Ty Richards is Ready For Takeoff at No. 2.

This time of year, it’s become a bit of a tradition around here for us to not only count down the last few pages on the calendar, but also the best songs to come out of North Texas in the past 12 months. As I think we’ve shown in years past, the results are pretty much always diverse, with a few seemingly out-of-left-field choices in some pretty high-ranking slots. This year, in a countdown that will be unveiled in chunks day by day for the rest of the year, you’ll find some Grammy nominees alongside brand new bands that just started up this year, as well as some high school acts and, well, everything else in between. The one thing they have in common? They all put out fire in 2016.

I’ve only ever heard one Ty Richards song, the lone single from his forthcoming debut full-length.

But damn if it ain’t a good one.

That album, Zillion, is due out in February, and will feature 10 cuts that the Fort Worth native has been laboring on for nearly two years now, while playing every instrument on the thing himself. That output includes the slow burn that is the equal parts funky and psychedelic “Spaceman,” which we reckon is the second-best locally-tied release of the entire year.

The Top 100 Dallas-Area Songs of 2016: 20 to 11.
The Top 100 Dallas-Area Songs of 2016: 40 to 21.
The Top 100 Dallas-Area Songs of 2016: 60 to 41.
The Top 100 Dallas-Area Songs of 2016: 80 to 61.
The Top 100 Dallas-Area Songs of 2016: 100 to 81.
The Top 100 Local Songs of 2015.

Now residing in Austin, Richards finds himself here dabbling in one of that city’s most storied genres. But instead of going all 13th Floor Elevators, Richards looks both backwards and forward at the same time, introducing an arpeggiated synth element to the psych of yore in a manner that Impose describes as being “almost like what the ’70s versions of us would assume the future would sound like, if that makes sense.”

It does!

“It’s about me waking up now and seeing the sharp contrast against my life two years ago,” Richards also told Impose. “I’m a zillion miles away from where I used to be mentally, spiritually and even physically.”

That’s true in many senses. In the last few years, Richards quit his white collar job, changed cities and had a kiddo. It’s obvious while listening to the tune, which he’s described as being “both epic and dumb at the same time,” that the guy’s currently in a good place, and at peace enough where he doesn’t have to take himself too seriously.

From the falsetto vocals that split the fence between sexy and silly to the pretty nonsensically whimsical lyrics like the opening salvo of “The space monkey is eating your spaghetti,” it’s a fun listen from start to finish — and one that gracefully avoids novelty territory.

It’s our sincere hope that this is the future of rock. I suppose we’ll find out for sure when Zillion finally earns its release on February 3.

Needless to say, there are few, if any, locally-tied albums coming out in 2017 that we’re looking forward to more.

The Full List: The Top 100 Local Songs of 2016.

100. Unlikely Candidates – “Ringer”
99. Hextape – “Candy”
98. FXXXY – “20 Taliband”
97. Ronnie Heart – “Smoovie”
96. Mimisiku – “I Can’t Sleep”
95. Sarah Jaffe – “Did David Feel Like This?”
94. Essay EyE – “Ultra Super Saiyan II”
93. Matt Tedder – “Down the Road”
92. Picnic Lightning – “American Ruin”
91. Joe Savage – “Your Drinkin'”
90. Snarky Puppy – “Tarova”
89. Sur Duda – “Fort Night”
88. KissedKilled – “Come Home With Me”
87. Giant of the Mountain – “Crawl”
86. Saint Clair – “Cookin'”
85. Cut Throat Finches – “Moon Beast”
84. Kino Kimino & Son of Stan – “Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover”
83. Siberian Traps – “New Friend in Town”
82. Tony Ferraro – “The God of Homosexuals”
81. Vanesa Jessie – “Who I Am”
80. Court Hoang — “(I Should Have Done This) A Long Time Ago”
79. Cosmicide — “Everything’s Under Waves”
78. Starbass Laboratories — “Digital Age”
77. Rei Clone — “Ready to Die”
76. Joshua Dylan Balis — “Modern Gospel”
75. Grey Matter — “Scared Man” (feat. Alsace Carcione)
74. Kevin England — “I’m Stuck with this Commercial Rock (Put This Song In Your Business’ Next Commercial!)”
73. Medicine Man — “You Are Safe”
72. 88 Killa — “Boomerang”
71. Ari Roar — “Dove”
70. War Party — “Jellyfish”
69. Danny Diamonds — “Rachel”
68. Fat Pimp –- “Moves to Make” (feat. Lil Ronny MothaF)
67. Maren Morris — “80s Mercedes”
66. Party Static — “Wasted Waster”
65. The Longshots — “Fire Gospel”
64. Drakulas –- “Neon Town”
63. Gensu Dean & Denmark Vessey — “The Meek”
62. Corner Suns — “Borrowed Time”
61. School of Seven Bells — “On My Heart”
60. Oh Boy Prince — “Astronaut”
59. EB Rebel — “Colours”
58. Jacob Metcalf — “Cut Your Ties”
57. Danny Cainco — “I Do”
56. Native Fox — “Heart Will Never Change”
55. Rikki Blu — “All In”
54. Serrandon — “Late Night Meltdowns
53. Becky Middleton — “I’m Still Here”
52. Ish D — “Holding Aces”
51. Power Trip — “Firing Squad”
50. Devy Stonez — “Slow it Down” (feat KissedKilled)
49. Honor System — “Horror Scope”
48. Sad Cops — “Its Eating At Me”
47. Cozy Hawks — “True Pair”
46. Charley Crockett — “Silver Dagger”
45. Takeez — “Stokley Carmichael (feat. Bobby Sessions)”
44. Ishi — “Bring the Thunder”
43. Camp Anawanna — “Cool Shoes”
42. Quaker City Night Hawks — “Mockingbird”
41. Post Malone — “Leave”
40. The Phantom Sensation — “Firewalkin'”
39. Bowling for Soup — “Don’t Be a Dick”
38. The Misteries — “Love Drugs”
37. Thin Skin — “Trump Is a Pig”
36. Xes — “Troll”
35. Relick — “Offering”
34. Bruce Parker — “Blindside”
33. True Widow — “Theurgist”
32. John Congleton & The Nighty Nite — “Animal Rites”
31. RC & The Gritz — “The Feel”
30. Tiger + Man — “Wondering”
29. NEONNOAH — “Dreaming With the Lights On”
28. Trai Bo — “C U L8R”
27. Lizzie Boredom — “Crunk Punk (So… You’re a Mixologist)”
26. Motorcade — “Recover”
25. Norah Jones — “Flipside”
24. EATQS — “Symmetry”
23. Jesus Chris + The Beetles — “I’m a Bad Person and I’m Going to Hell”
22. Pageantry — “Teenage Crime Wave”
21. Sam Lao — “Gold Link”
20. RVNES — “Code 10” (feat Lil Ronny Motha F, Fat Pimp)
19. Conor Wallace — “Asshole in Your House”
18. Ashley Myrick — “Stay for a While”
17. Coach Tev — “Lefty”
16. Felix — “peanut butter an yo…”
15. Paul Cauthen — “Still Drivin”
14. Jack Ingram — “Blaine’s Ferris Wheel”
13. Parquet Courts — “Berlin Got Blurry”
12. Leon Bridges and Lecrae — “On My Own”
11. Astronautalis — “Attila Ambrus”
10. Medasin — “Public Service Announcement” (featuring Josh Pan)
9. Pueblo — “Drive Safe”
8. A.Dd+ — “Dallas Flexas”
7. Curtis Mayz — “Candy Coated Caddy”
6. Conner Youngbloood — “A Summer Song”
5. Post Malone — “Deja Vu”
4. Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein – “Stranger Things”
3. Sam Lao – “Pineapple”
2. Ty Richards — “Spaceman”
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