We can’t all agree on whether 2016 was a great year or a crap year, but at least the music releases this year were great.

We don’t believe in prescriptivism when handling something as divisive as music, so Popspoken asked 15 young Singaporeans to pick their personal favourites from this year.

Here are the people’s top music picks of 2016, not in any particular order:

1. “At Night (I Think About You)” – MNEK

“I love a good sad song that’s disguised as an upbeat dance track. The lyrics about feeling lonely late at night longing for the person you love are heartbreakingly relatable and MNEK’s passionate vocals will make you wanna sing along at the top of your lungs. So underrated; I’m sad this wasn’t a hit.” – Syahiran Rafi, 21, @syahiwalk

2. “Heathens” – twenty one pilots

“In a year full of new experiences and forming new relationships, the lyrics resonated strongly with the situations me and my friends found ourselves in.” – Bryan Loon, 22, @loonloonbloon

3. “24K Magic” – Bruno Mars

“It’s funky, not like all the other EDM-infused songs nowadays.” – Barnabas Chua, 21, @barneycles

4. “Bad Decisions” – Two Door Cinema Club

“It’s such a bop and I think it will be a real dance number when they perform it live next year!” – Bambby Cheuk, 19, @bambbycheuk

5. “Let There Be Light” – Hillsong Worship

“I think Let There Be Light actually holds up really well as a cohesive album and not just a mishmash of random Christian songs. The entire album just means so much to me probably because it helped me tide through one of the most challenging seasons of my life.” – Gilaine Ng, 21

6. “Burn” – The Temper Trap

“In a year marked by tons of trashy EDM earworms and the election of Trump, at least The Temper Trap released their first good song in seven years. Plus it’s always nice to hear Dougy remind us that it’s ok to fuck up once in a while. Here’s to a better 2017.” – Eugene Tang, 21, @eugthehuman

7. “Mad Love” – JoJo

“‘cos swag level 10000!” – Tan Su-Qing Hazel, 21, @zazee_tan

8. “Closer”– The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey

“We need to move closer to 2017. Because 2016 has been shit.” – Ariel Lin, 22

9. “On Hold” – The XX 

“The music video is amazing and it’s great to see The XX come up with brand new material!” – Cheryl Ang, 21, @cheryl.ang

10. “1057” – Jasmine Sokko

“A stunning debut with mastering by the genius behind Monster Cat, Jasmine Wong’s silky vocals echo on the first few beats of the electronic track and signal a new way forward for female-fronted electronic music in Singapore. A track to walk out of home while listening to.” – Kyle Malinda White, 24, @alphaspectre

11. “Million Reasons” – Lady Gaga

“I love how the track is kept simple and not overproduced. The track itself is so raw and emotional, it’s heartbreaking. It shows that Lady Gaga is very much like us and only human – trying her best to navigate her way around love and life. Best Christmas present and track of 2016, in my opinion.” – Bryan Cheong, 24, @brycheong_

12. “Panama City Beach” – Pink Slip

“When i listen to this song, no matter how I’m feeling, it brings me back to the laid back but still happy vibes. Even if its raining outside I still feel like I’m at the beach.” – Nick Chew, 23, @chewcheepeng

13. “Never Be Like You” – Flume ft. Kai

“Hit me right in the spots.” – Darren Goh, @darrenjxx

14. “Love Me Now” – John Legend

“I feel that this song is more than just what listeners hear from the lyrics. It shows how much effort is put into the relationship not just by himself but by both parties. Also, an alternative meaning is that he’s ill and he doesn’t have long, so instead of travelling the world doing things to check off the bucket list, he chose to love her until it kills him because she’s just that worth it.” – Muhammad Nabil Shafie, 22, @ispeakamericano

15. “Are We Ready? (Wreck)” – Two Door Cinema Club

“It sounds so magical, just feel so at ease whenever I listen to it.” – Shaun Loh, 23, @shaunlohhie

16. “Sleep On The Floor” – The Lumineers 

“A song not only about the pursuit of ambition and leaving the small town behind to head to the big city, but also about chasing the same dreams as your partner and not following love blindly – if everything falls through will you still “rail against your dying day”?” – Teo Geng Hao, 22, @genghaot


Were your favourites not mentioned? Send us an angry tweet at @PopspokenMusic!

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Cover Photo: The 1975
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