Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Top Songs of 2015: 21-40

Apple Music link

Spotify link

40. "Goldmine Junkie" by Big Grams (from Big Grams)
"And under the covers we make another 'Twawn"

Speakerboxx > (Big Boi + Phantograms = Big Grams) > Sir Lucious Left Foot. That's just math.
39. "Pray For Rain" by Pure Bathing Culture (from Pray For Rain)
"Are you cut in two / cut all the way through"

As a Californian, amen.  
38. "Tilted" by Christine & the Queens (from Christine & the Queens)
"I am naturally good / can't help it if we're tilted"

Tough to pick a single track from a very strong debut LP ("Night 52", "Narcissus is Back" and "Jonathan" are also quite good). Second song en franglais on this year's list.  
37. "Just Like We Never Said Goodbye" by SOPHIE (from Product)
"We were young / we had everything we wanted"

The PC Music collective and affiliated producers like SOPHIE excel at making dance music you can't dance to. 

36. "In the Morning (In the Evening)" by Twin Peaks (single)
"'When I tell you that it's over / got a black mark on my shoulder"

If Foxygen embodies the excesses of classic rock (e.g., 
psychedelic falsettos), Twin Peaks represents the more stripped down elements of the genre. Both of them, however, do a passable Velvet Underground impression. Placement of this track may be a bit inflated as penance for missing "Making Breakfast" last year. 

35. "Empty Threats" by CHVRCHES  (from Every Open Eye)
"To try and not forget / hoping that you'd never know"

According to Google, more people refer to CHVRCHES as "from Glasgow" than as "Glaswegian". That's just lame as "Glaswegian" is easily one of the top 100 words in the English language. Other contenders include "sycophant", "apothecary", "prophylactic" and "clustershow" (a portmanteau-ish word we give a friend credit for coining). The worst word, of course, is "moist".

34. "FourFiveSeconds" by Rihanna w/ Kanye West and Paul McCartney (single)
"See all of my kindness / mistaken for weakness"

It's nice to see Sir Paul back where he is comfortable, as the third-best member in a band.  

33. "Postcard #3" by Jens Lekman (single)
"Does this suit match the shade of purple on my face?"

Swedish folk hero Jens Lekman committed to release a song (a "postcard") per week during the year on his personal website. And he actually stuck to it. We are about 45 postcards behind in listening. Not on Spotify or Apple so stream here

32. "Waking Up" by Mr. Little Jeans (single)
"I don't want to have to wait / stay here"

Third appearance in a row for Monica Birkenes (aka Mrs. Mr. Little Jeans). Also, after a slow start that is now back-to-back Nordics on the list, getting them closer to quota. 

31. "On To Something Good" by Ashley Monroe (from The Blade)
"'I'm better dancing when I don't look down"

This is the elusive "good" Country we referenced at #88.
30. "Postcard" by Iron & Wine (from Archive Series Volume No. 1)
"We'll sing a song we've never heard / formed out of small forsaken words / and all the while that this occurs / we'll love you all (x3)"

The most exciting thing about this album of previously unreleased songs from the Creek Drank the Cradle era is the "Volume No. 1" part and what it implies. 
29. "Trap Queen (remix)" by Fetty Wap w/ Quavo and Gucci Mane (single)
"I'll be in the kitchen cooking pies with my baby"

Included over the original version because Gucci/Quavo are better rappers than Fetty (and because the original was actually first released in 2014). 
28. "Never Be the Same" by Built to Spill (from Untethered Moon)
"And that's the way it's gonna be / 'cause that's the way it's always been / and in another century / it's gonna be this way again"

Nice album, even if it was a bit of a letdown after the underrated There is No Enemy. Can we wait fewer than six years for the next one, please? 
27. "Beginners" by The Tallest Man on Earth (from Dark Bird is Home)
"Oh there will be a moment when I ask you to believe in love"

The 5th appearance in eight years from Kristian Mattson (a Swede! Now we are rolling). 
26. "Lemon Eyes" by Meg Myers (from Sorry)
"You're so bitter / bitter / bitter / yellow"

Pre-chorus of the year. 
25. "The Wrong Year" by Decemberists (from What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World)
"The spirits willing / flesh is getting bored / speakers blaring out some long forgotten chord / some misbegotten, long forgotten chord"

Of the ~1,000 artists with multiples songs in our music library, only five have more 4-star songs than the Decemberists (The Clash, Iron & Wine, The Mountain Goats, Otis Redding, The Rolling Stones). Kanye is tied, at least until SWISH. 
24. "No Devil" by San Fermin (from Jackrabbit - deluxe edition)
"I'm having trouble / I'm not well / I got lost along the way" 

More proof that taste is subjective: Nothing from Jackrabbit  was set to make this list, until the deluxe version was released with "No Devil" as a bonus track. 
23. "Traveling Song" by Ryn Weaver (from The Fool)
"And I know what you'd say / you'd say on with the show / so on we go"

Ms. Weaver cracked the top 20 last year for for the perfect pop "Promises" and returned this year with her debut LP. Most of the album is similarly upbeat, but our highlight is this spare and lovely tribute to her late grandfather.
22. "Hollywood Dreams" by Miguel (from Wildheart)
"Still waiting for my big break / for fame's sake "

The next ten years of Miguel will include a half dozen songs that we'll love, and another fifty or so we'll be more than fine never hearing again.
21. "Rumble in the Park" by Catey Shaw (single)
"Jenny don't use that knife / someone's gonna lose their life"

Girl fight! 

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