Sunday, December 20, 2015
Hype Starts Here's Top 100 Songs of 2015 (100-71)
100. Anna---Will Butler***
A sinewy jam built of fragile parts, Anna is powered by a wobbling synth, and requires little else to create its infectious groove.
99. Living My Life---Deerhunter
The highlight from Deerhunter's latest might not get the people on their feet, but this mellow, contented stroll seems to be comprised entirely of sunshine.
98. Cruel Sport---Blanck Mass
If there was any remaining doubt that Benjamin John Power, one half Fuck Buttons, is a crazy person, he obliterates it on his solo debut as Blanck Mass, and the steady build and chaotic break down of Cruel Sport are proof.
97. No Life For Me---Wavves X Cloud Nothings
So that Wavves and Cloud Nothings combo album didn't really make good on its potential, but at least we have No Life For Me, a rousing, emotional pop punk standout in both of their catalogues.
96. The Way You'd Love Her--- Mac DeMarco
With each subsequent release, Mac DeMarco sounds a little less wily, and decidedly more content. The Way serves as a perfect opener for Another One, a chilled-out ditty that seems to glide into and out of existence.
95. Little Nowhere Towns---The Tallest Man on Earth***
As much as I wish Kristian Matsson would pick up his acoustic guitar again, there's little denying the beauty of this love-lorn, pocket-sized piano ballad.
94. Crosswords---Panda Bear
Noah Lennox pairs the comely with the crude unlike anyone else in music today, Crosswords utterly covered in sludge and grime, yet inviting and warm as can be.
Battles is at their best when the intensity is ramped up to 11, Non-Violence proving this point with otherworldly sounds that seem to tighten their grip around your ear drums with each passing minute.
92. Say---Mikal Cronin
Taking the advice of one Christopher Walken, Cronin applies liberal cowbell to this overjoyed MCIII gem, dotting the parameters with brass and additional guitars.
MMJ is always at war with themselves over wether they're more rock or country, and Big Decisions captures that dichotomy as well as any song in their career, a stadium-ready kiss of with slide guitars bringing an old-timey flavor.
90. Little Blue---Martin Courtney***
Judging by his output with Real Estate and now his solo work, I'm willing to wager that Martin Courtney has never tasted coffee before, Little Blue's staycation sway prompting muscles to relax, and mouths to smile.
89. I Got Money---Raekwon feat. A$AP Rocky
Over two decades in the game, and the Chef's still got it. He keeps the seat warm for one of the best verses of Rocky's young career, both rattled off over S1 and Jerry Wonda's infectious beat.
88. Faucet---Earl Sweatshirt
From hip hop as celebration to therapy in only one song, Faucet wreaks of frustration and discomfort, but Sweatshirt sounds powerless to move, everything passing him by as if in strobe.
87. The Party Line---Belle and Sebastian***
Now decades into their storied career, Belle and Sebastian tried something different on their latest LP, Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance, by turning into an electronica band, the steady, irrepressible bounce of The Party Line single-handedly justifying the change-up.
86. Elegy to the Void---Beach House
Beach House released two albums in 2015, so get ready to see their name a few times on this list. Like their best songs, Elegy is immediately enveloping, capturing listeners in its gorgeous swirl.
The brat is back! No one does bummed-out surf/pop/punk rock quite like Nathan Williams, Pony opening up V with a giddy tempo and sizzling guitar lines that belie his stated devastation.
83. *tie* I'm the Man to Be and Happiness, Missouri---EL VY***
What an odd and perfect pairing Matt Berninger and Brent Knopf turned out to be. The latter brings a muscular rumble to the music, affording Berninger's baritone a spunky backing on which to relay his typically oddball lyrics. Return to the Moon is best when it's at its most badass, and I can't decide with one of these tracks seems more intimidating in a fight. I'll take both.
82. Timothy---The Tallest Man on Earth
Timothy is cloaked in gold, it's zippy, resplendent fiddle part repeated almost endlessly with its impact never truly waining, Matsson's emotive performance elevating the proceedings.
81. Losers---The Weeknd feat. Labrinth
As much as I loved I Can't Feel My Face the first couple times I heard it, Losers is the track from The Weeknd's latest that actually stuck with me, a meek, jazzy opening hiding a sucker punch of synths that rests just ahead.
80. No Cities to Love---Sleater-Kinney***
Rather that plunge right into the power chord pool that's responsible for most of Sleater-Kinney's finest moments, No Cities employs a wiggly guitar line during its verses, which helps the emphatic chorus hit that much harder.
78. *tie* I Can't Explain and Point of No Return---Surfer Blood
2015 will go down as the year Surfer Blood gave up on being Weezer, and morphed into The Smiths. Just try listening to these clear-throated, open hearted six-string ballads and come away with any other impression, I Can't Explain surfing atop cresting waves of electric guitar, while Point of No Return keeps things closer to the chest, but is imbued with just as much comfy bliss.
77. Alone---Mikal Cronin
Alternatively softer and louder than anything else on MCIII despite its modest three-and-a-half minute runtime, Cronin practically whispers through the track's alluring opening before an eager electric guitar brings all the walls crashing down.
76. Pretty Pimpim---Kurt Vile
There's a mysteriousness to Pretty Pimpin that's impossible to put a finger on, a repetitious five minutes powered by Vile's psychedelic lyrics, and a hoard of secrets that it will never tell.
74. *tie* Lifted Up (1985) and Until We Can't (Let's Go)---Passion Pit***
Passion Pit songs often sound like they're rejoicing while the lyrics tell a vastly different story, but on these two highlights from this year's Kindred, they finally match. Lifted celebrates the love of a friend with a sky-scraping chorus, while Until is a caffeinated party anthem that could blow out speakers.
73. Somewhere Tonight---Beach House
You can't say I didn't warn you. This slow-motion waltz closes out Thank Your Lucky Stars on a conflicted note, all rosey beauty with an eerily sharp organ piercing through the surface.
72. Send My Love (To Your New Lover)---Adele***###
Send My Love is like an alternate universe in and of itself, picturing a better world wherein Adele painted with more colors than pain and steely resolve, this 25 standout proving gracious, catchy, and... almost happy?
71. Black Lake---Björk
The elongated centerpiece of Björk's heartbroken Vulnicura, Black Lake is an enormous ode to loss and hurt, a cavernous sound world for the legendary Swed's singular voice to mourn with no holds bared.