Talk About It – Dr. Dre (King Mez, Justus) – 60
Probably the noisiest song of the year. Instrument after instrument is crammed into the best song from Dre’s album Compton, which must make him the richest man to ever make a credible album in history. If Compton is the last we’ll ever hear from Dre, and it might just be, he signs off in party style with Talk About It giving off a real party vibe. A landmark song for hip-hops Zeus.
In Time – FKA Twigs – 59
The rise of Tahliah Debrett Barnett continues. Following the amazing LP1 of last year, In Time is her best release off new EP M3LL155X. The song, which talks of the struggle in a relationship to get the best of each other, drifts seamlessly along before stabbing you with noise. It feels punchy, it sounds fresh and FKA Twigs hurry up and release an album already.
The Devil In His Youth – Protomartyr – 58
First up, a confession. I don’t like punk. I don’t like post-punk, I don’t like Punkyfish, anything. For some reason though, I really like this. It sounds to me what everyone seems to think the Foo Fighters sound like. The song itself, the first on the album, introduces us to a suburban boy also known as the Devil. It’s short and sweet and genuinely leaves you itching for more.
Organs – Of Monsters And Men – 57
Certainly one of the saddest songs of 2015, and certainly not from a likely source, Organs is a triumph from Icelandic band Of Monsters and Men. Known mainly for making pop anthems such as Dirty Paws and Little Talks, it’s a wonderful little break from tradition. You can feel the destruction of the scenario that singer Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir details throughout. More like this please, Of Monsters and Men.
What Kind of Man – Florence + The Machine – 56
The “difficult third album” is reduced to triviality with Florence and her endless Machine. Still as powerful as ever, still as fresh as ever, she combines the best of the sounds of her two albums previous to create What Kind Of Man. Seemingly endless in energy, it ranks as one of her best ever.
CPU – Raury (RZA) – 55
The birth of Raury is complete with the success of his debut album All We Need. This collaboration with RZA without doubt ranks as the best single on there. It sounds almost like Kanye’s song Runaway now has a little brother. The slight computerised sound, the clever yet tiny chorus make for one of the surprise songs of the year.
Perfect Ruin – Kwabs – 54
Known almost exclusively for his debut single Walk, which ended up being the best song on an immensely poor FIFA 15 playlist, Kwabs outdoes himself with Perfect Ruin. If Protomartyr can stand as a viable upgrade to Foo Fighters, the strangely named Kwabs is without doubt a better alternative to Labrinth. You hear me Labrinth? You’re shit.
Boys Latin – Panda Bear – 53
An exceptionally trippy song from an exceptionally trippy outfit in Panda Bear. Brisk and sharp, is music could be a fairground ride it would sound a bit like this. Noah Lennox seems to be a master in experimental music, and the best from a thoroughly crazy album is Boys Latin.
Vertigo – Mini Mansions (Alex Turner) – 52
Following Mini Mansions touring with the Arctic Monkeys, this collaboration was born. Up there in Chorus of the Year territory, the quickly-written Vertigo becomes more and more impressive the more you hear it. There are layers to how good it is, which build themselves within the five minutes of the track, and leave you with a nice yummy layered musical cake at the end. Or something.
The Greatest – Raleigh Ritchie – 51
Raleigh Ritchie, the greatest (heh) fictional dickless army officer to ever create music, makes his first banger. It took me a couple of listens to properly like it, but it grew from there. Dipped in soul, it shows the versatility of Ritchie, who thankfully is releasing his debut album, You’re a Man Now, Boy next year.
Bury Our Friends – Sleater-Kinney – 50
A lot of people’s nomination for album of the year, Sleater-Kinney’s No Cities to Love was a work of genius from an artist who had taken nearly a decade long hiatus. A nine year wait is justified in Bury Our Friends alone, however, which has energy for miles and probably the guitar backing track of the year (another coveted prize).
Sleep Sound – Jamie xx – 49
Despite the first few seconds sounding irritatingly like my phone alarm, this is simply genius from Jamie xx. The best instrumental song of the year, which actually samples Karma by Alicia Keys, does more to send you to sleep with a smile than it does to wake you up.
Breathe Life – Jack Garratt – 48
All across the internet I’m seeing that I should listen to Jack Garratt in 2016. Yeah well fuck you, I’m listening to him now. And so should you, because Breathe Life is fantastic. It grows and it expands into something astonishingly good at times. If this is what we can come to expect of Jack Garratt, 2016 is going to be the best year ever.
Souvenirs – Etherwood (Zara Kershaw) – 47
The lead song from Etherwood’s second album Blue Leaves (which explains the blue leaves all over the album cover) is a ditty named Souvenirs. It’s annoyingly good as no matter how hard I try I can’t actually spell Souveniers, and the autocorrect on this laptop is useless. On the song though, the vocal expertise of Zara Kershaw drops this song in top half territory.
Omen – Disclosure (Sam Smith) – 46
Another one for the “songs I didn’t think I would done like” sub-list. So why is Sam Smith growing on me? Is it because he and Disclosure are seemingly the same person? Is it because this is the silver lining on an admittedly poor album from Disclosure? Is it the simple “oh, oh, oh” in the chorus? I’ve no idea and neither should you.
Days of Candy – Beach House – 45
A song from Thank Your Lucky Stars featured way back when at number 87 in this list, and now a song from the 100% definitely better Depression Cherry rears it’s beautiful, dreamy head in this countdown. Days of Candy is a wonderful finishing track to the album (which is made of felt if you buy it in shops! Felt!) that results in a 8 person strong harmony.
No Reptiles – Everything Everything – 44
Just for its banal cleverness dressed as stupidity, this is brilliant. It makes no sense to me and I don’t want it to either, No Reptiles is a bundle of fun from Everything Everything, and should be treated as such. Reading into it would be redundant, it should simply be enjoyed for what it is.
Get Over It – Lower Than Atlantis – 43
If you read my earlier dig at Foo Fighters involving Protomartyr, scoffed, called me an idiot and stopeed reading this list, I can’t tell you that a better comparison might actually be Lower Than Atlantis. Especially with a song like Get Over It, full of dynamism and could act as the spark for even better to arrive from Lower Than Atlantis in years to come.
2SEATER – Tyler, The Creator – 42
I really didn’t get the hate that Cherry Bomb got. As a stand-alone album, and ignoring a couple of empty tracks midway through, it’s still a wonderful piece of work from Tyler. The thing with Mr the Creator is that when he’s good, he’s very good, and he’s very, very good here. The mixture of pure jazz and burst-fire hip hop makes a massively underrated piece of music.
Movement – Jamie Woon – 41
This pretty much blew me away, and I have a lot to thank of Spotify’s Discover Weekly. It’s punchy and yet it is light at the same time. It’s wonderful from Woon, the best song by far on his Making Time album (the cover of which looks like an old Micro Machines track). Movement stays moving itself, the song never sits still for a moment, and becomes my favourite song from brilliantly bearded JamieWoon.