20 Greatest Songs of 2015 20 Greatest Songs of 2015
Counting down the 20 best songs of 2015! What track is number #1? Click the link and find out! 20 Greatest Songs of 2015
  • 20. No Good by Amy & The Engine

Kicking off the list with a group of indie newcomers from Boston. This wonderfully catchy tune is taken from their debut EP TaneMania, and is driven by a simple surf-rock guitar melody, a snappy drum pattern, and cleverly constructed lyrical phrases. Although it’s technically not part of the official track-list, it can be found hidden in track 6, Baby (I Know), on Spotify, and definitely deserves way more attention than it will probably ever get.

 

  • 19. Bitter Water by The Oh Hellos

Led by a tightly strung banjo, this energetic throwback-anthem feels like a classic folk song sent from the 15th century. The lyrics are very poetic in nature, and there is a great sense of vocal harmony between the two front siblings, Tyler and Maggie. It’s a warm and enveloping dance jam from start to finish, proving plenty of soul and rhythm to keep you tapping your feet. Gather some friends, make a bonfire, and have a blast!

  • 18. Boy Problems by Carly Rae Jepsen

Things get really funky on this delicious slice of post-disco greatness from Canada’s answer to Taylor Swift. Carly Rae may not have totally re-invented her good-girl image with her latest album EMOTION, but it is by far her most consistent release to date. Boy Problems is a standout cut, particularly because of how groovy it is. The polished production and the thick slap bass are very reminiscent of 1990’s Daft Punk, but without feeling dated or derivative in any way. Looking for the perfect party-starter to shake up your local club? Here is my recommendation.

  • 17. Blue Ural by Jimi Tenor

Hailing from the land otherwise known for power metal, Jimi Tenor plays a mean saxophone and makes jazz music like in the good old days. Blue Ural is a wonderful example of his technical abilities, as well as his sharp ear for impeccable musicality. It sounds like something you would find on a Mission Impossible soundtrack, with lots of sneaky horns, groovy lounge pianos, and a rhythm section that is cool as hell. Contemporary big-band Jazz at its finest.

  • 16. Nightcrawler by CZARFACE

Wu-Tang Clan member Inspectah Deck and underground hip-hop duo 7L & Esoteric have joined forces on this grimy yet colorful rap gem about a guy who is not afraid to get cocky and dirty if he has to. There are some incredible bars to be found on this track, and the whole piece flows seamlessly between a sampled female voice, the hard-hitting verses, and some type of comic-book-esque narration towards the end. It’s a classic example of bragging and dissing, but with an extra twist of super-villain looniness.

  • 15. Stars Pt. 1 by Art Vs. Science

It’s really hard to describe the effect of this almost 6-minute long trip through psychedelic disco-funk. It starts off with a strange guitar strumming pattern, slowly rising until a spacious keyboard comes in and fills the air with acid. It’s very mesmerising, just like the record on which it belongs. It also doesn’t really fit into any specific category, but I guess you could classify it as art pop with a strong twist of neo-psychedelia. The most strangely enthralling song of 2015, if I had to give it some sort of title.

  • 14. Empty Threat by CHVRCHES

I’ll be the first to admit that I absolutely despise the sound known as euro-disco, which runs through the veins of this electro-pop sugar bomb. It is soaked in a sea of synthesizers and programmed beats, but somehow still manages to feel organic and exciting. Perhaps it’s because of lead singer Laurel Mayberry’s vocals, which are as mesmerizing and magnetic as they are sweet and fragile. The songwriting is also above and beyond what you would expect from this genre of music. I usually can’t stand it, to be honest, but CHVRCHES have pulled together such an exceptional piece here that transcends the obvious, defies conventions, and avoids every pit it could’ve fallen into.

  • 13. Mountain at My Gates by Foals

It’s been a good year for these british rock heads, having achieved their highest charting album in the US to date, and also producing this gold nugget of a post-britpop single. The track has those alternative mid-1990s sensibilities that made bands like Oasis and Blur so revered back in the day. The killer riff, the groovy rhythm, and a chorus so infectious that it lingers with you long after you stop listening. No wonder why it caught the american airwaves.

  • 12. Good For Me by Jon Foreman

Part of the Switchfoot frontman’s Wonderlands EP-series, this very subtle and subdued blues-tinged tune is a surprisingly meditative and sober look into the mind of a person who starts to question the world around him, and whether or not modern society is the cure or just a disease that wants to bring him to his knees. It’s very haunting and eerie in the way it glides along like a soldier marching to his certain death, while brass instruments underscore the impending doom. I’m quite astounded by how well Foreman managed to create such a moody and bone-chilling atmosphere. I start to shiver just by thinking about it.

  • 11. Run by Seth Sentry

This killer cut from the Australian rapper’s newest release might just be the hip hop recording of the year. With a simple drum beat and a melodic guitar sample looping throughout the verses, it is instantly memorable. The infectious sing-along chorus further cements its pop appeal, while thematically Seth delves into themes of growing up in a small town, causing trouble and rebelling against authorities. It’s one of those tracks you just randomly start humming without even consciously thinking about it, and believe me when I say that’s a good thing.

  • 10. Up&Up by Coldplay 

Adventure of a Lifetime may be the sure winner in the mainstream singles department, but it’s also far from the most interesting cut on the London-based rock band’s new album, A Head Full of Dreams. Up&Up is every bit as infectious as anything else in the Coldplay catalogue, featuring grand choruses and a fantastic solo by Oasis-frontman Noel Gallagher. It’s the kind of song that slowly unfolds into more layers, until it sounds like a choir singing to the heavens above. It’s also very uplifting and full of optimism – something we desperately need these days. The most inspirational song of the year, if you will.

  • 9. Empire of the Clouds by Iron Maiden

Easily claiming the title of being the year’s longest song, the 18-minute heavy metal ballad about the tragedy of the french zeppelin R101 is truly the magnum opus of Bruce Dickinson. In many ways Iron Maiden have created their own Stairway to Heaven, but instead of the guitar, the piano is the centre piece of the composition. Similarly to the Led Zeppelin classic, it starts off slow and quiet, then gradually opens up and unfolds into more and more musical layers. It’s very theatrical and epic in its progression, culminating in guitar-solo heaven, sweeping string sections, and a galloping drum-rhythm that sounds like thunder bolts and lighting. An essential listen.

  • 8. Our Own House by MisterWives

Quite possibly the song on the list that is best tailored for modern radio. It’s really hard not to get caught up in the funky guitar work and the dance-driven rhythm section, and it’s even more impossible to avoid the blissfully catchy chorus. It’s the kind of perfect indie tune that deserves to be propelled out of the underground and into the mainstream. It doesn’t sound like every other industry-fabricated nonsense. It has a unique fingerprint that is all its own, making it much more compelling and impactful than your average pop replica. Also, how often does a band successfully manage to incorporate dynamite saxophones into the mix? Our Own House is high on spirit, low on generic instrumentation, and fueled by nitroglycerin that will keep your body moving for days.

  • 7. Only These Words by Chris Cornell

There is something so honest, pure and direct about the new Chris Cornell record, and this heartfelt acoustic ballad is no exception to that. Cornell sings about his daughter, painting a romantic picture of a little girl born to a king and queen in a castle down a long road. By the end of the song, the little girl’s alarm clock rings out, and she is now in the real world. No more castles and no more kings and queens. But she’s still a princess nonetheless, Cornell points out as he tells her that one day she’ll get her handsome prince who will love her with all his heart, just like her father does. In a world that is so emotionally guarded, I found it extremely refreshing to hear someone say that “I love you” is “all we want to hear”. Sometimes it’s better to just be straight-forward and say what you actually feel, without being too intellectual about it. Everyone deserves to hear how special they are, and this is their song.

  • 6. New World Towers by Blur

When these brit-pop pioneers released their somewhat unexpected comeback album, The Magic Whip, I think most of us were surprised by just how good it was. I’d go as far as to say it’s the best LP they’ve ever created, and New World Towers is a great example of Damon Albarn’s ability to write a thoroughly haunting and atmospheric mood piece. Like the record itself, the song is very mellow and downbeat, evoking a sense of melancholy and wonder at the same time. It’s also incredibly picture-esque in the way it describes the great city of Hong Kong, from the green neon lights to the glass arcades – not just in the painterly lyrics, but also through the slow-moving guitar waves that come and go, underscoring the calmness and reflective state of mind.

  • 5. How Much A Dollar Cost by Kendrick Lamar

It’s no easy task to pick out just one fruit from this hip hop cornucopia, but if I had to select one piece from To Pimp A Butterfly that would best sum up the genius and tremendous musicality of this masterpiece, it would most definitely be track 11. Backed by a grinding beat and a sensual brass section, this song unravels almost like slam poetry. Kendrick is not so much rapping here as he is letting out a stream of conscious spoken words. He’s telling a story, and the music is really there to set the tone and pace. The execution is so effortless and confident, from the soulful piano to the dirty bongo drums. A sure top bid for best recording of the year.

  • 4. Trouble by Cage The Elephant

Taken from the band’s upcoming forth studio album, Tell Me I’m Pretty, this feverish psych-rock ballad harkens back to the 1960’s garage mentality, keeping the melody simple and the narrative straight, while building around the core rhythm section with subtle guitar licks and faint bass drum pulse-beats. The single was produced by Dan Auerbach from The Black Keys, and his low-fi production sensibilities definitely come through on this track. It sort of reminds me of what Tommy James did on Crimson and Clover. I think we have another classic on our hands here.

  • 3. Do The Damage by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

The award for best rock song of the year goes to Oasis-frontman Noe Gallagher and his never-ending talent for crafting bullet-proof crossover singles. Ironically enough, Do the Damage is not even on the standard version of Chasing Yesterday, the songwriter’s latest album, which is quite a shame considering how instantly memorable it is. The track has a very urgent quality to the lyrics and the instrumentation, throwing in organs, blazing saxophones, a seismic wave of thunderous guitar riffage, and rapid-fire piano chords. Gallagher’s voice is particularly strong and penetrative on here, adding an extra layer of spice to this red hot psychedelic dish.

  • 2. Patience by Amy & The Engine

Second spot goes to a powerfully intimate and deeply tender acoustic jangle-pop diamond, dealing with the fact that we are living in the most stressful, fast-paced time the world has ever seen. Everyone wants to grow up, preferably sooner than later, but no one ever seems to consider slowing things down and enjoy the small moments in life. We’re all simply too busy to have fun and be present. The instrumentation reflects this idea so perfectly, maintaining a relatively quiet tone all the way throughout, even during the galloping chorus. It brought great peace to my heart when I first heard it, and I highly recommend checking out the attached music video below. Watch out for these guys! They have have so much potential to unlock. A true force to be reckoned with.

  • 1. You In January by The Wonder Years

Clocking in at number one is the 11th track from the Pennsylvanian pop-punk pioneers’ latest album, No Closer to Heaven. This is the kind of naked songwriting that will leave you breathless when it’s over, completely blown away by how raw and unflinching it is. The reason why it tops the list is not because it breaks any new musical ground or re-invents the art of the brokenhearted love song. But what it does so well is treat our ears to something rarely found in popular music these days, which is honesty. The lyrics are so beautiful, poetic and figurative, and every word that comes out of Dan Campbell’s mouth sounds like it was plucked straight from his own personal journals and diaries. It is so urgent and real and confessional, almost like someone sharing his most inner thoughts and feelings with me, even if he might embarrass himself in the process. That level of commitment and passion is something I find extremely noteworthy in this day and age, and that is why it ranks as the year’s best for me.

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Mathias Folsted Film/Music/TV critic, columnist, and news-writer

An aspiring filmmaker, film critic and YouTuber. Previous experience include extensive work for the largest danish film site, www.filmz.dk, where I served as junior editor, film critic, columnist, and news writer. Also a graduate from the European Film College, I've been a lover of motion pictures for as long as I can remember. My criticism is always honest, but above all emotional.

  • CoolHandJuke

    Where the fuck is fight song? I may only have one match, but I can make an explosion…

  • Stalkeye

    Never heard of most of these bands. But glad Iron Maiden gets a shout. The Szarface Comic parody looks wicked!

  • Stalkeye

    Just be thankful that he didn’t list Adele’s “Hello”.
    I know I am!

  • Mathias

    That whole album is some of the most overrated crap I’ve ever heard, so I would never put that on any list.

  • Mathias

    Well, we can’t all have the same list + I take Stalkeye’s comment above as a compliment, since it would be quite boring if we all had the same choices. It’s about quality, not popularity.

  • Stalkeye

    I applaud you for enduring such torture.
    Thou art truly a brave soul!
    Dead ass serious, Meng!

  • CoolHandJuke

    When I go out with my girls, we blast that shit. No one fucks with the pumpkin spice mafia…

  • CoolHandJuke

    I’d plant my face between her bewbs…

  • franks_television

    There were songs in 2015? Didn’t realize that was still a thing.

  • Stalkeye

    Thou art a REAL Man!

  • I_am_better

    I listen to so little new music, that this is still the best song of the year:

  • Mathias

    Well, you should try digging through the underground. The music industry may not be what it used to, but there is plenty of good stuff on indie labels.

  • I_am_better

    I’m a stubborn old man, just clinging on to his favorite bands/albums and his movie score collection…
    XD

  • Yet, you have Carly Rae Jepsen, an auto tuned youtube “personality”? I’m no fan of Adele’s style of music, but she has talent at least.

  • Mathias

    Haha, that’s funny. Well, obviously we disagree. Carly Rae’s new album really surprised me. Adele has zero to offer other than her voice. Her instrumentals are mostly really boring X Factor type of stuff. I couldn’t stand Jepsen until the release of EMOTION, where I think she actually showed real potential. Adele to me is the most bland and uninteresting artist, and her latest album is so heavily overrated. “Rolling In the Deep” is a great song, but that’s about it + music is subjective, so for some reason I saw something in Carly Rae that you didn’t.

  • gorgarwilleatyou1

    no love for the last Clutch album it is amazing!

  • How dare you post this vile list of garbage after my never ending rants against best of lists before the year is complete? I’ll kill you! KILLL YOUUU!!!!!!!

  • I’m gonna go down through every song one by one momentarily and give my opinion. I’ll probably hate it all, but we’ll see. =)

  • “No Good” by Amy & The Engine

    Don’t like her voice. Meh.

  • “Bitter Water” by The Oh Hellos

    Don’t like her voice either. The guy’s alright though. Too exuberant at times. Meh.

  • “Boy Problems” by Carly Rae Jepsen

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaa. NO.

  • Typed that before listening and it’s even worse than I thought.

  • “Blue Ural” by Jimi Tenor

    Not bad. Purely instrumental music has to be really damn good for me to care about it though and this is just an OK (not much of a jazz fan anyway).

  • “Nightcrawler” by CZARFACE

    Beat does nothing for me and I can’t stand Inspectah Deck. Esoteric’s verse is pretty solid though. Method Man is OK. Meh.

  • “Stars Pt. 1” by Art Vs. Science

    This is OK aside from the somewhat bland vocals. Kinda like a vastly inferior Portugal. The Man.

  • Mathias

    Wow, you are a sad man. It’s almost like you have something against me personally. Really? Not a single song appeals to you? Well, too bad for you. Make your own list 😉

  • “Empty Threat” by CHVRCHES

    Hate CHVRCHES and this doesn’t change things.

  • lol, it’s not the list, just the fact it’s posted before 2015 is complete, something I’ve been raging against on Twitter for weeks now. It’s just a major pet peeve of mine.

  • “Mountain at My Gates” by Foals

    Pretty good. Nothing special, but never heard of these guys so I’d consider giving them a deeper look based on this song.

  • “Good For Me” by Jon Foreman

    Never liked Switchfoot, didn’t like this either and it’s annoying the fuck out of me that I can’t think of the classic rock song that has a riff almost identical to the one played like “duh duh duh duhhh” in this. Argh!

  • “Run” by Seth Sentry

    Never liked him because his accent bleeds into his rapping too much, which I don’t like. Not that there’s anything wrong with an accent in general, I just don’t like his. Same thing here but at least it’s not as bad as “The Waitress Song”.

  • “Up&Up” by Coldplay

    Coldplay fucking sucks.

  • “Empire of the Clouds” by Iron Maiden

    m/ YEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! m/

    Easily the best song on the new album and you’ll likely see this one pushing for a top 10 spot in my double-year list, coming sometime in 2017.

  • “Our Own House” by MisterWives

    I like it. I like her voice, I like the instrumentation, and it’s catchy but not annoyingly so. Will give the album a look.

  • “Only These Words” by Chris Cornell

    Haven’t cared for anything from Cornell since Superunknown and this doesn’t change things. I guess his voice just doesn’t work for me outside that old grungy sound or whatever, I dunno.

  • “New World Towers” by Blur

    Never liked Blur. Always found them boring and this song isn’t any different to me.

  • “How Much A Dollar Cost” by Kendrick Lamar

    One of the better songs on the album, though I strongly disagree with your take on the album overall. It was a huge disappointment to me. I can sort of admire that he tried to do something different with this release, but I personally don’t think it works most of the time. Way too many tracks that feel like experimental filler that wasn’t worked on long enough to be refined into something really listenable.

  • “Trouble” by Cage The Elephant

    No real complaints about this one. I mean it’s OK, but doesn’t really stand out at all in a sea of average rock ballads, IMO.

  • “Do The Damage” by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

    Standard crap rock song from a pretentious douchebag that wishes he and his stupid brother had one tenth the talent of Dave and Ray Davies.

  • “Patience” by Amy & The Engine

    Another one I can’t really complain about as it’s an OK song I guess just not my cup of tea.

  • “You In January” by The Wonder Years

    Pretty good. I’ve been meaning to give TWY another chance as I wrote them off after disliking their first two albums, but everyone tells me their stuff since then is a lot better. I’ll get around to it someday.

  • I post my list of the best movies of the decade tomorrow.

  • Die.

  • Mathias

    Haha, I love these comments 😛 Great that you are being honest, though!

  • Mathias

    Haha, this made my day.

  • Stalkeye

    And I thought it was just me.. XD

  • Stalkeye

    I’m going for the worst of 2015 in general!

  • Stalkeye

    Hey, that’s Deceased’s famous signature!

  • Stalkeye

    Nuttin wrong with that!

  • I_am_better

    I’m doing the best & worst and rest of 2015 tomorrow too

  • I_am_better

    Puck feels that all “best of the year”-lists should be released in January. I poked fun at that in our saturday podcast already 😉

  • I_am_better

    It’s been a LONG time since he has used that one…

  • Stalkeye

    Yeah, I kinda miss that.

  • I_am_better

    Well, he’s in love.

  • Stalkeye

    Just as long as he’s not whupped BUAHAHAHAHAH!
    But seriously, I’m happy for the Bro. Your turn will come eventually. (0=

  • Stalkeye

    Take it with a grain of Salt Boyo. That’s just how Pucky rolls and needless to say, its never out of spite just that he’s sorta outspoken…. like me! (0:<