Wednesday, 01 February 2017 09:38

Songs We Like: 2016 Staff Picks

Written by  WYCE staff
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This is a sonic collaboration among Revue, WYCE and AMI Jukeboxes. Play this mix as a playlist on AMI Jukeboxes, read about it here every month and stream it via




Lee Fields & The Expressions — “Never Be Another You”

Old soul mixed with new sounds results in a shower-singing tune. Lee proves his pipes the entire record and this one is a perfect example.

Hiss Golden Messenger — “Highland Grace”

Found as the finale of the album, MC Taylor melds Van Morrison repertoire and saxophone to melt me into a bowl of jelly.

Temples — “Certainty” 

This UK psych band’s debut release was the first album I reviewed for the station and they’ve stuck to me since. With how tumultuous last year was and the election season drop date, this 2016 single was really what I was looking for. Liquidity and complexity in sound with a clear lyrical mantra: certainty.



Mitski — “Your Best American Girl”

People thought I picked Puberty 2 as “Album of the Month” just to hear programmers have to say “puberty” a lot on the air. Look who’s laughing now! Mitski is an incredibly exciting newcomer with many years ahead of her. 

Charles Bradley — “Ain’t it a Sin”

At age 68, one of the most genuine modern rock icons alive put out his third and possibly best album. He’s real — he’s been through it, and this is a perfect song for the era. 

Theo Croker — “It’s Gonna Be Alright”

Croker is easily one of the most exciting jazz musicians of our era. With evidence of jazz royalty in his blood, his new album preserves the art by incorporating several eras including its roots. I was prepared for a let-down after his last release, but Croker’s grandfather put out most of his work after he turned 80, so here’s to setting the bar even higher.



David Bowie — “Lazarus”

No brainer. Song of 2016. Says everything. Period.

Charles Bradley — “Cumberland Blues”

I was a big fan of “Day of The Dead,” the Grateful Dead tribute that The National put out with so many great artists. This track by one of the greats kills it.

Ra Ra Riot — “Water”

I have to admit I’m kind of sick of this song now, but if I looked back at the song I played the most and probably hummed the most in my head in 2016, this would win. I’m singing it right now, actually.



Jesca Hoop — “The Lost Sky”

This is the first single from the forthcoming album Memories Are Now. Her 2016 collab with Sam Beam (of Iron & Wine) was a pivotal moment in her career; looking forward to what’s next.


Cloud Nothings — “Modern Act”

This first single from Life Without Sound is an early indication that the Cleveland indie rock band is due for a big year. They’re at Calvin College on Feb. 6 and visiting WYCE that day!

Esperanza Spalding — “One”

My “Song of the Year,” if you will. The virtuoso bassist, singer, songwriter has everything — groove, soul, chops, crystal-clear voice. She shows respect to traditional jazz and R&B lineage while charting her own course within fusion.



Matt Pond PA — “In Winter”

Like hot cocoa by the fireplace. A little pop confection to make you feel all warm and fuzzy.


Elayna Boynton — “Honey I Told You”

An artist to watch in 2017. 


Michael Kiwanuka — “Love & Hate” (Danger Mouse Edit)

A sweeping orchestral throwback reminiscent of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On?”

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