Top 40 Songs of 2016: 40-21





Young Galaxy’s “Were You Ever a Dreamer?”, an unreleased b-side from last year’s Falsework, has a deep, soulful swing. It’s a slow, smooth synth-pop swaggerer of the highest order.


Bobby Uzoma’s soft, futuristic psychedelic electronic R&B hymns will bowl over anyone within earshot, and it’s only a matter of time before the world takes notice of his genius.


The dreamy, ambient centerpiece of the sophomore Hansmole album Comfort is “Roslyn”. Plucked guitar and bass are paired with cavernous reverb and clever but subtle production tricks, like the chopped-up and pitch-shifted backing vocals. Stunning.


We couldn’t say no to the ridiculous and instantly unforgettable “Babies on the Moon” from Saint John duo Shrimp Ring. Just because the tracks are funny doesn’t mean they aren’t amazing.


Invisible is a new project from one of the members of goth favourites Police des Moeurs. “Signes,” their first release, is very much in keeping with the levels of darkness we’ve come to expect from the Montrealers.


A celebratory track that effectively acts as Adria Kain’s theme song, which makes sense considering the title. Through many twists and turns, clattering percussion, carefully placed synths, it features her voice front and center, soaring, announcing her arrival.


Best Fern’s “R U Well” is all wrapped in a delicate melodic swirl and a baseline that gently bobs up and down as you breathe in and out, and we’re in love with it.


With “Roses,” Ghostly Kisses are aptly named; this song will haunt you and remind you of things lost, while also keeping you warm and comforted.


This Bénédicte offering steps her production up a notch by introducing percussive accents, more layers and overt beats in the bridge. Everything’s still soft and graceful, and this might be our favourite song of her’s yet.


The song is billed as a demo but sounds pretty fully realized to us. Featuring sinister bass, mysterious delayed synths, and some spot-on harmonies, we can’t get enough of this uber-catchy dark pop gem.


Too Attached, the Toronto/Vancouver sibling duo whose debut EP Bronze basically blew our minds again with this deeply grooving electro-hip-hop single.


Reindeer are an electro duo based out of the Niagara Region who make infectious dance jams, and honestly, not since Azari & III have we been this excited for a Canadian project that is so indebted to Chicago house / Detroit techno.


The Pabineau First Nation artist’s “Moment of Truth” is way more chilled-out than the previous stuff we’d heard from him. It’s a relaxed, optimistic and contemplative jam that bears repeated listening.


Pelada have been honing their aggressive Spanish electronic punk music since 2014, but “No Hay,” their first ever single, is no joke. It’s is a menacing and political track that’s incredibly hard-hitting – that heavy sequenced bass synth does not let up for an instant.


Above Top Secret effortlessly shift from psychedelic and mystical rhymes to a soaring sung vocal refrain about skipping dimensions, they don’t obey anyone’s genre rules as they stake out the sound of the future. One dimension is not enough.


Sudbury bedroom producer animo mixes a number of different elements and styles throughout his debut EP, but it’s the vocoder heavy electro-banger “Still the Same” that first caught our ear. The melodies throughout are poppy and catchy as anything, and the second verse about sliding down a hill on a snow day is just too cute for words.


Daughter’s Highway is a new superstar hip-hop duo out of Vancouver featuring Hannessy and JB the First Lady. Their first song is a masterfully produced dreamy synth-hip-hop track about consent and rape culture that is obviously incredibly powerful as the narrators confront a perpetrator directly.


The celebrated Toronto author teamed up with producer James Bunton (Light Fires, For Esmé) on a powerful electro-ballad about identity that’s full of emotion and wondrous synth production.


A live member of TR/ST, this Montreal artist operates in the same dark and gloomy musical universe but is far more downtempo and contemplative.


“All Through the Night” sounds like reggae-infused Kraftwerk, which works in unexpected ways, most of all because of Sonia Thomson pained vocals and lyrics about lost love, “crying all through the night.” It’s an interesting departure in style for the band and we love it.

Top 40 of 2016 Playlist

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