“I’m too hot, hot damn! Call the police and a fireman.” Ring any bells? Of course it does. Uptown Funk will most likely go down in history as 2015’s biggest hit and no doubt Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars will have bought themselves plenty of ‘Chucks & Saint Laurent’ for Christmas.
Besides this stonker 2015 will probably be remembered for OMI finding himself a Cheerleader, for Drake sharing his late night cellphone habits with us in Hotline Bling (this version is way better!), for Adele’s long awaited return (Lionel Richie much?) and for the sudden acceptance of Justin Bieber as a ‘grown up pop artist’ thanks to uncles Diplo and Skrillex.
I confess, I too was swayed by the poptastic fabrications of team Bieber this year… But fear not: I gathered up a bunch of top tunes with plenty of indie rock cred to compensate!
I’ve compiled the usual list of 50, available for your playlist cravings on Spotify of course. Below you can eye up the videos for the top 25 too. And for my list-obsessed comrades: my stupidly big ‘2015 long list‘ is also up for the streaming.
Please do share the tracks you obsessed over this year in the comments and berate me for the gems I mistakenly left out. Happy new year!
25. Mini Mansions feat. Alex Turner – Vertigo
LA smooth lads Mini Mansions cleverly asked buddy Alex Turner to donate his special brand of raunchy delivery to a couple of lyrics. It works a charm and adds some broodiness to this poppy tune.
24. Christine and the Queens – Christine
One of the best performances I saw this year was Christine and the Queens, who take the word ‘performance’ very seriously. The whole show was meticulously choreographed and a joy to watch.
23. BØRNS – Electric Love
An over produced glamfest of a song, but it’s so damn chirpy!
22. Justin Bieber – Sorry
Yes. This happened. #sorrynotsorry
21. De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig – Manon
DJVT keep churning out catchy tunes and this ode to (a female called) Manon has a super addictive chorus. And a video full of cats!!
20. Shura – 2Shy
Like an indie-version of an early Madonna song, sounds like it could actually be from the eighties.
19. Shamir – On The Regular
Discotastic funky number from this androgynous hipster guy (yes!) from Last Vegas. Also, you can never have too much cow bell.
18. Typhoon – Liefste
A plain and simple love song by Dutch hip hop artist Typhoon, with beautifully written lyrics that describe the push and pull of a relationship.
17. The Maccabees – Something Like Happiness
It’s a long standing love affair, me & The Maccabees. They are one of the first bands I remember getting completely bowled over by at a summer festival. This song has exactly that festival anthem quality they understand so well.
16. Viet Cong – Continental Shelf
It’s a miracle this song made the cut really, as the Viet Cong gig I saw this year was a mess. Continental Shelf got massacred in a screaming noise fit and lost all its eerie haunting quality. Still though, killer tune.
15. Sef – Wakker
More Dutch hip hop from Sef in this fresh tune with a nostalgic nineties club vibe going on. Incidentally also my boyfriend’s favourite song to wake me up with (makes me less grumpy).
14. Nadine Shah – Stealing Cars
This was one of my big finds this year. I’d never heard of Nadine Shah but this track would get stuck in my brain for days. She also collaborated with Gostpoet this year.
13. The Districts- 4th And Roebling
Nothing new or innovative about this one, but it’s just such a lovable raggedy romp of a rock tune.
12. Jack Garratt – Worry
Smashing mix of soulful songs and electronics, somewhere in that James Blake – Jamie Woon – Flume – Chet Faker niche market. Also cool how he really rocks it out more when performing live.
11. Sufjan Stevens – Should Have Known Better
Just a beautiful song from the beautiful album Carrie & Lowell. Nobody can put intense lyrics about life and death to a ukulele quite like Sufjan can.
10. Major Lazer, MØ, DJ Snake – Lean On
My festival anthem of 2015 was a bit of a creeper-upper. Not as immediately convincing as predecessor Bumaye, but worthy all the same.
9. Mura Masa feat. NAO – Firefly
Thank you Mura Masa for popping up on our radars this year! Loving the whole melancholy R&B vibe that comes off his tracks, with enough glitchy and exotic sounds to keep you intrigued.
8. Foals – What Went Down
Yes yes yes. This is the sort of manic stuff we want from Foals and plenty of it.
7. Kendrick Lamar – Alright
There were almost too many standout tracks on Lamar’s much hyped second album for me to choose from. Apparently Obama’s favourite is What a dollar cost, which has that moody Radiohead sample. Nice choice mr. president!
6. Hot Chip – Need You Now
Songs about feeling in some way disconnected are Hot Chip’s forte and it shines through in the beautiful desperation of Need You Now. The video is a great partner to the song too.
5. Courtney Barnett – Pedestrian at Best
Whenever I play this song my boyfriend says Courtney is sucking all the life energy out of the room. I couldn’t disagree more! Barnett’s trademark comedic ramblings on life and her grunge-throwback tunes always make me smile.
4. Tame Impala – Let It Happen
Well no surprises here, many-a-year list has crowned Tame Impala with the top position this year and it’s easy to hear why. I wasn’t big on the psychedelic stuff they put out before, but these 8 minutes (!) of musical magic really won me over.
3. Young Fathers – Rain Or Shine
The new Young Fathers album first left me in a state of total confusion, but I kept coming back to it for more. It’s all over the place, in a good way. After seeing them perform live a couple of months ago I was sold. These guys give it everything and just explode with raw energy. This song made the top three thanks to the clever Metronomy-hook.
2. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Multi-Love
Up until this year UMO were a band that I’d heard of, but never really bothered to look into. Apparently it took the lead singer and his wife entering into a polyamorous love traingle with another woman, and then going through a dramatic break up with her, to make an album that really caught my ear. Multi-love for the win!
1. Father John Misty – Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)
I long contemplated the top three positions of this list, but if I’m perfectly honest: there is absolutely no contender man (or woman) enough to squeeze father John from his well earned winner’s spot. The only son of a ladies man acually fell in love, and made a glorious album about all the highs and lows involved. From paranoid self doubt to wondrous ecstacy, it’s all there. And if you ever get a chance to see him deliver this rollercoaster of emotions on stage, do not miss it!
The remaining top 50 tunes, in alphabetical order:
A$AP Rocky, Rod Stewart, Miguel &Mark Ronson – Everyday
Alabama Shakes – Don’t Wanna Fight
Auntie Flo feat. Shingai – So In Love
Blur – Go Out
Death Cab for Cutie – Black Sun
Django Django – First Light
DMA’S – Your Low
Florence + The Machine – What Kind Of Man
Fresku feat. MocroManiac – Kreeft
Ghostpoet feat. Nadine Shah – X Marks the Spot
Happyness – Great Minds Think Alike, All Brains Taste The Same
Hozier – Someone New
Jack Ü, Skrillex, Diplo & Justin Bieber – Where Are Ü Now (with Justin Bieber)
Jamie xx feat. Romy – Loud Places
Kurt Vile – Pretty Pimpin
Lil’ Kleine& Ronnie Flex – Drank & Drugs
Lizzo – Ain’t I
Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
Miguel feat. Wale – Coffee
Rihanna – Bitch Better Have My Money
Patrick Watson – Places You Will Go
The Tallest Man On Earth – Sagres
The Weeknd – Can’t Feel My Face
Vaults – Premonitions
Years & Years – Take Shelter