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

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