane Young – Vampire Weekend

Ezra. EZRA. Nice work. Love the old-school rock vibe they have going on here. I feel like I’m going to get a malt and watch a drag race. My knowledge of the 50s is mostly based on Grease.

Cocoa Butter Kisses – Chance The Rapper

First time I heard Chance the Rapper, I was like what the hell is this Adam Sandler-impression-sounding guy even doing? But I’ve come around, and Acid Rap is def one of THE mixtapes of the summer.

If you want to add a chill jam to the list, I suggest Wakin On A Pretty Day by Kurt Vile. If your summer needs more Kanye, well, primarily I recommend listening to 2005-era Ye because that’s the BEST. But I’m seriously feeling Black Skinhead this summer too.

The Return of The Girl Group: Fifth Harmony

Alright, folks. For my job, I have to watch the major reality TV shows. Your American Idols, your Bachelors, your The X Factors. On this past season of The X Factor, I didn’t really connect with any one act like I usually do. However, I’ve found that long after the finale in December, one group has stood out – and they didn’t even win.

Meet Fifth Harmony. A group of five girls ranging from 16 to 19 years old with excellent voices. They each tried out individually, didn’t make it, but they were brought back into the competition as a group (much like One Direction when they were on The X Factor UK). Their first song performed together was a complete game changer, and shocker, really. Because here were these girls who were just thrown together and in a matter of days, were supposed to learn a song, harmonies, and act like they’ve been together forever. Here’s their first performance, Impossible, which was during the judges’ house round. You’ll see an indiscernable Simon Cowell (their mentor), and guest judge Marc Anthony (starts around 2:17)

They made it to the next round – over groups who had been together forever. And to be honest, this was their best performance of the competition, until the top 4, where they pulled out all the stops. Judge L.A. Reid criticized them throughout the show that they always sang in unison (which was pretty accurate), but when they took on Ellie Goulding’s Anything Could Happen, it changed their fate and they landed in the finale after this performance (Starts at 2:20)

Since they landed in 3rd place, they ultimately lost the $5 million recording contract, but like a lot of rejected folks these days, they got one anyways. Incidentally, L.A. Reid signed them to his Epic Records label, and they’re currently working on their first album. And for some reason, I feel like their fan base has only grown since they ‘lost,’ and it could partly be because they have a huge internet following. Since they’re teenage girls, social media is their backbone, and as we all know, behind the scenes pix, selfies, videos, a simple mention or retweet makes fangirls/boys go wild.

Their tactic now is to record cover songs and post them online, which means they have thousands of fans literally all over the world playing their videos over and over again. I think it’s brilliant, because it’s exactly when they did on the show, except sans the flashy lights and costumes. Just their voices and a piano. Here are some of the best covers they’ve posted (I have no shame in telling you I can’t stop listening to them). And I’m stating for the record – they’re going to be big. Maybe even bigger than the winner himself. Tate Stevens, who?

Thinkin’ Bout You – Frank Ocean

Lego House – Ed Sheeran

They Don’t Know About Us – One Direction

Stay – Rihanna

BONUS: This gif of Camila (also my fave singer) is the best thing. Made me think I should be best friends with a 16 year old. One time she tweeted, “I like food and the internet.” I MEAN.

In response to “Harry Styles (From One Direction) tweeted you guys again…”