Asian Junkie : Top 100 Korean Songs of 2016
Monday, January 2, 2017 at 9:15PM
DFSB Kollective in Featured Artists

2016 is not over until the world floods the internet with their best-of lists, and of course I’m here to add to the fun.

This year I’m keeping things simple. No crazy rules, no strict guidelines. The only rule I followed in compiling this list is that each song had to have been released between December 1, 2015 and December 1, 2016. That’s pretty much it. Another thing to keep in mind is that some artists appear once on this list while others appear multiple times. It’s a diverse list, yet also very clearly my personal taste (if IATFB worked on this he’d find a way to have all 100 be Crayon Pop songs). From K-pop to folk, R&B to punk, I listened to a ton of music over the course of 2016 and I did my best to make sure this list reflected that.

Also, I ranked these for the sake of ranking them, but don’t take it too seriously. The point is that all of these songs are great, and no matter where they landed on the final list they all left an impression on me and I’m sure a ton of you, too. So please enjoy my list of what I think are the best Korean songs of the year!

16. Big Phony 'Hanging On a Thread'

Release Date : 09/30/2016
Genre : Folk

“Hanging On A Thread” is a breath of fresh air upon first listen. It’s one of Big Phony‘s most melodic releases, with strung out melodies dancing against a shimmery instrumental and a touch of vulnerability embedded in the singer’s voice that holds this delightful song together.

25. Heo 'Pyre'

Release Date : 11/28/2016
Genre : Electronic

Haunting and riddled with layers of peculiar synth work, Heo‘s “Pyre” is a sweet example of what electronic music sounds like when it isn’t afraid to go a little dark and experimental.

30. Billy Carter 'The Dog'

Release Date : 11/23/2016
Genre : Rock

Billy Carter‘s immense and ferocious “The Dog” is a slick and hyper rock’n’roll anthem that throws all caution to the wind. While the majority of it is rooted in rock, the underlying percussion elements add a lot of extra flavor to the mix.

43. 3rd Line Butterfly '나를 깨우네 Awaken'

Release Date : 10/19/2016
Genre : Rock

For a song over 11 minutes long, there’s a point one reaches while listening to “Awaken” that the passage of time ceases to be of concern and every glimmering detail of its expansive composition is effective in liberating the mind.

70. Jay Park 'Aquaman'

Release Date : 10/20/2016
Genre : R&B/Soul

Jay Park has learned through trial and error the formula to produce great R&B music, and he succeeds in waves with “Aquaman.” Just disregard the lyrical cringiness about cunnilingus to appreciate its finer details.

88. Love X Stereo 'Dead Beat Generation'

Release Date : 04/29/2016
Genre : Electronic

Annie Ko sounds absolutely mesmerizing on Love X Stereo‘s eerie “Dead Beat Generation.” In a year when R&B and hip-hop rose to full mainstream status, it was refreshing to hear sparks of electro-pop done right from this promising duo.

92. Silica Gel '9'

Release Date : 10/12/2016
Genre : Rock

The fuzziness of Silica Gel‘s “9” (and of the rest of the self-titled album they released this year) adds a degree of warmth to the band’s psychedelic sound that both captivates and transports as the song unfolds.

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