Top 40 Songs of 2015
Last year, I put out a list/Spotify playlist of my top forty song picks. Why should this year be any different? Starting from the bottom...
40. B.o.B - "Back & Forth"
Bump this and try not to sing along. Also, it takes on a different meaning if you've seen Me & You & Everyone We Know.
39. Dawes - "Right on Time"
I really like the guitar work in this one.
38. Jr. Jr. - "Hypothetical"
They may have dropped the Dale Earnhardt from their name, but fortunately they also dropped this chill jam.
37. White Reaper - "Pills"
Lo-fi and cocksure.
36. Warren G feat. Young Jeezy, Bun B, & Nate Dogg - "Keep on Hustlin'"
It was a total surprise when some new Nate Dogg music came out this summer. Jeezy and Bun don't add much, but Nate's hook is as smooth as always.
35. Kacey Musgraves - "Pageant Material"
Musgraves makes it apparent that she's not just another pretty face with her clever lyrics in this song.
34. Trey Anastasio - "In Rounds"
Funky ditty from Phish's frontman. When he can't help but smile out a couple "yeah"s during the horn jam, you can tell this was recorded live.
33. Gold Clubb - "Sweat It"
The Majorleans may not have dropped a new LP this year, but that didn't stop Nicky Franchise from flowing over this Ben Foldsian beat. Not on Spotify, but you can stream and download here.
32. Leon Bridges - "Better Man"
I don't really think he's the next Sam Cooke, but he ain't bad.
31. El Vy - "I Am the Man to Be"
It's great to finally hear the National's Matt Berninger cheer up a little.
30. Jenny Owen Youngs - "Over the Bow"
Hear Jenny tell the story behind this swirling brute of a song on my podcast.
29. Courtney Barnett - "Pedestrian at Best"
Thankfully, the title isn't indicative of this crunchy rocker.
28. Death Cab for Cutie - "Good Help (is So Hard to Find)"
Death Cab does dance-punk.
27. My Morning Jacket - "Get the Point"
26. Fool's Gold - "Lady of the Lake"
It's hard to describe Fool's Gold without making them seem like some sort of gimmick, so just chill out and listen.
25. Young Buffalo - "No Idea"
Nice harmonies, but so much more. Listen to Jim and Ben talk about these harmonies and emus over beers.
24. Battles - "The Yabba"
Maybe it packs in too many ideas by its denouement, but this proggy instrumental's main groove really taps into my core.
23. Mike Doughty - "Can't Believe I Found You in That Town"
In what began as a way for him to put out acoustic versions of his songs and live recordings of his shows, Doughty's Drip.fm channel transformed into a public demoing outlet, where he sometimes released as many as five songs a week. This little ditty, which has been hitting home recently, is not on Spotify, but you can hear a preview of it here.
22. Animal Liberation Orchestra - "There Was a Time"
Zach Gill's lyrics paint a vivid depiction of humanity throughout history: past, present, and future.
21. Hey Anna - "Little Things"
This is how you build momentum. Listen to Erin talk about this track and more on The Next Round.
20. Adele - "Hello"
When I finally got around to hearing the smash hit of the year, I wrote down, "This song is powerful as shit." You already know it's not on Spotify and you already know what it sounds like.
19. The Weeknd - "Can't Feel My Face"
I like this song for the reasons everyone else does.
18. Justin Bieber - "Love Yourself"
Yes, Justin Bieber. Get over it. Here he's accompanied by a single guitar and a well-timed trumpet part. The lyrics are fairly universal, but Bieber's name is one that would actually mean something at a club.
17. The Arcs - "Stay in My Corner"
Reminds me of a Hendrix ballad.
16. T-Pain feat. Juicy J - "Make That Shit Work"
T-Pain has been a guilty pleasure of mine for years. When he calls in the wind chimes, you'll see why.
15. Electric Light Orchestra - "When I Was a Boy"
Jeff Lynne reflects on his childhood dreams of becoming a musician. Beyond thrilled to have new ELO music and to have seen them live!
14. Saintseneca - "Such Things"
The boisterous title track from Saintseneca's fantastic third LP.
13. The Weepies - "Early Morning Riser"
Such a fun song about loneliness.
12. Penguin Prison - "Never Gets Old"
Chris Glover never gets old.
11. They Might Be Giants - "Ecnalubma"
TMBG had a very busy year, putting out a song each week via their rebooted Dial-a-Song service. This number, which would've been right at home on John Henry, was my favorite.
10. The Revivalists - "All in the Family"
It's difficult to capture the inescapable energy of a Revivalists show in the studio, but they managed to snag some of that magic for this cut.
9. Lord Huron - "Fool for Love"
Honestly, I could've picked any song from their excellent Strange Trails record, but this one has that irresistible Buddy Holly element to it.
8. Son Little - "Go Blue Blood Red"
One of those songs on my iPod where I instinctively go, "Aww, shit," every time it pops up.
7. The White Buffalo - "Go the Distance"
"You're not just my woman, you're a piece of ass."
6. Ryan Montbleau Band - "Pacing Like Prince"
Thankfully, RMB laid down this gem right before they split up. Listen to Ryan and I discuss the split over milkshakes.
5. Alabama Shakes - "Don't Wanna Fight"
I expected so much more from Sound & Color after this outstanding leadoff single, where Brittany Howard just crushes it. Oh, well. I'll just listen to this on repeat.
4. Jason Derülo - "Want to Want Me"
When Derülo does it right, I'm always on board.
3. Frank Turner - "Song for Josh"
Recorded live at the 9:30 Club, where Josh Burdette had worked up until his death in 2013, this tribute to Frank's departed friend tears at my heartstrings and tear ducts. I frequented the venue as a youth, so while I never knew Josh personally, I felt like I did.
2. Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds - "Every Road"
I don't normally focus on the drums in songs, but holy hell, this is some funky drumming.
1. Rayland Baxter - "Yellow Eyes"
One of those songs I want to hear again and again right after I listen. I talked with Rayland about this and more on my podcast.