Monday, January 4, 2016

Top Songs of 2015: 41-60

Apple Music link

Spotify link

60. "FF Bada" by Battles (from La Di Da Di)

Battles' math rock perpetually sounds like the music of the future. The true music of the future is probably more Bieber and his "expensive sounding sounds."

59. "S.O.B." by Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats (from Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats)
"I'm gonna to cover myself with the ashes of you / and nobody's gonna give a damn"

We love a good gospel rave-up, even when it is of the "blue eyed soul" (i.e., white dude) variety.  
58. "Current Carry" by Vetiver (from Complete Strangers)
"I think we're on our way / finally out to sea"

Vetiver is a favorite for lazy days, though the drum machine is a bit much here. 
57. "<" by Waxahatchee (from Ivy Tripp)
"You're less than me / I am nothing"

We are in favor of math concepts as song titles. Not just the obvious better-than-cake song but maybe also a song about a make-believe friend called "√-1". 

56. "Dream Lover" by Destroyer (from Poison Season)
"All the signs are saying 'this way'"

Dan Bejar meets the E Street Band. 

55. "Times to Die" by Car Seat Headrest (from Teens of Style)
"And when they took him to the temple / oh, then they listened to his demos"

The debut compilation from Car Seat Headrest sounds like a half dozen of our favorite bands thrown into a blender (Beulah, Clap Your Hands, Wolf Parade, among others)

54. "Downtown" by Macklemore (single)
"If I only had one helmet I would give it to you"

Macklemore could have gone two ways after the criticism that followed the success of the The Heist. He could have tried to be more street/hard to change the minds of those who view him only as a novelty act. Or he could write an epic sounding song about mopeds. Good choice.  

53. "Louisa" by Lord Huron (from Strange Trails)
"I may have died / but your love it raised me"

Strange Trails would rank much higher on a list of top albums from 2015. Very strong track-to-track, even if the highs aren't as lofty as some other albums this year. 

52. "Coming Home" by Leon Bridges (from Coming Home)
"I wanna be around / girl"

Every year, a rising soul singer gets likened to the great Sam Cooke (our #2 soul singer of all time) , but across the 10 tracks of Coming Home, Leon Bridges makes a strong case as nearest his heir. Sam died 50 years ago last month, at 33. Fuck, the music we lost. This. 

51. "That's How You Know" by Nico & Vinz (from Cornerstone EP)
"Now Nico's unemplyed / and Vinz's love for coke destroyed him"

Norway makes an appearance. The list is awfully light on Scandinavian artists so far (MØ being the only other, by our count).

50. "Quiet Americans" by Shearwater (from Jet Plane and Oxbow)
"Piss on the world below / like a dog that knows his name"

Advance single from an January 2016 release that sounds like it will take Shearwater in a different musical direction (though Meiburg's soaring voice remains the same).  
49. "Continental Shelf" by Viet Cong (from Viet Cong)
"Fingertips in the fountain / fondle liquid gold / ice on the horizon / the skyline folding in"

Verses of noise building to a great chorus. 

48. "It's a Game" by EL VY (from Return to the Moon)
"Nickels on the dime / high all the time"

As big fans of Brent Knopf's production (Menomena, Ramona Falls, Lost Lander) we were very excited for EL VY, his collaboration with Matt Berninger of The National.  It's a bit odd, then, that our favorite track from Return to the Moon sounds mostly like a typical National track.

47. "One of a Kind" by Aer (from One of a Kind)
"The highway to my home among the pine trees / will be long and windy / search far and wide try and find me"

The catchiness overcomes the douchiness.

46. "The Shade" by Metrics  (from Pagans in Vegas)
"I want it all / I want it all / I want it all / I want it all"

Big year in music for Super Mario, between the jumping sounds here and the coin grabbing sample in D.R.A.M.'s Cha Cha.  Luigi, meanwhile, is still in rehab. 
45. "Lampshades on Fire" by Modest Mouse  (from Strangers to Ourselves)
"Shaved off my eyebrows when I fall to the ground / so I can't look surprised right now"

Though they've only had six studio albums, MM have now been around for over 20 years. Crap, we're old.  

44. "Lord Willin'" by Logic (from The Incredible True Story)
"Life ain't picture perfect / we use the negatives to develop"

The kneejerk reaction is to credit Logic for trying to revive the concept album, but the reality is that while the albums of the 70's (Pink Floyd, The Who, Bowie, etc.) are heralded as the classics of the genre, we'd put the 21st century's best (Tallahassee, Yoshimi, Hospice, American Idiot, Illinois, even The Suburbs) against all comers. 
43. "MariKKKopa" by Desaparecidos (from Payola)
"There's a lynching at home depot / of the last day laborer"

Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes) uses the Desaparecidos moniker to channel some righteous punk anger. The "round 'em up" message of this track is probably viewed non-ironically by some -- a certain billionaire launched his campaign very much on message 3 weeks after the release of Payola
42. "Bank Rolls (remix)" by Tate Kobang (single)
"I rep the struggle / I know that you hate me, fuck it, I love you"

The idiot yelling "club nation" and "reeeeeeeemiiiiiix" is about the only off note on a pretty promising debut from Baltimore.

41. "In For the Kill" by Shamir (from Ratchet)
"Well I know, I'm just a compromise / but still, there's life in my eyes"

Man, we love that first 20 seconds as it loops.  

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