Top 100 Songs of 2015 (Part II: 78-51)

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Part II of IV. Check out part I here.

78. Natalie Prass “My Baby Don’t Understand Me”

77. Florence + the Machine “What Kind of Man”

I don’t agree that the latest album tops 2011’s Ceremonials (I adore that album maybe more than anyone else), but if you’re into Florence’s dramatically belted approach to pop music you’ll always enjoy what she’s putting out. “What Kind of Man” features that same anguish-filled questioning: “What kind of man loves like this?” she asks–Florence doesn’t just rattle your soul, she tears open your chest and grabs it making sure you know exactly how she feels.

76. Beirut “At Once”

A minor entry in the global spectrum of Beirut’s indie rock stylings, it’s beautifully pleasant.

75. Vic Mensa, Kanye West “U Mad”

74. Titus Andronicus “(S)he Said/(S)he Said”

73. Johanna Warren “Black Moss”

72. Justin Bieber “Sorry”

71. Sports “Reality TV”

Another perfect fit for my women in rock music piece from a couple months ago, Sports perfectly capture why slacker indie/punk/whatever is so fun. It’s minimalist, a quick jolt of energy that is strangely satisfying despite being so easy to digest.

70. FKA Twigs “In Time”

69. Tame Impala “Cause I’m A Man”

68. Jack U, Skrillex, Justin Bieber “Where Are U Now”

67. Omi “Cheerleader”

66. Miguel “FLESH”

65. Julien Baker “Something”

64. BØRNS “Electric Love”

The track’s opening lines: “candy, she’s sweet like candy in my veins” is an apt descriptor of “Electric Love”, an almost sickly-sweet combination of falsetto and highly produced funky guitar riffs.

63. Unknown Mortal Orchestra “Multi-Love”

62. Eskimeaux “The Thunder Answered Back”

It starts off slow and ethereally, before drums start to slowly come in, the beat picking up over Gabrielle Smith’s repeated lyrics. The song crescendos into Smith shouting “you coward, you hummingbird” over and over. It’s reminiscent of the neo-folk trend from a couple years back, which didn’t always work, but I guarantee you that you’ll break into random accusatory “YOU COWARD, YOU HUMMINGBIRD” shouts once this track grabs you.

61. Diet Cig “Harvard”

60. Disclosure w/LIONBABE “Hourglass”

I haven’t read anything to confirm this theory, but I am 99% sure this song is a tribute to “Space Jam” by Quad City DJs, yes, the theme song from Space Jam (minus all rap parts). It starts off with a simple beat which at any moment feels like it could break out into the melody of “Space Jam”. LIONBABE’s vocals are also eerily similar to that of Quad City DJs, I expected an “errrybody get up” to pop in throughout the first minute of the song. All similarities aside, the track works well on its own, offering a smooth dance track that avoids Disclosure’s pitfall of relying too heavily on big name stars to carry their songs.

59. Rihanna, Kanye West, Paul McCartney “FourFiveSeconds”

58. Julia Holter “Everytime Boots”

57. Majical Cloudz “Downtown”

Majical Cloudz feel like spiritual successors to Radiohead and Coldplay (before they went off on strange pop-experimental ventures). Devon Walsh sounds like a more laid back Thom Yorke, singing over Matthew Otto’s subtle electronic music which has the feel of a film score more than anything.

56. Julien Baker “Everybody Does”

Baker’s debut album is a sparse and soul-baring affair. She’s armed with nothing but an acoustic guitar and some painful experiences that need to be let out. Parts of her album show her finding hope in the darkness, but here she lets her deepest fears play out, concluding “you’re gonna run when you find out who I am; you’re gonna run, it’s alright everybody does”.

55. Kelly Clarkson “Invincible”

I accidentally stumbled on this song while surfing through Clarkson’s top tracks on Spotify. It’s a bona fide jam and while not quite up to par with her greatest songs (but let’s face it she has two of the best pop songs of the last 20 years), Clarkson is definitely at her best here.

54. Low “Lies”

53. Panda Bear “Crosswords”

52. Sufjan Stevens “Should Have Known Better”

51. Autre Ne Veut “Age of Transparency”

Autre Ne Veut is branded as PBR&B for playing R&B music through the lens of hipster irony. “Age of Transparency” opens with a quiet build, filled with saxophone and a piano in the background. Arthur Ashin’s falsetto kicks in–his voice can be quite powerful, but is never quite devoid of playfulness. All of this builds into an exploding chorus that absolutely makes those quiet moments of build-up worth the wait.

Top 100 Songs of 2015 (Part I: 100-79)

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Part 1 of 4

100. Jill Scott “Closure”

For Jill Scott, closure means one last fling, but don’t let that fool you, she’ll go no further than that. With a humorous outro, Scott lists all the food her ex-lover will no longer be able to consume because she doesn’t care enough about him to give him breakfast.

99. Drake “10 Bands”

98. Pusha T “Untouchable”

Pusha kills it here, rapping  about “Netflix Narcos” over a sick beat and Biggie sample.

97. Major Lazer, MO, DJ Snake “Lean On”

96. Speedy Ortiz “My Dead Girl”

95. Future “No Basic”

94. Lady Lamb “Milk Duds”

93. Beach House “Sparks”

92. Sia “Alive”

In the ranking of wannabe Adele songs, this one places 2nd (ahead of Adele’s “Hello” and behind a song to come). It’s an emotional ballad that was actually written for Adele, but Sia, being the queen of taking songs meant for other folks and making them her own came through with quite the emotionally packed song here.

91. Lady Lamb “Violet Clementine”

I didn’t think Lady Lamb’s (formerly Lady Lamb the Beekeeper)  latest lived up to her debut album, but here we hear everything that makes her great: the passionate vocal delivery, the oddly poetic lyrics, and the long musical interludes.

90. Titus Andronicus “Dimed Out”

This is Titus Andronicus at their most punk, a 3-minute rager that both stands alone and fits into their 90-minute rock opera.

89. Vince Staples “Norf Norf”

88. Julien Baker “Good News”

87. Sufjan Stevens “Fourth of July”

86. Titus Andronicus “No Future Part IV: No Future Triumphant”

85. Kanye West w/Theophilus London “All Day”

84. Miguel “coffee”

Miguel fits perfectly into sensual R&B, which at times can near disgusting in his overtly explicit expressions. However with “coffee”, he becomes almost sweet in his declaration that he will make “coffee in the morning” for his amour. It’s the opposite of the aforementioned “Closure”.

83. Natalie Prass “It is You”

Prass straddles several unique lines with her music: modern folk artist, 50s darling, and Disney princess. It’s a strange combo, but is so unexpected that it totally works. As a fan of all three of those lines, Prass totally works for me. Here she sounds like something out of a musical and boy is it great.

82. Disclosure “Jaded”

81. Drake “Star67”

80. Florence + the Machine “Ship to Wreck”

79. Colleen Green “Deeper Than Love”

Green is interesting because she at times gives out a Best Coast minimalist folk/punk vibe, but then something like “Deeper Than Love” will come out which is a 6-minute lonesome and slightly creepy almost new wave-ish track showing just how talented and unique she can be. It’s a subtly gripping track that will eat at you for days.

 

Check out the rest of the best of the year stuff here