Friday , April 19 2024
These are in no particular order, except for this first one, my vote for song of 2016, at least for guitar. After listening to Joe Bonamassa's blistering, searing solo, you will not forget it anytime soon.

Charlie Doherty’s Top Tunes of 2016 (Feat. Dinosaur Jr, Bon Iver, Anderson .Paak, Mitski, DJ Snake, Switchtense, Joe Bonamassa, and More)

These are in no particular order, except for this first one, my vote for song of 2016, at least for guitar. After listening to Joe Bonamassa’s blistering, searing solo, you will not forget it anytime soon.

Joe Bonamassa “No Good Place for the Lonely”

Jamie T “Sign of the Times”

tycho - horizon
Tycho – “Horizon”

Tycho “Horizon”

DJ Shadow “Nobody Speak (f/Run the Jewels)” (You may have heard this in some TV commercials lately. It has a prominent sample of Caterina Valenti’s “Ol’ Man River.”)

Mitski “Your Best American Girl” (In my humble opinion, Puberty 2, the album she put out last year that fellow critics seemingly went nuts over is a bit overrated, but this is one of the more dynamic highlights from it.)

Switchtense “Ignorance Is Bliss” (From Portugal, this group’s entry in my list is like prime Sepultura, and as their video shows, they are totally in tune with what’s going on in the western side of the world, politically.)

Khemmis “Above the Water”

Skrillex featuring Rick Ross “Purple Lamborghini” (I am not a fan of dubstep but the explosive beats on this one from the Suicide Squad soundtrack is pretty hard to resist.)

Chance the Rapper featuring Saba “Angels” (It’s a feel-good rap song – the steel drum really lights it up.)

Angel Olsen “Shut Up Kiss Me”

Kvelertak “1985”

Underworld “Nylon Strung”

Deftones “Phantom Bride (with Jerry Cantrell)” (If you grew up loving both Alice in Chains and the Deftones, this is one of those dream collaborations you just have to hear.)

The Lees of Memory “Any Way But Down” (This group, led by ex-Superdrag frontman John Davis, still writes hard-driving hooks. What more could you ask for?)

Many Voices Speak “Blue Moon”

Anderson .Paak “Come Down” (No doubt, this one is the best funk rock tune I’ve heard in years.)

Kamaiyah “How Does It Feel” (Female Oakland rap star in the making, this is like a female answer to Nelly.)

Japanese Breakfast “In Heaven” (Dreampop from Philly.)

Abi Reimold “Arranged” (Like Speedy Ortiz but also from Philly, this is a best new music artist listed on Stereogum.)

Dean Ween “Exercise Man”/”Dickie Betts” (Dean is still versatile and hilarious after over 25 years.)

Korn “Insane” (No more fuckin’ around, just good old fashioned heavy and intense metal like you’ve always wanted from them.)

Bon Iver “33 – ‘God’”

Chromatics “Magazine”

DANAE “Direction” (There are limitless places to find new music these days. I discovered this on SoundCloud.)

Clutch “Outland Special Clearance” (This 2016 RSD release exclusive is about Neil Fallon’s 2009 Alex Jones interview blowback from fans, I am guessing.)

Wretch “Running Out of Days” (Dedicated to member’s late brother, this is doom metal from Indiana.)

Zack de la Rocha “Digging for Windows” (His One Day as a Lion EP came out in 2008 and since then, it’s taken Chinese Democracy-long patience for fans to hear something new from him, other than cameos with Run the Jewels, of course. El-P produced this new track, which also features Matt Sweeney (Chavez/Zwan) on guitar. Unlike his former RATM bandmates’ all-star project Prophets of Rage, what de la Rocha’s doing here is actually good and forward-thinking, production-wise. It’s defiant lyrically and a promising preview of his upcoming solo album, if it really does come out this year.)

Crowbar “Falling While Rising”

Metallica “Hardwired”

Drive-By Truckers “What It Means” (It’s about Ferguson, Trayvon, and hypocrisy in our justice system.)

Broken Social Scene “Gonna Get Better” (new live one – Pitchfork Fest 7/15/16)

Eric Clapton “Spiral” (From his 2016 album I Still Do, his 23rd studio release, if you can believe it. This track features a pretty rad animated video.)

The Lennon-Claypool Delirium “Breath of a Salesman” (Count me in among those who never expected such a cool collaboration between John Lennon’s second son, Sean, and the leader of Primus, Les Claypool.)

Nels Cline “Beautiful Love” (It’s from new double album Lovers out on Blue Note.)

Jackyl “Rally” (Yup, that band – the one from the early ’90s that featured a chainsaw solo in one of their hits. This one has a crazy good chorus.)

Eagulls “Velvet” (Notice the very Robert Smith-ish vocals on this number.)

Beck “Wow”

Citizen Zero “Lure and Persuade” (They’re a Detroit band discovered by Kid Rock now on Wind-Up Records)

Bat for Lashes “Sunday Love”

16 “The Absolute Center of a Pitch Black Heart” (I’m not crazy about the term but sludge metal it is.)

Band of Horses “Casual Party”

Garbage “Empty”

Sturgill Simpson “In Bloom” (This is simply the best Nirvana/Kurt Cobain tribute ever – it’s a lot less depressing than Tori Amos’s stunning cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” that’s for sure. Like all great covers, Simpson truly remakes this Nirvana hit, even adding a lyric or two of his own – “to love someone” after the chorus “And he don’t know what it means.” It’s one of those instances where even those who don’t normally listen to modern country/Americana will get into it.)

Melvins “Hideous Woman” (Over 30 years on, these pre- and post-grunge warriors still crank out releases on a regular basis. This one is from Basses Loaded.)

Brainstems “The Ooze”

Nothing But Thieves “If I Get High” (U.K. band inspired by Arcade Fire, Jeff Buckley, and Led Zeppelin. This one is Radiohead-ish.)

Anvil “Gun Control”

MODOC “Black Eyed Lover” (They’re a Nashville band – like The Whigs but with horns.)

Sunflower Bean “Easier Said” (Look forward to hearing more from this collective – dream pop from a “NY psych rock” band.)

Anthrax “Evil Twin”

Local Spotlight (Boston, MA)

Astronoid “Air” (This is a Boston “dream-thrash” band that made it onto Stereogum’s Best New Artist list.)

The Pixies “All I Think About Now” (New bassist, Paz Lenchantin, formerly of A Perfect Circle and Zwan, sings a great “Where Is My Mind”-ish tribute to former Pixies bassist Kim Deal.)

Lou Barlow “The Breeze” (From Apocalypse Fetish EP)

DJ Snake “Let Me Love You (w/Justin Bieber)” (This was co-written by Boston native and friend of my family, Lou Bell. This was Bell’s first chart-topping hit, one that definitely soundtracked the summer. It was so catchy that even the Boston Bruins organist was heard playing it during games in between plays at the TD Garden earlier this season. Here’s to hoping there will be many more hits to come.)

The Rounds – “Bus Stop” (Speaking of artistic friends, after an EP release in 2014, this electropop duo released their long-awaited debut full-length Tender & Mild last year, and this closing track, with its chill yet danceable musical vibe alongside carefully harmonized and layered vocals, is one of many highlights.)

Dinosaur Jr “Goin Down” (J. Mascis never fails to come up with memorable rock riffs.)

Air Traffic Controller “On the Fire” (This Boston band were standout performers at Boston First Night this past New Year’s Eve.)

Earth Heart “Homesick” (Here’s some new Boston garage rock/postpunk.)

Kal Marks “Mankind” (Consequence of Sound had this Boston band’s song as part of its songs of the week around this time last year.)

About Charlie Doherty

Senior Music Editor and Culture & Society (Sports) Editor at Blogcritics Magazine; Prior writing/freelancing ventures: copy editor/content writer for Penn Multimedia; Boston Examiner, EMSI, Demand Media, Brookline TAB, Suite 101 and; Media Nation independent newspaper staff writer, printed/published by the Boston Globe at 2004 DNC (Boston, MA); Featured in Guitar World May 2014. Keep up with me on

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