It’s been an amazing year for music on Long Island, with great music coming from artists both new and old. Here’s a look at the best L.I. songs of 2016:
1. TAKING BACK SUNDAY, “TIDAL WAVE” (Hopeless) This is what Long Island sounds like at its best. The Long Beach-based rockers take the catchiest part of the Ramones legacy and twist it with their own hard-core roots to create a potent punk protest song.
2. DE LA SOUL FEATURING DAMON ALBARN, “HERE IN AFTER” (AOI) This brilliant collaboration collapses a life of struggle (“Keep that cow in the pasture, knife in the drawer — it’s been a long 40 days, it’s gonna take 40 more”) and a positive afterlife (voiced by Albarn) into a 5-minute-plus thrill.
3. SWET SHOP BOYS, “T5” (Customs) Hicksville’s Heems and Riz MC (aka Riz Ahmed from that little indie flick “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”) somehow manage to cleverly discuss both hitting on women and racial profiling in airports over some of the freshest beats of the year.
4. BAYSIDE, “ENEMY LINES” (Hopeless) No one can sing “You got problems!” quite like Anthony Raneri.
5. LEMON TWIGS, “THESE WORDS” (4AD) The D’Addario brothers leap from their Hicksville basement into the international spotlight thanks to this heady mix of ’70s Elton John, indie pop and their own quirky musicianship and fashion sense.
6. CHRISETTE MICHELE, “TO THE MOON” (Rich Hipster) The Patchogue native’s ongoing quest to combine R&B and indie-rock sensibilities has never sounded better.
7. NINE DAYS, “SNAPSHOTS” (Digitally Sound) Dear Nashville producers, this is a country smash waiting to happen. You don’t have to tell anyone it came from St. James.
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8. JON BELLION, “80’S FILMS” (Visionary/Capitol) The Lake Grove native will have you nostalgic for Smithtown parking lots and “The Breakfast Club” thanks to this lovely slice of synth-filled pop.
9. HOODIE ALLEN FEATURING BLACKBEAR AND KYLE, “CHAMPAGNE AND POOLS” (Hoodie Allen) Frank Ocean R&B vibe filtered through Hoodie’s ultra-timely, hyper-detailed Long Island sensibility.
10. MATTHEW KOMA, “KISSES BACK” (RCA) The Seaford native combines dramatic power-pop verses with an irresistible club ready chorus with memorable results.
HONORABLE MENTION King Neptune, “Black Hole” (wavey); Giants at Large, “Carle Place Diner 11 p.m.” (Giants at Large); My Favorite, “Killed for Kicks” (Death Party); Shaggy, “That Love” (Brooklyn Knights / Ranch); Sir Cadian Rhythm, “Not Quite Done Yet” (Sir Cadian Rhythm)