Choosing our favorite 16 Boston songs of the year is like choosing your favorite child -- if you were the Duggars or some other family with a few hundred kids. While mainstream pop continued to die a slow painful death, it was another bang-up year of music coming out of the isolated Boston music scene. What we have in our region are legions of musicians making music on their terms and their own way, and the result is a fantastically eclectic batch of new tunes that proved this year was one of the best around town. The selections below, listen alphabetically, aren't any sort of ultimate Best Of, though they do reflect what we've enjoyed the most, what we've hyped on these digital pages, and what we had spun on VanyaRadio. If you read this website on the regular, you should be quite familiar; if not, then dive in and hear something new and exciting.
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Analog Heart, “Come Alive”
There were a few songs that stopped us dead in our tracks at the 2016 Rock And Roll Rumble, but perhaps none more than the anthemic “Come Alive” from Massachusetts rock band Analog Heart. After we first heard it and all its ambitious arena-rock glory, we chased down singer Liz Bills, found a quiet spot in the kitchen of ONCE Ballroom, and asked her all about it. “The song is about being in an abusive relationship and waking up one day and realizing that you can’t ‘die for love’”, Bills would later tell us. “And the video is about empowering women in abusive relationships to leave.”