1. MØ, “Final Song”
On the heels of her guest vocal performance on Major Lazer and DJ Snake’s 2015 global smash “Lean On”, Danish singer-songwriter Karen Marie Aagaard Ørsted Andersen, otherwise known as MØ, released the exuberant single “Final Song”. Unlike “Lean On”, “Final Song” is the sound of a young artist finding her own voice, creating (along with fellow songwriting phenom Noonie Bao) a fireworks burst of tropical house and dance. All the while MØ charismatically carries the track with her playful delivery, not to mention her insistent, empowering lyrics. Actually the big eureka moment was when I saw her perform a surprisingly raucous and energetic set in the blazing early afternoon heat at the Osheaga festival. She’s an unconventional pop artist, one with a unique personality and style that sets her apart from all the other soundalikes and lookalikes. This single was a burst of ebullience and lust for life that this downcast cultural year badly needed, and her new album can’t arrive soon enough.
And here’s the final overall Best Singles list in playlist form, along with a whole bunch of other songs I loved in 2016. Enjoy!