Big Scary’s top 10 songs of 2016

At the close of the year Happy put together our top 100 songs of 2016, an all-Australian collection detailing the personal favourites of all our staff. With their gorgeous tune The Opposite Of Us, Tom Iansek and Jo Syme of Big Scary clocked in at a well-deserved number three.

We extended them an offer to publish their very own top 10 of 2016 and they was more than happy to oblige. Jump below for Big Scary’s take on 2016.

big scary jo syme

After cracking Happy’s favourite tunes of last year with The Opposite Of Us, Big Scary counts down their very own top 10 songs of 2016.

Whitney – No Woman

You know how sometimes nothing you’re listening to is what you’re after, and everything new sounds boring and generic? (This is a personal phase, and not a reflection of what’s going on in music).Well, for whatever reason at the very start of this year, this song got me excited about music again. I played it first thing in the morning and when I got home in the evenings.

Buoy – Clouds & Rain

Such a sophisticated song. Fun to sing along to; perfectly balanced production and introduction of parts; just the right amount of momentum. Awesome.

Angel Olsen – Shut Up Kiss Me

Probably my favourite vocal performance of the year. Nostalgic but ballsy.

Sofi Tukker – Drinkee

From the very start when that guitar line comes in I loved this song. A more percussively aggressive take on the trip-hop of the 90s.

Scott & Charlene’s Wedding – Don’t Bother Me

Mid-year I embarked on a pretty life-affirming tour of regional Australia called Up The Guts – Hobart to Darwin in 17 nights, playing 15 shows, with 17 strangers. Every night all the bands blew me away.

This song from Scott & Charlene’s Wedding was a nightly highlight for me. For admitting to dancing like a crab but not giving a damn, I give this song ten name-knowing spiders out of ten.

Christopher Port – My Love

This is exactly what DJ Slymewave (me) is looking for when I want to finish a night. Euphoric, nostalgic, positive – raise your arms slowly into the air, face the sky and beam.

Michael Kiwanuka – Black Man In A White World

2016 had a voice of assertiveness from people who experience prejudices that people like to pretend don’t exist anymore, especially from the West’s black communities. Extending beyond the usual voices of injustice, more mainstream artists decided to bring to the forefront their experience of being black and the on-going discrimination they experience, but even more than that, their pride at being black.

Beyoncé, Solange, Obama, Michael Kiwanuka… Kiwanuka’s voice was made more confronting because his previous release had been so comfortable, nostalgic and friendly.

“I’ve been told all my lies, I’ve got nothing left to pray…
I’m in love, but I’m still sad..
I don’t mind who I am..
It’s alright…
I’m a black man in a white world”

For this privileged white woman, it’s good to be reminded not to be a part of the problem, but a part of positive change.

The Pretty Littles – Pride

Another song that encapsulated the Up The Guts tour mentioned earlier. Jack from The Pretty Littles was short a band, but had organised the whole tour – thus I played a few of their songs with him during out warm-up set, including what I consider their coming-of-age anthem Pride.

The most refreshing thing about The Pretty Littles is their absolute lack of swagger – it’s all genuine and very self-aware self-deprecation. These larrikins are not just about tinnies and babes – they took it to the boys’ boys footy culture; they released a soppy love song; they sang about indigenous injustice at the hands of police. Finally an Australian pub-rock band that girls can be just as proud of.

Cub Sport – Come On, Mess Me Up

I relate to this song a lot. Well at least my reading of the lyrics. Self-conscious teenage years of just wanting that person to like me back; getting too drunk; self-sacrifice and not recognising truths about myself.

Kaytranada – Lite Sports

All you need to know is the moment at 0:55. Funkiest moment of 2016.

Listen to The Opposite Of Us by Big Scary in Happy’s top 100 songs of 2016.