2015 Year in Review: Favorite Songs


Once again, it’s time to look back on the music of 2015 with my favorite songs of the year.

I’ve featured many of this songs in my Song of the Week posts this year.  If you see a link from a song title it will take you back to the Song of the Week post for that song.

For previous year-end lists of previous years check out my lists for 201420132012,  2011,  2010  and  2009.

In alphabetical order, here are my ten favorite songs of the year:

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America Says Hello” by The Chills – It has the jangle and political passion of mid-80s R.E.M. but this is actually the return of a New Zealand post-punk band of the same period.

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Chinatown” by Girlpool – Simple emotion with folk roots and punk expression.

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“Lifted Up (1985)” by Passion Pit – Michael Angelakos song of how love saved him from depression.  This was my song I played whenever I needed cheering.

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Loud Places” by Jamie xx(featuring Romy) – A quiet song full of hidden sounds and textures.

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“Lonely Daze” by Kate Tempest – Street poetry of real people with real stories.

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Malukayi” by Mbongwana Star (featuring Konono No. 1) – A new sound is born, African tradition with electronic innovation.

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Pedestrian at Best” by Courtney Barnett – Punk rock rage with words that mean something.

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“Right Hand Man” by Christopher Jackson, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom, Jr. & Original Broadway Cast of Hamilton -This is kind of cheating, because if I was doing an album list this year I’d recommend listening to the entire Hamilton Original Broadway Cast Recording.  But this is a good introduction to the musical that has brought my people out, making it cool to geek out over American Revolutionary and Federal period history.

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The Scene Between” by The Go! Team – A cosmic gospel tune.

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Violet Clementine” by Lady Lamb – Kind of sounds like 6 or 7 songs covering multiple genres, and yet it’s just one part of a brilliant album.

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Honorable mentions:

“Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson (featuring Bruno Mars) – Technically a 2014 release, but it was inescapable for much of 2015.  Despite its ubiquity and that it sounds almost exactly like it could be a song by The Time from 30 years, I love it.  Because if something is going to receive this much airplay, sounding like a 30-year-old song by The Time is not a bad thing.

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“Downtown” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (feat. Eric Nally, Melle Mel, Kool Moe Dee & Grandmaster Caz) – Almost a response to “Uptown Funk,” celebrating a different part of the city and a pastiche of old genres ranging from Old School hip-hop (with old school rappers) to Queen.

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More Music Lists:

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