The Ghost 101 Countdown of 2016: #20-11


Day by day, song by song, we’re getting closer to revealing The Ghost’s #1 song of 2016. You should be following along diligently, but in case you’re not, The Ghost will be nice and do a full recap of songs #101-21. Ready? Here we go…

  1. John Earle Mainord, “The Dam Gon’ Break”
  2. Sarah Sellers, “Gone Through Hell”
  3. Northern National, “Addiction”
  4. Svenny Baby!, “Crystalline”
  5. A Giant Dog, “Sex & Drugs”
  6. Picnic, Lightning, “American Ruin”
  7. Sad Cops, “Liam Murphy Holt”
  8. Mary Walker, “Cure”
  9. Ellen Once Again, “Feel Again”
  10. BRYCE, “High Tops”
  11. Cole Risner, “No Good in This Goodbye”
  12. The Lash Outs, “State of Excess”
  13. The Suffers, “Peanuts”
  14. Rei Clone, “Ready to Die”
  15. Girl Blue, “Fire Under Water”
  16. Hella Zealous, “Cool Enough”
  17. The Nightowls, “Right Around the Corner”
  18. Exit Glaciers (feat. Scott Danbom), “Silence Has Left”
  19. Joe Savage, “Your Drinkin'”
  20. Wall of Orange, “Sweetest Blue”
  21. The Deathray Davies, “Valentine”
  22. One Red Martian, “Driving Song”
  23. Skinny Cooks, “Glitzkrieg”
  24. Bonnie Whitmore, “F**k With Sad Girls”
  25. Bronco Simmons, “Younger Days”
  26. Midnight County, “By My Side”
  27. The Gibbonses, “Tough as Nails”
  28. Ishi, “Classic Lips”
  29. Fea, “You Can’t Change Me”
  30. Mean Motor Scooter, “Such a Seducer”
  31. The Roomsounds, “Elm St.”
  32. Cheridan, “Hawaii by Night”
  33. Mobley, “Solo”
  34. Mercury Rocket, “Loving Kind”
  35. Nicholas Altobelli, “Exit Polls”
  36. Signals & Alibis, “Whistleblower”
  37. Summer Dean, “A Heartache I Can Use”
  38. Huffer, “High Hopes, Tied Ropes”
  39. Saso, “Stephanie”
  40. Pleasant Grove, “The Pessimist Clique”
  41. Sam Lao, “Pineapple”
  42. Moon Waves, “Warfare”
  43. Herrick & Hooley, “Cannonball”
  44. Missing Sibling, “Always”
  45. Cameron Matthew Ray, “Lost With You”
  46. Party Static, “Wasted Waster”
  47. Parallel Play, “Bucket of Lies”
  48. Matt Tedder, “Good as Gone”
  49. Cantina, “Lucifer”
  50. I Happy Am, “Fragile”
  51. Ask for Joy, “Pinprick Eyes”
  52. Giant Kitty, “Fascinator”
  53. Migrant Kids, “Let It Go”
  54. Tru Def, “All Year”
  55. Jane Ellen Bryant, “Twenties”
  56. The Phantom Sensation, “Red Gallows”
  57. NeonNoah, “Atlas”
  58. Bravo, Max!, “Clean Slate”
  59. Pale Dian, “Evan Evan”
  60. Matthew Gray, “This Is What I’ve Learned About Losing.”
  61. Bloody Knives, “Cystic”
  62. Ronnie Heart, “Fortune Teller”
  63. Cherubs, “Fists in the Air”
  64. VVOES, “Days Are Numbered”
  65. Ducado Vega and Zenya, “Octapush”
  66. Madi Davis, “The Moon”
  67. The Crystal Furs, “Tunnel Vision”
  68. Public Love Affair, “Crooked”
  69. Droo’s Peace Crush, “Siren Song”
  70. Shawnee Kilgore, “Love Song”
  71. Daniel Markham, “Slayer Tapes & AM Radio”
  72. Somogyi, “Wait for You”
  73. Mur, “Long Way from the Weekend”
  74. Mind Spiders, “Prosthesis”
  75. Cut Throat Finches, “Moon Beast”
  76. The Feels (feat. Slooom), “Dominator”
  77. Clifffs, “I’m Your Ghost”
  78. Monoculture, “Guadalupe & 4th”
  79. Reagan James, “Breaking the Bank”
  80. Sudie, “Schitzo”
  81. Calliope Musicals, “Echo of the Woos”

And now, the Top 20 begins…

  1. (monkeysphere), “Come Back to the Show”
    While (monkeysphere) may be on a long term hiatus as Zooki’s new project Sex Regrets takes off, 2016 proved to be a strong year for the gang at (ms).  Their Music for Awkward People to Dance To EP won a Ghosty Award, and “Come Back to the Show” looks like it could be their most enduring anthem.  And yes, if and when (monkeysphere) reunites, fans will be more than happy to come back to their shows.
  2. That Dog Don’t Hunt, “Soho Hurry”
    If there was an award for most slept on song of 2016, it would have to go to TDDH for “Soho Hurry”.  Maybe people just don’t want infectiously fun pop songs anymore, because that’s the only semi-reasonable explanation for the band not seeing bigger success this year.
  3. Reverend KM Williams, “The Runaway Blues”
    Artists like Charley Crockett and Matt Tedder have certainly triggered a resurgence in blues appreciation.  One artist I feel is equally deserving of that level of attention is Reverend KM Williams (shown above).  Songs like “The Runaway Blues” combine authentic boogie and delta blues with a modern styling that keeps his sound fresher and more engaging than most blues acts.
  4. Jonas Martin, “Dumbstruck AF”
    Fact: The Ghost is a sucker for a good love song, in spite of the fact that many love songs can come off as cliched and even cheesy.  What makes “Dumbstruck AF” so refreshing is that it honestly communicates all the emotions of a real life love story (inspired by his wife Miller Pyke) without even an ounce of sappiness.  On a side note, however, if there’s ever a single release of the song, let’s shorten the radio station outro, K?
  5. 88 Killa, “Boomerang”
    Sometimes simplicity is the most effective way to grab a listener’s attention, a lesson learned and used by 88 Killa in this track.  The minimal bass line intro may be simplistic, yet it proves to be one of the catchiest intros of the year.  As for the lyrics, well, listen and see why 88 earned his Ghosty Award for Best Hip-Hop/Rap Artist.
  6. Alexandria Rhea, “The Dodger”
    When I first heard Alexandria Rhea’s Naked Soul EP, I was so amazed by her talent that I did the equivalent of an audio double take.  Her melodies and beautiful voice make her sound like her music could have been a lost gem of the 1960’s, even as her lyrical wit and bite show her to be a truly modern artist.  While most of the tracks off Naked Soul gathered repeat listens, the irreverently fun “The Dodger” made the most lasting impression.
  7. Sarah Jarosz, “House of Mercy”
    Ms. Jarosz has moved from Austin to New York, but a release as strong as “House of Mercy” proved too strong for this blogger to overlook.  I’m not sure what to say, except that this song is hauntingly beautiful and addictive.
  8. Kinsley August, “Smokey Lovers”
    There’s a definite eclectic nature to the music of Kinsley August, demonstrated in his Smokey Lovers album.  Whether the radio ready pop of “Stay the Night”, the dreamy “Psychedelic Waves”, or  the sweet indie pop of “Thirst”, Kinsley shows himself to be a musical jack of all trades.  But it’s the album title track, melodically reminiscent of such Brit-pop acts as Suede, that shows the artist’s greatest strength as both a singer and a songwriter.
  9. Pageantry, “Vicious Wishes”
    Not gonna lie, The Beatles influences in this song are obvious.  Really obvious.  That’s okay though, as “Vicious Wishes” manages to incorporate Beatles stylings with enough modern influence to make this song the strongest by Pageantry to date.
  10. Relick, “I Wouldn’t Lie to You”
    If I were to give an award to the melody I wish I had written this year, it would have to go to “I Wouldn’t Lie to You”.  The unique chord progression feels like 1970’s pop at its absolute finest, and it is so, so damn catchy.  Add Amber Nicholson’s lovely voice to the mix, and it adds up to pure pop perfection.

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