Top 10 Tracks of 2016: Part 2

7. Moving In - "Water Garden"

The fluorescent yellow, full-body rain slicker Thom Yorke wore to Pinkpop Festival 1996 now navigates the surface of a mercurial pool brimming with reverb. The discarded garment's limp folds undulate against the anxious ripples of fluid that keep it afloat, its waterproof topography cupping puddles of rainfall. 

Moving In's lo-fi folk meditations are as tranquil as the newspaper's stray comics page, a faint, balled splash of faded primary colors nestled cozily in a snow-draped public park. They seem to answer only to the forces of nature, their airy tufts of acoustic chords and hypnotic keyboard drones piloting a dry winter breeze. 

"Water Garden" connects on an abstract, almost spiritual level. No particular sound or riff seems to stand out in its mix. Its stomach rising and falling in slumber to Jordan Fox's strumming pattern, the tune is a single, hibernating organism taking its yearly nap in a warm, analogue den.

6. Father - "Heartthrob"

Speaking of yellow garments and live performances, Father's in-studio performance for webzine COLORS Berlin provides a crisp 120 second primer in the "twee-trap" aesthetic that seemed to dominate Soundcloud's digital airwaves for the better part of the year. Alongside choice cuts sliced by fellow Atlanta-based artists Lil Yachty and Pollari, "Heartthrob" represents the most charming aural emissions that internet rap has to offer. Lounging on a buoyant bed of producer Meltycanon's xylophonic synths, Father flows with the enthusiasm of a plump housecat, freshly awakened from a long nap. 

Smash the snooze button; wile out in kawaii dreams.

"Use your hands, fusion dance, stay in school"

5. Rosehip Teahouse - "No Gloom"

Cut through the post-"Heartthrob" eye crust with yet another sleepy tune: Rosehip Teahouse's "No Gloom" is a somber bedroom pop reverie in the tradition of The Sundays and The Softies, keyboard tones shimmering like strands of expatriate hair revealed by the dawn's glow. The tune exists in the realm of speculation: it points its lens at dates that might be, hypothetical conversations, and a sense of hopeful optimism. Faye Rodgers and her translucent instrumentation feel like phantasmal observers in these imagined dreamscapes: their presence is not quite sensed, but it can be metaphysically detected. "No Gloom" spans the spectrum of emotion before landing squarely in the center: it's the happiest sad song this side of Bandcamp.