yes this list includes closer | best music of 2016 link up!

Helene in Between


I’m so excited to be linking up with Helene In Between for a 2016 recap. Today, I’m looking back on what were my favorite and what I consider to be the best songs of the last year. I’m over the “Worst Of” lists so you won’t find those picks here. No one has time for that negativity!

Taking into consideration the playlists I made, the songs that bring up good memories throughout the year, what was popular on Spotify and my Top Songs of the Year on Spotify is how I came up with this list.

*Disclaimers & Conclusions*

  1. I didn’t take music too seriously this year. If I liked an artist or song, then I listened to them. That being said, this was my year to listen to really fun, upbeat, party music including a lot of mainstream, dance-y EDM and hip-hop/rap. So not as much indie/hipster/chill music as I’ve listened to in the past.
  2. I finally discovered what was so appealing about Drake.
  3. And I stopped hating Kanye once and for all. What a time to be alive.

So here we go!



Roses – The Chainsmokers – Even though this song came out in July 2015, everyone included it on their end of the year/best of lists. It’s honestly one of my favorite songs of all time and it never fails to put me in the best mood.

Closer – The Chainsmokers – yeah, I know everyone thinks it’s overplayed at this point BUT IT IS SO GOOD. If you’ve been following the duo on Snapchat, they’ve been sharing tiny snipets of this track since JANUARY. And if you were like me, you were dying for the full song. Whether you had been eagerly anticipating this one or it was love at first listen – we can all agree this was truly the song of Summer 2016.

Inside Out – The Chainsmokers – easily the most underrated song by these guys.

All We Know / Don’t Let Me Down – The Chainsmokers

My Way – Calvin Harris – I feel like this was a little bit of TSwift shade. And I liked it.

This Is What You Came For – Calvin Harris – I don’t know if it was because I was ready for a new Calvin track or because I finally saw him at OMNIA. Either way…here we are.

Is It Love – [3LAU] – I still love this song – another of my summer soundtracks by one of my favorite producers. I can’t wait to see what he brings out this year!

Take My Breath Away – Alesso – After seeing him live last year, I concluded he is very underrated.

Heading Home – Gryffin – I LOVE GRYFFIN!! So hard. In fact, my #2 most listened to song of 2016 was a remix he did that came out in 2015 – (Desire by Years & Years) – check it out!!

Anywhere – Dillon Francis

Fakin It (featuring Ofelia K) – Kaskade – If you know me, you know that Kaskade is my absolute fave. He can honestly do no wrong in my book.

Only – Kaskade x Lipless Remix – RY X / US – Extended Mix – Kaskade & CID 

Sweet Memories – CID & Kaskade – I love CID. He was on Kaskade’s track “Us” and ever since then I’ve been a fan. I’m excited to see what he creates next.

Talk – DJ Snake – I didn’t realize how much I listened to this track in 2016 (#3 on my Top Songs of the Year). This was a good song to transition us into Summer.

Middle / Let Me Love You – DJ Snake

Pillow Fight – Galantis – A late drop date in 2016. I wasn’t really a fan of the music they released during the last year, but this song was different. I think it represents the heart and soul of this duo. It feels like a nod to my fave and very first track of theirs – “You”.

Summer – Marshmello – When this song comes out in January and all you want is a summer pool party and a Patron Tequila Sunrise 😑🤔

In The Name of Love – Martin Garrix & Bebe Rexha 

Light – San Holo – I don’t really know where this one came from, but it struck me immediately. It’s lighthearted (lol) and feel good.

All I Ever Wanted – Michael Brun featuring Louie – I know…it’s from the XOXO soundtrack, but it’s so CATCHY. And my friends made it into the movie, so that’s cool too.

Higher – Jauz

Say It (featuring Tove Lo) – Flume

The Right Song – Tiesto – Tiesto has a way of producing music that makes you want to dance and party til sunrise in Vegas 😏

Rap/Hip-Hop – 

Black Beatles – Rae Sremmurd – I was sooo late to this phenom. I started listening to the song right before Thanksgiving – enough that it ended up in my Top Songs of the Year. I’m still obsessed and can already rap 87% of the track. Stay tuned for my mixtape this summer. Kidding…maybe.

Young N***a Living – A$AP Ferg, A$AP Ant, A$AP Twelvyy – This gem caught my ear from A$AP Mob’s “Cozy Tapes: Vol. 1 Friends” released on Halloween. Such a good track.

One Dance – Drake

Pop Style – Drake – the version before he took off Jay and Ye.

Too Good – Drake & Rihanna

Kiss It Better – Rihanna – one of the only tracks on her new album that I enjoyed.

Pop –

Love Myself – Hailee Steinfeld – This was my anthem during the first half of the year and instantly puts me in a better mood.

Ain’t My Fault – Zara Larsson – A good party song for when you stopped giving all the fucks. 👍🏻😁

Send My Love (To Your New Lover) / When We Were Young / Water Under The Bridge – Adele – so much better than that Hello song.

Make Me… – Britney Spears featuring G-Eazy – I’ve always been a Britney girl and G-Eazy is one of my fave rappers.

Into You – Ariana Grande – Sometimes your spin teacher plays this song and it just hits you where it’s supposed to. This song always gets me going.

Side to Side – Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj 

Alarm – Anne-Marie

All In My Head (Flex) – Fifth Harmony – Try not to sing along. I dare you.

Misc –

Waste A Moment – Kings of Leon – I love Kings of Leon. Their best songs create a sense of crave-able longing while giving us sunshine whiskey and the feeling of California soul. This track is a perfect example of that vibe.

Carpet / Capsize – FRENSHIP –  I saw them live in November and they were so much fun. I’m excited by what this group has released so far and I can’t wait to see what the future brings for them.

Lost Weekend – Pete Yorn – I always listen to this song when I drive to California. This tune just sounds like summer and adventures.

All We Ever Knew – The Head and The Heart

Choke – King Charles – A random track I found and instantly connected with one day.

Ophelia – The Lumineers – This band has a special place in my heart. I love that they bring a vintage feel and a unique sound to the charts that seem to sound very similar these days.

Friends – Francis and The Lights featuring Bon Iver & Kanye West]


i like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it – The 1975 – Honestly, so in love with this album. I was pleasantly surprised by this band’s second full-length project. Fave Tracks – A Change of Heart, She’s American, Please Be Naked, Somebody Else, Loving Someone, i like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it, The Sound, This Must Be My Dream, Paris, UGH!

The Life of Pablo – Kanye West – Ugh. I have always had such a love/hate relationship with Yeezus. And to start this year, I was not loving him so much. But then this ablum was released and my love for him has officially been solidified. I’m a firm believer in the fact that you can’t hate someone or something that you understand, and I finally understand him. Fave Tracks – Ultralight Beam, Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1, Famous, Freestyle 4, Waves, Real Friends, Wolves, Facts (Charlie Heat Version), Fade

Coloring Book – Chance The Rapper – Another one of my summer soundtracks. Chance is going places and I’m thrilled to be along for the journey. Fave Tracks – All We Got, No Problem, Summer Friends, Same Drugs, Smoke Break, Blessings

Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’ – Kid Cudi – I see you Kid Cudi comin’ in hot with that late December release SIDE EYE. This whole album sounds like deep, dark, velvet opium-less opium den sex. It’s fantastic…trust me. Fave Tracks – Swim In The Light, Releaser, By Design, All In, ILLusions, Does It, Distant Fantasies, Surfin’

When It’s Dark Out – G-Eazy – Even though the album was released late last year, this was G-Eazy’s year to blow up. The world got to see what a lot of us have been loving for years and I’m definitely not mad about it. Fave Tracks – Random, One Of Them, Drifting, Of All Things, Calm Down, You Got Me, Everything Will Be OK

California – blink-182 – So stoked to finally have some new blink, even if Tom DeLonge is really never coming back. Regardless, I’m forever a blink-lover and did I mention they’re nominated for a Grammy? This album is the perfect mix of upbeat pop-punk, old school blink reminiscent and even includes one of those sad yet satisfying songs. Oh blink, I have missed you. Fave Tracks – Cynical, Bored To Death, She’s Out Of Her Mind, No Future, Home Is Such A Lonely Place, Left Alone, San Diego, California

Joanne – Lady Gaga – Oh. My. Hell. I absolutely love Lady Gaga and I knew there was something special about her from those “Just Dance” days. She has an amazing voice and if you’ve listened to her album with Tony Bennett, you know she’s talented. This album was a perfect progression and a refreshing look at her as a singer/songwriter. Fave Tracks – Diamond Heart, A-YO, Joanne, John Wayne, Dancin’ In Circles, Million Reasons, Sinner’s Prayer, Hey Girl

The Weight of These Wings – Miranda Lambert – This girl is amazing and this album was something I didn’t even know I needed. I appreciate the fact that she knows she’s not perfect. I love that she turns her mistakes into beautiful life lessons through song. This album was overall refreshing. Fave Tracks – Runnin’ Just In Case, Highway Vagabond, Pink Sunglasses, Getaway Driver, Vice, Good Ol’ Days, Keeper of the Flame, I’ve Got Wheels

So that was my 2016 in music. There were definitely some gems that I will continue to play this year (because we ain’t ever getting older)!

Here is a link to my full Top Songs of 2016 on Spotify!

What music made up the soundtrack to your 2016? I’m always looking for new music and would love suggestions!


Author: Jess

Las Vegas local / writer, creator, festival goer, explorer, marketer, promoter, special event & experience curator

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