There seems to be a general consensus that 2016 was for lack of a better term, a very crappy year. If you experienced heartbreak over the past 12 months you might be inclined to agree. On the flip side, if you were happy in love, 2016 just might have been your best year.
In any case, here’s a list of songs filled with messages of love and heartache to sooth your soul as we finish out the year.
KINGS OF LEON – “WALLS”
Kings of Leon presented their seventh studio album in mid-October with Waste a Moment, but things truly got real when they released their second single, “Walls”. As the title suggests, the band walks us through the trials and tribulations of breaking down walls or worse — putting them back up again.
CHVRCHES FEAT. HAYLEY WILLIAMS – “BURY IT”
In the summer of 2016 Chvrches released a remix of “Bury It” featuring Paramore front girl Hayley Williams. In the classic tale of fighting for what we think is right or wrong in a relationship, “Bury It” speaks to the struggle of dealing with relationship issues head on or simply burying them (and rising above).
TEGAN AND SARA – “STOP DESIRE”
Our favourite Canadian sisters returned this year with another hit album in Love You to Death. Of course every song could fill this list, but “Stop Desire” comes to us as the perfect song to describe the struggle we all feel when falling for someone completely unattainable. And yet, unavoidable at the same time.
WARPAINT – “NEW SONG”
In September Warpaint released their highly anticipated third studio album Heads Up. The lead single “New Song” perfectly defines the euphoria one feels when falling for someone new and allowing the magic of fresh beginnings to take over our every thought — in the best way possible.
JIMMY EAT WORLD – “SURE AND CERTAIN”
After a couple of years of flying under the radar, Jimmy Eat World made their stunning return in October with their ninth studio album Integrity Blues. The band’s first single “Sure and Certain” makes the list like any Jimmy Eat World song would, by bringing to the forefront the lingering doubts of where a relationship may lead us. And then wondering how we didn’t read the signs in the first place.
THE 1975 – “SOMEBODY ELSE”
At the start of 2016 UK pop rockers The 1975 released their second studio album with a title almost as long as this list, I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unware Of It. The single “Somebody Else” embodies the worst possible scenario in any romantic relationship. Being willing to lose someone while simultaneously not accepting the idea of them being with (as the song suggests) somebody else.
BANNERS – “INTO THE STORM”
Banners released his single “Into the Storm” in the middle of the year and it’s still gaining momentum. Taking a break from songs of heartache, this single preaches the beauty of supporting the one you love regardless of circumstance. As a feel good song for the ages, “Into the Storm” gave us the positive spin we were craving.
THE LUMINEERS – “OPHELIA”
The Lumineers came back to us this year with their sophomore album Cleopatra. The lead single “Ophelia” is the perfect track to pull on the heartstrings of never being able to let go of true love against our better judgement. It’s simplistic and to the point lyrics easily speaks to anyone who’s ever been sucker punched in the heart.
ARKELLS – “MY HEART’S ALWAYS YOURS”
Canadian rockers the Arkells gifted us with their fourth studio album Morning Report at the end of summer. “My Heart’s Always Yours” has the ability to be perceived two ways. It easily speaks to the idea of seeing your current love as your one and only, never willing to leave their side. Or perhaps it’s a love lost that you’ll spend a lifetime waiting for.
BASTILLE – “GOOD GRIEF”
British indie pop band Bastille surprised us with their second studio album Wild World right when we needed it. Their first single “Good Grief” walked us through the typical behaviours of dealing with a breakup. Things like wearing an ex’s clothes, sobbing over photos, and more appropriately — cringing and crying when ‘your song’ comes on the radio.
COLEMAN HELL – “FIREPROOF”
Another Canadian artist to grace the list is Coleman Hell and with the single “Fireproof” from his first full-length album Summerland. If you’ve ever felt the emotional roller-coaster of diving into something head first and somehow coming out unscathed, you likely had this beauty on repeat.
THE XX – “ON HOLD”
We won’t hear their full album I See You until 2017, but that didn’t stop London’s The XX from releasing their single “On Hold” before the end of 2016. In terms of break up songs, “On Hold” certainly knows a thing or two about the struggle of someone being more in it to win it than the other.
CHAINSMOKERS FEAT. HALSEY – “CLOSER”
Although it’s technically not considered an indie song, we can’t deny the insanely popular following of “Closer” by the Chainsmokers featuring Halsey. A song that needs little explanation, “Closer” climbed instantly to the top spot of the Billboard charts and continued is reign for over 12 consecutive weeks. Making its mark as arguably the most listened to song about love in 2016.
What other songs would you add to this list?