2016 has been dizzyingly rich in album releases – and particularly cruel towards musicians. The deaths of David Bowie, Prince, and Leonard Cohen, all three of whom had revolutionized, throughout their respective careers, the way artists approach and tackle the medium in ways rare few had in its history, urged us to reevaluate, question and critique the state of music today. Fortunately, this year has brought us an innumerable amount of innovative, political, and all around excellent records and tracks – and quite often from unexpected artists – to facilitate both our grieving process and an escape route from the foul stench of fascism that is rapidly taking over the world.

By Edwin Nasr

Editor’s note: You can find Edwin’s previous years’ compilations here for 2014 and 2015.

1. Lazarus – David Bowie

2. Nights – Frank Ocean

3. It Means I Love You – Jessy Lanza

4. Sudden Ambitions – Lust for Youth

5. Formation – Beyoncé

6. Burn the Witch – Radiohead

7. Augustine – Blood Orange

8. Drone Bomb Me – ANOHNI

9. I Need You – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

10. Voodoo in My Blood (feat. Young Fathers) – Massive Attack

11. Ultralight Beam (feat. Chance the Rapper) – Kanye West

12. 29 #Strafford APTS – Bon Iver

13. Seven Words – Weyes Blood

14. Cranes in the Sky – Solange Knowles

15. Really Doe (ft. Kendrick Lamar and Earl Sweatshirt) – Danny Brown

16. Dear Tommy – Chromatics

17. Arthropoda – Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith

18. Landcruisin’ – A.K. Paul

19. No – Nicolas Jaar

20. Love on the Brain – Rihanna

21. Anxiety – Preoccupations

22. Diddy Pop (feat. Raury and Cam O’bi) – Noname

23. Human Performance – Parquet Courts

24. Eh – Death Grips

25. Your Best American Girl – Mitski

26. Blessings (feat. Anderson .Paak and Ty Dolla $ign) – Chance the Rapper

27. Castrati Stack – Tim Hecker

28. Conceptual Romance – Jenny Hval

29. Sister – Angel Olsen

30. Come Down – Anderson .Paak