This was an odd year for music. As Vanyaland senior writer Daniel Brockman details in his annual Year In Pop roundup, the two-way highway of comings and goings produced a wealth of in-crisis pop, solemn rock, and schizophrenic hip-hop alongside a cruel abundance of iconic deaths and life-lessons from rock’s dinosaur guard. And as this Vanyaland contributor list proves, it was another wildly eclectic and eccentric year of sound, proving that genre restriction is truly dead for those who still actually care. For our Top 25 Songs of 2016, we pitched and polled our writing staff about their favorite tracks of the year, then condensed each list for a composite ranking. Below are the results, with the song’s nominator doing the honors of telling us why the song cracked the list in the first place. It may not be perfect, but it’s ours, and it’s worth more than just taking a Chance on.
25. Dandy Warhols, “S.T.Y.G.G.O.”
2016 saw the release of Distortland, the ninth studio album from Portland indie rock veterans the Dandy Warhols. “The world is full of corporate billionaire scumbags who pollute the Earth, kill wildlife, cause cancer, secretly running nations into the group, and the moronic masses who just agree with their mindless slogans,” writes frontman Courtney Taylor-Taylor in a blog post about the release of “S.T.Y.G.G.O.” on the Dandys’ site. “S.T.Y.G.G.O.” — or “Some Things You Gotta Get Over” — came out in early March, but it took on a new meaning after the election. It’s a song written in response to the absolutely nightmarish political climate that dominated 2016, but in classic Dandy Warhols style, the song’s casual coolness and danceable beat make “S.T.Y.G.G.O.” feel like the funky, younger cousin of “Sleep” from 2000’s Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia. It’s a track that proves that over 20 years into their career, the Dandy Warhols can still produce solid indie pop. As we close out the dumpster fire of a year that was 2016, “S.T.Y.G.G.O.” provides a fitting soundtrack.
— Kayley Kravitz