Incredibly, 2016 is almost up. And that means one thing — the return of our annual Top Tracks countdown!
As usual, the team from wiwibloggs voted for their favourite 2016 releases and recordings by and featuring Eurovision stars. Songs which competed at Eurovision or national finals were excluded (they’ve been analysed to death in our jury reviews), as were artists who’ve yet to compete on the Eurovision stage (sorry [insert name of your favourite national final act]).
After considering well over 100 songs, we finally settled on our top 50. And now we’re ready to share it with y’all. We’ll publish five tracks daily for the next ten days. Then on Christmas Eve we’ll announce our number one, giving you just enough time to send any last requests to Santa.
Best songs of 2016: (20-16)
20. Mørland “Skin”
What we said: “Skin” is a very personal track. Self-written and produced, it opens with strings, ushering in a cinematic feeling. The music video which features his clan of relatives follows a similar film format. Clearly avoiding the EDM trends, the song tackles a more serious subject matter — the demise and untimely death of Mørland’s mother through cancer. (Deban)
19. Måns Zelmerlöw “Hanging On To Nothing”
What we said: Like a lot of Måns’ songs, “Hanging on to Nothing” tells a story of relationship turmoil. He sings, “Calling you up at night/I think I f***ed up” – and yes, he happily drops the F-bomb which is such a Swedish thing to do.
Måns sings of a trouble relationship. His bae is in love with him, but he’s a bad boy who “can’t be tamed”. Despite all the drama and with all evidence pointing to a break-up, Måns is still hanging on. It turns out he loves the drama – “Cos every time that you leave me I’m loving it/And every time that I’m set free I’m hanging on to nothing”.
Like previous single “Fire in the Rain”, “Hanging on to Nothing” is about weathering stormy relationships. But while “Fire in the Rain” took a more positive outlook, “Hanging on to Nothing” is revelling in the misery. (Robyn)
18. Krista Siegfrids “Be Real”
What we said: “Be Real” presents Krista in a whole new light. Packaged with heavy electronic beats and some fierce street rhythms, this would not be out of place in an Aminata Savadogo song. The bubble gum sweetness of some of her earlier songs (which we love, by the way) has been replaced with a club-house feel. It’s another side of Krista and one that works (and werks).
In true club fashion the lyrics are simple but memorable — exactly what we want went letting loose. We’ll be humming “just be real” the next time we’re walking the streets of Helsinki, for sure. Krista tells her lover to blow her mind but in the process she is blowing ours! (Antranig)
17. Emma “Io Di Te Non Ho Paura”
What we said: Yassss and well done: This is a great choice for a new single. We adored this intense, powerful track on first listen. It further cements Emma’s status as one of the most popular former Italian Eurovision representatives. Her position at Eurovision 2014 doesn’t even matter — she’s still a hit-maker!
Emma slays with her rough voice and you can really feel her passion in this crazy chorus. The arrangement is halfway between the Italian melodic tradition and the international sound of the 80’s. Lyrically, “Io di te non ho paura” talks about a strong woman who frees herself from the chains of addiction and is ready to live her life with dignity once again. It’s all about the desire to rebuild one’s life. (Cristian)
16. Maraaya “Nothing Left For Me”
What we said: Breakups rarely sound this fierce. The thrilling cello opening is the perfect match for Marjetka’s raspy vocals, and sets the mood for Maraaya’s latest offering “Nothing Left For Me”.
Unlike so many other songs stemming from splits, she’s not pining after the man. Marjetka’s the one in control. Dripping with attitude, she purrs “there’s nothing left for me… I want to feel alive”.
Of course, the “Hear For You” singer isn’t completely heartless. She has regrets — “dreaming only dreaming. Always, always, it’s misconceiving”. Let’s just hope the single’s not autobiographical. The last thing we want is Marjetka and Raay going their separate musical ways! (Padraig)
How’s the list shaping up? Are these among your best songs of 2016? Let us know below.