My website was originally created as a portfolio to showcase my basketball-related work. Recently, however, I’ve wanted to write about music. As we say goodbye to 2015, I feel it is the right time to acknowledge 2015 for being a great year in music. These are my favorite songs of 2015.*
*Note: some of these songs came out before 2015. My only criteria is that I discovered all 10 of these artists in the last calendar year.
- Talk is Cheap – Chet Faker
“Talk is Cheap” is my favorite song that I learned about in 2015. Chet Faker has steadily grown in popularity in the United States for the past few years (Talk is Cheap was actually released in 2014) but 2015 seemed like his true breakout. Faker has made a name for himself with silky vocals and entrancing rhythms.
In “Talk is Cheap,” Faker offers unique instrumentals and quick paced lyrics. With subtle jazz and R&B influences, “Talk is Cheap” has an addicting chorus that’s easy to learn and is welcoming to sing-alongs.
- Steps – Handsome Ghost (Samuraii Remix)
Handsome Ghost remains relatively anonymous outside of niche circles (they don’t have a Wikipedia page). Still, with musical overlap to artists such as The Postal Service and Owl City, Handsome Ghost has a chance to catch on. “Steps” is a terrific song and the Samuraii Remix gives it a uniquely tropical vibe in a genre that only Kygo has really exploited to mass audiences.
- Seeing Stars – BøRNS
- BøRNS has as special a voice, as you’ll find. I discovered him after hearing the song “10,000 Emerald Pools” — which I also highly recommend. He’s only 23 years old and just released his first album in October. Seeing Stars was released as a follow up single and has instantaneously become one of my favorite songs. I think it’s only a matter of time before he becomes a mainstream hit.
- 4. Higher Ground – Argonaut & Wasp
- I may be biased (I went to high school with one of the band’s core members) but A&W offer one of the coolest sounds I’ve ever heard. Undeniably futuristic, A&W maintains ethos of funk with every song. Equally special: they travel from genre to genre with each new track. Whether you want to dance or just hang around and chill, Higher Ground is a song that belongs on your Spotify playlist.
- VCR – The XX
I know I’m late to the party with The XX. Regardless, I wanted to give them an apology for catching on so late. As far as production value goes, you can tell The XX puts a lot of consideration into making each song optimally unrefined. Romy Madley Croft’s voice carries “VCR’s” gentle tone. It’s the perfect song to wake up to on a spring Sunday morning.
- Coming Home – Leon Bridges
If you haven’t heard Leon Bridges by now, you should get on that. Bridges showed America that the 1950s could sound catchy again. He sold out the Apollo Theater and appeared on Jimmy Fallon. “Coming Home” is as much an introduction as it is an announcement: Bridges and his vintage sound are here to stay.
- If You Ever Want to be in Love – James Bay
I think James Bay and BøRNS are the two most impressive voices on my list. Bay also had his arrival to near-superstar fame in 2015. His infinite range and Van Halen undertones make him a pleasure to listen to. If this song came out later in the year, it’s quite possible it would be higher on the list. I’ve admittedly had some listener fatigue.
- Shells – The Mighty Oaks
The first thirty seconds of Shells are arguably my favorite thirty seconds of music this year. The rest of the song isn’t quite as special, as it seemingly tries a little too hard. Still, The Mighty Oaks — formed in Berlin — have become one of my favorite bands. Deep vocals and unique instrumental pairings make them special.
- I’ll Wait – Michael Persall (click on the link)
This song isn’t yet on Spotify or Youtube but it should be soon. Persall has a catchy voice that will get attention once he builds up his portfolio with more hits. “I’ll Wait” features ethos of pop, rock and soul. Give it a listen and help him get on Spotify.
- Uncantena – Sylvan Esso
Sylvan Esso has an intense style that encapsulates the room with electric bass and seductive vocals. This song was released in 2014 and proposes a fusion of folk with electro-pop. It doesn’t work for every song on their album but “Uncantena” is a true gem.
Those are my 10. Honorable mentions go out to Raury, Cody Simpson and Little Comets. Check those guys out as well.
Think I’m missing someone I’d love? Do you also like one of these artists? I’m all ears; let’s talk music.