Top 3 Singles of 2016
By Ani Thurman
The singles listed have rocketed up the charts within this year, and are sure to get stuck in your head. Like them or not, these artists are doing something right to achieve this level of musical success.
- Closer: “Closer” by The Chainsmokers (featuring Halsey) is currently number one on the US Billboard Hot 100. The band has been especially active lately, and gaining a large following due to the popularity of their recent singles. “Don’t Let Me Down” even peaked number three. Most of their work seems to focus on the stereotypical angst of relationships — a common formula. They very obviously play EDM, and their songs sound more like a radio remix than an untouched track.
- Heathens: “Heathens” by Twenty One Pilots was released June 16, which was a forced release date due to it being leaked and the label beginning to lose money. The single is currently at its peak of the Hot 100, at number two. It was written for the film Suicide Squad, and its soundtrack. Obviously, the song had to stick with the general theme of the film, but Tyler Joseph assures fans that it’s written to be a Twenty One Pilots track before anything else.
- Starboy: “Starboy” by The Weeknd (featuring Daft Punk) was released only a couple of months ago. The song jumped 37 positions and reached number three, but has peaked at number two on the Hot 100. His music has been categorized as alternative R&B because of the somewhat unconventional sound. Lyrically, the song describes a celebrity lifestyle that overall, isn’t so glamorous. The video illustrates the meaning through a sinister incarnation of The Weeknd named “Starboy.”
The year is already close to an end, so obviously, a lot of music has been released since the beginning. I specifically enjoyed some of the singles that came out. There is a wide variety, but it’ll be easy to narrow it down.
- Heathens: “Heathens” is by Twenty One Pilots, and was created for the Suicide Squad It peaked number two on the US Billboard Hot 100, tying with “Stressed Out”. On June 15, the band tweeted “takeitslow” in Morse Code, a lyric from the single. The song was leaked the same day, making it nine days ahead of the planned release. On June 16, it was revealed it would be featured in the new film. The leak angered Atlantic Records, causing the label to threaten legal action against fans that were downloading the song before the official release.
- Cancer: Twenty One Pilots released their cover of My Chemical Romance’s “Cancer” a few months after “Heathens”, on September 14. The original song was on the album The Black Parade (2006), arguably one of their biggest successes. The song explores the emotions of a cancer patient, and as you can imagine, it’s extremely heart-wrenching. MCR’s way of executing this song radiates a feeling of perseverance that gives you a positive idea about the situation described. TOP’s execution is very different, and though it’s a dramatic accusation, Tyler sings as if there is no hope. “I’m counting down the days to go” — depending which version you’re listening to, this can be taken positively or negatively.
- Bohemian Rhapsody: It’s no secret that Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco loves Queen. The band could easily be considered one of his greatest inspirations, and he’d jump at any opportunity to showcase one of their songs. Panic! covered the 1975 hit “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which was put on the Suicide Squad It’s obvious that the film wasn’t the primary reason for why he did this in the first place, because he’s even playing it on his tour early next year. Plus, who doesn’t love a good Queen classic?