Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Best in Music 2015

The following are my favorite songs and albums of 2015, a fantastic year in music.

10 Best Albums of 2015

1. Till It's All Forgotten by Farao - This folk-pop album is stunning.  Farao isn't afraid to experiment with sound, and the result is a slew of mesmerizing melodies that hypnotize your senses and make you feel the music.

Key Tracks: Hunter, Warriors, Silence

2. Liberman by Vanessa Carlton - Deceptively simple, Carlton's sound draws you in with its haunting melodies, strings and piano.  The sound is refined, sophisticated and ultimately, makes you want to put this on repeat.

Key Tracks: Take It Easy, House of Seven Swords, Operator

3. The Desired Effect by Brandon Flowers - A love letter to 80's music, Flowers has devised an album full of catchy pop sounds that dare you to sing along.  Full of energy and life.

Key Tracks: Can't Deny My Love, I Can Change, Between Me and You

4. Delirium by Ellie Goulding - Goulding's raspy voice dominates this album full of awesome dance music.  Littered with unique sounds, interesting melodies and haunting vocals, Goulding's latest offering is another mark of quality for the impressive singer.

Key Tracks: Keep On Dancin', Holding on for Life, Winner

5. Honeymoon by Lana Del Rey - Lana croons her heart out in Honeymoon, with her trademark dark lyrics tainting her honey-sweet voice.  Despite only a year since her last full album, she manages to create lineup of haunting tunes that gets under our skin.

Key Tracks: Music To Watch Boys To, High By the Beach, Art Deco

6. Love Stuff by Elle King - With her raspy, smoky voice, Elle King belts out the alternative-country-pop songs that dominate this record, commanding attention.  The songs can be sultry when she wants them to be, and also very folksy, resulting in a great mix of sounds unique to King.

Key Tracks: Ex's & Oh's, America's Sweetheart, Ain't Gonna Drown

7. E-MO-TION by Carly Rae Jepsen - Jepsen has proven that she can craft some extremely catchy pop songs, so any fears of her becoming a one-hit wonder have been put to bed with this album chalk-full of quality pop music.

Key Tracks: Run Away With Me, I Really Like You, Warm Blood

8. The Day I Died (Single) by Alex Winston - While technically a single, this has three songs on it, which rivals what some EPs contain, and these songs are top-notch.  Frankly, with the quality I see here, this could have climbed much higher on this list if there had been more songs available.  Alex Winston can croon haunting melodies as well as fast-paced 80's-inspired pop with the best of them, and surely has a bright future ahead.

Key Tracks: The Day I Died, Down Low, Dead End

9. L.O.V.E. by Lindsay Perry - Apparently Apple can't decide how to classify this album, as it showed up in Jazz, then Blues, before settling into Pop.  Not that it's hard to see why - these catchy tunes have a smokiness to them, simplified by Perry's gravely voice.  In the end, this is a beautiful, unique sound that I want to hear more of.

Key Tracks: Slow Creepin', Fabric, Don't Let Me Leave

10. Confident by Demi Lovato - Lovato's latest proves that she's more confident than ever.  Her vocals have never sounded so strong, her music so bold.  This is just a great pop album full of great dance tunes and power ballads.

Key Tracks: Cool for the Summer, Wildfire, Stars

Honorable Mentions
BADLANDS by Halsey
Fingerprint EP by Kita Klane
Home by Dustin Tebbutt
Hourglass by Emily Hearn
Pagans in Vegas by Metric

30 Best Songs of 2015

1. Ex's and Oh's by Elle King - With her smoky voice and cheeky lyrics, Elle King has crafted the best song of the year.  Full of spunk, King rocks out in this song, belting out a chorus that won't be ignored.

2. I Can Change by Brandon Flowers - With an 80's flare, Flowers created a pop song that feels exuberant.  Polished to perfection, this is one solid, feel-good song.

3. Warriors by Farao - Man, this is a beautiful song.  It's full of unique sounds, but also somehow manages to sound organic.  A stunning accomplishment.

4. Cascades by Metric - A fantastic electronic sound, complete with a voice distorted to the point to almost sounding like a robot, makes this interesting, but beyond that, it's also a brilliant song with a real kinetic energy.

5. Here by Alessia Cara - This relatable song about feeling out of place at a party has a momentum that's hard to ignore, coupled with clever lyrics that make this a real force to be reckoned with.

6. Sparks by Hilary Duff - After being absent form the music scene for years, Duff needed quite the standout song to make her comeback, and she didn't disappoint.  This pop song is one of the catchiest in years, with a great whistling portion of the refrain that will have you whistling right along.

7. Look What We've Become by Grace Potter - Nobody rocks out like Grace Potter, and she does it spectacularly in this powerful song.

8. Delilah by Florence + The Machine - This song has a slow opening that hints at what's to come, but nothing can prepare you for the frenzied chorus that carries you along with it.

9. Operator by Vanessa Carlton - Boasting some brutally honest lyrics, this song has a beautiful, haunting sound that's both catchy and refined.

10. The Shade by Metric - An electrifying song with a great build up to the refrain, this is a stand-out song for any album, even if I picked another song for its better on this list.

11. Soap by Melanie Martinez - I love when unique songs can be incorporated into songs to enhance them, and Martinez has proven to be the queen of this skill on her album Cry Baby, this song easily the standout, with its bubbles popping in wake of the chorus.

12. Earned It by Madilyn Bailey - This slow burner is dripping with atmosphere and emotion.

13. Cool for the Summer by Demi Lovato - A great, danceable pop song that dominated the summer.

14. Cinnamon by Josh Herbert - This is a sexy, summery song that has a great energy to it.

15. FOOLS by Troye Sivan - This dreamlike song has a great sound that made me play it on repeat constantly.

16. Written In the Water by Gin Wigmore - With her gravelly voice, Wigmore rocks out in this catchy song.

17. Up by Olly Murs (featuring Demi Lovato) - This is a great feel-good song that builds toward a great chorus.

18. Tuxedo by Clare Dunn - Usually I find more to like in country music in any given year (there was a time where it was basically all I listened to), but songs that stand out are harder and harder to find in the genre.  Luckily, Clare Dunn has crafted a fantastic country song, so she represents on this list.  Sassy, with a great refrain and fun lyrics, this is a song with crossover appeal.

19. Golden by Michelle Chamuel - A sunny song with impressive vocals.

20. Fingerprints by Kita Klane - A sexy song that has a dangerous feel to it that's divine.

21. High By the Beach by Lana Del Rey - A seductive, lazy song that feels like summer.

22. Blue Skies by Lenka - I like that Lenka's songs are always so positive and sunny, and this song pretty much personifies that energy that she brings to her music.

23. Propaganda by Kat Vinter - Impossible to stop singing that refrain once you've heard it a few times.

24. Room by Liza Anne - A haunting song that sort of has the feel of a memory, with lyrics that sync beautifully with the fluid sound.

25. Run Away With Me by Carly Rae Jepsen - Another fantastic pop song that's hard to get our of your head, from Ms. Jepsen.

26. Mine by Phoebe Ryan - I like the breathy voice that Ryan uses in this catchy pop song.

27. Me & the Rhythm by Selena Gomez - Selena has proven she can churn out some great dance tunes, and her latest album doesn't disappoint, especially when it comes to this gem.

28. Home by Dustin Tebbutt - A quiet song that grows more powerful and lovely with every listen.

29. Eupohoria by FMLYBND - A song that's great fun, with a chorus that just sort of bursts with joy.

30. Sleep Peacefully by Lily Kershaw - A beautiful ballad, simple and pared back, set to strings.

Honorable Mentions
Bodyache by Purity Ring
Clay by HANA
I Can Be Somebody by Erin McCarley
Water Under the Bridge by Adele
What a Broken Heart Feels Like by Striking Matches

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