The 50 Best Singles by Phoenix Bands in 2016, Part One
Jane N' The Jungle is one of the 25 bands to appear on part one of this list.
RaySquared - Ray² Photography
This list was pulled from more than 200 songs from this year and largely ended up being the list of songs that I could sing off the top of my head. Unlike last year, this list is not arranged chronologically based on release; it is based entirely on how I felt about these songs and the staying power they have in my mind. I also restricted this list to one track per artist, because otherwise roughly 12 artists with singles going steady would have dominated the list.
50. The Apaches— "Space Chase"
Of anything I've heard the Apaches do, "Space Chase" is my
49. Ricky Fitts— "Nightmare"
Ricky Fitts is a fresh new indie pop outfit that gets down to danceable electronica right out of the starting gate. "Nightmare" isn't music for heavy analysis; it's music to get your legs moving, your ass shaking so you can just dance the night away. Here, the church organ opening is a soft seduction, but if you're not dancing in your seat by the 30-second mark, you may want to re-evaluate how you enjoy life.
48. Cheap Hotels— "I Need Some Sleep"
This song is the
47. W.A.S.H. — "Cocaine (Featuring Lady KO)"
I gave this only one spin before I was hooked, not unlike the drug for which it's named, but this is more addictive. It's a short number, like all of their best songs have been so far, and the lyrics are really easy to remember: "You know we always down with the boys who have the COCAINE!" It doesn't really leave much to the imagination, except I'm not sure if this is a serious anthem for the women out there who are actually like this or a wry commentary on that phenomenon. "Rub-a-Dub-Dub, Motherfucker" indeed!
46. Huckleberry— "Wild Ricky"
"Wild Ricky" was my immediate
45. Troubled Minds— "Silk Flowers"
It's impressive how much musical territory Troubled Minds can cover in any single song selection, and nearly none of them
44. Sunday At Noon— "Brain Damage"
"Brain Damage" rocks harder than anything Sunday At Noon have done before, but in a way that suggests they may have been checking out some classic records by Van Halen, AC/DC, and maybe GN'R — a welcome
43. Day Before Plastics— "Hot, But"
It's a slow burner, but an instant DBP classic with a great groove that has their patented melancholic whimsy. The joy of the best Day Before Plastics songs is the various influences that they distill into their work. There are hints of anything you could name here, from Caribbean folk music to straight indie rock. The group also has fantastic harmonies that have a latter-day Talking Heads feel to them. It's not a new direction for DBP, but it is a fantastic extension of their continual journey in defining their sound and creating a signature style.
42. Rob Kroehler— "The Gadabouts"
Rob Kroehler treads a line in his piano pop found somewhere between Harry Nilsson and Randy Newman, with a true sense of storytelling. "The Gadabouts" is a perfect synthesis of his anachronistic sound, which on this tune makes the closest approach to Nilsson that it's ever taken — clever asides and all. He says it's "a (mostly) autobiographical tune. Musically and lyrically, honest." It seems like a song that's just fallen out of time, a distant time.
41. French Girls— "Couples Skate"
If you ever got hung up on records by the likes of Bratmobile, Bikini Kill, or Heavens To Betsy, French Girls is right up your alley. This is completely true of "Couples Skate," which almost seems wrong to play
40. Painted Bones— "Straight Into The Sun"
Every time I've seen Painted Bones, they have closed their set with "Straight Into The Sun," and it has blown me away every single time. This happens to the point where the last time I saw them I was waiting
39. Sunset Voodoo— "Sweet Release"
I just fell in love with this tune immediately, perhaps because it was not what I was expecting and I was delightfully surprised. This is straight up alt rock, and it's stayed as one of my
38. The Darts— "Revolution"
The debut record from the Darts is a wonderfully aggressive barrage of guitars and vocals in the red, with everything fuzzed out to the max. It's a pretty cathartic record from beginning to end, but my
37. The Technicolors— "Space Cadet"
"Space Cadet" seems to meet in the middle of the
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