By Colin Dierckins

2016 sucked. We lost musical pioneers Prince, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Phife Dawg, Sharon Jones, Leon Russell & Merle Haggard. Not to mention the list of cultural icons and athletes many of us grew up idolizing. However, this year also brought us major label releases from some of the biggest names in the music industry. From Frank Ocean to the Rolling Stones, it seemed as if EVERYONE was going to have a new album this calendar year.

This year also gave us a long list of releases from a crop of artists looking to take the next step. From Sweden to Seattle, artists like Khalid, Daniel Ceasar, Dave B, River Tiber, Ruby Empress, Leisure, Capyac, and Klangstof (among others) all gave us fresh takes on their musical genre of choice.

Here are some songs that caught our ear and have us excited to see what 2017 has in store.