Hello and thank you for reading part two of my end of year list of my favourite songs of 2015. It’s taken me over a month to compile everything I’ve laid my ears on this year and it has been even more excruciating ordering these. Here are 200-101 in my list featuring some outstanding pieces of music.
200. MNEK/Zara Larsson – Never Forget You
First up in the Top 200 is MNEK and new Swedish pop starlet Zara Larsson with the incredibly popular Never Forget You. What starts as a building pop ballad restrains itself with MNEK’s textbook odd percussion and pitched down vocal samples. And then if that wasn’t enough he jumps on the record himself for a powerful vocal. My only concern is that it’s now been a few years of teasing from the artist. Can we please finally have an album and campaign? Release your own hits man!
199. Boogie – Oh My
A party starter ever if there was one, Boogie’s anthem Oh My feels like Wiz’s We Dem Boyz but turnt up to 12. The beat hits hard from the first second and does not hold up to let you catch a breath. Oh my Goodness!
198. Grades – King
Grades has been on the scene operating out of London for a few years now making slick deep house jams but King has by far been his nicest yet. It did receive some mainstream coverage, notably on Kiss FM but for me this was one of the more underappreciated records of the year. Every part of it is enjoyable so if you didn’t get on it first time around fall for it now.
197. Tough Love – So Freakin Tight
First of all, yes it’s an absolute stonking banger but I have a major issue with this record. Who would ever say to a girl “Your Body Is So Freakin’ Tight”. This sounds like a line that New Kids On The Block or Blackstreet would get away with so haway Tough Love. Awful. Still, such a banger.
196. Bully – I Remember
Alicia Bognanno is such a brilliant front-woman due to the brutal honesty of her lyrics and realism of how she delivers them. Bully show this most on their wonderful tune ‘I Remember’ which was also their best record of the year.
195. Royce Wood Junior – Midnight
There’s something really special about spending the midnight hour listening to Huw Stephens’ Radio 1 show and for me one track I relate to the enjoyable experience of doing that is this gem from Royce Wood Junior. As the title suggests its music that captures the dead of night perfectly.
194. Jack U – To U
From the first note ‘To U’ oozes a takeoff and it does that in exceptional style in the chorus for what feels like glass shattering in sound. Skrillex and Diplo make good things happen, and hopefully this will include the kick start AlunaGeorge need for a 2016 run.
193. Lower Than Atlantis – Get Over It
Much like when the band released Here We Go last year, there’s an air of chaos about Lower Than Atlantis’ Get Over It. Another great case of a band making sure their previous year’s campaign goes out with a bang rather than fizzles out. Until next time lads, thanks for the great riffs.
192. Zibra – Paris
It’s rare that an indie band comes along with something new to offer but Zibra have exactly that. Picture the infectious percussion and bass of Friendly Fires mixed with the look, style and confidence of early The 1975. Paris hints to something really special.
191. Conrad Sewell – Hold Me Up
You might know Conrad from that brilliant Kygo tune Firestone that’s on every advert ever, but he’s a sensation in his own right. This didn’t really kick off in the UK as it did in his native Australia but just listen to it. This is what a great pop singer should sound like.
190. Deorro x Chris Brown – Five More Hours
If there’s one thing we’ve learnt in the past, it’s that Chris Brown is a really good guest vocalist if you’re making a club banger. You can ask Benni Benassi (Beautiful People) and now Deorro if you need proof.
189. Justin Bieber – Love Yourself
Bieber’s latest hit with Ed Sheeran comes in at 189 on my list. Its perhaps the most gorgeous track on his album and the world’s best FURB (see Frankee) song ever.
188. Ariana Grande – Focus
Whilst not hitting the heights that Problem did a few years back, this is a valid comeback single. What really amazes is the synth disco bridge of the track which is one of my favourite pop moments of the year. Also, that is Jamie Foxx on the chorus if you’re wondering (the more you know).
187. Future x Drake – Jumpman
The immediate favourite from Future and Drake’s surprising joint album What A Time To Be Alive. It’s arrival had fans of both shouting exactly that. It’s a really indulgent track that casual fans might not like but this is 2015 hip hop’s two heavyweights having a sparring match. It’s great.
186. Kiko Bun – Sometimes
Reggae music is making a real comeback in 2016 I can sense and one vocalist that you won’t be able to ignore is the wonderful Kiko Bun. The best example of his work so far is the gorgeous Sometimes which you will find yourself swaying to lovingly.
185. LunchMoney Lewis – Bills
One of 2015’s biggest radio tracks earlier in the year was the marvelous Bills which entertained us all. Lunchmoney Lewis wasn’t able to find a viable follow-up so this may well go down as a one hit wonder but if it does, it’s a pretty decent one hit.
184. Spector – Bad Boyfriend
If you’re not sure if Fred Macpherson is a great songwriter then I point you to Bad Boyfriend, one of the finer moments on the band’s superb and highly awaited sophomore record Moth Boys. There’s certainly more than a few great lines in the track.
183. Circa Waves – T-Shirt Weather
A scorcher of a tune from Circa Waves is up next which served as the main single from their wonderful debut album. Try and listen to this without getting buzzed for sunnier days.
182. Ephemerals – You Made Us Change
Ephemerals made one of the nicest tunes on the turn of the year. Soulful understated vocals cruise over music that Alabama Shakes would bite your hand off for. The chorus erupts into another great wow moment for the year.
181. Clean Cut Kid – Vitamin C
Clean Cut Kid I had the chance to see at Leeds festival this year and they rocked it. Going into 2016 as one of the most hotly tipped bands will be stressful but this is a band who can win any crowd over around 20 seconds into this song. It’s just so damn catchy.
180. The Japanese House – Still
Another hotly tipped 2016 artist is The Japanese House who will no doubt be atop the ever popular “internet cool vibe pop acts of indie styling” ladder. That’s definitely a thing, I’m not crazy. Anyway Still is bloody gorgeous, that’s all I got on it.
179. Misty Miller – Happy
As the great God ‘Lamar’ once said, if there’s any justice in the world then 2016 will belong to Misty Miller. That’s what he said right? Anyway she’s a fantastic artist who makes addictive songs you didn’t know you needed in your life. You most certainly need a bit of ‘Happy’ in your life.
178. Torres – Strange Hellos
“Heather I’m sorry that your mother’s diseased in the brain” almost acapella announces Torres’ comeback before launching, and it really does launch into a distorted affair. Gosh blimey more Torres was exactly what 2015 needed.
177. Fort Hope – Plans
Kudos to Radio 1, this is precisely what ‘New Music Discovery’ is all about. What we have here is Muse meets Lower Than Atlantis meets System of a Down. Whilst the band haven’t really followed this up yet, Fort Hope seriously delivered one of the finest debut singles in years. This is Plans.
176. Wolf Alice – Freazy
My baes had a really strong year and the first of many tracks on this list by them is Freazy. Their latest single is good because it has their band name in the chorus which is always awesome to hear. It’s a gorgeous hazy dream and I wanna never wake up from it.
175. Disclosure – Omen
When Disclosure get together with our hero and savior Sam Smith great things happen. It’s like the audio equivalent of putting a mint in your soda pop. Omen never quite reaches the aceness of Latch but it tries really hard to and for that we commend it.
174. Drake – Energy
Way, way, way up with this one. Drake’s If You’re Reading This Its Too Late had many great tunes but when he released Energy as a single it was the first time that Drizzy felt like he was actually on top of the game. Also this is the strangest music video of the year.
173. Tinashe – All Hands On Deck
Tinashe knows how to put work in that’s for sure. I actually went and learned the dance routine for the chorus to this. If Kehlani and Tinashe could release a cover of Beautiful Liar by Beyonce and Shakira that would be just great thank you. Can somebody make that happen?
172. J-Hus – Lean & Bop
If you’ve managed to completely avoid this track until now then I’ll personally give you 10p. It’s been everywhere and whilst it’s like super corny, it’s bloody brilliant. Enjoy the corniness and Lean & Bop with me. Best enjoyed with a Wooly Hat on.
171. Jamie Woon – Sharpness
Much like a good pair of slippers, you never really know how much your life could be better with Jamie Woon in it. Also he makes your ears comfy in the same way slippers do to your feet. Jamie Woon is a lot like slippers. If you got his new album and a new pair of slippers for Christmas you’re laughing really.
170. Nathaniel Rateliff – S.O.B
There’s so much conviction in what Nathaniel Rateliff and his band The Night Sweats do. It’s powerful soulful country blues which normally wouldn’t work for a lot of people but absolutely does. This is the kind of act you wanna find on a smaller stage in losing yourself at a music festival, or catching on Jools Holland as the ‘out there’ artist. SOB is a the nicest sounding bar fight I’ve ever heard.
169. Future x Drake – Where Ya At
As I’m writing this post I’m actually not entirely sure who has the most songs in my Top 300. It might be Future who’s Where Ya At spawned the whole damn collab I spoke of before in the first place. It’s one of the biggest trap club tunes of the whole year and if you’re on a night out you will most definitely hear it. This is track three for Future, putting him level with Chance The Rapper so far. Why am I excited about this, I should know what’s to come!
168. Ty Dolla $ign – Saved
Ty Dolla $ign has been working a long time on his album and Saved is a fine example of an artist already confident in his sound. It absolutely balls and features a great feature from the legend that is E-40. This might be the coolest piece of rap production since Watch The Throne’s Paris. It certainly reminds me of it.
167. I Love Memphis – Hit The Quan
Proof that when you get a good thing, run to the bloody moon and back with it. I mean it’s not a good song. Every line in the second verse ends with word crazy. That’s exactly what this is, I’m so in love with it.
166. Pierce Fulton – Kuaga
Pierce Fulton is a producer from Vermont who decided to make music due to his boredom in his city. There’s no trace of the cold Vermont air in his music though, as Kuaga is definitely a feel good slice of soft EDM. If I could meet the guy I’d hug him for this tune, it’s put a smile on my face through-out the year.
165. Pep & Rash – Rumors
There’s bags of potential for Pep & Rash to really do something special with their pacey dark dance sound. Their track Rumors erupted into our ears early into the year and it’s always been prominent at parties through-out the year for busting a move to.
164. Ciara – I Bet
Ciara came back fighting after a pretty rubbish time in her personal life with an album about moving on, headlined by the incredible break-up anthem I Bet. You might have had a great year musically Mr.Future but sir what are you doing?! Look at her, she’s divine. Touchdown Russell Wilson indeed.
163. Alex Adair – Make Me Feel Better
Due to everything that Duke Dumont released this year being a bit underpar, there was a giant Duke Dumont hole in mainstream music and Alex Adair filled at least Q1 with Make Me Feel Better, which brought the Spring in with gorgeous vibes.
162. Bear’s Den – Agape
Powerful folk rock it turns out is what I personally needed to get me through this year and I have a lot of hours I owe back to Bear’s Den. Agape was the single in which I found them in early February and it has always been a wonderful sound to sit back and listen to. Immeasurably mega, there are few tracks which weigh up to its emotion.
161. Big Sean – One Man Can Change The World
Whilst it might not have wound up being my favourite album by the end of the year, Big Sean was an important artist in my listening habits this year. I’ve always appreciated him since he popped up on the scene but there’s no denying that Dark Sky Paradise was his break-out. IDFWU was his big hit but this somber collaboration with Yeezy and John Legend left a big impact and provided a great single for him to connect to a new audience. The music video also tells one of the most personal stories of the year, and tells me that Sean deserves the life he has now.
160. Sigala – Sweet Lovin
People I have found the voice of heaven. It belongs to Bryn Christopher and can be found here on Sigala’s second single Sweet Lovin’. This is one producer who is going to effortlessly take over the world. Some of the best house piano in years.
159. A-Trak – Push
A-Trak had an outstanding moment this year with the release of his tune Push with vocals from Andrew Wyatt of Miike Snow. What sets up a fine house tune delves into glitchpop for the chorus and it’s stunning.
158. Hailee Steinfeld – I Love Myself
Yeah we really like Hailee Steinfeld it turns out. The Pitch Perfect star released her first proper single Love Myself which it turns out is one of the best feel good pop songs of the year. It’s such an important lesson in life to remember to love yourself, thank you Hailee, your friend Scott.
157. Diplo – Be Right There
Jade’s ‘Don’t Walk Away’ is a forgotten 90s gem which last year had a superb remix courtesy of a dude called Faces. Fortunately this year Diplo decided that was a good idea too and brought the song back to a bigger audience. Another fine example of why Diplo should be Prime Minister of Earth.
156. Foals – Mountain At My Gates
Foals’ Mountain At My Gates is Foals by numbers with Yannis putting his all into his words alongside funky math rock riffs to make all in all, a pleasant tune. The 360 degrees video is pretty darn cool too.
155. KDA –Rumble
If guest vocalists for ‘instrumental dance hits that could be Number 1s’ were bought on like Amazon then Katy B and Tinie Tempah would have five star reviews for days for being really consistent. KDA gets it right with the mainstream effort of his tune Rumble.
154. Leks Rivers – Soho Knights
Another great reggae infused vocal from London’s Leks Rivers on top of a beat which reminds me of Clarence Clarity’s sporadic madness. And the chorus, dat Sax foh! 11/10 Vibes confirmed.
153. Coldplay – Adventure Of A Lifetime
Coldplay’s new album is really nice but lacks few stand-out moments. Adventure Of A Lifetime is the clear highlight and as a single the group have once again created a piece of music which feels vital. It’s an evolution of their sound which gets them so close to cracking becoming the best pop group on the planet.
152. Eliza And The Bear – Lion’s Heart
Lion’s Heart features all the things that make Eliza and the Bear one of the best bands around at the moment. Sing-a-long potential on every line mixed with warm music which builds up to a huge chorus featuring some sick brass. Pretty much everything I need in a song.
151. Demi Lovato – Cool For The Summer
What better way to reach the half-way mark of my Top 300 than pick next a turn-around track which came right around the middle of the year. Demi Lovato injected life into Summer with her anthem Cool For The Summer which no doubt sounded beach parties across the East Coast, West Coast and every other place there is sand. And this started a huge change in character for Demi as her darker side came to play. It’s always good when pop stars do that.
150. Sam Smith – Writing’s On The Wall
Writing’s On The Wall took a lot of stick upon its release and certainly in my world a lot of people were very unhappy with it. Upon first listen I wasn’t hugely impressed but it did grow on me a lot and then when I sat down to watch James Bond in Spectre, the track fit so well for me. Sam Smith delivered a timeless piece of music and a song that I’m sure he is proud of. He may not have had an album this year, but Sam certainly had a good 2015.
149. Bring Me The Horizon – Happy Song
The real anthem of Bring Me The Horizon’s new world domination is their Happy Song which has thousands of fans new and old chanting along to the chorus. S.P.I.R.I.T, Let’s hear it!
148. Fekky – Way Too Much
One of Grime’s best jams of the year was Fekky’s collaboration with Skepta on Way Too Much. It’s a club anthem and one of Skepta’s best verses of the year.
147. Missy Elliot – WTF
Queen Missy is back boys and gals. As she says in WTF ‘This another hit, another ace in the hole’ and that is exactly what it is. The Pharell produced record is an immediate return to top of the food chain and the music video is typically for Missy one of the best of the year.
146. Muse – Mercy
Whilst there’s been nothing standout from Muse since 2006 and lyrically the whole of Drones is whack, there’s a lot to quite like about Muse’s new stuff. The best of the bunch is Mercy which hits some pretty sick heights through-out with the band’s operatic Queen-esque ballady choruses.
145. Samm Henshaw – Only Wanna Be With You
Next year I hope we’re all talking about Samm Henshaw. The soulful gospel singer gave us a treat just before Summer with Only Wanna Be With You which sounds like the greats such as Otis Redding and Sam Cooke. Samm’s appreciation for simplistic music to accompany his captivating voice makes for one of the best vocal performances of the year.
144. Slaves – The Hunter
Whilst Slaves have been one of the year’s best bands, they’ve had few singles as strong as The Hunter. The riff is excellent and the chorus explodes into what I think we can now call vintage Slaves. Big up the band for Sockets and Cheer Up London too.
143. Tink – Ratchet Commandments
Timbaland’s new protégé in Missy Elliot’s absence is the wonderful Tink and if she ever had a test to pass then Ratchet Commandments was the moment she passed with flying colours. This is a brilliant tune about ho’s and stuff.
142. The Maccabees – Marks To Prove It
Quiety The Maccabees seriously have had the best year of their career. Marks To Prove it seeps with confidence for the UK’s best band in 2015. We’ve still got more to come on this list but seriously top notch job this year for The Maccabees.
141. Billie Marten – Heavy Weather
There’s something traditionally stunning about the delivery of the way Billie Marten sings her wonderfully sorrowful ‘Heavy Weather’. Its soothing on the ear and has brought a genuine tear to my eyes this year. Only half way into her teenage years, Billie Marten has a huge future ahead of her.
140. Jack Garratt – Chemical
I know that picking 300 tracks is a lot, but I’m kicking myself for this being the only Jack Garratt tune in my end of year list. For the record I’m a huge fan and Breathe Life, Weathered and everything else he’s ever made is spectacular but Chemical is the stand-out by a mile. That drop is utter filth and at time of release I’d have thrown the BRIT award at him right there and then if it were up to me. This guy will own next year without a shadow of a doubt.
139. Chris Brown – Ayo
It might not be the highest up song on this list, but Breezy’s best lead moment this year came from Ayo, a tune I would never DJ without. This is a party starter and it will be for years to come. Mad love for Chris and Tyga’s album too. I think this was the first track I felt really bad about not making my Top 100 too. So from here on out, every track is golden.
138. Misty Miller – Best Friend
Heartbreakingly powerful stuff from Misty Miller on Best Friend make for her strongest track yet. If every release of hers feels this personal and pulls at your heartstrings this hard then I think she might be my favourite artist next year.
137. Selena Gomez – Good For You
It’s been a career year for Selena which is captained by the sizzling Good For You. I have really fond memories if listening in to US request radio with my radio wife and hearing people go crazy for this record and Demi’s Cool For The Summer. Gomez edged that battle for me.
136. Diplo – Doctor Pepper
The man with the sweetest phonebook in history strikes again with some new Korean superstar, trap hero OG Maco and well, Riff Raff. Such a mish mash of sounds shouldn’t work but this is Diplo we’re speaking about. This also marks his third appearance on this list and there’s more to come. He might win Artist of the Year for me.
135. Florence & The Machine – What Kind Of Man
I remember being sent the single from Florence’s record label, hearing the opening and thinking ‘I really don’t need slow synth dull Florence.’ And then that riff hit and I had one of my favourite moments of the year. Seriously I cannot underplay how important hearing that riff for the first time was to me, What Kind Of Man will forever be one of my favourite Florence tunes because of it.
134. Swim Deep – Namaste
When Swim Deep hazed their way into my heart a few years back I thought they were pretty nice and that’s about it. Thankfully their sophomore album explored a wider variety of sounds and the adventurous 80s sounding Namaste was the centerpiece of that. Be it the game-show synth sound or the appreciated guitar solo, this is music which is far more accessible to a mainstream audience.
133. Lady Leshurr – Queen’s Speech 4
Lady Leshurr is good at two things. She has great dental hygiene and she is really good at making addictive freestyles which is where Queen’s Speech 4 originated. This one was so good that it found itself playlisted on Radio 1 and from there she has not let up, garnering more and more support by the day. She’s been around for a minute but 2016 will be her year.
132. The Neighborhood – RIP 2 My Youth
Whilst it feels like Sweater Weather was only released yesterday, The Neighborhood treated us to a brand new album this year and RIP 2 My Youth was the eccentric lead single which is a slick piece of indie rock which performed really well in the States and still fairly well to fans elsewhere. I’m still not convinced they’re the band that the volume of their fanbase suggests but this is a really fine single.
131. Sundara Karma – Loveblood
Sundara Karma’s best song of their young career is the fiery ‘Loveblood’ which is the light side sister song to The Maccabees’ Pelican. It’s a pacey indie tune with a huge chorus which their ever-growing fan base love to shout back at them.
130. Jarryd James – Do You Remember
One of Australia’s biggest tracks of the year and infuriatingly one not to touch base in the UK was Jarryd James’ Do You Remember. The alternative pop song creeps along like a haunting shadow with Jarryd’s flawless falsetto leading it.
129. MO –Kamikaze
MO’s late year banger Kamikaze was a joy to behold. Featuring Asian sounding production against MO’s wordly vocals, the Swede created a feelgood party tune which UK radio loved too, what’s not to like here.
128. Mumford & Sons – Ditmas
A lot of people opt for Believe or The Wolf but for me Mumford & Sons best moment from their very risky new sound is Ditmas. They’ve moved to a place that Kings of Leon also occupy in guitar led bands for Dads and fairly high chart positions. Ditmas was the only single for me that gave a chorus worthy of the latter.
127. Jeremih – Planez
Not even a stupid album campaign could prevent Planez from sticking with me for the majority of the year. The screetching atmosphere in the background of the slow, stoned beats is mesmerizing and Jeremih owns it. J.Cole’s verse is pretty swell too.
126. Tame Impala – Yes I’m Changing
Music is about personal memory and situation and I remember where I was when I first heard Yes I’m Changing. I was waiting on the last bus after a long day at work and I was alone listening to Annie Mac’s Radio 1 show. She played Yes I’m Changing as part of her Hot Music Water Bottle and the sound of a bustling street under this dreamscape music got to me big-time, so much so that I text my mate who works for the show and told him to tell Annie that she had just changed my life.
125. Sunset Sons – Medicine
Sunset Sons are a fine band who if you’re unaware are one of rock music’s best hopes at something fresh and worthwhile. It’s not their most popular tune but Medicine did the trick on me earlier in the year with its festival made chorus.
124. Kehlani – FWU
My introduction to Kehlani was FWU, the fantastically addictive tune about loyalty, how cute. On a serious note, she’s had a really great year and I’m looking forward to even bigger things in the future now that she has an album in the ether.
123. The Weeknd – Earned It
Abel Tesfaye, congrats on 2015. Absolutely nailed it mate. Two thumbs up all round and a pat on the back. Earned It was of course The Weeknd’s track contributed to 50 Shades of Grey, a film that had a far better OST than it deserved.
122. Phillip George – Alone No More
How does one follow up The Girl Is Mine, one of 2014’s biggest club hitters. Easy, sample Another Level. Good stuff Phillip George.
121. Tinie Tempah & Jess Glynne – Not Letting Go
Proving that Summer in Great Britain can be great, Tinie’s collaboration with UK pop’s new princess Lady Jess Glynne was a straight up banger. Even listening to it now in cold, rainy December it makes me really want to get a 99 with a flake on it.
120. Fetty Wap – 679
679 by Fetty Wap was a very interesting release. It was going to make or break him as an artist as if it flopped then he risked being a one hit wonder with Trap Queen. Thankfully it was fire and Fetty went on to make a solid debut album and be one of the year’s break-out stars #RemyBoyz #1738
119. Nothing But Thieves – Ban All The Music
Nothing But Thieves showed us they meant business with red suits and one of the riffs of the year. ‘Ban All The Music’ is the highlight of their stunning debut campaign and puts them already high up on the UK’s list of best rock bands.
118. Silento – Watch Me
‘Watch Me’ has over half a billion YouTube views as I type this and the video was released well into the viral campaign. It may be extremely cheesy but this was music’s biggest ‘thing’ this year, and YouTube’s. And for that we’ll always remember it at children’s parties.
117. LA Priest – OINO
What feels like a lifetime ago I bought Black Fantasy Channel by Late of the Pier, one of my favourite purchases of all time. It was a completely random purchase at the time too, I’d never heard of them. It’s taken a long time since the band’s hiatus, but one member, LA Priest has given us new music and it’s really great. The best we’ve had from him is ‘OINO’ which has the funky obscurity of Late of the Pier about it.
116. Jamie XX – Loud Places
One artist who has thrived this year has been Jamie XX who released his debut solo album In Colour in Summer. One particular moment was him recruiting The XX band-mate Romy for ‘Loud Places’. It’s such an odd collation of sounds, which is most of his album to be fair, and has Romy’s lush deep voice mixed with a gospel chorus. What is weird is that this odd amalgamation of sounds did really well on UK radio. Call it Jamie’s ear for a good mix of music.
115. Kwabs – Perfect Ruin
Kwabs is another one of my personal favourite voices this year. His album Love & War was gorgeous and from it my favourite single was ‘Perfect Ruin’. At the time of release it felt like his ultimate weapon he had been saving for us. Perfect Ruin’s chorus is amongst the most spine-tingling moments in music all year such is the pain in his voice.
114. Of Mice & Men – Broken Generation
It’s incredibly rare that I am impressed with a heavy metal track but Of Mice & Men got me good with ‘Broken Generation’. The riff creates real tension whilst the vocal crushes in with just enough jagged edge about it. A case of getting everything just right.
113. Hot Chip – Haurache Lights
I have huge respect for Hot Chip changing their sound around to become essentially a dance group for some of their new material including the beast that is ‘Haurache Lights’. Pulsating beats which sound as big as skyscrapers blast off with funky percussion. Things buzz in and out of the production including vocal samples but the highlight is a disturbingly good sounding autotune section. This is Hot Chip we’re talking about here. They created one of their best songs out of everything they’re not.
112. Rene LaVice – The Calling
Rene LaVice is a great new talent in that he brings real emotion to Drum & Bass. Every time I lie down to listen to this track I always get blown away by the emotional build up and then what it drops into including the buzzes which drop like bombs. The strings are also gorgeous on this record and it features a hearty vocal from Ivy Mairi. Not bad at all for a debut single.
111. The Weeknd – Tell Your Friends
There’s no question that The Weeknd’s 2015 break-out album Beauty Behind The Madness had its fair share of huge records but Tell Your Friends was especially great as it was effectively the part where he flexed and showed what he was all about. I’ve never heard him sound so confident on a record and it does tell about how he’s going to tear the game apart and focus on his vision. Again, well done Abel.
110. The Maccabees – Spit It Out
Bustling with anger and movement, Spit It Out was The Maccabees crown jewel in their career year. As a single it sits as the strongest and most complex track they’ve ever released and its one you can’t help but admire. The haunting downtempo section which launches into one of Orlando’s best vocal performances on the album sounds like their very own Paranoid Android. This wraps up my Maccabees picks so a huge well done to them on an outstanding year.
109. Calvin Harris – How Deep Is Your Love
Despite having a fairly quieter year, Calvin Harris still dominated with this house anthem enjoyed by both fan and contemporaries. Not only was this record bought by every living breathing person on earth but it was also a staple track for every DJ to use this Summer. Creating a club record is something Calvin hadn’t done in many years so it must have been good for him to still show he could do that.
108. Blood Orange – Sandra’s Smile
Massive Dev Hynes fan here. The guy has always made music which has felt like it mattered and late year offering Sandra’s Smile was a ghetto pop record which I admired greatly. Aside from the important story of black tragic deaths that year, it’s the immense sound that Dev creates that got to me. In a year when most people labeled The Weeknd as the closest we’ve ever had to Michael Jackson, Sandra’s Smile really reminded me of Stranger In Moscow and the more mellow, lesser known MJ hits.
107. Ellie Goulding – Love Me Like You Do
Ellie Goulding’s Love Me Like You Do is a masterpiece. It’s one of the first times in my youngish life that I’ve seen an artist peak and reach the highest of highs in their career. I was proud of Ellie Goulding for Love Me Like You Do and we all should be. As I said before, 50 Shades of Grey had a far greater soundtrack than it deserved and I can only hope that this record goes down as more than just related to that film. It’s Ellie’s greatest and probably always will be.
106. Hozier – Someone New
Appropriately understated compared to his success with Take Me To Church, Hozier’s Someone New is a fine follow up which lets us into the kind of artist he is a lot more. This is a guy who’s had his heart broken and is able to put that onto paper and into song in a really relatable and honest way. He tells the blues but in a really contemporary way. His harmonies in the chorus are also perfect.
105. Kendrick Lamar – King Kunta
With King Kunta, Kendrick Lamar took the rap rulebook and threw it out the window of his Cadillac. The track is all over the place and features comedic bubbly production and slapstick percussion. And then the background autotune vocals pan left to right and back. The only thing serious is Kendrick’s proclamation that he is the new King, but likens his reign to a tragedy around black slave Kunta Kinte. It’s incredible stuff.
104. David Zowie – House Every Weekend
Alongside being the first UK Number 1 under the new Friday worldwide release day, David Zowie’s club anthem was the biggest track in the country for most of Autumn and for that we credit it as we do the running man.
103. Everything Everything – Distant Past
When Everything Everything take their weird formula of creating music and get their finished product absolutely spot on we get music like Distant Past. It’s a song which doesn’t hint at where we could be in twenty seconds time and for that this band have had their best year yet. Get To Heaven was a fun adventure to listen to and extremely enjoyable at that.
102. The Vaccines – Dream Lover
Whilst nothing that The Vaccines release again will ever please me the way that ‘What Did You Expect From The Vaccines’ did, I must admit that Dream Lover has been the band’s best song since the faraway days of 2011/12, and the best song from the last two albums.
101. One Direction – Drag Me Down
And JUST missing out on the Top 100 for Scott Hastie’s Top 300 is One Direction’s Drag Me Down. With just the right amount of build-up, a chorus worth it and lots of cool NASA stuff in the video it’s ultimately a perfect 1D song. If anybody heard this and didn’t find themselves admitting that they were the biggest group on the planet then you’re just wrong.
And that brings us to my Top 100 which I am very excited to share with you just in time for New Year. Once again thank you for reading and let me know if your favourite has featured yet or not. Hopefully you’ve picked up a few tunes you didn’t know before and are enjoying the list so far.