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Top 89 Staff Picks: Luke Taylor, digital producer

The Current's digital producer Luke Taylor shares this top songs of 2016.
The Current's digital producer Luke Taylor shares this top songs of 2016.MPR graphic

by Luke Taylor

December 06, 2016

My 10 favorite songs of the year, with one extra:

1. case/lang/veirs - "Best Kept Secret" Instantly catchy and upbeat, a joyous homage to the "best kept secret in Silver Lake" (which may be producer Butch Vig). Plus, one day in the office, I got to enjoy Mac Wilson's surreptitious a cappella version of this song.
2. The Avett Brothers - "True Sadness" This song seems to fit the narrative of 2016 so well. When the Avett Brothers visited us in studio in July, bassist Bob Crawford explained "True Sadness" describes how "the human heart is large enough and capable enough to exist at any moment holding … tragedy and being reminded of it constantly, but at the same time experiencing great joy on a daily basis." Given the series of gut-punches 2016 delivered, this song was a good reminder that experiencing joy now and then is still OK.
3. Margaret Glaspy - "You And I" This is such a rocking tune; got to see Margaret Glaspy perform this song at Palomino Festival this summer, shortly after she did a backstage interview with Bill DeVille. Glaspy's album is so strong, and it'll be cool to see what she does next.
4. Atmosphere - "Ringo" A super-catchy rap featuring a narrator who unabashedly shares his flaws and missteps, giving us all something to relate to.
5. Courtney Barnett - "Three Packs A Day" Another great song from Courtney Barnett, who always seems to conjure art from the quotidian: this time, she sings about her love of ramen noodles. There were quite a few times this year when this song sparked a craving for the economical yet tasty food.
6. Drive-By Truckers - "What It Means" A highly relevant song with a message that's right out front, without metaphor. Drive-By Truckers performed this song during a September in-studio session hosted by Sean McPherson.
7. Chance the Rapper - "Blessings 2" feat. Ty Dolla Sign Chance's Coloring Book is filled with positive vibes, and this song sends out a lot of them, plus, there's the great memory of seeing Chance perform at Rock the Garden 2016.
8. Haley Bonar - "Kismet Kill" Another tune that shows off the songwriting and arranging talents of Haley Bonar. Haley performed this song during her in-studio session hosted by Mac Wilson, and another MPR colleague, Matt Becker, got to see Haley perform the song during a set in London.
9. Lizzo - "Good As Hell" The title neatly sums up this feel-good pop song of the summer.
10. Angel Olsen - "Shut Up Kiss Me" This lead single off Olsen's album My Woman leaps in a new direction. And in the bridge of the song, Olsen's voice is reminiscent of Debbie Harry's vocal stylings on a number of classic Blondie tracks.
11. The Cactus Blossoms - "Mississippi" In August 2015, the Cactus Blossoms performed this song during their live session at the Minnesota State Fair, hosted by Bill DeVille, and the song hooked me. Although the lyrics are a bit dark, the instrumentation and tempo evoke the image of a gently flowing Mississippi River on a hot summer day.

The Current Hosts' and Staffers' Top 89 of 2016

Brett BaldwinBill DeVilleJay GablerLeah GaraasJadeCecilia JohnsonLindsay KimballMary LuciaJim McGuinnSean McPhersonShelley MillerDan NassMike NovitzkiMatt PerkinsBrian OakeJill RileyJake RudhNate RyanDavid SafarDerrick StevensAndrea SwenssonLuke TaylorAnna ReedMark WheatMac Wilson