16 Fantastic Songs You May Have Missed in 2016
Tons of good music was released this year.
From Beyoncé to Justin Bieber, there was no shortage of new songs to get swept up in 24/7.
And while I love Queen Bey and the Biebs like no other, none of their 2016 tunes made the cut on my list of the top songs.
I'm sure few of you have heard my picks, but they're all worthy of your attention. Who knows—maybe after you give them a listen, they'll make your list of fave songs, too?
16. "Running With the Wild Things" by Against the Current
Why it made the list: After releasing a few EPs and plenty of covers, pop rock band Against the Current finally dropped their debut album In Our Bones this year. And what a stellar album it was. "Running With the Wild Things" immediately grabbed my attention with its catchy lyrics and hard-hitting instrumentals. Lead singer Chrissy Costanza's powerful vocals on the track remind you that this band is a force to be reckoned with.
Best lyric: "You can't keep us down forever."
15. "You Know It" by Colony House
Why it made the list: Indie rockers Colony House released by far the grooviest tune of the year with "You Know It." The second I heard this song, I immediately started dancing in my chair. And every single time I listen to it in the car, I have a major jam sesh. It's just one of those fun, catchy tracks that instantly puts you in a good mood.
Best lyric: "But don't you break my heart. You're the only guarantee I've got."
14. "Into the Storm" by Banners
Why it made the list: I'm all for a song in which drums play an integral part in bringing the tune to life, and that's definitely what's happening here with alternative artist Banners' "Into the Storm." You better believe I air drum to it like no other, which is a sight to see. Not to mention, it's also one of those incredibly uplifting songs that's worthy of sending to your loved ones to remind them you'll always be by their side in their time of need.
Best lyric: "If your strength is falling down, I'll be right beside you now."
13. "Technicolor" by Sainte
Why it made the list: I was a pretty big fan of a pop punk band called We Are the In Crowd, who have been on a break since earlier this year. Fortunately for me, three of the members formed a little side project known as Sainte. They released their first—and so far, only—single "Technicolor" in October and I've been jamming out to it ever since. It's definitely a different feel than the songs from We Are the In Crowd, but still a jam, nonetheless. It's all about that feeling you experience when you initially fall in love with someone.
Best lyric: "I'm counting one of the reasons to adore you. Three words on my lips for you only."
12. "Hot Blood" by Kaleo
Why it made the list: If you're a fan of head-banging rock music, you absolutely must listen to Icelandic rockers Kaleo. "Hot Blood" was the first tune I heard from these guys, and 30 seconds later, I downloaded their debut album A/B on iTunes. Yeah, they're that good. The instrumentals on this jam are as close to perfect as they can possibly be, and the gritty vocals really got me feeling some type of way.
Best lyric: "Oh all you need is to breakaway, yeah. Just keep telling yourself there's no shame."
11. "Stronger" by Stef Lang
Why it made the list: I'm about to slow it down a bit with this piano-driven tune from pop artist Stef Lang. I had my ups and downs this year—as I'm sure many of you did, as well—but I didn't let that break me down. Listening to Stef's inspiring anthem reminded me that I'm stronger than I give myself credit. If you've ever felt this way or are feeling this way right now, listening to this tune is a definite must.
Best lyric: "My soul is stronger than it's ever been before."
10. "Dollar Bill" by Phoebe Ryan feat. Kid Ink
Why it made the list: And bringing the vibe right back up again is pop singer-songwriter Phoebe Ryan's bop "Dollar Bill." It's a pump-up jam for sure, and really has you feeling like you can accomplish anything you set out to achieve. Not going to lie, I feel like a total gangsta whenever I rap Kid Ink's verse, too. And as for Phoebe, she may just be my favorite new artist this year.
Best lyric: "Not gonna stop until they're putting my face on the dollar bill."
9. "Dead End Love" by XYLØ
Why it made the list: I love, love, love when music is the embodiment of dark and mysterious. That is exactly what is happening with electronic duo XYLØ's "Dead End Love." It will immediately entrance you with its moody and eerie feel. Every time I listen to it, I feel like I assume this is how Lana Del Rey feels every day.
Best lyric: "And in the back of my head and the tip of my tongue I can only ever say your name."
8. "Wasted" by The Summer Set
Why it made the list: I've been listening to pop rock band The Summer Set since forever. The journey I've been through as I've listened to them over the years has been mirrored in their music releases. Their fourth album, Stories for Monday, is not only full of lyrics I want to hear, but words I need to hear. And that is incredibly true with their song "Wasted." Its upbeat vibe reminds me to really embrace life and not waste my youth worrying about the tiniest things. I hope it has the same effect on you.
Best lyric: "If we die and find out it was all for nothing, least we know that youth wasn't wasted on us."
7. "Good News" by Ocean Park Standoff
Why it made the list: The world is a crazy place, this year especially. Indie band Ocean Park Standoff captured what we all need in this jam—some good news. It's another one of those mood-boosting songs that I cling to when I need some positivity in my life.
Best lyric: "I need some good news, baby. Feels like the world's gone crazy."
6. "Sure and Certain" by Jimmy Eat World
Why it made the list: Rock band Jimmy Eat World has been around for quite some time now. If you've never heard of them, I guarantee your parents or older siblings have. Their album Bleed American is arguably one of the greatest albums of all time. This year, they released Integrity Blues—one of my favorite albums of 2016. While I could write a novel about why every single tune off that album is amazing, "Sure and Certain" easily takes the cake as my favorite. It's insanely catchy and reminds me why I've actively kept up with this band for so many years.
Best lyric: "If you keep going on like this, I'll be one more thing for you to miss."
5. "Colourblind" by Hands Like Houses
Why it made the list: Australian rock band Hands Like Houses is a group you need to get into, especially if you're into hardcore music. After much anticipation, the guys released their third album Dissonants in February—which did not disappoint. It welcomed a whole new chapter for these Aussies, and I'm happy I've been a part of this ride. "Colourblind" was a tune that I resonated with right off the bat. It's the definition of a banger with its bold instrumentals and introspective lyrics.
Best lyric: "We are all for none and none for all. We are the sickness and the symptom and the cure."
4. "Knuckles" by Moose Blood
Why it made the list: Moose Blood, man. I love this emo band way too much for my own good. When they released their second album Blush, it was the only thing I listened to for the whole month of August. And "Knuckles" was a song I found myself replaying far too often. I really can't quite put into words how much this song means to me. You'll just have to listen to understand for yourself.
Best lyric: "I couldn't tell you that I wanted you, but I wanted to."
3. "We Are" by Tonight Alive
Why it made the list: Another Australian rock band you all need to check out is Tonight Alive. Gosh, these peeps know how to write songs that elicit a rush of emotions every time you listen to them. Off their third album Limitless, I found myself identifying with the lyrics to "We Are." I have big plans to change the world, but sometimes I forget about them because I don't believe I can accomplish them. Whenever I listen to "We Are," I'm reminded that I can make a difference. I can make this world a better place for us all. I am limitless.
Best lyric: "But they're not gonna change the world, we are."
2. "You and I" by PVRIS
Why it made the list: Rock band PVRIS (pronounced "Paris") is incredible. I'm one heck of a fan of this group for plenty of reasons, one of them being this song. The combination of melancholy lyrics with more upbeat, electronic instrumentals is flawless. It has all the makings of a song that will stand the test of time.
Best lyric: "I can't keep you in these arms, so I keep you in my mind."
1. "Just Another Face" by Modern Baseball
Why it made the list: Where do I even begin with rock band Modern Baseball? They're really one of a kind. My admiration for them runs pretty deep. The moving song "Just Another Face" off their third album Holy Ghost is riddled with deeply sincere lyrics. Tears were streaming down my face after I listened to this song for the first time. Honestly, I still cry a little bit every time I hear it. It's really a therapy session in a song.
Best lyric: "Still I can feel the need to change me from the inside, but I can't let anyone know just yet."
I know there's no Biebs on this list, but we still have your fix. Click HERE to find out which JB track fits you best, based on your zodiac sign.