Goodbye to 2015

Goodbye to 2015

Happy New Year when it comes around to all of my friends. I don’t use Instagram so this #BestNine thing wasn’t happening. Instead I’ve put together 8 pictures which kinda give a running order of my year. I’m putting this up to remind myself that despite being a really hard and somewhat disappointing year, I’ve a lot to be proud of from 2015.

8 Panel Picture Year Highlight

1) 2015 marks my first foray into paid Radio work (hopefully not the last). I was honoured to Tech-Op Produce (push buttons n stuff) for the great Sun FM​ during their Summer and Winter Cash Tours which was a lot of fun. I also volunteered for BBC Radio 6 Music​ in February meeting lots of famous people and particularly enjoying a Jamie XX rave set at 2am in the morning. I missed out on two of my dream media jobs this year and also 2015 marked the year that my hero Zane Lowe left UK radio and then my new hero George Ergatoudis announced his departure from Radio 1. I got into Radio wanting to be Zane’s producer down the line but you know what, Beats looks like a lot of fun so never say never.

2) I continued my Uni work, completing my Masters Degree in Radio and obtaining a Merit pass. My final project was a full station analysis of my beloved Spark Sunderland​ which was successful and has helped the station move towards great things. The highlight though was choosing to lead our General Election coverage with my radio wife Jake​ and the lovely Violeta. As a team we made 12 hours of non-stop live radio on the General Election with great on line and video content too. I’m so proud of what went down that night, it’s my favourite accomplishment to date.

3) Spark FM has been my life for the past year. In project leading events for the station I have created a lot of memories. Always the pinnacle of Spark FM’s annual programming is our Airshow and this year I made sure that we’d have no turbulence (sorry). I was proud of our gang for showing up and having a lot of fun. We had some pretty sweet video streaming numbers and adding live news from the airshow was awesome. Having sat in being Studio TO all of last year I promised myself to go out and have fun and I did manage to check out a lot of planes whilst recording some audio for on air too.

Another proud achievement was our Freshers programme which I have Jake and Jordan to thank. Together myself and Jake came up with ideas for what we wanted to do on air and I set about setting up broadcasts from Halls of Residence and putting the wheels in motion for prize giveaways. With Jordan, I devised a sign-up campaign for Spark and other platforms at the University of Sunderland’s mediaHub and this was a resounding success. We managed to get around 500 new volunteers signed up to platforms.

12476285_1065912023448708_483592603_nFinally and very indulgently, I loved Spark’s Gaming Week. I had an idea over Summer just to launch a week of fun and weirdness on air, loosely in line with the huge Gaming week E3. I came up with some of my proudest ideas over that week from doing on air packages of Paintball/LaserQuest to doing an incredible broadcast from a HUGE Retro Gaming Exhibition in Newcastle. My wackiest Radio idea of all though was to host my own ‘Live On Air Interactive Cluedo Show’. Staging the murder of a mannequin in the mediaHub I designed a plot for our presenter/detective and our listeners to work out who did the murder using placed actors, hidden objects and alibis – this all being streamed out in audio and video on Spark FM. Absolutely nuts but hugely enjoyable.

4) With hard work sometimes comes rewards for me and this year I’ve had three cool awards for my work at Spark. First of all I placed in the Student Radio Association’s Top 3 ‘Committee Volunteers in Student Radio’ or something along those lines. Basically I did really good management work and was recognized for it which is pretty cool. After working countless hours with Jake on our Station Entry, although he put the team on his back for this one including me, we got awarded at the Student Radio Awards. Winning a Bronze for our Election Coverage (down to Michael’s excellent multi-platform content on the night) and a Bronze for Best Student Station (Thanks Sparkies) that makes me a Two-Time Bronze SRA Winner. Not bad at all!

5) The best weekend of the whole year came at Leeds Festival. It was the first time all year that I had left the North East and I savoured every second of it. I caught over 40 great acts to review and interviewed some of my heroes like Spector, Prides (pictured) and Ash. Work aside I had some real moments there. It felt perfect going to Leeds being with Chris as we always spoke of festival-ing together. Doing Limp Bizkit together was a dream come true. Seeing one of my heroes this year, Kendrick Lamar, do his thing was also sublime and I had great fun seeing Boy Better Know and Metallica amongst lots of others. Leeds just brought me back to being thirsty for live music again and I needed that.

12459719_1065911966782047_407872238_n
Dunno what face I’m pulling here with Orlando (Maccabees)

6) That’s not to say the year didn’t have any monumental gigs, it absolutely did albeit less than usual due to having zero money to spend on tickets. I kicked the year off with a Slipknot shaped bang and then also caught some great acts like Future Islands, James Bay, Wolf Alice (4th time) and Editors (for the 5th time). I think though my gig of the year was seeing The Maccabees (4th time) play their new album and meet Orlando prior to the show. That was a really great night. I also saw Lisbon about 70 times and Cape Cub a fair few as well. Evo Emerging proved that North East musical talent is so good! (Looking at you Bi:Lingual).

Music aside I’ve found that I love wrestling even more than I thought I did. This year I’ve attended a few local shows but also attended WWE Live in Leeds seeing some of my wrestling heroes (Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose, Ric Flair, The Dudley Boyz, The New Day) and then to NXT Live in Newcastle which was the best wrestling show I’ve ever been to. Here is a picture I took of the finale between my guy Finn Balor vs the returning Sami Zayn. Incredible.

12476507_1065910920115485_2105408652_n

7) People have been great this year. I’ve mentioned lots already but also major love goes to Ben and Tor, Emily & Megan, James, Hannah & Callum, Jack, Porle, Michael, Jay, Lauren, Harrison, Joanna, Richard and everybody else that’s helped me this year or been a mate. Thanks. However this place is reserved for three guys and that’s my supergroup of DMSC (DomMattScottChris). We are the best thing since One Direction and we always have fun together. Despite how downhill things have went the last few months I am praying that plans at the moment will come to fruition and we can all tackle the challenges that 2016 will throw at us together.

8) And lastly Sunderland has been spot on for me all year. I have to face the facts that I head back down to Sunderland in the New Year for my last few months living there. It’s been a great chapter but it’s coming to an end for hopefully bigger and better things. I’m going to miss the view in Picture 8 so badly, I call it home.

Advertisements

Songs of 2015: 50-1

Songs of 2015: 50-1

Through-out 2015 I have been scribbling down notes of what songs I have really enjoyed. Considering I find on average at least 50-100 new tracks a month, I have had to be pretty selective when narrowing these down to decide what my favourite music of the year is. Last year I did a Top 200 which I thought was mental but this year I couldn’t contain it to that so I had to go even crazier and opt for a Top 300. Who knows what next year will hold capacity wise. For the past five or so weeks I have been collating all of my listening habits from various blogs I love, from my Spotify records, from what I’ve bought and from what I had programmed at Spark FM as Head of Music there. I’ve thought about it a lot and deliberated with myself and here I am; Scott Hastie’s Top 50 records of 2015.

50. Taylor Swift x Kendrick Lamar – Bad Blood


I open up my Top 50 with a memory of last year when Queen TayTay did the double taking Track of the Year with Shake It Off and taking Album of the Year with the incredible 1989. The album stayed on my i-Pod for most of this year and it was certainly a shock when Bad Blood was chosen as her single after Style as let’s be honest it’s not the strongest single. So what came was a huge shock to the system. Taylor Swift, the most important person in music collaborated with Kendrick Lamar just off the back of his new album, meaning he was the man also in the limelight. The duo came together with a reinvented, more demented version of Bad Blood for one of pop culture’s best moments this year. I am in awe of T.Swizzle’s #SquadGoals.

49. Sigala – Easy Love


Few commercial house hits sounded quite as good as Sigala’s first crack of the whip in Easy Love. The new London DJ made Tropical House’s biggest hit thus far with the piano house led vocal rework of the Jackson 5’s ABC. Easy Love was one of the best songs this year because the opening ‘woos’ put a smile on everybody’s face as soon as it came on. He’s in for a mammoth 2016.

48. Apres – Chicago


After Frankie Knuckles’ passing last year, I was introduced to the wonder of Chicago House. More entrancing than your average Swedish House Mafia or David Guetta tune, Chicago House has deeper layers of sound around it and Knuckles’ classic Your Love is one of the finest examples of that. In February this year, almost a year on from his passing, a young French DJ called Apres released his record called Chicago, the perfect ode to Frankie and Chicago House. Carried on a vocal sample which is a call to arms for everything good about Chicago House, the record explodes with the best drop in any song this year.

47. Speedy Ortiz – Raising The Skate


Critically over the past two years Speedy Ortiz have been labeled the most exciting band in the world. They’ve not stopped since 2013’s debut album Major Arcada, releasing an EP last year called Real Hair, and now this year their follow-up album Foil Deer. Everything thus far has received mass acclaim but it’s this year’s Raising The Skate which has taken them next level. The riffage is ferocious and Sadie’s vocals are laced every so cleverly over the melody of the riff. “I’m not bossy, I’m the boss” is also one of the year’s best lyrics altogether.

46. Jamie Lawson – Wasn’t Expecting That


Undeniably the most heartwrenching piece of music we heard all year, Ed Sheeran’s first signee to his label and friend, Jamie Lawson gave us Wasn’t Expecting That. On first listen you’ll admire how catchy it is and how tender Jamie’s voice is but it’s the story that prevails here and places this so high on my list. Normally songwriters struggle to write about an instance in life, or a situation but Jamie’s managed to cram a whole lifetime of love and tears into one song. It’s stunning and should be remembered for years to come.

45. The 1975 – Love Me


After winding down the successful debut album success, the UKs biggest guitar band The 1975 went for a completely new redesign. There was something electrifying about seeing the online reaction to the band changing their trademark colours from black and white to pink and white and what follows I think none of us expected. Drawing from Rock Of Ages seemingly, The 1975 have become an all-out glam rock outfit with Love Me a barnstormer. It features the best guitar solo of the year and felt like a gravely important moment for guitar music in 2015.

44. Macklemore – Downtown


Taking time off making the funnest music in the charts, Macklemore has been spending time in Seattle with his family and new child whilst also getting ready for the next movement. In late Autumn we got that movement with Downtown, an enormous fun track that rivaled last year’s Uptown Funk. Featuring seminal 80s rappers Kool Moe Lee, Grandmaster Caz and Melle Mel, Mack went to Downtown creating a modern day rap version of MJ’s Beat It with his video. With cheesy but clever lines about Tiramisu, this was a huge party popper.

43. Years & Years – King


Years & Years’ breakout moment in January with King felt super important as it was the first song of the year from a new artist which hit the big-time. What I’m saying is, with King, Years & Years became the first great new artist of 2015 and that as a moment was awesome to witness.

42. Rihanna – Four Five Seconds


Rihanna has been the talk of the music town for the past 365 days this year after her R8/Anti album just hasn’t come into existence yet. After a strong start to the year with releases like American Oxygen, Bitch Better Have My Money and most of all FourFiveSeconds, There has been no good news on the RiRi front. Her February collaboration with Kanye West and Sir Paul McCartney was an odd hit, but for me was easy to fall in love with. It’s been a dull year for Rihanna and Kanye but the seeds are in place from these records for an incredible 2016.

41. Hayley Kiyoko – Girls Like Girls


Girls Like Girls is a special record not just because of its fresh take on female homosexuality but because it’s done using vibey synth pop which is very in at the moment for age demographic this record should be hitting. Hayley Kiyoko is an internet darling, already famous through her acting so for her to release a track of this quality as part of her debut EP is a stunning testament of what’s to come. Personally for me, I dug it due to the perfect balance of uplifting synth and tension filled bass, it’s just very nice to listen to.

40. Janelle Monae – Yoga


Yoga is maybe the strongest pop song of the year. If it was a release from Beyonce or Rihanna it would have outshadowed every other release this year but maybe it’s right that it be a little secret for fans of the amazing Janelle Monae. Her attempt at releasing a pop song was perfect and hints to great stuff to come from her new project Wondaland.

39. Alessia Cara – Here


Officially the most viral track of the year according to Spotify, Alessia Cara’s ode to being anti-social is a great slice of new R&B and a first look at a genuinely exciting new star. Her EP which followed proved that she wasn’t going to be a one hit wonder, but it was Here which has stolen all the spot lights.

38. Justin Bieber – Sorry


In the grand tale of Justin Bieber’s Redemption Story, Sorry seems like the parade finish, the proof in the pudding that JB is back and scoring number ones for fun. It’s taken the world by storm as has Justin and from his solo material it’s the highest scoring song of his on this list. Well done JB.

37. Fono – Real Joy


Early in the year before his departure from Radio 1, Zane Lowe called Fono his Next Hype. Normally a Next Hype track would then move onto a few plays on other shows but even Zane was blown away by the record. He wound up playing the song for a few weeks, even kicking off the whole show with it. The truth is, each layer of Real Joy surprises. Every time something new drops into the mix it’s a brand new wow moment and for a debut single, this is beyond special. Let’s hope Fono brings us something even half as good next year.

36. Wolf Alice – Bros


One of my favourite tracks to play on Radio all year was Wolf Alice’s Bros. It never really grew old and as such I’m sure the station I programmed played it for nearly two months. Every time I heard the echoey main riff it put a smile on my face. This felt like Wolf Alice’s maturity moment, growing into a comfortable routine of how they make music. The track Bros was released last year, but 2015’s re edit and re mixing really gave the track more heart.

35. Drake – Know Yourself

Know Yourself is an important record this year for becoming the fan’s favourite Drake record. Whilst never released a single, crowds waited all set to hear Know Yourself from Drake, knowing that they would create chaos on the drop into ‘Running Through The 6 With My Woes’. This was also a phrase which would be viral all year, and again plummeted Drake to the top of pop culture. Effortlessly, he became the King.

34. Jhene Aiko – Eternal Sunshine


Eternal Sunshine was never the most popular song of the year, but there were none that matched it for beauty. Aiko’s voice is already a tremendous thing to behold but in Eternal Sunshine she sings about death and living with no regrets. This is partnered with a video echoing a car crash she was in a few years ago. You may well have missed it, but please sit yourself down and spend a few minutes with it.

33. JME – Man Don’t Care


There’s no denying that Skepta’s Shutdown was commercially the most important Grime track of the year, and that’s still to come on this list, but JME’s Man Don’t Care is a worthy underground challenger to it’s throne. JME has had a great year with his album Integrity and Giggs adding to the track is also fantastic. A chorus that has been hugely successful on the live scene and a beat which is instantly recognizable, Man Don’t Care is essential UK music this year.

32. Martin Solveig – Intoxicated


Solveig returned finally with a song to match his fame with Tennis anthem Hello. Yes, Intoxicated with a straight up bangerang, becoming for us at Spark FM the ‘unofficial official freshers track’ of the year. Everybody I know who has heard this song loves it and will dance and sing back the chorus. This was 2015’s happy go lucky club banger.

31. Chance The Rapper – Sunday Candy


Artistry in music was most present this year in Chance The Rapper who really pushed the boundaries of what he could do with his collaborate project with Donnie Trumpet, Surf, and more features than I think we’ve ever seen before. Add to that more and more fans, including Saturday Night Live, who made Chance the first independent, unsigned act to appear on their show. However the best song Chance was on all year was Sunday Candy, a gorgeous gospel rap song which like the best of his work, is so optimistic and happy sounding. The video is also worth your while being a one shot stage play. This signs Chance The Rapper off with an impressive five tracks in my Top 300. If an album of his own follows next year, I’ll be very excited for it.

30. Stormzy – Know Me From


Before I start I better say #Merky. Right now that’s done I will say that Stormzy’s best moment this year was the awesome Know Me From, a record which all fans of his and UK rap savour anytime they hear it. It’s a great example of a scene returning in 2015 and all year it has never dropped off, people still love it. The lines are savage but clever, Stormzy’s confidence etching high and rightly so. Know Me From showed his already huge influence on the scene. Worldwide domination is next.

29. Lethal Bizzle – Fester Skank


Lethal Bizzle had perhaps his best year of his career yet and he’s bound to be loving life as shown in Fester Skank, 2015’s most fun song. Bizzle has always been about creating his own pop culture around things like Dench and even more recently last year’s Rari Workout but the Fester dance has taken over the UK and people love everything this guy does now.

28. Kanye West – Only One


Only One was a really special record for me. Appearing on line on the turn of the year it was the first piece of music I heard in 2015 and I was so proud of it. Ultimately this year has been about me learning my craft as a music programmer and to kick off the year hearing a new Kanye track got me so excited about everything to come. The song itself is a dream Kanye had about his mother speaking to him from heaven telling him not to let his mistakes control him. It showed Kanye was happy with his family and where his life was heading into this year and as an artist I love a lot it gave me a lot confidence heading into this year too. I’ll always feel happy listening to Only One.

27. Major Lazer – Lean On


Major Lazer’s Lean On was the official song of the Summer and the most streamed song of the year. The reason is that Diplo knows how to craft a hit, this being commercially his biggest of the year. Major Lazer have a really good knowledge of how to make music enjoyed around the globe due to its happy factor. Lean On is a tune people loved because it oozes partying and having a good time. People loved it during Summer for being out in the Sun or for it helping to pass time at work so people could get out in the Sun. I had a pretty sick dance routine to it too.

26. Post Malone – White Iverson


There were few tracks I listened to more than Post Malone’s debut single White Iverson which instantly won me over with its chilled out vibes. More tracks have already sounded fantastic and with a distinctive style and sound, Post Malone goes into 2016 as one of the most important new acts to follow.

25. The Weeknd – Can’t Feel My Face


What a year The Weeknd has had, with his album Beauty Behind The Madness taking Abel Tesfaye up to the next level of superstardom. No longer was he an R&B cult as I Can’t Feel My Face projected him as the next Michael Jackson and took him to the top of the charts worldwide. Obviously The Weeknd is a very different artist to MJ, but after hearing music like this it’s not impossible to see him reach those heights in the future. And it doesn’t look like The Weeknd is winding down anytime soon.

24. Bring Me The Horizon – Throne


Enter the biggest rock band on the planet, Bring Me The Horizon. From the very beginning of Throne’s heavy scuzzy synth line, it was apparent that Oli Sykes and co were heading for the bigtime. There was a time when Linkin Park would bang out hit after hit which felt vital. They didn’t stop making that music but as a band people stopped caring. There’s a massive hole in the market for this type of music now, and BMTH have filled that. Next stop is festival headline slots, and after seeing them perform at Leeds festival this year I have no doubts that will absolutely happen.

23. Carly Rae Jepsen – I Really Like You


In the pop world, everybody’s favourite artist this year was of course Carly Rae Jepsen. Her album E.Mo.Tion was pop perfection and with songs like Your Type and Run Away With Me, she proved she wasn’t a one hit wonder. What was a great moment this year though, her greatest, was the fanfare and joy surrounding the release of I Really Like You. The video featured Tom Hanks (and a cameo by Bieber) and was a great return for Jeppo.

22. Years & Years – Shine


Although most people will remember Years & Years by King, it was Shine which I feel is the better song and will go down as their best song from their first album campaign. Building on mellow vibes, the track is shy and quiet leading into a slow build. When the chorus hits though, Shine becomes an immaculately written number. Olly’s vocals sound unstoppable on it, and for me the song reached heights that King and not many other songs could this year.

21. Tame Impala – Cause I’m A Man


For me, Tame Impala’s best single in their career came this year with Cause I’m A Man. The track does not have a beginning rather we fall into a groove instantly. Knowing how Impala roll I was expecting a 5 minute groove of this but then the chorus hits and sonically we’re exposed to one of the year’s biggest wow moments in music. The track feels so vast, like we’re listening inside of a canyon. It’s stunning and for me was one of the most inspiring pieces of music in 2015.

20. Foals – What Went Down


I was expecting some pretty sweet sounding Math Rock from Foals on their comeback single, but What Went Down had none of that for us. Instead it was an immediate ferocious dog bite of distortion and anger pumped into music. Rarely has a comeback single felt like it had so much to say but this one did, and on first listen as the chorus hit I was transported to picturing it tearing up crowds when played live. Luckily I got the chance to see Foals tear it up live at Leeds festival and grow to the arena band they always toyed about with being in their music. They’ve taken a step up and with What Went Down, made the heaviest and most impressive track of their career.

19. Little Mix – Black Magic


For part of the year Little Mix’s Black Magic was my favourite tune of 2015 and there’s many reasons why. First of all, by this point Little Mix are bang on with crafting perfect pop hits that are accessible. Black Magic offers all four ladies moments to shine and shows what they can do together. It’s catchy, fun and has gorgeous disco guitar to guide it along. The girls have made plenty of songs which are on the same level as Black Magic but what makes it so special is that it was the record to break Little Mix in America and for that it will be remembered in their catalogue forever.

18. Jason DeRulo – Want To Want Me


Just ahead of Black Magic, and maybe my favourite colossal chart beast of the year is Jason DeRulo’s subliminal Want To Want Me, a masterclass in great pop music. The song has remained current and refreshing through-out the year and happily sits as one of the main tracks to define mainstream music in 2015. Plus, he now whispers his name, talk about making risky changes to your career and it paying off!

17. Nick Jonas – Jealous


2015 marked the career change for one Nick Jonas, from Disney Jonas Bro to Justin Timberlake V2. Buff and leatherclad he brought his falsetto synthpop record Jealous to mainstream radio in the US on the turn of the year before bringing it over to the UK in May. It seemed for me that people did sit on Jealous for a while but they were all just daft, it was always going to be a massive hit. In Levels and Chains, Nick has also proved he’s got a glorious career ahead of him, but I’ll always remember being excited about Jealous before anybody else had a clue.

16. EXO – Call Me Baby


I can’t begin to understand how the politics in Asian music work but anyway, South Korean-Chinese mega boy band group thingy EXO gave me one of the best tunes of the year with Call Me Baby. Mostly not in English the tune has so much swagger and confidence about it and most of all, feels like a reinvention of the classic boy band sound. I’m talking about Backstreet Boys and N*Sync, not your new One Direction or Vamps type sound. Considering there’s a fair amount of them, twelve of them, time is split perfectly and it all sounds cohesive. I’d never usually say something so outrageous but this could so be marketable to the West if done right, please make Exo a worldwide thing.

15. Spector – All The Sad Young Men


For all of their short and snappy guitar riffs and indie vocal hooks, I loved Spector of old. One member down and a fairly long time off the scene for a new band was unusual and didn’t suggest good things were coming but Spector took their time making new music and you can really hear it with All The Sad Young Men, their first proper record back. Fred’s writing was of the highest quality which challenged the norm of how we think and live and I relate to that, and I really relate to this song. For me it’s the most emotional synth led music since The Killers did ballads.

14. Wolf Alice – Giant Peach


If you’re at a Wolf Alice gig, you will no doubt hear the crowd chant ‘Peach, Peach, Peach’ towards the end of a show. The reason being is that Wolf Alice this year unloaded onto us their secret weapon, Giant Peach. The greatest track the band have written thus far in their young career, the track plays about before blasting off into one of the best guitar records in recent years. Ellie sounds ethereal on it and towards the end the breakdown we get is unforgettable. It’s hard to believe a band got it so right so early into their career but that’s Wolf Alice for you. The best new act of 2015.

13. Grimes – Flesh Without Blood


Whilst Grimes always hinted that she could make music that was both cool and accessible it always leaned to the former. Tunes like Oblivion and Genesis were great but it felt like Grimes could do a lot more and immediately with Flesh Without Blood she did with its unique drive and equal measure of danger and sweetness. Grimes is an artist unparalleled in being able to give a song so much character. Her album Art Angels was also one of the year’s highlights.

12. Tobias Jesso Jr – How Could You Babe


Tobias Jesso Jr may not have topped the charts this year but there’s nobody who has proven themselves as much as he has on his ability to write music. Working with Adele aside, Tobias also released his own incredible album which featured one of the best songs of the year, the timeless sounding How Could You Babe. When I listen to it I hear Rocket Man by Elton John as both are captivating but somber. Tobias’ voice itself is like Elton or contemporaries of his like Billy Joel. I hope we’ve just scratched the surface with him too as if we get more music like this in the future we might be onto something vital.

11. Bear’s Den – Above The Clouds Of Pompeii


Ivor Novello winning Above The Clouds of Pompeii definitely did the trick on me, combining it’s warm stove fire style folk music and uplifting brass with a story in the lyrics which could bring anybody with a heartbeat to tears. Music is supposed to be writing about how you feel and writing about things that happen in life and Bear’s Den do that, writing the perfect song about losing a family member. It’s tranquil but also grand and it deserves every piece of recognition it gets from everywhere and everyone.

10. Kendrick Lamar – Wesley’s Theory

The opening track to Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly kicks off my Top 10 and it’s a bit of an odd choice I will admit. It’s not a single and it’s certainly not a song that many other people have chosen amongst the best records of the year but for me it was eye opening. Jazz music has never sounded so current and in working with George Clinton and Thundercat, Kendrick opened his album with an amalgamation of the greatest black music sounds all meshed into the most current piece of music released this year. Kendrick’s lyrics are deep like most of his album but he also has pop sensibilities on what feels like a chorus alongside using the worm synth sound, one of my favourites in hip hop. It actually kind of comes as a disappointment to find out that the whole thing is based on Wesley Snipe’s tax evasion but hey ho, K.Dot can make anything sound important.

9. G-Eazy – Tumblr Girls

Oakland’s G-Eazy has quietly had a phenomenal year working on his new album When It’s Dark Out and appearing on global hit You Don’t Own Me from Grace. In many ways 2015 will be his breakout year but it was the echoes of his 2014 debut These Things Happen that interested me most. In January Gerald released Tumblr Girls as a proper single after it was so popular amongst his fans that it made the extended version of his album. I’m not sure if I can hit the nail on the head of why I love this record so much but for me in an age where people love rap and love great vibey music with synths and deep lying bass, this blends both perfectly. This is a song which makes you picture Sunny beaches and lyrically G-Eazy is honest about his lack of empathy.

8. Courtney Barnett – Pedestrian At Best


Critically, people absolutely adored Pedestrian At Best, the lead single from Courtney Barnett’s debut album titled Sometimes I sit and think, and sometimes I just sit. That about sums up Barnett, she’s all about her lyrics, so when we got a storming guitar riff in Pedestrian At Best which allowed Courtney to shout-rap (think Beastie Boys) over it, it was a treat on the ears. Due to its wit, even listening now in December there’s so much to re-find and re-love in the tune which was released in February.

7. Jamie XX – I Know (There’s Gonna Be Good Times)


A secretive super-producer gets in the studio to record his debut album away from the indie band he is famed for. He already has his lead single, Loud Places, in place but for the follow up he decides to do something unthinkably mental. Being in love with lots of different music he sees potential in Reggae so drafts in Popcaan who has been igniting the flame in that scene for the past few years. He sees potential in Trap and Autotune rap so drafts in Young Thug, who was one of the biggest underground stars off the back of Rich Gang last year. Everything I’m writing here shouldn’t make sense but what we got was one of the records of the year. Jamie XX, you are the most intelligent music maker on the planet, this is Good Times.

6. Erik Hassle – No Words


Still modest with his success, Swedish popstar Erik Hassle gave us the year’s best straight up pop song in No Words. It’s not had any fanfare but luckily I fell upon it in Spring and haven’t dropped it since. Bearing the gorgeous message of not being able to find the right words to describe how much he loves his boo, Hassle mixes the funkiest of guitars with lush strings to create a powerfully addictive piece of pop. As a popstar he also has his look on point with the frizzy ginger hair and creatively out there shirts. I guess what I’m getting at is that Erik Hassle is just a really likeable artist and in No Words he gave us one criminally undervalued record.

5. Skepta – Shutdown


Everytime I’ve been to a party or club this year it’s been on an 8/10 tops and then one of two things happens. They either finish at most an 8, or they play Skepta and finish a 10 and be Shutdown. Grime continues to grow and Shutdown has been its pinnacle in 2015, meeting and then surpassing what That’s Not Me did last year for the scene and for Skepta’s fame. He’s broken the American rap scene now, thanks to this. In the UK if there was one song you got on this year, it was this.

4. Kendrick Lamar – The Blacker The Berry

The Blacker The Berry was for me the first best song of the year. Through-out most of the year in fact I carried Kendrick’s violent take on police brutality and racism in America as the most important record of the year, far ahead of his own song Alright. I still personally feel that this is his greatest song yet and is saying something as important as Alright is. Kendrick explores the idea that the hatred for what has happened on the streets in America isn’t the full story. He still loses friends in his home Compton to gang wars and random acts of violence. In essence, the problems lie deeper than police brutality.

3. Fetty Wap – Trap Queen


Hip hop’s funnest track of the year belonged to new breakout star Fetty Wap with his trappy ballad about his love that he loves to throw bands on. Trap Queen should have been a hit in the rap world but actually wound up becoming a monster hit worldwide. From here Fetty hasn’t looked back giving us My Way and 679 as well as a great debut album. With almost 350 million YouTube hits, Fetty did something that not many of the rap heavyweights could and that deserves to be recognized.

2. Drake – Hotline Bling


With a grand total of EIGHT records placing in my Top 300, with Hotling Bling ranked number 2, Drake wins artist of the year. What makes Hotline Bling a great story is that it wasn’t even supposed to be a single. Initially it was just posted on Soundcloud like most of Drake’s great demos are. It was a throw-away essentially. However in a year where another throw-away and diss track got Grammy nominated for Drizzy, I suppose it’s no surprise to hear that Hotling Bling has done so well. Aside from being a tremendous song with no burn factor and which is so easily accessible, the track has had the most impact on pop culture out of any track this year. Everybody loves its Vine memes. Everybody loves Drake dancing and everybody loves Drake. I could speak forever on how great a year he has had but remember, he’s not even released his album yet. Everything we’ve had this year is build up for that so good lord are we in for an amazing 2016 from him.

Drake has been an important sound of 2015, but for me there are two artists who have summed up what it has been like to live with music this year. They are Diplo and Justin Bieber. And everything started with my Number 1 track of the year, Where Are U Now!

1. Jack U x Justin Bieber – Where Are U Now


Around Autumn time whilst juggling any of the Top 4 around in my head for which song I loved most, I decided that my winner would be Jack U and Justin Bieber’s Where Are U Now. For me I kept on returning to it for numerous reasons. On a personal level I had many great days and nights singing this in the shower or in the club or at work and then losing my crap to the drop. I guess it was the song I connected with most this year. On a cultural level, it was the beginning of Bieberfever returning and also it marked Diplo and Skirllex, two men who really know what music people love, getting a huge hit which they deserved so much. The more I think about it, the more I realize that nothing comes close to feeling like it should be matching this, it’s a really worthy winner and I honestly think concluding this list, with Where Are U Now at the top, we’ve had an absolutely incredible year.

This has taken me along time to compile and debate but I am proud of it and I’m proud of what a great year we’ve had. Let me know what you think and if I’ve missed any you loved. Thank you very much for reading,
Scott

Songs of 2015: 100-51

Hello and welcome back to my chaotic end of year list for my favourite songs of 2015. Today we go from 100 down to 50 and there’s quite a few in here which you may have thought would be number 1. Let’s kick this off then

100. Justin Bieber – What Do You Mean?


Winner of almost every end of year list I’ve read thus fan, Justin Bieber’s colossal ticking timebomb What Do You Mean kicks off my Top 100. In Justin’s redemption story, this could be perceived as the main act. Over half a billion YouTube views and a brand new look and style solidified, Bieber’s emergence as a pop star using classy R&B beats was complete with What Do You Mean. In a year where most of our big hits were R&B numbers, this was one of the biggest examples and a fine one at that.

99. Nicki Minaj –Truffle Butter


Nicki’s best moment of the year came courtesy of a collaboration with Drizzy and Lil Wayne that wasn’t called Only. Instead we are talking about the audacious production of Truffle Butter, a song so ridiculous but with an aura of winning swagger about it. A mainstay for parties all over the globe, the track ensured that Nicki’s Pinkprint was going to be sticking around for the year.

98. Galantis – Runaway


As introductions go, Galantis arrived onto the scene in a gigantic way with Runaway providing one of the largest feel good drops of the year. It may be too early to say but this feels a lot like Swedish House Mafia all over again. Hell it’s not even their best song on this list.

97. Rae Sremmurd – This Could Be Us


Living the Sremm Life was certainly one of the better ways to spend 2015 and the lads themselves showcased this through their music. This Could Be Us filled the stereotypical ‘We’re fairly far into the album campaign now so let’s put out a video about how well things are going for us’ single and had Swae Lee and Slim Jimmy partying in Africa.

96. The 1975 – UGH


Released on 18th December, The 1975’s new single UGH almost never made it into the list but god dammit how catchy is this new material from the UK’s most popular guitar band? Aside from making invincible pop hits, the band are hiding really serious subject matters within their feelgood indie pop which I have so much respect for. UGH for example is about Matty’s Cocaine addiction, not that you’d know by grooving to it.

95. Omarion – Post To Be


In one of the more obscure moments of the year Ice Box singer Omarion returned with a substantially huge US hit Post To Be. Breezy turned out good on the tune too but it was Jhene Aiko’s talk of eating da booty like groceries which stole the show. Places in the Top 100 for just being a huge banger.

94. Tor Miller – Midnight


Tor Miller’s gorgeous Billy Joel-esque lonesome New York ballad Midnight really did wonders for me. It’s a subtle record but picks up at precisely the correct points to paint a stunning but bleak picture. Another record I remember falling in love with on solitary late night radio listening sessions.

93. Ty Dolla $ign – Blasé


Ty Dolla $ign’s 2015 war path to superstardom was helped greatly with the launch of Blasé which features Future and Rae Sremmurd. Ty Dolla is a rock star and in making a record as heavy as Blasé, he announced his intentions to be looked at. It’s not commercial but it’s hardly ignorable, especially when including two of 2015’s heavyweights. Also this puts Future on four records in this end of year list which puts him in contention for Artist of the Year.

92. Big Sean – Blessings


The centerpiece of Big Sean’s fantastic career album Dark Sky Paradise is Blessings, a track which not only has Drake and Kanye on it but has also spawned one of the year’s biggest popular phrases. In Sean’s album and this track we’ve certainly had blessings on blessings on blessings. For the Artist of the Year tally this also puts Drizzy onto a probably unbeatable six tracks and we’re not done yet.

91. Fidlar – West Coast


Fidlar spent this year putting out an incredible follow-up to their debut album. The album, Too, had numerous great singles on it but nothing came close to the punk sing-a-long mosh anthem West Coast. Considering the album is about front-man Zac’s recovery from drug abuse, it’s such an uplifting album of how things can go wrong and West Coast will always stick as the excerpt of that.

90. Future – F*** Up Some Commas

Future’s crem de la crem this year was his trap club monster F*** Up Some Commas which is also his biggest hit to date. It’s been a busy year for the artist which has included releasing his acclaimed album Dirty Sprite 2 with Commas on it. This ends Future’s run in my end of year list with a very impressive total of five tracks. Very much a marmite artist, his autotuned vocals put a lot of people off but you have to admire his hard work in becoming one of the year’s essential sounds.

89. Krept & Konan – Freak Of The Week


Its always great to see a homegrown artist progress to the next level and grime boys Krept & Konan did precisely that snagging a huge UK hit and US hit with their Jeremih collaboration Freak of the Week. It was one of Summer’s best alternative mainstay radio hits and a well-earned Top 10 hit for them.

88. Greg Holden – Boys In The Street


Well travelled singer songwriter Greg Holden gave 2015 one of its more heartwrenching records of the year with Boys In The Street, a track about a father’s rejection of his gay son. The Scottish born, English raised, New York based singer is now three albums in without much chart success but that didn’t stop the track’s gorgeous message and video going fairly viral racking up 1.5 million views. It places because it’s an important message and a story you need to hear.

87. Spring King – City


Manchester’s Spring King have enjoyed great success this year despite it being a teaser year more than a break-out one. There’s plenty of time for that next year. City is an important track because it launched the first worldwide radio station, Beats 1. Zane Lowe picking this as the first track was a really awesome moment for new music and one that myself and other fans of discovering new bands savoured. I’m sure the band thought it was pretty cool too.

86. Petite Meller – Baby Love


Despite being released in January, Baby Love served as one of the Summer’s biggest sounds. Petite Meller in all her brilliant insanity put out one of the sunniest records of the year with a seriously addictive chorus which sounded absolutely fab on UK radio during the Summer months. Even if she never follows it up, it was a good run for Meller who enjoyed bringing Baby Love to some festivals too. All in all a nicely packaged pop hit.

85. Rae Sremmurd – Throw Some Mo


Rae Sreummurd’s best record of the year belongs to Throw Some Mo which included Nicki Minaj and Young Thug on it. The Mike Will Made It beat is memorable and a brilliant track for Urban DJ sets. The track also had a fair bit of mainstream exposure on UK radio which was great to see for Rae Sremmurd. This ultimately led them having the fanbase to perform some great shows in the UK, including a packed out tent at Leeds of which I was in attendance. This song sent the crowd off the walls.

84. Rich Homie Quan – Flex


After the incredible Rich Gang fall out of last year, one interesting question coming into 2015 was if Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan could follow up their joint success by releasing great solo records. Quan proved his worth with Flex, which enjoyed an incredible amount of success stateside. For me it’s simply one of the more easily accessible great rap records of the year.

83. Refs – Pain Goes Away


Brooklyn’s Refs landed modestly in February with Pain Goes Away, and then sort of faded away into Summer after its release. The track itself is a vibey indie record with mellow production but what really breaks out is the vocal. Fans of Local Natives will love the power and pain of the voice on this record as Refs sing of one sided relationships. It’s a track which not many people may have picked up on but I loved it.

82. Gavin James – The Book Of Love


Ever since Scrubs included Peter Gabriel’s version of The Book Of Love in the finale of the show, I’ve been in love with this song. However I think in all honesty Gavin James has found deeper emotion and meaning in the words and music than Gabriel and The Magnetic Fields before him did. Dare I say it, this is much better than the original. James’ voice is endearing through-out and the Irish star makes his guitar sing like Buckley would. I look forward to more next year from him.

81. Kanye West – All Day


A quiet year for Kanye West looks a bit like this. Flamethrowers at the BRITS when debuting a new song and also introducing grime to a mainstream UK and US audience. There’s no other way about it, Kanye changed the face of music with All Day.

80. Wiz Khalifa & Charlie Puth – See You Again


Charlie Puth is introduced into the music world with Wiz Khalifa’s tribute to Paul Walker in the track in promotion of Fast & Furious 7. Currently sitting at around 1.3 billion views, it was a fitting ode enjoyed, purchased and loved by many across the globe also enjoying chart success all over. One really brilliant moment in music this year was a teary Vin Diesel singing this in honour of his fallen friend. RIP Paul Walker.

79. Jess Glynne – Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself


The UK’s new pop Princess has had an outstanding year which for me was topped with Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself, her track about learning to live with yourself. Everybody can relate to feeling down at times and needing a pick up and I think for me this came along at the right time. Much like Hold My Hand and Take Me Home it also blew up in the charts. Jess has been a great story of an artist being tipped for greatness and then just getting there with style.

78. Purity Ring – Begin Again


Initially an instant grat track for the band’s sophomore album, Begin Again is the band’s new single and there’s a reason they’ve selected it. It’s quite simply the best song the band have released all year. Meghan’s voice has never sounded sweeter against heavy dreampop bass. The chorus doesn’t just happen, it comes crashing in like an avalanche of synths. The quiet moment into verse two about Moons and lovely orbiting is utterly captivating.

77. Carly Rae Jepsen – Run Away With Me


Oh Carly, lovely sweet Carly. Last time round when Jeppo put out an album we were treated to a one hit wonder. This time round E.MO.Tion has given us so many top quality pop songs including Run Away With Me which immediately smothers you in its searching distant Saxophone. Fans and critics alike loved the album but this number in particular.

76. Craig David – When The Bassline Drops/Fill Me In


From all of the great things to happen this year, few feel more right than Craig David coming back to prominence. Whilst my official pick for this place is his Q4 Garage beauty When The Bassline Drops I have to point you to his Kurupt FM comeback on Radio 1Xtra where he mixed his classic Fill Me In over Jack U and Justin Bieber’s Where Are U Now. It was the most incredible surprise to happen in British music this year (see 45 minutes in).

75. Billie Marten – Bird


Billie Marten is one of my favourite voices heading into 2016 and it’s mostly down to how perfect Bird is. Much like the gracefulness of a bird fluttering it’s wings before soaring off into the sky, Billie’s voice takes flight into a gorgeous falsetto chorus. With a perfect atmosphere around it, it’s one of those songs you can fire headphones on to and take yourself out of any busy work room.

74. Chvrches – Leave A Trace


Chvrches’ triumphant return felt big, worthwhile and very Scottish and that I really liked. Lauren Mayberry’s voice is a battle cry in Leave A Trace’s chorus and the verse pulses along with arena aiming synthesizers that the band are famed for. The album which followed was one of the year’s best and this spearheaded it, waving the Chvrches flag of everything we love about them.

73. Miguel – Coffee


Whether or not Coffee is as good as Adorn remains to be seen but at time of release all Miguel fans were certainly immediately won over with massive love-hearts in their eyes. I should know, I was one of them. Coffee also got some really sweet UK radio airplay and remained one of Urban music’s biggest hits of the year. Wildheart, Miguel’s sophomore album was also pretty damn good.

72. Wolf Alice – You’re A Germ


Operatic in tone whilst still being typically moody, Wolf Alice’s You’re A Germ was one of indie rock’s best moments this year. This was a new sound from the hottest new band in the UK, with singer Ellie becoming unhinged in the chorus. If you think it sounds good on record, see her lose her mind at a Wolf Alice concert, it’s electrifying.

71. The Chemical Brothers – Go


Despite their new album lacking any real flare, The Chemical Brothers sparked up this year with Go, featuring a great turn from rap God Q-Tip. With perhaps the best use of bass guitar this year for a sporadic pacey riff this song is a call to arms. We’re only here to make you GO!

70. Kendrick Lamar – Alright


On first listen of To Pimp A Butterfly I will admit that Alright wasn’t the first track I would go to. In light of police brutality in some American states though, Kendrick’s track has done something that no other track has necessarily done this year. It has secured its place in the history books. Strike groups against brutality and other injustices have turned to the main line in Alright. In these displays you will now always here the optimistic chant “We Go’an Be Alright, We Go’an Be Alright!” It’s not my favourite song of the year but it may well be the most important.

69. Elliphant – Love Me Badder


Every year there’s always room in pop fans’ hearts for a really out there great Swedish pop hit. Elliphant’s Reggae ridden Love Me Badder was this years. An outrageously uplifting chorus mixes with her great ‘badman’ reggae style vocals. Unsure if she normally does this on tracks but it’s oddly pretty.

68. Alesso – Cool


There really hasn’t been a house tune which has got me smiling as much as Cool has over the last year. Alesso hit the big time with Heroes last year but this is far better for me. Roy English’s funky falsetto gets me in the mood for dancing and feeling good about life and that’s all before the drop so when that hits its maximum happiness. Music’s supposed to make you happy at the end of the day, so this is a great song. Also, that is Alesso in the video!

67. Diet Cig – Scene Sick


Wonderful memories come to me when listening to Scene Sick. They inevitably remind me of all of the similar sunshine indie music I have fallen in love with previously such as Best Coast and Fidlar but also Scene Sick gave me much excitement about new guitar music this year. Diet Cig exploded into my heart like a firecracker and although the song is less than two minutes long, there’s so much to love here. More from these guys next year would be high on my want list.

66. Tove Lo – Talking Body


Tove Lo went and released my favourite song from her album as a single and it was indeed a glorious moment for pop music. Talking Body is a perfect pop song and a little risqué too which sums up Tove Lo’s persona. She had a pretty quiet rest of her year but for a small fraction of the year Tove Lo was the best pop star in the world and that was exciting.

65. Adele – Hello


I don’t need to tell you about Adele or Hello. I don’t need to tell you what happens or how it has done commercially. What I need to tell you is that I was fully blown away and all in on her comeback single due to the heights her voice reaches. It was the first time I’ve heard a song and understood why she might have waited for the right song to come along. It needed to be something that accented her range well enough, and Hello was big enough for Adele.

64. OMI – Cheerleader


OMI’s Cheerleader was perhaps this year’s best radio single for the same reason that Mr.Probz’s Waves was last year. It is unflammable. You cannot burn it with a flamethrower. This track quite simply does not burn out on you meaning that it never grows old. It will stand the test of time and it’s rather bloody good too. For that, it deserves so much recognition.

63. Genghar – Heroine


Growing up in the golden age of Indie Rock and NME and then living through the dirge of good bands over the past five or so years, it really takes a lot to impress me if you’re going for that sort of shtick. Gengahr are a band I fully endorse. They make music we need in this world and whilst it might not be their biggest single, nothing really hits the spot as well as Heroine. Understated vocals and a cute guitar riff blend together lovingly before a superb guitar solo cruises into action.

62. Fifth Harmony – Worth It


Ever thought something was so wrong it became right. Kid Ink delivers the worst rap verse I’ve ever heard since Ludacris lit up Bieber’s Baby. Fifth Harmony struggled to do basic rhymes and a line about being “just a little rough, not a lot, but maybe just enough” became viral. Everything here shouldn’t work, but seriously don’t fight it. It’s crackpot brilliant.

61. Jidenna – Classic Man


Just a little too under the radar, Janelle Monae struck up a new movement with her new artist Jidenna at the forefront. His Classic Man isn’t just a song, it’s a way of life that I myself strive to live by. Being a Classic Man isn’t just about dressing in snazzy suits, it’s about being a Gent and feeling good about yourself. If I could up my life and move right now I’d be partying with these guys all day every day.

60. Grace Mitchell – Jitter


This is Grace Mitchell, top of my ones to watch for 2016 and rightly so with this unfairly big debut single. If you’re not sold immediately as the jittery vocal samples hit then I have no time for your opinions. What follows is a pop song I can only call ‘sick bruv’. With just enough French Disco, obscure Electronica and genuine mainstream pop star potential, this is just downright epic.

59. One Direction – Infinity

My love affair with One Direction is a lovely tale. What started as sarcastically liking the best band in the world genuinely led me to believe they were the best band in the world. It’s a little like the plot to She’s All That. The reason I mention this is that I’m really, really going to miss One Direction when they split up after this year and whilst Drag Me Down, History and Perfect will be the ones people go to, it’s Infinity which for me is their Swan Song. This is the kind of track you bow out on so I do hope it’s their final single before hiatus occurs. It’s uplifting and feels proud and most of all unlike any other song from 1D or any contemporary it builds to a rocketship takeoff, the thrusters being a wall of guitar and synth noise. It’s unexpected but a moment of sheer beauty. I’m a fan of a lot of cool music, and I really mean this, One Direction make really cool music. Infinity places because it’s the coolest track they’ve made from their final album. Thanks for the memories lads, I love you.

58.Towkio – Heaven Only Knows


Glitch-rap comes into existence through new artist Towkio’s heaven ascending jam Heaven Only Knows which is music meant for Chance The Rapper to jump on and tear apart. Towkio does alright on the song himself but it’s Chance’s fantastic spin on it that makes this a memorable one. Not many tunes all year made me feel as happy as the acute sounding pitched up vocal ending the chorus. It’s why I love it, I love it, love it I love it.

57. The Weeknd – The Hills


Another big hitter to lose outside of the Top 50, The Weeknd’s enormous hit The Hills was an astounding release. It has the dark side of The Weeknd which is the side of Abel Tesfaye that we’re used to and somehow against the odds, it had global success. With the release of this, it truly does feel that The Weeknd has gotten to a comfortable place where he can experiment and still be making hits for fun.

56. Travi$ Scott – Antidote


Antidote places due to being a real break-out moment for Travis Scott. One of the biggest rap anthems of the year came from a really obscure song. With a strange dark country twinge, nothing could contain Antidote from spreading like wildfire. The surprise of how heavy it gets makes it captivating and you never quite know where it’s about to take off to. For that it had so much replay-ability for me.

55. Cape Cub – Swim


My favourite track from a local act (North East England) this year is Cape Cub’s Swim. And it’s miles ahead of the rest. Upon first listen I genuinely broke down at how fragile it sounds and then I didn’t cope too well on second or third listen either. What made this release even more special was seeing the rest of the world pick up on it too as it topped the Hype Machine charts. Further releases have been solid too so I am helping drive the Cape Cub bangwagon, climb aboard now.

54. Galantis – Peanut Butter Jelly


Whilst it never hits the high chorus of Runaway, Galantis’ show stealing moment this year came courtesy of the odd Peanut Butter Jelly. Robotic vocal samples play over a steady build of brass like electronics before erupting in the chorus to something that’s impossible not to shake your ass to. PBJ is one of my favourite club records of the year.

53. Madeon – Pay No Mind


Although Madeon has been absolutely forgotten (an outrage), his collaboration with Passion Pit was one to remember. An institution in how to make an EDM pop hit, Pay No Mind is unrivaled in how clean and crisp it sounds on the ear. It was a great radio hit and by god the ending crescendo like the blackout to credits in a film is breath-taking.

52. Passion Pit – Lifted Up (1985)


Speaking of the wonderful Passion Pit, he did return this year with Kindred, a fantastic album about his interesting but troubled life. At the heart of this was the easily accessible and infectious Lifted Up which does what it says on the tin. If you listen to this and don’t find yourself singing the chorus back, then see a Doctor, you’re missing a heart. 1985 was a goooooood year!

51. Rachel Platten – Fight Song


And the best middle of the road pop monster of the year goes to Rachel Platten for Fight Song. Not only is it Radio 2’s best song of the year but it also sounds like Vanessa Carlton and hopefully will feature in sequence in the White Chicks sequel I want them to make in 2018. In all seriousness this is a stunning song from Platten and it doesn’t really matter that she might not find success again. Fight Song will go down as one of 2015’s biggest pop moments.

And that brings us right down to my Top 50. We’ve lost a severe amount of big hitters here and I did get most of the obscurer rap hits out of the way here too so I promise that my Top 50 is not to be missed. As always thank you for reading and comment and let me know what you think of my list.

Scott

Songs of 2015: 200-101

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.

Scott

Songs of 2015: 300-201

Hello and welcome to my brand new website. If you want to know more about me then head over to my About Me page but to keep it brief, my name is Scott. I’m really big on Music, Film, TV, Sport and Radio. I’m also big on Ice Cream, Cats and Sleeping.

I’ve also just graduated from The University of Sunderland where I’ve been studying for a Masters Degree in Radio which I got a Merit pass for.

Every year something I get more excited for than Christmas, or my Birthday (which falls in mid-December), is everybody’s end of year lists. I myself spend far too long having inner debates and making lists upon lists and after a solid five week jaunt into research mostly, it is here. Scott Hastie’s Top Tracks of 2015, or The New Music Mixtape’s Top Tracks of 2015. Or whatever you want to call it. Let’s simply call it Songs of 2015 this year. I’ve went to the extreme and given you THREE HUNDRED majestic pieces of audio wonder so here you have it.

300. Ellie Goulding – On My Mind


Ellie’s mammoth Max Martin produced hit was astounding. It’s the finest example yet of Goulding really blossoming into a competent hit-maker on both sides of the pond.

299. Aston Merrygold – Get Stupid


JLS’ most promising pop star finally made his arrival with a commercial flop but an absolute tune nevertheless. Everything was right for it to have extensive UK radio airplay, so what went wrong?

298. Editors – Life Is A Fear


Despite a severly underwhelming album, Life Is A Fear offered a fine enough single from Editors in 2015, also a year where they continued to fine tune their already impressive live show on their UK tour.

297. Ella Eyre – Good Times


Ella Eyre did most of her good work around her debut campaign in 2014, but that didn’t stop Good Times creeping through and lighting up the Summer.

296. Frank Turner – Josephine


A barnstormer which has become an instant fan favourite and a joy to behold at festival environments. 2015 was a good one for F.Turner fans.

295. Will Young – Joy


Joy doesn’t come close to the magnetic ‘Jealousy’ but this will be a fine Number 5 or 6 on the inevitable Will Young Greatest Hits album in 2021 which will be the most jam packed Hits album ever.

294. T-Wayne – Nasty Freestyle


This song literally just gets in on the strength of the opening line.

293. The Cribs – Burning For No One


2015 was a year when indie bands were few and far between but that didn’t stop The Cribs having a solid campaign with this gem as the lead single.

292. The Wombats – Greek Tragedy


A song that was loved by all from a band who are hated by many. Absolutely their strongest track of the Noughties so far.

291. BORNS – Electric Love


From his debut album Dopamine, released in October, Electric Love was a super infectious guitar pop tune. You cannot stay away from the chorus once it gets into your system.

290. Superfood – You Can Believe


Absolutely 10/10 funk vibes from Q1. B-Town will never die!

289. Young Fathers – 27


It may not be the best track from Young Fathers’ White Men Are Black Men Too, or even rule the roost on lyrics on production. What makes 27 special is its delivery on the album as a whole. It’s a small gleam of light early on into an album that is a hard listen at times.

288. Chvrches – Down Side Of Me/Clearest Blue


It’s album track central on the list at the moment as yes, a double-header from Chvrches insanely incredible Every Eye Open comes in at 288. Everybody with the ability to write are heavily praising Clearest Blue as the pinnacle of Chvrches and whilst I agree I also think Down Side Of Me deserves it’s spot.

287. DJ SKT – Take Me Away


One of Summer 2015’s first party starters. If you played a set in May-time this year and didn’t have this in your set then you’re a fool and should have your tune license revoked!

286. George Fitzgerald – Full Circle


Nothing in 2015 was ever going to hit the brain like the dystopian endless pulse of Jon Hopkins, but George Fitzgerald’s popular collaboration with Boxed In came really, really close.

285. Kagoule – Gush


Some of the finest guitar music you could put your ears onto this year came from Kagoule and this tune Gush, is their finest moment.

284. Crows – Pray


I don’t claim to know a great deal about Crows and I cannot say I’ve spent hours checking what they’re up to but for five minutes in February this year they were the most exciting band in the world following Royal Blood’s 2014 dominance. Razor sharp riffs and proper punk echo vocals build a song you have to play loudly.

283. Kacy Hill – Foreign Fields


Kanye’s next protoge gave us only a whisper of what she is capable of, and boy oh boy was it exciting. The production alone on Foreign Fields is worth a million bucks and then her voice echoes FKA Twigs crossed with Florence Welch. Something special is happening here.

282. Tough Love – Pony


On the face of it, this doesn’t hit the heights of the original Pony from Ginuwine nor hit the heights of Tough Love’s debut single. Despite that, what a bloody tune!

281. Racing Glaciers – What I Saw


An absolute masterclass in building tension and creating an enormous pay-off for fans. One of 2015’s first wow moments in music.

280. The Knocks – Collect My Love


Stalkers of mine will know that The Knocks had a banger I couldn’t leave alone last year called Classic. This year they continue to make neon shiny Disco hits and they added the incredible Alex Newell to make Collect My Love. Baby ooo!

279. The Prodigy – Nasty


I remember the excitement around hearing the teaser for Nasty and The Prodigy’s return vividly. It was electric and so was the track. The album for me didn’t really hit any of the spots I wanted it to but Nasty did the trick.

278. Eliza And The Bear – It Gets Cold


E&TB are music’s answer to hot water bottles. They comfort with warmth and put a smile on your face. And It Get’s Cold is one of the finest examples of that.

277. Flume – Some Minds


If I had to call the percussion instrument something, I’m pretty sure I’d call it a Vibeophone, or a Vibetar, or a Vibello. Flume is back to his usual Vibey self basically.

276. A.Chal – Round Whippin


The production on A.Chal’s Round Whippin is startlingly haunting and entirely attention capturing. It also has the perfect mood to go Round Whippin.

275. Calvin Harris & Haim – Pray To God


In February this song sounded so fresh. Whilst it doesn’t sound as vital in December it does serve as a reminder that we really miss HAIM and want a new album as soon as possible please girls.

274. Georgia – Kombine


I have memories of hearing this on Radio 1 this year and being really excited. Firstly because when do you ever hear something with such hard hitting production on national UK Radio, but also because blimey Georgia is really, really good.

273. Section Boyz – Lock Arff


I can’t claim to know about Lock Arff but I do know that Section Boyz are going to have an insane 2016 from having this Grime anthem played in clubs around the UK. Having Skepta play it on Beats 1 will help too.

272. Bully – Trying


One of my favourite bands to come from the States this year is without a shadow of a doubt Bully. Trying was a clinic in the type of grungey indie that made Pixies famous.

271. Andy Grammar – Honey I’m Good


Probably the best song of the year for Radio 2 diehards. I wonder if we’ve got a new Michael Buble on our hands here. One can only hope!

270. Sevyn Streeter – Shouldda Been There


A nice little number about feeling good out of a break-up. It didn’t really get anywhere commercially but it was pretty addictive for those of us who knew it.

269. Cadenza – When Will I Stop Dreaming


Cadenza may not have lit up 2015 in a huge way but the magic of this track is that it brings together two of next year’s biggest stars. Loyle Carner’s homely calming flow combines pretty perfectly with Kiko Bun’s UK Reggae movement to create something dreamy and really pretty.

268. Digital Farm Animals – True


Digital Farm Animals had one big hit this Summer and it was called Rio, with the incredible Netsky. However THIS was the proper tune of the year from DFA. The vocals are one of the best guest choices of the year.

267. Enter Shikari – Aneasthetist


Solid year from the world’s best Me…Elec…Nah I dunno what they are. They’re Enter Shikari and they make music that should have soundtracked The Matrix and dystopian/futuristic sci-fi flicks like that.

266. Hot Chip – Need You Now


Quiety and under the radar, Hot Chip made the best music of their career. First from them on this list is Need You Now which echoes Massive Attack with a heart-breaking soulful vocal aside music that forces you to shake it.

265. Steve Aoki – I Love It When You Cry


A very decent EDM pop hit and one of my favourite Aoki tracks he has ever made. Superb vocal from Moxie Raia makes for a sing-a-long club banger.

264. Black Peaks – Glass Built Castles


Black Peaks erupted onto the scene and into our hearts with this ridiculous track. There’s really a dirge of mainstream young heavy guitar bands around at the moment so Glass Built Castles felt so incredibly vital

263. Diet Cig – Harvard


I’m such a huge fan of American brash indie punk type of noise and Diet Cig, who are incredibly nice people may I add, made awesome music about college issues. This is absolutely the kind of music I love most.

262. Kehlani & Chance The Rapper – The Way


I think I am in love. No really. Kehlani is the one. Also this is the first of many Chance The Rapper records on my end of year list.

261. Nicki Minaj – The Night Is Still Young


Much of last year belonged to Lady Minaj and she still made sure to leave her trace on this year primarily by ensuring that this record was a staple on any night out.

260. Banks – Better


There is seemingly absolutely nothing that Banks cannot do with her voice. She creates an orchestra of her own voice in Better, which above anything else is just damn impressive.

259. Frank Carter – Trouble


Frank Carter has finally got it right with life post-Gallows with his new band The Rattlesnakes. Trouble has the ferocity I’ve been waiting for Frank to bring to a track for years.

258. Future – Rich $ex


Drowned in autotune at birth and owner of most of 2015, it’s Future! First up on the list from one of the year’s biggest studs is Rich $ex which is just so darn smooth.

257. Bryson Tiller – Don’t


Remember how it took Drizzy a good few albums to get the new vibe R&B sound spot on? Meet Bryson Tiller. He got it on the first single.

256. Jill Scott – Closure


There is this human instant when certain songs come on. Your nose scrunches up, you bite your lip and nod your head violently like you have a tick. This is one of those songs. Jill Scott’s Closure is a heroic comeback.

255. Prides – Little Danger


Scotland’s favourite synth pop group that aren’t Chvrches kept the momentum going strong in 2015 with a few stellar hits including Little Danger which led so a superb debut album The Long Way Up. Good going guys.

254. Charles Hamilton & Rita Ora – New York Raining


I’m really hoping that there’s more to come from Charles Hamilton’s return to the music industry. Rita Ora kind of ruins most things for me so after a few months I got a bit sick of this tune but there’s no denying it’s special. Hamilton’s raps are fantastic and “Sick of getting played like a Xylophone” is one of my favourite lyrics of the year.

253. Drake – 6pm In New York

Most of Drake’s surprise album ‘If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late’ is about showing off his ability to change culture, which he did incredibly well in 2015. People always throw shade at Drizzy about his ability to rap but album closer 6pm In New York brushes them off in style. Ooo You Gotta Love It!

252. Kano – Hail


One of the best things about Grime in 2015 is that nobody is a loser. Every name in the genre has announced their return and all of them in absolute style. This is a scene that everybody involved is embracing and nobody did their comeback in 2015 bigger than Kano. Hail is a demon of a tune.

251. Alabama Shakes – Don’t Wanna Fight


Yes Brittany! From the moment this track began it was apparent that Alabama Shakes were back to cause earthquakes in 2015. It speaks volumes that this track is Grammy nominated.

250. Vic Mensa – U Mad


What we have seen of the newly designed Vic Mensa is sublime. Last year’s Down On My Luck was one of the year’s best but this is next level Mensa with Kanye on side. A taster of things to come.

249. Kojey Radical – Bambu


Watching his live show on support of Young Fathers, it was apparent very quickly that Kojey Radical was onto something unique and important. Some of his recordings didn’t capture the wonderment of the live show but Bambu certainly does.

248. Natalie La Rose – Sometimes


For me, there are few songs on this list which make me smile as much as Natalie La Rose’s Sometimes. Upon finding it early on and watching it explode in the US, I bided my time waiting for the UK campaign. I remember vividly hearing it blaring from some dudes car in the Summer and feeling it arrive. It will go down as one of my favourite memories of Music Programming for Radio this year.

247. Chromeo – Old 45s


One of the best numbers we saw in the New Year with, Chromeo proved they weren’t just one trick ponies.

246. Jude – Drive

Another favourite that I had the chance to write about this year, Jude’s Drive is a beautifully moody pop track which opens up to create a super lush uplift.

245. Bloc Party – The Love Within


I think we all really underplayed the fact that we’ve had new Bloc Party music this year. One of the most individual and experimental bands in the world have returned with new band-mates but still great tunes. The Love Within is a massive song which will sound great for the band’s returning live shows in 2016.

244. 99 Souls – The Girl Is Mine


One of Dance music’s biggest Q4 floorfillers this year initially was a bootleg which dropped at the beginning of the year. All year I’ve been waiting for a proper release and finally in late November we get it. And just like I did all year, people are all over it. That’s almost a certainty when you put piano house all over Brandi & Monica though.

243. Du Blonde – Black Flag


Beth Jeans Houghton returned to the music world with a new band called Du Blonde and along with it a ballsy, dusty and sharp tune in Black Flag.

242. Lianne La Havas – What You Don’t Do


It’s been a really great year to be a fan of Lianne La Havas and at the peak of that was this wonderful single which was a really feel good number.

241. R City – Locked Away


R City filled that great Urban/Pop worldwide superhit spot that Nico & Vinz took last year. Adam Levine’s biggest moment of the year too, but not his best (that’s still to come).

240. Alvvays – Party Police


Carrying over from a stunning 2014, Alvvays put out Party Police as a single early in the year and it left us wanting more with its twee indie and gorgeous vocals. Please come back soon Alvvays.

239. Frankie & The Heartstrings – Think Yourself Lucky


One of the most hardworking bands in the UK made time to make a fantastic new album this year featuring this incredible single which evolved their sound. FATH now have a bit of Dexys in their sound and it makes for wonderful music so go and get their new LP Decency!

238. Grace – You Don’t Own Me


Initially dropped in the Summer, this tune is finally hitting a groove in the UK just in time for Christmas. It’s common knowledge that I love anything with G-Eazy on it and this was a nice taster for his new album which is out now.

237. Dram – Cha Cha


Yes it does sound like Hotling Bling a lot, and yes it came before Hotling Bling. Let’s not make that the defining thing about this song though. It has one of the best sing-a-long choruses of the year and like the video suggests this is best enjoyed partying with friends.

236. MO – Preach


Preach was a great moment this year. It’s the group’s best song yet by a long mile and hinted that MO could in fact be something really special combining 90s Urban contemporary girl group harmonies with modern day production. Please let’s have more of these songs in 2016 girls.

235. Heems – Sometimes


Everybody’s favourite Queens rapper with Indian heritage, Heems, came back in 2015 with this big track Sometimes. The production sells it for me. One of my favourite unexpected drops of the year.

234. Oscar – Breaking My Phone


It takes quite a lot from modern day indie solo singer to impress me but Oscar did exactly that with Breaking My Phone. His lazy tones and the hazy guitar just works when the chorus comes in. If you place this song on the likes of Blur, it’s a big hit. So the kid can write!

233. Grace Mitchell – NoLo


Grace Mitchell is a new singer from Ontario with really good ability to make potential crossover hits. She is super cool for the hipster pop fans but a chorus like NoLo makes it a certainty that she’s going to be a massive star.

232. Elijah Blake – I Just Wanna…


I didn’t know before this year, but Elijah Blake is a really good songwriter (he wrote Usher’s Climax for one). Normally this song would have just been decent but Dej Loaf man, she makes everything better.

231. Lapsley –Hurt Me


It’s become apparent to me that all it takes to sell a song to me is strong vibes. And the opening of this song features the strongest vibes, the beat being a bassy voice sample. It’s incredible. Can we get an album next year please?

230. Snakehips – All My Friends


This one is really special and I think if it had the time to sink under my skin for a few months more it may have been a lot further up the list. I adore Tinashe and it’s a rare somber moment for her as well as Snakehips’ best song yet. Plus its yet another Chance The Rapper tune. He might be the most included artist in my list this year…

229. Lisbon – I Don’t Know


Lisbon if you are not aware, are a North East of England based four piece who make the best new indie tunes. I definitely reckon they sound like Duran Duran which is a tremendous thing and this is most apparent in their great single from earlier this year, I Don’t Know.

228. Django Django – First Light


Lead single from sophomore album Born Under Saturn, First Light had to live up to their incredible debut album. And give yourself until the first chorus to doubt it. Then just fall into the trance you did on album one. Well done lads.

227. George The Poet – Cat D


The BBC’s Sound of 2015 runner up had his moment with the release of Cat D. A fantastic starters guide to George.

226. Sundara Karma – Flame


Sundara Karma definitely brought a huge ray of sunshine to the indie world this year with music which sounded exciting and hungry to do well. Flame was the record which really perked up a lot of the tastemakers ears and rightly so with it’s gorgeous riff.

225. Weezer – Go Away


This year was a bit of a quiet one for Weezer who delivered material from last year’s ‘Everything Will Be Alright In The End’. Sometimes a collaboration feels absolutely perfect and Weezer working with Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast is one of those collaborations. Her voice blends with Rivers’ like a perfect surf stoner punk coffee.

224. Young Fathers – Shame


It was always going to be near impossible for Young Fathers to deliver an album which matched up to the surprise Mercury Music Prize winner Dead after only a year working on it. However they did deliver another five star album, ‘White Men Are Black Men Too’. From the singles on the album the front-runner was Shame, a wonderful tribal indie dance rap (everything else) track. It’s vintage Young Fathers.

223. Michael Calfan – Treasured Soul


Michael Calfan’s ‘Treasured Soul’ is one of the front-runners of the year for “those songs you’ve not heard of but when the drop hits you’re like OH THAT!”. An unmistakable Ibiza anthem and one for many years to come for certain.

222. Disclosure – Magnets


Disclosure’s Caracal was an interesting beast. Whilst the duo explored the sound they created on their incredible debut LP ‘Settle’, and with great success made another fine album, it was without many memorable moments. Everything on the record felt a bit textbook and predictable but of those one of the more memorable moments was Lorde’s Magnets.

221. Action Bronson – Baby Blue


One of rap’s biggest stars in recent years has been Action Bronson and when he finally signed to a label and announced an album it was rather a disappointment for me compared to his free mixtapes. That didn’t stop the Zane Lowe produced Baby Blue from rocking though. This marks Chance The Rapper’s third appearance on this list.

220. JME – Don’t @ Me


JME had a year didn’t he. As well as being an internet darling, he released Integrity, Grime’s best album since Boy In The Corner. The light is usually on his Boy Better Know brethren Skepta but it was incredible seeing JME shine with some tracks. One particular highlight was Don’t @ Me. A big moment for pop culture in the UK.

219. Little Simz – Dead Body


The reason I love Little Simz is purely down to talent. It’s not the easiest music to listen to and there were some tracks on her debut album I wasn’t into but she has an aura around her which oozes confidence. She is incredible and if you have doubts check out her SXSW performance.

218. Gengahr –Fill My Gums With Blood


There are very few things in 2015 which are more criminal than Gengahr not being a household name. For me they are the best new guitar band on the scene this year and precisely so with gorgeous tales like Fill My Gums With Blood.

217. Otto Knows – Next To Me


Otto Knows finally followed up the insanely catchy Million Voices with Next To Me, a track which was stunning but very much a blink and you’ll miss it hit. It was only on the scene for a small part of Summer but it put a fair amount of smiles on my face.

216. Julio Bashmore – Holding On


Julio man, Julio. Bringing the 11/10 vibes on this record. You think the sample is enough for a short jam and then the drop breaks in and decimates. Holding On could bring Summer to the snowiest plain as it reeks of Sunny vibes.

215. Bill Ryder Jones – Two To Birkenhead


Bill off of The Coral had his finest solo moment yet with the incredible Two To Birkenhead which had indie, Britpop and all those kinds of music lovers crying into their Pretty Green hankies. And me, I cried too.

214. Purity Ring – Bodyache


Every note on Bodyache feels symbolic in what Purity Ring are. First of all I will say that this group had a wonderful year with a sophomore album which was worth the wait, filled with real hits. Their pop sensibilities are strong but the elegance and understatement they have puts them in the background of the pop world to a cult audience who love them.

213. Madonna – Bitch I’m Madonna


Whilst it does feel a bit cheap, this was marketed to perfection. What a wonderful time this was when Madonna’s star studded video went up against Taylor’s for Bad Blood. Swifty won the battle but this did not go down without a fight. Also Alexander Wang stole the show.

212. 5 Seconds of Summer – She’s Kinda Hot


Whilst completely unoriginal, there are a large amount of people out there who like Blink-182 and who like One Direction. Whoever decided to combine both is a genius and probably very rich. She’s Kinda Hot is the best pop punk record since peak Blink.

211. Sufjan Stevens – I Should Have Known Better


Sufjan brought us a captivating moment back in March with ‘I Should Have Known Better’. Set at just the right pace to reminisce or daydream, it’s one of the more beautiful pieces of music on this year’s list.

210. Lost Frequencies – Are You With Me


Whilst it was a pain in the arse for programming music due to its modest 2:16 runtime, Lost Frequencies’ Summer stonker ‘Are You With Me’ was a mainstay for all UK Radio and with pretty much zero burn factor about it (that means it doesn’t get tiring quickly).

209. Blonde – All Cried Out


When I begin my inevitable deep house project entitled ‘HSTE’ I will absolutely try and recruit Alex Newell to do the vocals on it. That kid’s vocals pack a punch. Blonde with All Cried Out continued to dominate with supreme Ibiza vibes around a post-breakup rave.

208. The Maccabees – Something Like Happiness


In the UK there were few artists who enjoyed a stronger year than The Maccabees who’s new album Marks To Prove It was a solid contender for album of the year. Something Like Happiness is a modest track but once witnessing it live and hearing the crowd sing the whoa’s back it would have filled the band with such pride at making their most sing-a-long friendly track yet.

207. One Direction – Perfect


It was going to be tough seeing how One Direction would recover after losing Zayn Malik in Q2 this year but Perfect was one of the first indications that things were going to be just fine. It’s an outstanding single and definitely bests Taylor Swift’s similar sounding Style (a glaring omission from my whole list, woops).

206. Declan McKenna – Brazil


There’s lots to love here for me. I’m never a huge fan of indie solo artists due to their tendency to be a bit of a lad but Declan McKenna hits the nail on the head of the more artsy side of life. Think some of Jamie T’s more experimental work.

205. Florence & The Machine – Ship To Wreck


I’m really unfairly a bit iffy with Flo but its okay because every single from her new album has done alright in my books. Ship To Wreck was a monster of a radio record and for that I give her two thumbs up.

204. Bring Me The Horizon – True Friends


Man, where to start with Bring Me The Horizon? Overall 2015 was their best year yet and maybe they diluted their heaviness but now they’re playing sold out Arena shows. That is awesome from a band who once put out something as hard to listen to as Chelsea Smile (and worse). Seriously well bloody done lads. Seeing them sub the headline slot at Leeds festival also wrapped it up pretty nicely. You’re listening to the best rock band on the planet people, sap it up. More to come in this list.

203. WSTRN – IN2


WSTRN are a great new R&B act who will be one of the first to bring in mainstream reggae in 2016. In2 in fact was perhaps the biggest song of Q4 this year with the exception of Adele. A great feat for a brand new artist.

202. Everything Everything – Regret


I’m not sure it was entirely necessary but Everything Everything really upped their game with this campaign. Get To Heaven was their best album yet, mixing risky noncommercial tracks with improved pretty much everything. Regret was a fine second single from the album.

201. Naughty Boy – Runnin


Just missing out on the Top 200 is Naughty Boy’s moment to shine with Runnin. After a terrible year being slated and hated by most of One Direction’s fans and not a single in sight, he finally gave us one of UK Radio’s strongest tracks of the year. With Beyonce on side (how did he manage that one?) the track really soars.

An that brings us to the Top 200 which will be written and posted up tomorrow. We’ve already lost a lot of this year’s big numbers in this post and there’s some huge tracks which didn’t make the Top 100 so make sure you check back in to see if your favourites make the cut. And let me know what songs you liked most this year. If there are any you’ve found by reading this then let me know

Thanks for reading,
Scott