16 Favorite Songs of 2016

2016 was the year I started to really appreciate music… I branched out a bit more in what I listened to and Spotify helped me discover new artists. I am pretty picky when it comes to the songs I like, and before I started using Spotify I only really listened to Taylor Swift and a handful of other artists that I had on my iTunes. But this year I can say I have listened to a lot more music and discovered so many great songs!

The following is my list (in order) of my 16 favorite songs of the year. Not all of these songs came out in 2016, but I heard all of them for this first time this year which is why I would include them in this list. I hope you enjoy this list of my favorite tunes & bops of the year!


16. “This Town” by Niall Horan

“You still make me nervous when you in the room/ these butterflies that come alive when I’m next to you”

I’m going to admit I was never a One Direction fan when I was younger or anything (don’t hate me), but I appreciated them as a band of singers. When Niall’s song came out my friend told me I would like it, so I decided to listen and I quite enjoyed it. It’s a repeatable song and it reminds me a little of Ed Sheeran. It’s kind of a sad song so I don’t really relate to that aspect too much, but I can pick out some cute lyrics that I love throughout the song.

15. “Piece by Piece” by Kelly Clarkson

“Piece by piece he filled the holes that you burned in me at six years old”

This is one of those songs that I don’t really relate to at all, but I really love and appreciate the message and the story it exhibits. I heard it first when Kelly sang it on American Idol and I fell in love with the song. I particularly like the acoustic Idol version rather than radio version, because I feel like it fits the mood of the song better.

14. “Loser” by Julian Moon

“Like a screw on cap to a mason jar / We’re the perfect fit”

Julian Moon is an artist I found this year that I fell in love with! Her music is quirky and fun. She has so many cute songs on her album but this one is my personal favorite. Another notable fave from her is “Cup of Coffee” which is sooo cute. (If you’re a barista, I strongly urge you to listen to that song). Anyway, this so cute and it makes me happy when I listen to it.

13. “Two Is Better Than One” by Taylor Swift & Boys Like Girls

“I remember what you wore on the first day / You came into my life and I thought hey / You know this could be something”

This song has a lot of meaning behind it, which is why it’s one of my faves this year. I listened to it for the first time a couple months ago and connected to it immediately! Plus I had to include Taylor Swift somewhere on this list. 😉

12. “My Girl Tonight” by Jon McLaughlin 

“It’s hard to say what true love is / All I know my dear is we define it / And in me you’ll always find it”

Just a sappy love song that I enjoy. I really like listening to songs that guys sing about girls they are in love with… It’s just so cute. I discovered Jon McLaughlin recently and I just love his songs!

11. “Imaginary Tea” by Jon McLaughlin

“So let’s climb every tree / And drink imaginary tea / And speak a language only we can understand”

I obviously love his songs since I included another one on this list. This is the first Jon McLaughlin song I came across and I replayed it so many times. It’s just so sweet, I love the lyrics to it. This one really struck a chord with me when I first heard it. I feel like it came at the most perfect time.

10. “Five Foot Three” by Flannel Graph

“Oh I’m quite small and I never have it all together / And I’m just a girl who doesn’t have any diamonds or pearls”

This is one of those songs that I randomly stumbled upon on Spotify and I was obsessed with it. It led me to Flannel Graph’s other songs which I also really enjoy! I just love her voice and the vibe of the song. And it’s kind of relatable since I am actually five foot three. Hehe.

9. “Your Song” by Ellie Goulding (Originally by Elton John)

“How wonderful life is / Now you’re in the world”

Beautiful. This song is sung so beautifully by Ellie Goulding, and I normally am not a huge fan of her music. But man, this cover got me. One of my friends showed me this song and I fell in love. Of course I have to credit the amazing lyrics to Elton John who originally sang this song, but Ellie makes it so enchanting.

8. “Dancing On My Own” by Calum Scott (Originally by Robyn)

“Stilettos and broken bottles / I’m spinning around in circles”

Calum Scott covered this song in his audition of Britain’s Got Talent, and I came across the video on YouTube this past summer. I watched it because the video popped up in my recommended videos, so I watched it and I was blown away. I’m pretty sure I cried a lil’ bit too. The way Calum performs this song makes it seem like her wrote it himself, dwelling on an experience of his own. I was transfixed by his performance and I immediately showed my family and friends.

7. “All Will Be Well” by The Gabe Dixon Band

“And all the children walking home past the factories / Can see the light / That’s shining in my window / As I write this song to you”

I have no idea how I even stumbled across this song but I think it was also from Spotify. The first time I heard it I was completely addicted to its sound and the lyrics. The lyrics remind me of the 1930’s or 1940’s for some reason, probably due to the mention of factories. I dunno, I just have a clear picture in my head of the scene when I listen to this song which makes me love it.

6. “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None The Richer

“Kiss me beneath the milky twilight / Lead me out on the moonlit floor”

So this song is one I actually used to hear when I was little, I guess it used to come on the radio or my mom used to play it sometimes or something. But I heard it recently and it ignited a bit of nostalgia within me since I listened to it when I was younger. I absolutely love the lyrics, they’re so sweet & cute & wonderful and they remind me of happiness and the moon and sunshine. I love this song so much.

5. “The Men That Drive Me Places” by Ben Rector

“But that’s just the way it goes / You’re dealt a good hand and you get celebrated / Oh how am I the only one who knows / I’m half the man of the men that drive me places”

I couldn’t make this list without including a song from Ben Rector. I discovered him over the summer and fell in love with his music. His songs are cute and fun, but some of them have deep meaning to them. This one in particular touched me because of its meaning. I even wrote a college essay about it! It’s just very eye-opening and I love the way he tells the stories of his drivers. I urge everyone to listen to this song!

4. “Spring Clean” by Maisie Peters

“If anyone asks / Oh I’m doing fine / I’ve been dusting the rooms / Where your stuff used to lie”

So a couple of weeks ago Zoella uploaded a vlog and featured Maisie singing at a Christmas party. I clicked the link to her channel and I literally fell in love with her music. She is a very authentic YouTuber, her songs are not over-produced and her personality is not in your face. She has an organic sound and her voice is so lovely. Her channel consists of all original songs that she sings accompanied with her guitar. I spent about an hour listening to each and every song from start to finish and I can safely say this one is my favorite. It’s haunting. I don’t know what heartbreak feels like, but this song has shown me in a way no other song has. I just love this song so much and I love her as an artist and I cannot wait for the day I can buy her music on iTunes!!!! (I think I’m her biggest fan).

3. “He and She” by Mandi Mapes

“He was as lost as a man in the dark / And she was hopelessly in love with the world”

(I couldn’t find this particular song on YouTube, so I linked the video of her album). Mandi Mapes is another artist I found on Spotify and I couldn’t stop listening to her album. The songs are sonically cohesive and they all kind of tell a story. I love her voice and her lyrics!

2. “American Beauty” by Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors

“She was a good companion / Eyes like the Grand Canyon / She was an American Beauty”

Oh. My. Goodness. This song. (Special thanks to my friend Lane for telling me to listen to this song). Literally, this song is so simple and short, but it impacted me so much. I don’t really know why but the lyrics are amazing and it was so hard for me to choose my favorite line. I was introduced to the world of Drew Holcomb and I am so happy about it. This song is just the guitar and his voice, which transfixed me. I just… I love it.

1. “Say You Won’t Let Go” by James Arthur

“I’ll Take the kids to school / Wave them goodbye / And I’ll thank my lucky stars for that night / When you looked over your shoulder”

Now for my favorite song of the year! This song. Wow. This song. I heard it on the radio a couple months ago and I made a mental note to look it up when I got home. Naturally, I forgot to look it up and randomly found it on Spotify. I listened to it and I was crying by the middle. I just love the way James Arthur tells this love story, with the escalation from the beginning of his life to the end. This song touched me in so many ways. I played it and replayed it and replayed it again after my first time hearing it. It’s on of those songs I can’t get out of my head and one I want to listen to over and over again.


Now for some honorable mentions. These are songs that didn’t quite make the list but are definitely still some of my favorites from this year:

“Everything She Does Is Magic” by Sleeping at Last

“Clay” by Grace Vanderwaal 

“DNA” by Lia Marie Johnson

“In My Dreams” by Ruth B

“Can I Be Him” by James Arthur

“How Long Will I Love You” by Ellie Goulding

Thanks for reading!

Bradi ☕