18. America - Foxygen
I had most of a review written critically analysing the meaning of the line "Our heroes are bread" before I thought to check genius.com and found out it's actually "bred", which is very disheartening. I had this whole thing about how modern states suffer self-imposed gluten intolerance when it comes to the wheat-based concept of individual greatness at a national level while a significant minority get irrationally angry at them for eating organic. I'll admit at this point the review kind of went off the rails and I started talking about giving a blowjob to Jill Stein, so you know what? Maybe it's a good thing I did at least a modicum of research before finalising this post.
Have you ever gone to see a musical that was good, but not great? Something dealing with big, important contemporary themes that sort of forgot to have a proper plot, the sort of thing Neil Patrick Harris would say encouraging things about but would decline to actually appear in. America is like the medley the matinee cast from that musical would perform in a shopping centre in order to shift tickets. It's the best moments from several okay songs stitched together and occasionally everyone stands at the front of the tiny temporary stage carpeted in kid-play astroturf with their arms stretched out and their eyes fixed on the imaginary box seats they're not going to fill just singing the name of the show over and over in case you've missed the big balsa wood banner with the title painted in red and surrounded by little fake stage lights because the titles of musicals are absolutely always painted in red and surrounded by little fake stage lights.
Don't get me wrong, I'm being dismissive of neither Foxygen nor musical theatre, but I'll admit that even I, at this stage, am struggling to remember why I consider America to be the 18th best song of 2016. It really is though.