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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Speedy Ortiz, “Death Note”

Earlier this year Massachusetts guitar-rock wunderkinds Speedy Ortiz released Foiled Again, a companion EP to 2015 album Foil Deer. Included on that was one of their most impressive songs ever in “Death Note,” a dark, snake-like song that showed the band’s impressive depth. In the press notes, Speedy singer/guitarist Sadie Dupuis revealed the song “is named after the anime, which is about an evil supernatural notebook that causes the death of anyone whose name is written inside of it. The song is about writing through your depression as a way to get better, and how in that way a death note can be kind of love letter to yourself.”

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