10. “Where the Devil Don’t Go,” Elle King
Because this was, in part, a year of Southern Gothic barroom twang and soul. Of ladies blasting off the roof with their angry spirited voices. Of shutting my eyes and just going to a place that’s all drown my woes in a lake of fire, sing a song gonna take me higher.
9. “Blood I Bled” the Staves
And a year of twang of a different sort, a haunting listening-to-music-in-the-dark-with-lit-candles sort. And harmonies. Harmonies and come the quickening feet that fall, come the gathering rain.
8. “She Used to Be Mine,” Sara Bareilles
It was also, like most years, a year of feelings about tragic ladies, of sometimes life just slips in through a back door.
7. “Beautiful Monster,” Sky-Pony
And tragic ladies with utter rage in their hearts. It was definitely a year of that, which accounts for this song ranking despite only being in my life for a couple of weeks, a year of there’ll be a dollhouse and I’ll be your toy and coming out of it beautiful and wild.
6. “Carolina Low,” the Decemberists
It’s been a year of superb storytelling and, again, Southern Gothic aesthetic, of darkness and ghost stories and I got a little love for the offering.
5. “Look What We’ve Become,” Grace Potter
And saying to hell with expectations, we like who we are and we kick ass and take names and also so we screamed our bloody lungs out and ran straight for the sun.
4. “Painted,” MS MR
It’s been a year of self-reflection and looking back whether or not that’s a good idea, saying “yeah, I’m angry, what are you gonna do about it” and burning bridges from the inside-out, one day I’ll be stronger than my own doubt.
3. “Gasoline,” Halsey
Of wondering about oneself and, again, reflecting, of making a big beautiful mess and with your face all made up, living on a screen, low on self esteem, so you run on gasoline and letting yourself feel it.
2. “Outlaws,” Delta Rae
But there have also been notes of hope, of rebel wonder and wanderlust, of baby we can be magic, and that’s beautiful.
1. “Playing Dead,” CHVRCHES
But in the end it’s very much a year of no more distractions and no more staying still, I am chasing the skyline much more than you ever will.
–your fangirl heroine.