Choosing our favorite 16 Boston songs of the year is like choosing your favorite child — if you were the Duggars or some other family with a few hundred kids. While mainstream pop continued to die a slow painful death, it was another bang-up year of music coming out of the isolated Boston music scene. What we have in our region are legions of musicians making music on their terms and their own way, and the result is a fantastically eclectic batch of new tunes that proved this year was one of the best around town. The selections below, listen alphabetically, aren’t any sort of ultimate Best Of, though they do reflect what we’ve enjoyed the most, what we’ve hyped on these digital pages, and what we had spun on VanyaRadio. If you read this website on the regular, you should be quite familiar; if not, then dive in and hear something new and exciting.

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Abbie Barrett Band, “Take It In Stride”

In the video for “Take It In Stride,” Abbie Barrett is busy in the lab concocting some sort of love (or anti-love) potion, but in the studio Barrett and her band craft some pitch-perfect guitar pop. The rollicking “Take It In Stride”, as Barrett told us back in March, “comes from that familiar feeling most of us have when we see an ex date someone else: we want to fuck shit up. Usually we take it out on ourselves, going mad trying to figure out why it didn’t work — and/or drinking heavily. And with any failed relationship, there’s always this sense of, ‘Well, here we go again.’ It can start to feel a bit routine, which is what the chorus is all about. It’s a break-up song, with a kooky video to match.” A winning formula and proper dose of DGAF perfect for 2016.

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