Continuing from the movie & TV entries in my long lost highlights from 2015, this is the music I acquired and listened to the most in 2015. Again, these aren’t necessarily new to the world, and in some cases very much not so. The twelve entries here are in increasing order by play count. There’s some concern there about normalizing for when in the year the music was acquired and thus how much opportunity it had to be played. But that’s both taking this too seriously, and for the most part the counts are dominated by the first couple months or so after acquisition anyway.
Honorable mentions here go to Hey Mama by David Guetta and Nicki Minaj, probably the raunchiest song on the radio last year, and Trap Queen by Fetty Wap.
#12: Wherever is Your Heart /Brandi Carlisle
#11: Awake /Tycho
#10: Please Don’t Say You Love Me (piano version) /Gabrielle Alpin
Note that this is quite specifically the quieter, slower, more broken piano recording, not the more pop-tuned mix.
#9: Intro /The XX
#8: All This Could Be Yours /Cold War Kids
#7: Mess Is Mine /Vance Joy
#6: 9 Crimes /Damien Rice
#5: Lean On /Major Lazer
The “official video” for this is super awkward, so let’s stick with the lyric video.
#4: Where Is My Mind (instrumental piano) /Maxence Cyrin
#3: Bad Intentions (original, without Migos) /Niykhee Heaton
Recently another version of this came out with an interlude of some dumbass rapping. Everything else is basically the same, but that extra bit makes it much worse. Stick to the original recording.
#2: Unstead /X Ambassadors
Renegades is the song that got all the airplay from this album, and it is also very good. But Unsteady is excellent, focusing more on ache. An important note about this is that the album, VHS, is that rarity of the streaming age: Somewhat of a concept album. The whole thing is framed and intermixed with clips of the band ostensibly watching old camcorder tapes. Nothing too lofty, but it’s really good, they’re interesting in their own right. I recommend the whole album. There’s a good range of songs, many of them are solid, and the VHS clips really bring more depth to the standout tracks.
#1: You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive /Patty Loveless
There are of course many many versions of this song. Not only do I like this audio the best, but this one is worth watching on YouTube. The stills stitched together here to go along with the song add quite a bit of oomph to an already terrific recording.