Music has been an absolute lifeline to me travelling solo. I don’t know what I’d have done without my Spotify and earphones on those long journeys by myself, late nights unable to sleep thanks to dorm snorers and dealing with the constant noise and buzzing on aeroplanes.

tops songs 2016

Whenever I’m alone, I listen to music, and often the same music over and over as I day dream out the window or try to block out my surroundings so I can focus on my work.

So many songs will remind me of this year, but thanks to my Spotify Top 100 songs list, I can see exactly which songs I’ve listened to most. Of those top 100, here are the 10 that will forever remind me of 2016, one of the best years of my life.

1. Spanish Sahara, Foals


Foals were listed as a headliner at Rock en Seine Festival in Paris, somehow I hadn’t actually heard of them. Jen told me to listen to Spanish Sahara and I’d love them.

So I did and she was right. I became obsessed.

If you’ve never heard this tune, click above immediately. You’ll need to dedicate six minutes of your life but trust me, it’s one of the most incredible pieces of music I’ve ever heard. I basically had it on repeat for a month, and seeing them perform it live sent tingles down my spine.

And then we listened to it loud while driving our soft top round Montenegro on the next trip.

Check out their song Mountain at my Gates too – totally different vibe to Spanish Sahara, but almost equally awesome.

2. All I Ask, Adele


Oh Adele. In how many ways do I love thee?

Just when I thought I got it, thought that the thousand times I’d listened to the album was enough, All I Ask kept coming on the car stereo every time I connected my phone in the car while I drove the Emerald Coast. How could I miss what a beautiful song this is?

I now know it, and know every word, thanks to belting it out along the coast.

3. For Us, Arctic Lake

March to May

I stayed in a lot of hostels for the first six months of the year, too many. When I couldn’t sleep because of my room mates’ shenanigans, whatever they may be, Arctic Lake is one of the two albums I’d listen to. On repeat all night. I’d wake up with sore ears from sleeping with the buds in, but at least I slept.

Such pretty, peaceful music, it’s also a favourite when I’m trying to work.

4. Shame, Ciaran Lavely

March to May

At SXSW festival I somehow wangled my way onto an Irish boat party. Probably something to do with my friend who was there for work for Visit Britain.

Her mum was very ill at the time and she’d had a really tough few months caring for her. She was telling me just a glimpse of what she’d been through, and would have to go through and I was so sad for her. Then Ciaran Lavely started playing. It was emotional. One of those moments that reminds you how fragile life is. As he sang I thought about my lovely friend and the sad times she was going through.

I think that emotive connection and the fact we were going down the Colorado River in Austin while he sang to us just made me fall in love. He played again during the week and I went to watch by myself, again, he was amazing. Anyway, I spent a lot of time listening to his back catalogue over the next few months.

I’ve recently started listening to him again, and it just reminds me of pounding the streets of Austin after meeting my friend and trying to make sense of it all. And of trying to sleep in those damn hostels again.

I think Shame, is just one of the most beautiful love songs ever.

5. I Wanna Get Lost With You, Stereophonics

Jeez, I’m sounding like a right soppy one with my collection here.

I mean, could you have much more of a romantic song than this? I think not. There’s a lot of fillers on the New Keep the Village Alive album, but this is definitely a keeper and a classic. I also really like Into the World. Just the two of them keep the album afloat.

6. Gabriel, Bears Den

If I was to say how many times I’d listened to this song, I’d guess 365, no, not once or twice a day but three times since it came out. I still don’t actually know what the song is about, but I just love the rhythm and tone.

The rest of the album is brilliant too.

7. Formation Beyoncé

January to May

Best show of the year, without a doubt, watching Beyoncé in Chicago. In fact it was one of the best things I’ve done in the entirety of 2017. She was brilliant. It was a last minute decision to buy a ticket, after I saw that solo ones were available and I stood at the back, dead on, as she performed in the rain in the open top arena. I seem to remember I actually cried it was that good.

And that ‘hot sauce in ma bag’ line, that’s just so Avery Island, in Louisiana, when Cailin and I went to see the Tabasco island.

8. My Tropical House playlist

Yep, not one song, but a playlist. Sooo, not technically inkeeping with the whole idea of the song list but, y’know, my blog, my rules.

This year has either been super depressing music – as you can see above – that I listened to either while trying to sleep or do work, or tropical house. I have a playlist on my Spotify called Positivity Party, which is the creme de la creme of my tropical house, for times when I really need that lift.

I love, love, the sax solos – listen to Happy Endings by Faul – and as a grade 5 flautist (lolz) I love when they crack the flute out too – try Journey by BUNT. I don’t understand how these tunes can’t lift you up. If I had to describe a favourite genre of music, this would be it.

Special mentions definitely go to Bakermat, Max Manie, Sondr too.

9. Higher Love, Charming Horses

Of all the Tropical House songs it’s definitely this one that makes me the happiest. When times are hard / tough / stressful / overwhelming, I just put this on and all is right in the world again. Trust me. Do it.

10. Iron Sky, Paulo Nutini

Yep, I’m pretty much obsessed with Paulo Nutini.

And this tune, with the speech from Charlie Chaplin in the Final Dictator, is just blummin brilliant. Check it out.

My top 100 Spotify list of 2016, enjoy

Do you have any favourite songs from 2016? I need new recommendations for 2017!

Let me know below 🙂

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tagged in Music, songs