I totally ran out of time for a year-end music post in 2014 (the last one was published in 2013), but they are just too much fun to put together, so here’s the 2015 edition. The cutoff is 50 or more plays (as in previous years, the source here is my iTunes). These are songs that I loved this year; though some were released before 2015, but almost all of these reached triple-digit plays. I don’t do a lot of description of these, they are in no particular order, and linking instead of embedding is not indicative of preference (it just means I couldn’t get it to embed). I feel like if you actually take a chance by clicking and listening to the songs, you’ll hear why they made the list. There’s a WTF factor to some of my choices, so go ahead…read on and judge away after the jump. You can also check out the 2012 list.
“Cold Cold Man” – Saint Motel
“Nightlight” – Silversun Pickups
“Black Widow” – Iggy Azalea ft. Rita Ora – This holdover from 2014 still reached three-digit plays in 2015. Here again a scintillating video — with its homage to Kill Bill — didn’t hurt.
“Bad Art and Weirdo Ideas” – Beach Slang – Bonus points for their sweet album title, The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us.
“The Theory of Relativity” – Stars — Okay, so it’s three years old. And I used to hate Stars because “everyone” said the singer sounds like Morrissey on “Take Me To The Riot.” He doesn’t. No one does. However, I’ve since discovered (courtesy of CBC Radio3) that several tracks off their 2012 album The North are actually pretty good, and this is the one I played the most.
“Drag” – Day Wave
“27 is the New 17” – Zeus
“Aurora Borealis (Luca Lush Remix)” – The Griswolds The original track was great, but this remix put itself into heavy rotation for most of the year
“Dream Shake” – Memoryhouse
“Ellie” – Elvyn
“Broken Teeth” – Sam Roberts Band – The “Detroit ’67” guy is back with an EP and I dig it.
“Two Black Cats (Dance Spirit Remix)” – Of Norway
“The Sun (Klingade Remix)” – Parvo Stelar ft. Graham Candy
“Habits (Stay High) (Hippie Sabotage Remix)” – Tove Lo — Technically from all the way back in April of 2014, I just found this remix and it won’t let go of my brain.
“La Bouée” – Les Malpris – I don’t know much about this act, but feel like they are the Quebeçois Fleetwood Mac.
“To Know You” – Wild Nothing – One of the many tracks I’ve found through regular listening to My Old Kentucky Blog.
“Crooked Cop” – Beverly
“Can’t Feel My Face” – The Weeknd
“WTF” – Missy Elliot ft. Pharrell – Not quite 50 plays but it’s close, I’ve listened to it almost every day since it dropped in November.
No Cities To Love – Sleater-Kinney — Lean and mean… a primer on the lost art of just saying what you gotta say in 2-3 minutes. Favorite tracks: “Price Tag,” “A New Wave.”
Depression Cherry – Beach House — I love everything they do. Their most recent release, Thank Your Lucky Stars, will probably be on my 2016 list.
EP3 – Zero 7 — This act goes infuriatingly long between releases but they make up for it by being so awesome. Favorite track: “Crush Tape”
1989 – Taylor Swift
It wouldn’t surprise me if Ms. Swift went back to country at some point. Her songs still have that “3 minute movie” quality I so enjoy in classic country.
Update – Jan. 07 2015: Exhibit A
Also she’s got a director who apparently attended the Duran Duran School for ’80s-Style Mini-Movie Video Clips. Russell Mulcahy would approve.
Favorite tracks: “Bad Blood,” “Blank Space,” “Wildest Dreams”
Notable remixes: “Bad Blood (Bad Catholics Remix)” “Wildest Dreams (R3hab Remix)”
Under The Influence – Elle King
I just love her voice. Even the ubiquity of “Exes and Ohs” couldn’t destroy this album’s charm for me.
Favorite tracks: “Exes and Ohs,” “Under the Influence”
Like the Sun (EP) – Programm
Honeymoon – Lana del Rey – How could I not love Morrissey’s spiritual twin? Plus I love that if you call the number on the album cover, you get her talking. Try it…1.800.268.7886.
Currents – Tame Impala
Favorite tracks: “Elephant,” “Let It Happen”
Back to Black and Frank – Amy Winehouse – I never stopped listening to her, but the documentary reminded me of her immense talent. “Valerie” alone topped out at 107 plays.
California Nights – Best Coast — This album makes me so happy I could die
Art Angels – Grimes
I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that Hinds’ Leave Me Alone will be on my Best Music of 2016 list.