14. Michael Brun – “All I Ever Wanted”
When the Christopher Louie Netflix film “XOXO” was announced, the electronic music community was generally nervous. After last year’s “We Are Your Friends,” which received negative feedback as well as record low box office records, many were scared that another film about EDM would be even more detrimental and create stigma. However, the movie ended up being pretty good, with an exceptional soundtrack. Michael Brun’s “All I Ever Wanted” serves as the protagonist’s hit single. Though this song did not get mainstream radio attention outside of the film, it deserves to be recognized as such.
13. John Gibbons – “Would I Lie To You”
“Would I Lie To You” by John Gibbons is a pop-house song that will never leave your head. A cover of the Charles & Eddie 1992 single, Gibbon’s vocals are oriented for radio play. Though David Guetta, Cedric Gervais and Chris Willis released another cover of the same song not even two months later, the John Gibbons version has the exact energy we needed.
12. Pryda – “The End Is Just The Beginning”
This is the type of progressive house song that should go down in music history books. Featuring a simple melody and standard house beat, “The End Is Just The Beginning” is as energetic as it is mesmerizing. The melody of the song evolves from being an analog to a supersaw and back again, as the drums become reverberated only to return to the same rhythm as before. Eric Prydz knows just how to immerse the listener into his music, and this is exactly what house music is about.
11. JAZ Von D & BYNON – “Reflection”
Jaz Von D is arguably one of the most underrated producers of the year. Coming off of a four-track EP featuring some of the most innovative productions we’ve heard recently, “Reflection” is a progressive masterpiece. Blending ethereal sound effects, trance sound designs and melodies reminiscent of 2013-era house, this song is nodding to the past as well as driving towards the future.
10. Ill Phil – “Seven Nation Army” (Mesto Remix)
“Seven Nation Army,” The White Stripes’ 2003 anthem, has become immortalized as one of the most memorable songs from the 00s. A chant for sporting events and music festivals alike, Seven Nation Army is usually a song that should be left alone. However, out of nowhere, a new producer by the name of Mesto released an unofficial remix, blending sounds of deep house, melbourne bounce and future bass. The song has been featured in the sets of Martin Garrix, Hardwell and will likely continue to be played far into 2017 and beyond.
9. Axwell – “Barricade”
Another highly anticipated Axwell banger, “Barricade” is a song that needs to be experienced in the context of a live performance in order to be fully appreciated. Serving as the Axwell /\ Ingrosso live opener and a standout track in the sets of countless DJs, “Barricade” is more of a “weapon” than a song. In an interview last year, Axwell elaborated on the stucture of the common mainroom DJ set. Towards the beginning of sets, the DJ plays “weapons,” songs that function to get the crowd going and create a higher energy, while towards the end of sets, the more emotionally involved “songs” are played. Clearly, with next-level production quality and an insane amount of energy, “Barricade” is clearly intended to serve as a “weapon.”
8. Alesso – “Take My Breath Away”
After making it’s way into many DJ sets across the spectrum of superstar DJs, Alesso’s “Take My Breath Away” became exactly what we needed to hear from Alesso. Though the verses of the song are marked by trap beats, the song’s four-to-the-floor drop is made up of the distinct, blissful sounds that only Alesso can pull off.
7. Alok & Sevenn – “BYOB”
Sampling System Of A Down’s classic with the same title, Alok & Sevenn’s “BYOB” is a perfect example of the vast diversities of electronic music. Though these artists have not yet attained massive success in the United States, this song has become the go-to track of Brazil’s bass house genre. With downtempo beats similar to deep house but slightly darker, songs such as “BYOB” mark a magnificent new trend to look forward to hearing more of in 2017.
6. Jauz & Netsky – “Higher”
If one artist this year who excelled a trend more than any other had to be determined, a strong argument can be made for Jauz. On the other hand, if one artist this year who created an album unlike their previous music in a flawless fashion had to be determined, a strong argument can be made for Netsky. Featuring the distinct sounds of Netsky on the verse and the distinct bass house productions of Jauz on the drop, “Higher” is a song to remember.
5. TOKiMONSTA – “Wound Up” (feat. a l l i e) [CRi Remix]
CRi’s remix of TOKiMONSTA’s “Wound Up” may be one of the lightest house tracks of the year. Cultivated from analog synthesizers and natural sounding samples, this is a remix that is as ethereal as it is organic. A l l i e’s vocals, which sound completely different on the original version, are mixed in an a way that keeps listeners allured, providing them with a production that gets better upon every listen.
4. Cosmic Gate – “So Get Up” (Alex Di Stefano Remix)
Though trance music did not play a huge role in mainstream electronic music this year, Alex Di Stefano’s trance-house hybrids have the potential to become timeless classics. Similar to last year’s “I’ve Got The Power,” Stefano’s remix of Cosmic Gate’s “So Get Up” begins as an industrial techno-house banger and works its way into an outrageously euphoric breakdown. This part of the song features an exhilarating melody, produced in such a way that can only be described as heavenly. After a two minute build, the drop of the song masterfully returns to the industrial grooves of the beginning of the song, teasing listeners into returning back to the song over and over again. Hopefully, Alex Di Stefano’s incredible tracks go down as timeless and will gain more popularity in years to come, as more ears deserve to hear this music.
3. Axwell /\ Ingrosso- Thinking About You (Festival Mix)
First played by Axwell at Monster Massive festival in 2010, “Thinking About You” has been a song that diehard fans have been anticipating for over half of a decade. Though the song was updated and played again at Tomorrowland last year, fans still had almost a full year to wait for a formal release. However, the single that the duo released wasn’t what audiences had grown familiar to. The supersaw melody which took crowds by storm was replaced by a slowed down, 2016-friendly electro-pop drop. Luckily, the original version (Festival Mix) was released a month later. Though this hidden gem did not receive nearly as much attention as it’s release-date predecessor, it’s much, much better.
2. 3LAU – “Is It Love” (feat. Yeah Boy)
3LAU, the Las Vegas-based producer, has been on a beautiful streak of releases this year. Focusing primarily on fully original material of all genres as opposed to the EDM mashups that we’d come to expect, Justin Blau’s “Is It Love” is one of the most optimistic songs of the year. In a year of divisive politics and general negativity, a peppy house song about falling in love couldn’t be more necessary.
1. Martin Garrix & Third Party – “Lions In The Wild”
When Martin Garrix began his hugely successful Ultra Music Festival set earlier this year, fans were greeted by an anthem that they’d never heard before. With a progressive melody along the lines of Sebastian Ingrosso & Alesso’s “Calling,” Alesso’s “Pressure,” or Dimitri Vangelis & Wyman’s “Payback,” it didn’t take long before this became the Martin Garrix & Third Party collaboration became perhaps the best house track of the year.