Class of 2016: The Soundtrack


Albums continue to be my format of choice. I think they always will be. Lucky for me, the artists I follow seem to prefer albums as well. That’s not to say there isn’t a place in my life for singles though. Most years are packed with individual tracks that catch my attention…whether because they are really good, extremely awful, or just inescapable. That’s why putting together a yearly soundtrack is so much fun. Not only do I get to hunt for stand-out tracks as I dissect the albums I’ve enjoyed all year, but I also get to dive into the various songs I’ve ignored over the past twelve months. It’s a time of reflection, discovery, and documentation. Of all my year-end lists, it’s The Soundtrack I come back to most often.

The Soundtrack isn’t necessarily comprised of the “best” songs of the year. It’s just a collection of the songs that fit into a compilation outside of the full album format. With the exception of metal, it is a true representation of what the year sounded like. I’ve never been able to extract single tracks from a metal albums. The full album format will always be sacred for that particular genre.

The Class of 2016 Soundtrack consists of 99 tracks, with no more than a pair of song from any single album. YouTube links are embedded below, but I also put together a Spotify playlist for easy access.


“00000 Million” by Bon Iver
(from 22, A Million)

cause the days have no numbers

00000 Million


“A 1000 Times” by Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam
(from I Had A Dream That You Were Mine)

all that I have is this old dream I’ve always had

A 1000 Times


“2 Phones” by Kevin Gates
(from Islah)

countin’ money while they ring, ring, ringin’

2 Phones


“4 Degrees” by ANOHNI

wanna see them burn

4 Degrees


“33 “GOD”” by Bon Iver
(from 22, A Million)

narrow room where life began

33 “GOD”


“Adore” by Savages
(from Adore Life)

understand the urgency of life



“All Night” by Chance The Rapper
(from Coloring Book)

been drinking all night, I been drinking, ay ay

All Night


“All Nite” by Clams Casino
(from 32 Levels)

all gas, no brakes, might break your face

All Nite


“Am I Wrong” by Anderson .Paak
(from Malibu)

never wanna waste your time, my life

Am I Wrong


“Atomic Number” by case/lang/veirs
(from case/lang/veirs)

latin words across my heart

Atomic Number


“Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” by Emma Stone
(from La La Land Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

here’s to the mess we make

Audition (The Fools Who Dream)


“Because I’m Me” by The Avalanches
(from Wildflower)

come back, shellac black, baby

Because I’m Me


“Below” by White Lung
(from Paradise)

means nothing if you go die alone



“Best to You” by Blood Orange
(from Freetown Sound)

feel my bones crack in your arms

Best to You


“Bird Set Free” by Sia
(from This Is Acting)

and I don’t care if I sing off key

Bird Set Free


“Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmurd
(from SremmLife 2)

young bull livin’ like an old geezer

Black Beatles


“Bleeding Heart” by Regina Spektor
(from Remember Us To Life)

feel their cold minds placing you under arrest

Bleeding Heart


“Blood Sandwich” by Aesop Rock
(from The Impossible Kid)

real youth in the palm of your hand

Blood Sandwich


“Boyfriend” by Tegan and Sara
(from Love You to Death)

need to know the rules if you want me to play



“Burn The Witch” by Radiohead
(from A Moon Shaped Pool)

this is a low flying panic attack

Burn The Witch


“California” by Robert Ellis
(from Robert Ellis)

a place where the living resides again



“Carolina Ghost” by Caleb Caudle
(from Carolina Ghost)

the leaves weren’t the only thing falling

Carolina Ghost


“A Change of Heart” by The 1975
(from I like it when you sleep…)

now you just look like anyone

A Change of Heart


“Cold Light” by Operators
(from Blue Wave)

your heart in the hands of the city

Cold Light


“Cranes in the Sky” by Solange
(from A Seat at the Table)

thought moving round make me feel better

Cranes in the Sky


“Dis Generation” by A Tribe Called Quest
(from We got it from Here…)

versed in, rehearsed in the soothing of loins

Dis Generation


“Distant Sky” by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
(from Skeleton Tree)

they told us our dreams would outlive us

Distant Sky


“Doing The Right Thing” by Daughter
(from Not To Disappear)

and they’re making children

Doing The Right Thing


“Dollar Days” by David Bowie
(from Blackstar)

don’t believe for just one second I’m forgetting you

Dollar Days


“Drive It Like You Stole It” by Sing Street
(from Sing Street Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

this is your life, you can go anywhere

Drive It Like You Stole It


“Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales” by Car Seat Headrest
(from Teens Of Denial)

only trying to get home

Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales


“DVP” by PUP
(from The Dream Is Over)

she says I need to grow up



“Eh” by Death Grips
(from Bottomless Pit)

two letter text, translation: next



“Florida” by The Range
(from Potential)




“Flowers and You” by Touché Amoré
(from Stage Four)

keeping up appearances with white lies

Flowers and You


“Formation” by Beyoncé
(from Lemonade)

got hot sauce in my bag, swag



“Frankie Sinatra” by The Avalanches
(from Wildflower)

have the perfect voice to sing calypso

Frankie Sinatra


“Free Lunch” by Isaiah Rashad
(from The Sun’s Tirade)

meal ticket, ticket, meal ticket, ticket, comma, uh

Free Lunch


“Friends” by Francis and the Lights
(from Farewell, Starlite!)

put your head on my shoulders



“Go!” by M83
(from Junk)

fe-fe-feels like we-we-we’ll be frozen, frozen



“Hands of Time” by Margo Price
(from Midwest Farmer’s Daughter)

thought I’d found a friend but I only found a thief

Hands of Time


“Hands Up” by Parker Millsap
(from The Very Last Day)

hate to be the one to pour the salt down in your cut

Hands Up


“How Does It Feel” by Kamaiyah
(from A Good Night in the Ghetto)

‘losin’ friends, people change when they grow’

How Does It Feel


“I Bet on Losing Dogs” by Mitski
(from Puberty 2)

looking in their eyes when they’re down

I Bet on Losing Dogs


“I Need You” by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
(from Skeleton Tree)

nothing really matters when the one you love is gone

I Need You


“I Took A Pill In Ibiza (Seeb Remix)” by Mike Posner
(from At Night, Alone.)

when I finally got sober, felt 10 years older

I Took A Pill In Ibiza (Seeb Remix)


“I’m not the Devil” by Cody Jinks
(from I’m not the Devil)

ain’t no excuse but I’m just a man

I’m not the Devil


“If I Knew” by Bat For Lashes
(from The Bride)

and where I was going took time’

If I Knew


“Into You” by Ariana Grande
(from Dangerous Woman)

tell me what you came here for

Into You


“It Hurts Until It Doesn’t” by Mothers
(from When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired)

as if I could ever keep a promise

It Hurts Until It Doesn’t


“Ivy” by Frank Ocean
(from Blonde)

we’ll never be those kids again


“Kanye West” by Young Thug
(from JEFFERY)

she peacock wit the colors

Kanye West


“Kiss It Better” by Rihanna
(from ANTI)

who cares, when it feels like crack?

Kiss It Better


“Lazarus” by David Bowie
(from Blackstar)

look up here, I’m in heaven



“Learning” by Anderson East
(from Southern Family)

it takes man to teach a man



“Lotta Years” by Aesop Rock
(from The Impossible Kid)

the future is amazing, I feel so fucking old

Lotta Years


“Love Can Go to Hell” by Brandy Clark
(from Big Day in a Small Town)

like roses in a vase of whiskey

Love Can Go to Hell


“Masterpiece” by Big Thief
(from Masterpiece)

only know the recipe to roam



“Mexican Chef” by Xenia Rubinos
(from Black Terry Cat)

we build the ghettos and we tear them down

Mexican Chef


“Million Reasons” by Lady Gaga
(from Joanne)

stopped breathing, but completely aware

Million Reasons


“Miserable America” by Kevin Abstract
(from American Boyfriend: A Suburban Love Story)

these days just don’t make sense

Miserable America


“My Church” by Maren Morris
(from HERO)

Hank brings the sermon and Cash leads the choir

My Church


“Nights” by Frank Ocean
(from Blonde)

every night shit, every day shit


“No Problem” by Chance The Rapper
(from Coloring Book)

school of hard knocks, I took night classes

No Problem


“Old Friends” by Pinegrove
(from Cardinal)

how come every outcome’s such a comedown?

Old Friends


“On Hold” by The xx

think you’re too soon to call us old

On Hold


“Once They Banned Imagine” by Drive-By Truckers
(from American Band)

bullet abuse regarding anything browner than tan

Once They Banned Imagine


“One Acre Of Land” by Sean McConnell
(from Sean McConnell)

‘watch our dreams from where we stand’

One Acre of Land


“One Dance” by Drake
(from Views)

higher powers taking a hold on me

One Dance


“Orange Flower” by Angelica Garcia
(from Medicine for Birds)

maybe we won’t catch that ride

Orange Flower


“Pick Up the Phone” by Young Thug and Travis Scott
(from Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight)

I know you’re home, baby

Pick Up the Phone


“Real Friends” by Kanye West
(from The Life Of Pablo)

guess I get what I deserve, don’t I?

Real Friends


“Reaper” by Sia
(from This Is Acting)

saw you out the corner of my eye



“Runnin’ Just in Case” by Miranda Lambert
(from The Weight of These Wings)

nobody ever taught me how to stay

Runnin’ Just in Case


“Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” by Adele
(from 25)

gotta let go of all of our ghosts

Send My Love (To Your New Lover)


“Shine On Rainy Day” by Brent Cobb
(from Shine On Rainy Day)

a little thunder makes a man start to wonder

Shine On Rainy Day


“Shut Up Kiss Me” by Angel Olsen
(from MY WOMAN)

could end all this pain right here

Shut Up Kiss Me


“Since You’ve Gone to Heaven” by Brandy Clark
(from Big Day in a Small Town)

the whole world’s gone to Hell

Since You’ve Gone to Heaven


“Sister” by Angel Olsen
(from MY WOMAN)

all my life I thought I’d change



“Sorry” by Beyoncé
(from Lemonade)

better call Becky with the good hair



“Stranger Things (Extended)” by Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein
(from Stranger Things, Vol. 2)


Stranger Things (Extended)


“Tabitha Tuder’s Mama” by Elizabeth Cook
(from Exodus of Venus)

she’s pretty but the world hardly looks up

Tabitha Tuder’s Mama


“THat Part” by ScHoolboy Q
(from Blank Face LP)

me no conversate with the fake, that part

THat Part


“Thursday in the Danger Room” by Run the Jewels
(from Run the Jewels 3)

the truth is, I see you now

Thursday in the Danger Room


“Ultralight Beam” by Kanye West
(from The Life Of Pablo)

this is my part, nobody else speak

Ultralight Beam


“untitled 05 | 09.21.2014.” by Kendrick Lamar
(from untitled. unmastered.)

borderline between insanity is father time

untitled 05 | 09.21.2014.


“untitled 08 | 09.06.2014.” by Kendrick Lamar
(from untitled. unmastered.)

hit the bank today and told them color me bad

untitled 08 | 09.06.2014.


“Vampires” by Cody Jinks
(from I’m not the Devil)

who told who to take the dreams out back to die



“Vice” by Miranda Lambert
(from The Weight of These Wings)

stay as a needle dropping on a vinyl



“We The People…” by A Tribe Called Quest
(from We got it from Here…)

all you bad folks, you must go

We The People…


“Welcome To Earth (Pollywog)” by Sturgill Simpson
(from A Sailor’s Guide to Earth)

hearing you cry makes me cry

Welcome To Earth (Pollywog)


“What It Means” by Drive-By Truckers
(from American Band)

we’re standing on the precipice

What It Means


“When It Rain” by Danny Brown
(from Atrocity Exhibition)

doomed from the time we emerged from the womb

When It Rain


“Who’s Gonna Miss Me?” by Loretta Lynn
(from Full Circle)

it won’t be all in vain

Who’s Gonna Miss Me?


“Work” by Rihanna
(from ANTI)

took my heart on my sleeve for decoration



“Wreck You” by Lori McKenna
(from The Bird & The Rifle)

don’t know what the hell you want from me

Wreck You


“You Are My Sunshine” by Morgane and Chris Stapleton
(from Southern Family)

you have shattered all of my dreams

You Are My Sunshine


“You Want It Darker” by Leonard Cohen
(from You Want It Darker)

I’m ready, my Lord

You Want It Darker

Your Best

“Your Best American Girl” by Mitski
(from Puberty 2)

don’t wait for me, I can’t come

Your Best American Girl

The Soundtrack to 2016:
00000 Million by Bon Iver
A 1000 Times by Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam
2 Phones by Kevin Gates
4 Degrees by ANOHNI
33 “GOD” by Bon Iver
Adore by Savages
All Night by Chance The Rapper
All Nite by Clams Casino
Am I Wrong by Anderson .Paak
Atomic Number by case/lang/veirs
Audition (The Fools Who Dream) by Emma Stone
Because I’m Me by The Avalanches
Below by White Lung
Best to You by Blood Orange
Bird Set Free by Sia
Black Beatles by Rae Sremmurd
Bleeding Heart by Regina Spektor
Blood Sandwich by Aesop Rock
Boyfriend by Tegan and Sara
Burn The Witch by Radiohead
California by Robert Ellis
Carolina Ghost by Caleb Caudle
A Change of Heart by The 1975
Cold Light by Operators
Cranes in the Sky by Solange
Dis Generation by A Tribe Called Quest
Distant Sky by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Doing The Right Thing by Daughter
Dollar Days by David Bowie
Drive It Like You Stole It by Sing Street
Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales by Car Seat Headrest
Eh by Death Grips
Florida by The Range
Flowers and You by Touché Amoré
Formation by Beyoncé
Frankie Sinatra by The Avalanches
Free Lunch by Isaiah Rashad
Friends by Francis and the Lights
Go! by M83
Hands of Time by Margo Price
Hands Up by Parker Millsap
How Does It Feel by Kamaiyah
I Bet on Losing Dogs by Mitski
I Need You by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
I Took A Pill In Ibiza (Seeb Remix) by Mike Posner
I’m not the Devil by Cody Jinks
If I Knew by Bat For Lashes
Into You by Ariana Grande
It Hurts Until It Doesn’t by Mothers
Ivy by Frank Ocean
Kanye West by Young Thug
Kiss It Better by Rihanna
Lazarus by David Bowie
Learning by Anderson East
Lotta Years by Aesop Rock
Love Can Go to Hell by Brandy Clark
Masterpiece by Big Thief
Mexican Chef by Xenia Rubinos
Million Reasons by Lady Gaga
Miserable America by Kevin Abstract
My Church by Maren Morris
Nights by Frank Ocean
No Problem by Chance The Rapper
Old Friends by Pinegrove
On Hold by The xx
Once They Banned Imagine by Drive-By Truckers
One Acre Of Land by Sean McConnell
One Dance by Drake
Orange Flower by Angelica Garcia
Pick Up the Phone by Young Thug and Travis Scott
Real Friends by Kanye West
Reaper by Sia
Runnin’ Just in Case by Miranda Lambert
Send My Love (To Your New Lover) by Adele
Shine On Rainy Day by Brent Cobb
Shut Up Kiss Me by Angel Olsen
Since You’ve Gone to Heaven by Brandy Clark
Sister by Angel Olsen
Sorry by Beyoncé
Stranger Things (Extended) By Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein
Tabitha Tuder’s Mama by Elizabeth Cook
THat Part by ScHoolboy Q
Thursday in the Danger Room by Run the Jewels
Ultralight Beam by Kanye West
untitled 05 | 09.21.2014. by Kendrick Lamar
untitled 08 | 09.06.2014. by Kendrick Lamar
Vampires by Cody Jinks
Vice by Miranda Lambert
We The People… by A Tribe Called Quest
Welcome To Earth (Pollywog) by Sturgill Simpson
What It Means by Drive-By Truckers
When It Rain by Danny Brown
Who’s Gonna Miss Me? by Loretta Lynn
Work by Rihanna
Wreck You by Lori McKenna
You Are My Sunshine by Morgane and Chris Stapleton
You Want It Darker by Leonard Cohen
Your Best American Girl by Mitski

Class of 2016: The Overachievers
Class of 2016: The Performers


Songs of 2016