13 songs to end 2016


Photo by: Michelle Ripa

Emma Stout

  1. “Little Garçon” by Born Ruffians (2008). With the end of the year comes finals, and with finals of course comes studying. This mellow acoustic tune will surely sing you into a serene concentration mode and is perfect for those rainy, Houston winter days. (Also see: Blind Pilot, Dr. Dog, Telekinesis, Generationals, and Voxtrot).
  2. “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To” by Weezer (2009). Sometimes you just need to turn the knob, roll down the windows, and sing at the top of your lungs; in a nutshell, this song is just that.
  3. Walden Pondby Atta boy (2012). As the year comes to an end and exams begin, everyone needs a bit of me time to destress and relax. Atta Boy’s leader singer Eden Brolin’s indie melodious and nostalgic voice will do just the job.
  4. “Dance Yrself Clean” by LCD Soundsystem (2010). If you’ve ever been around, you probably know by now the absolute joy the name “LCD Soundsystem” brings me. It’s has been the first song I play when I step into the car since the day I first heard it. Drawing similar inspiration from Daft Punk, Animal Collective, and Cut Copy, the only way to listen to this song is… really… to Dance Yrself Clean. (Don’t be fooled by it’s lengthy 9 minutes and rather delayed beat drop).
  5. “Wait So Long” by Trampled by Turtles (2011). Don’t be scared. The band name? The bluegrass? It can all be very intimidating, but the wholesome medley of banjos, fiddles, and guitars somehow manage to form a bluegrass-rock sound you won’t be able to get out of your head. (Also see: Old Crow Medicine Show and The Devil Makes Three).
  6. “#88” by Lo-Fang (2013). Incorporating, folk, R&B, and lo-fi feels, Lo-Fang uses a variety of instruments to design a gentle, sexy, and tasteful melody, perfect for those late December study sessions. (Also see: Broods, Banks, and Sylvan Esso)
  7. “Back Pocket” by Vulfpeck (2015). Using electronic rhythms based off classic R&B sounds such as Booker T. and the MGs, Vulfpeck’s “Back Pocket” is the definition of peppy soul, perfect for a hot afternoon. (Fun Fact: Vulfpeck asked their followers on twitter in 2014 to nocturnally stream their album “Sleepify” on repeat, which featured nothing but silence, and from which they gained them thousands of dollars.)
  8. Life’s A Beach” by Django Django (2012). London based electronic quartet incorporates Beach Boy vibes to make an up-beat tune that really does make life feel like a beach. (Also see:  Metronomy and Grizzly Bear).
  9. Should Have Known Better” by Sufjan Stevens (2016). From the first to last strum of Steven’s entrancing indie melody, you will for sure be in love. If you haven’t heard of Sufjan Stevens yet, you should probably get on that. (Also see: Iron & Wine, Fleet Foxes, and Bon Iver).
  10. Lay-by” by Tennyson (2014). This brother sister duo at ages 15 and 17 use car horns, arpeggios, sprinklers, beeps, brrrz, and dings to make colorful music that you will either love or hate. (Also see: Spazzkid, Baths, and Samuel Truth).
  11. Concrete Schoolyard” by Jurassic 5 (2008). Chances are you’ve already heard this song, but there’s always room in life for a classic throwback. Despite the name, six individual rappers joined to create the definition of 90’s rap that is still so relevant today. Bring out your inner rapper as you sing your heart out and go for a spin. (Also see: Blackalicious’ “Alphabet Aerobics”).
  12. Life Round Here” by James Blake (2013). Producer, singer, and song writer, James Black brings electronic R&B alive with solely a keyboard and guitar. His hit, “Retrograde” is equally as important and both need to be recognized as beautiful, soul fueling songs. (Also see: D’Angelo and Jamie XX)
  13. No Waves” by FIDLAR (2013). Leaning towards the edgier side of things with a sort  of underground basement, skate-rock, “No Waves” draws inspiration from blink-182 and The Offspring punk vibes. This song will make you want to break the speakers and shake to your heart’s content. (Also see: Black Libs, Bass Drum of Death, The Pigeon Detectives, and Jacuzzi Boys).




All in all, these are just a few songs and varieties of genres that are at the top of my playlist this time of year. If you want any more recommendations or just want to obsess over music, feel free to talk me!