Now that we are through the first week of January we are beginning to see how 2016 will shape up musically and it is exciting to hear all the anticipated albums to drop this year and I, for one, am eagerly awaiting all the new music. But before we get to that, we first must close out 2015. My first post of 2016 was with the Top Albums of 2015, now let’s really close out 2015 by naming the Top 10 Tracks of 2015. On this list you might see some surprises, but all of these tracks are incredibly strong and it was a difficult task to organize and order it. Without further ado, let’s get to the Top 10 Tracks of 2015:
We start off the top 10 with one of many stellar tracks from the sophomore effort from Scottish trio CHVRCHES. This track is equally catchy and upbeat and high-energy. The lead single on an album that had a lot to live up to, which it succeeded in doing.
I said it on the Top Albums list and I will say it again here. It is incredibly surprising to have an instrumental track (or entire album in this case) make a “Best of…” list, but Ratatat’s Magnifique is a definite exception. This album was stellar and well-deserving of praise, and their lead single Cream On Chrome was no exception to that.
On an album full of top-notch “driving music”, there is one outlier among that tracklist, and it is this track. Super catchy, this cross-genre track is a masterful blend of rap, dancehall, an Afro-a cappela sample and electronic remixing and production.
From the first note, this track oozes the California lifestyle. Huge, soaring vocals, West Coast nostalgia-filled lyrics and a mixture of low-fi surf-rock and dreamy atmospheric riffs drive this song ever upward. While nostalgia and yearning to travel to the West Coast again and live the portrait painted by Bethany and Bobb of Best Coast from the song may personally have driven this song so high up the list for 2015, it remains an incredibly powerful song that will be forever linked with 2015.
There are a lot of tracks to choose from on Courtney Barnett’s début full-length album, but we decided to pick the ironic and sardonic track Depreston. Low-key in its format and delivery, the track itself is masterful lyrically and epitomizes the writing style of Barnett, which has been highly praised all around.
Now as we crack into the rarefied air of the Top 5, all of these tracks have one thing in common; these songs just don’t seem to ever get old. Each of these 5 songs were in my head from the get-go of this “Best Of…” to be in the top 5, it was only a question of in what order they would lie. Well here it goes:
Kevin Parker and company deserve all the praises they receive for Currents, as it truly was a defining album of both the band and 2015. With that said, the album’s opener which kicked everything off may also be the best track the group has ever written. The almost 8-minute track is a dance-friendly tune which blends bits of the old Tame Impala sound (found on previous albums) and the new which has moved away from being purely psychedelic rock. This track not only is a great track by itself, but what it does to transition the listener to the group’s new sound is equally as impressive.
There is one thing that UK act Foals does best, and that is write big, progressive, massive tracks that absolutely explode with emotion. Mountain At My Gates is no exception to this. The track is built around a fantastic guitar riff and Yannis Philippakis’s raw vocals. Foals have often utilized Nabil as their go-to director for their unique and often epic music videos for a creative edge, and the music video to accompany this earworm was equally as original, having been shot in a 360 degree environment with a GoPro Sphere. You also know your track is good when it gets remixed and that remix also is honorably mentioned in that same “Best of…” list.
This group has come a long way from 2006’s Robbers & Cowards and their breakout first single Hang Me Up To Dry . Now in their 11th year as a band, Cold War Kids have truly hit their stride. Although First came from their 2014 album Hold My Home, the album was a late release and the track was a huge hit in 2015, especially exploding over the summer. The track itself is beyond catchy and just incredibly enjoyable and relatable for anyone who has been in an up-and-down relationship. This song does not seem to get old.
Catchy doesn’t do this track justice from California indie pop group Saint Motel. 2015 was a tremendous year for this quintet, even without a full-length album to their names. Despite the track itself being released on an EP in 2014, 2015 was the year of its rapid ascent. This track truly was a buzz track, but at the same time, it was incredibly well produced, unique enough in comparison to the rest of the musical environment of 2015, and that horn section absolutely made the track such a memorable piece of the musical framework of the year.
Who needs a music video to accompany the biggest song of 2015? Not Beck, that’s who! This standalone track is a legitimate earworm that doesn’t seem to get old or lose any of its bite. Right now, it has no music video or album to accompany it, but we are highly anticipating this track to be included on the California multi-instrumentalist’s next album which will most likely drop in 2016. Well done, Beck and let’s hope you kick Kanye’s ass once again in 2016 as there may be another head-to-head battle on the album front.
Don’t Miss out on the Album of The Year as well!
Once again, here is a recap of the Audiophile’s top 51 tracks of 2015:
- Perfume Genius – Queen
- Dan Deacon – Feel The Lightning
- Purity Ring – bodyache
- Mark Ronson (feat. Bruno Mars) – Uptown Funk
- Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Ballad of the Mighty I
- Tobias Jesso Jr. – How Could You Babe
- Keep Shelly In Athens – Fractals
- Jamie xx – I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)
- Modest Mouse – Coyotes
- Misterwives – Reflections
- Death Cab For Cutie – Black Sun
- BØRNS – Electric Love
- Matt and Kim – Get It
- Twin Shadow – I’m Ready
- Saint Motel – My Type
- San Fermin – Jackrabbit
- James Bay – Hold Back The River
- Madeon (feat. Kyan) – You’re On
- Grimes – Realiti
- Empress Of – Standard
- Courtney Barnett – Depreston
- Years & Years – King
- Tame Impala – Let It Happen
- Best Coast – California Nights
- Shura – 2Shy
- Twenty One Pilots – Tear In My Heart
- Florence + The Machine – What Kind Of Man (Nicolas Jaar Remix)
- Leon Bridges – Coming Home
- X Ambassadors – Renegades
- Beck – Dreams
- Kygo (feat. Parson James) – Stole The Show
- Sufjan Stevens – Should Have Known Better
- Baio – Sister Of Pearl
- Ratatat – Cream On Chrome
- Neon Indian – Slumlord
- Beirut – Gibraltar
- Foals – Mountain At My Gates
- Father John Misty – True Affection
- The Weeknd – Can’t Feel My Face
- Her – Quite Like
- CHVRCHES – Leave A Trace
- Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats – S.O.B.
- Youth Lagoon – Highway Patrol Stun Gun
- Majical Cloudz – Downtown
- Adele – Hello
- Superhumanoids – Touch Me
- Weezer – Thank God For Girls
- Björk – Stonemilker
- Cold War Kids – First
- Benjamin Clementine – Cornerstone
- SOAK – B a noBody
Feel like we missed someone or left them off the list or picked the wrong tracks? Let us know. Discussion is always appreciated.
Don’t know some of these tracks, don’t worry, we’ve got a curated playlist just for you!
Playlist: The Audiophile: Top 51 Tracks of 2015
Here are a few others that barely missed the list this year but are definitely worth mentioning.
2015 Honorable Mentions:
- Foals – Mountain At My Gates (Jono Ma (Jagwar Ma) Mix)
- Lianne La Havas – Green & Gold
- Bully – Trying
- Alpine – Foolish
- Of Monsters & Men – Crystals
- Jerry Folk – Futura
- St. Lucia – Dancing On Glass
- Carly Rae Jepsen – Warm Blood
- Tori Kelly – Should’ve Been Us
- Pumarosa – Priestess
- Novo Amor – Anchor
- Boxed In – Mystery
- Day Wave – Drag
- Deorro – Five Hours
- Kiiara – Gold
- Declan McKenna – Brazil
- David Gilmour – The Girl In The Yellow Dress
- Chris Cornell – Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart
Now Playing: The Audiophile: Top 51 Tracks of 2015