We didn’t see this year coming, but we heard it from all sides. In Signal & Noise 2016, you’ll find what we really listened to, loud and clear.
We got loud this year. We talked a lot, and we listened almost as much. Everything was so funny; everything was so, so sad. We got angry. We yelled. We were loud, yeah, because volume was all we had. It didn’t feel like enough, but it was something.
That’s the problem with noise: We can hear everything, but we can only listen to one thing at a time. Here, you’ll find the way we made sense out of all of that sound.
Music, in 2016, was good. Sorry for the controversial opinion, but we gotta speak our minds. Beyoncé, Rihanna, Frank Ocean, Chance, Mitski … we loved what we heard, but we especially loved finding music that felt right in a world that was — is — feeling pretty bad. We heard the voices we needed, and what we listened to felt like a salve.
2016 was … strange, and it only got stranger. Television was bizarre, movies were restless, and if it was a Year of Realizing Things, mostly we were realizing that art was imitating life and life was totally surreal. Here, you’ll find the shows we needed, the movies we loved, and the top 10 moments that made us question the very nature of reality itself — but, like, in a fun, chill way.
“The work’s not done” is what we say when we talk to each other about what we’re hoping for, what we’re afraid of, and what we want. We say it to remind ourselves that we’re always getting started; in politics, nothing is new so much as it is a process of renewal. We’re still shaking off the shock waves of 2016, but as you’ll see here, we are already back to work and looking forward.
Where would we be without Rihanna? This year — every year — was hers, whether she was wearing a coat the size of a car or a shade of pink fit for a princess, or both at once. In 2016 we listened to her style, and we talked about what we wanted: something both opulent and elegant, loud and composed. We wore the concerts we went to on our sleeves, and we printed our politics on our tees, and in 2017 we have no plans to shut up about them. Pretty much the opposite.