Music is the most universal thing we have. If the tale of the Tower of Babel is real, music is our one true language. A native tongue provided by sound and rhythm. It invokes emotions that make us human in ways we never could’ve imagined. Physically I want to travel the world. Music takes my spirit places. Music is the proof to me that my soul is real. It is always exactly what I need it to be. The thoughts you have when you most want to be alone. The energy you feel among a crowd of thousands sharing a moment and reciting lyrics to the top of your lungs. It is darkness, it is light. It is every sunrise and star filled night. That is why I was excited towards the end of the year when Luke Z, a man who has an appetite for all of music. Proposed the idea of contributing a top 50 songs of 2015 list to the blog. Luke probably listens to more music than almost anyone else I know and has a wide range of genres he actively searches for new music in. Luke wanted to do his best to give an unbiased list that represented most genres. I know from the many hours of back and forth communication we have had the past few months that he worked endlessly to complete this list and deliver to you all something he is passionate about. So here I give Luke Z’s passion: The Top 50 Songs of 2015
50. Daya – Hide Away: The previously unknown Daya, from Pittsburgh, kills this track with her unique voice and upbeat chorus. She combines electronic/dance with a little indie influence for this pop hit talking about her troubles with boys and finding the right one for her.
49. Jamie xx – I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times) (ft. Young Thug and Popcaan) : Jamie xx branches out from the band he leads, The xx, and pursues his electronic/beat making persona. Combining the forces the forces of Jamaican singer Popcaan and hip-hop artist Young Thug, this odd mixture creates the ultimate feel good song of the year.
48. Disclosure – Omen (ft. Sam Smith) : The electronic duo comes back with their sophomore album, arguably one of the best edm albums of the year. On this track they bring on Sam Smith, basically creating a sequel for their mega hit of 2012 “Latch.” The brit croons over the synth-ridden beat complete with the big chorus and the big ‘Oh Oh OhOh’ that make this a great song.
47. Action Bronson – Baby Blue (ft. Chance the Rapper) : The massive sized sound and image of this Queens rapper, directly correlates to the size of this song, his biggest hit yet. Produced by the hit producer Mark Ronson (who’s massive hit “Uptown Funk” doesn’t appear on our list because it was released in 2014, even though its arguably the biggest hit of 2015), with a more classical beat for a hip-hop song and the addition of the whimsical verse by Chance the Rapper about how much he hates his ex. Bronson actually sings on the chorus bringing in the feels for the relatable feeling of dislike towards someone.
46. Jidenna – Classic Man (ft. Roman GianArthur) : Jidenna, the Nigerian/American rapper/singer, a newbie to the industry, signed to Janelle Monae’s label Wondaland, comes with this braggadocio swagger blasted hit about clean style and his fresh fashion. Assisted by a Kendrick Lamar remix which of course helped the hit gain some traction. Jidenna is also featured on Monae’s “Yoga” which presumably gave the hit a boost as well. This song is nominated for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for the Grammy’s this year.
45. Troye Sivan – WILD : The young Australian artist perfectly crafts his blend of edm, alternative and pop for this song and his signature sound. The chiller verses to the bigger more sing-along chorus creates a great ride. First single off his EP and also making an appearance on his full length debut ‘Blue Neighborhood”. Starting off the song with the voices of a young choir do a great job of lightening the mood before the serious moody love song.
44. Wiz Khalifa – See You Again (ft. Charlie Puth) : This song, commissioned to be the lead single for the soundtrack of Fast And Furious 7, a tribute to the late Paul Walker, became both artists biggest hit to date. Spending 12 weeks as number one on the Billboard chart, tying only Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” for longest rap song at #1. The song also broke records for most streamed song on spotify in a single day, and the first rap music video ever to reach 1 billion views. The heartfelt song is a tear jerker, who knew Wiz Khalifa could make a song about something other than smoking weed. This song also has several Grammy nominations.
43. The 1975 – UGH! : The Brit pop rockers are gearing up for their second album due in February. They’ve released ‘Love Me’ and ‘UGH!’ My opinion is ‘Ugh!’ Is a much better song and is closer to their classic sound, although veering off it just enough to show they are growing musically. The song is catchy, but not enough to live up to their previous huge hit ‘Chocolate’ in 2014, but it does have the potential to get up there.
42. Disclosure- Magnets (ft. Lorde) : My favorite track off the edm duos second album. Also the young superstar Lorde’s only showing of the year (hopefully a new album early ’16). These two combine for a fiery combination. Lorde’s kills the hook and the U.K. Producers play with her voice to create some cool sounds that will get your blood flowing. Disclosure’s album was nominated for Best Dance Album.
41. Major Lazer – Night Riders (ft. Travi$ Scott, Pusha T, 2 Chainz, & Mad Cobra) : The unsung hero of major lazers critically acclaimed album. This song should have gotten a lot more credit and attention for how good it is. The dark distortion of Travi$ Scott’s vocals make any listener feel like a badass and has taught us one thing;Travi$ Scott’s turn-up antics + an edm banger = the ultimate flames. verses from 2 chainz and Pusha T keep the hard rap/trap sound and the addition of Mad Cobras verse creates the island sound that has become major lazers staple
40. Big Sean – One Man Can Change The World (ft. Kanye West & John Legend) : This awesome song off Big Sean’s under appreciated album finds two of raps biggest names singing. Kanye and Sean sing to create a great feel good song with a purpose. They add John Legend to make the r&b vibes come alive. The message for the song is anyone can make a difference if they give it all they’ve got. This song is nominated for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for the Grammy’s this year.
39. Leon Bridges – Coming Home : It will suprise you to know that this song was actually released in 2015. This sounds like a song straight out of the 50s or 60s, the beat, the groove, the instruments, the vocals, everything. It is very refreshing to hear such an old school sound in modern times. Although he sounds like the past, you can expect Leon Bridges to be a force to reckon with in the future. Leon Bridges is also nominated for many Grammys this year.
38. Father John Misty – Chateau Lobby #4 (In C for Two Virgins) : Father John Misty takes you to a different era with his music, although the instrumentals still utilize some new electronic sounds, his somewhat cryptic lyrics draw ones mind back to simpler times. The odd combination of alternative, folk, and some electronic create an interesting sound that is hard to find in any other artist. This catchy tune speaks on exploring love for the first time.
37. Fall Out Boy – Uma Thurman : The pop/ punk rock band goes even more poppy with their most recent album. A few hit songs and this up-tempo dance banger became the biggest. The huge chorus and the big group vocals make this quite the catchy tune. Dancing is in the namesake though, calling back to Uma Thurman from Quentin Terentino’s cult classic Pulp Fiction.
36. Tame Impala – Let It Happen : The psychedelic rock/pop group who’s sound is reminiscent of The Beatles are becoming one of the biggest bands in the indie/alternative rock scene. Kevin Parker the bandleader and key member writes and records almost every song on his own. Their newest album, Currents, is less guitar driven, adding more spacy synth and uptempo dance-music inspired sounds, their lead single “Let It Happen” is a 7-minute long introduction to the new sound featuring Parkers vocals, songwriting, and many solely instrumental sections creating their signature weird psych sound. Tame Impala’s album ‘Currents’ is also nominated for a Grammy for Best Alternative Album.
35. The Neighbourhood – RIP 2 My Youth : Not as massive as their successor hit ‘Sweater Weather’ but still a big one. This too-cool-for-school band and their So Cal vibe attribute perfectly to their r&b/hip-hop tinged alternative rock sound. The song is the lead single for their second full length album ‘Wiped Out!’. The melodies of this song dote on not wanting to grow up, or the contrary: growing up to fast.
34. Vince Staples – Norf Norf : The Long Beach rapper that I’ve heard about for so long finally delivers with his debut album. With a plethora of bumpin rap hits ‘Norf Norf’ is by far the biggest and the best. The ballsy opening liner is one of the reasons this song is so memorable, “B*tch you thirsty please grab a Sprite”, as well as the chorus line which got a lot of social media attention: “I ain’t ever ran from nothin from the police”. The rappers bravado and easy to quote and rap along too rhyming style are going to ensure he’ll be around for the long haul.
33. Coldplay – Adventure of a Lifetime : One of the biggest alternative rock/pop bands of our time release their 7th studio album. With big-name features from the likes of Beyoncé and Tove Lo this album is sure to be a classic. The killer guitar rifts mixed with awesome voice samples show they’re getting a little more progressive. The lyrics and catchy melody about going on a great adventure make for a great song.
32. Kanye West – All Day (ft. Theophilus London, Allan Kingdom, & Paul McCartney) : Kanye finally gives us a new banger early in the year, still no news on his upcoming album SWISH though. This turn up song which finds Kanye yelling “All Day, N*gga!!” for the hook, is sure to get any party or live show straight poppin. Featuring verses from only Kanye and featuring only small roles from the 3 featured artists, it kind of makes sense because Ye literally raps ‘All Day’, it wouldn’t make sense to name a song “All Day” and then not be able to rap ‘All Day’ on it. Oddly enough 21 writers are credited, including the likes of Kendrick Lamar among others. This song was nominated for a Grammy for best Hip-Hop live performance and Best Rap Song.
31. A$AP Rocky – L$D : The Harlem rappers second album is laced with hard hitting bangers (which I’d say he’s mostly known for) but this slower song where Rocky actually sings is the one that sticks out the most. The wavy production and chill guitar riff at the beginning (most likely by Rocky’s new guitar playing and singing pupil Joe Fox, who makes upwards of 5 appearances on the album) make this almost an alternative hip-hop song. Basically a love song, although Rocky states “ I ain’t into making love songs, baby I’m just rapping to the LSD”. He also turns LSD into a genius acronym for Love Sex Dreams. The trippy visuals of the music video, which were nominated for a Grammy for Best Music Video, also add to the psychedelic feel of the song about the psychedelic drug.
30. Coleman Hell – 2 Heads : This awesome alternative folk song employs very catchy songwriting and melody throughout the verses and chorus. Combining the twang of a banjo with a bass-heavy almost edm beat provides a very fresh take on a song of this style, this basically has never been done before. The song chronicles the foibles of love and what a relationship can turn into if you let it.
29. Beck – Dreams : This upbeat almost pop song comes only a few months after his Grammy win for his much slower more melancholy album ‘Morning Phase’. This alternative hit with its undeniably catchy chorus “D-D-D-Dreams, Dreams” and the nice little guitar riff and uptempo beat leave the listeners wanting more of this new Beck. No announcement for a new album has yet to be made, but if the rest of it sounds anything like this when it is released you can count me in as a listener.
28. Death Cab for Cutie – Ghost of Beverly Drive : During my first listening of Death Cab’s newest album ‘Kintsugi’ I was thrown off, to me it didn’t sound like the old Death Cab I had grown to know and love. Although every band should be allowed some wiggle room with venturing into new sounds they should never stray too far from the path that made them who they are. Although I felt like this at first, after a few more listens I fell in love with their new album, it was a grower, and i realized they didn’t stray as far from their old sound as I had originally thought they had. This song is a fantastic showcasing of a mixture of Death Cab’s old classic sound mixed with the new stuff they have been adding. From guitar, rhythm, beat, melody, lyrics, and amazing chorus this song is top notch. ‘Kintsugi’ was nominated for a Grammy for Best Alternative Album.
27. Rudimental – Lay It All On Me (ft. Ed Sheeran) : For Ed Sheeran’s only new showing in 2015 this is a great one. Although he did release some throwaway tracks, live versions, and remixes (album called ‘5’ and the Wembley Edition of his album ‘X’, which contained a few new throwaways and live versions of all songs) and most of his songs off his 2014 ‘X’ had a lot more charting time in 2015 (including his mega-hit ‘Thinking Out Loud’), they are not included because they were released in 2014. This song combines the singers signature sound and enormously catchy choruses to the 4 man U.K. production teams more electronic and edm sound. These two entities seem to be friends because Rudimental also did a remix of Ed’s ‘Photograph’ off of ‘X’.
26. Florence and The Machine – What Kind of Man : This song is the epitome of epicness. No listener can listen to this song without feeling like they are in some sort of action movie. The way it starts with a sort of spooky effect on Florence Welch’s (lead singer) voice and then transfers into one of the coolest guitar riffs of the year just gives me goosebumps. Fantastic chorus, melody, and Florence’s stellar singing voice give this song the fuel it needed to become one of the biggest alternative rock songs of the year. Florence and The Machine was nominated for many Grammys this upcoming Grammys.
25. Future – March Madness : One of the best bangers of the year. Future, the Atlanta rapper and hook man has had a tremendous year. 3 mixtapes, a full-length album, a collab ‘mixtape’ with Drake, and some huge singles. He was the golden boy of hip-hop in 2015. The success of ‘F*ck Up Some Commas’ was massive although I think this is the better song, which is confusing as to why he decided to put it on his mixtape ’56 Nights’ and not his album ‘Dirty Sprite 2’. This song chronicles Future’s love of lean, trapping, and also his ability to relate music to sports. Just like Drake and Future’s mixtape ‘What A Time To Be Alive’ almost every song is related to sports or trapping, I think this song would’ve made a great add-on this mixtape instead of on ’56 Nights’, maybe with a Drake remix to it or something. That would’ve been a great marketing move, to bad they don’t have me as their manager. This song provides us with one of the best turn-up party bangers of the year.
24. Big Sean – Blessings (ft. Drake) : The Detroit rappers Junior album had a plethora of hits. From the E40 assisted ‘IDFWU’ to the Kanye assisted ‘All Your Fault’ to the slow burning ‘One Man’ plus many others, he covered all spectrums and had a video for each one. This one being the best, the original featuring Drake, with a Kanye West remix just fanning the flames. Rapping about how they are blessed to be where they are, all take on heavy hitting verses, but it’s the classic and vastly repeated (by others; social media etc.) “I’m wayyyy up, I feel blessed” that takes the cake. If you put Drake on the hook you can’t go wrong and here’s the proof.
23. Drake – Know Yourself : The biggest song off Drake’s platinum selling album/mixtape ‘If Your Reading This Its Too Late’ although ‘Energy’ may have charted the highest this song had the longest and biggest lasting impact. From coining the biggest hype line of the year “Running through the six with my woes” to literally creating a new widely accepted word with “woes”. Seems like you can’t go a day without hearing that or seeing it on social media from young Americans. The way the song starts off slower and turns into the most anticipated anthem of 2015. I can just remember the excitement when the video released of the first time he performed this one live and the entire crowd just goes completely insane, women and children included. This one will go down in the books if only for its implicit impact on culture. Drakes ‘IYRTITL’ was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rap Album.
22. Mumford and Sons – The Wolf : Arguably the biggest indie/alternative band of the past 5 years, they released their 3rd album ‘Wilder Mind’, which makes a huge flip-flop from their previous albums, with namely and most obviously no more banjos. No. More. Banjos. Which is crazy because their soar to the spotlight had to do with how folk their sound was. Now this new album has actual electric guitar and an actual full drum set, which the first albums lacked, or not lacked but purposely ignored. These new songs will transfer a lot better to the live show setting, especially the stadium and festival shows they will be playing. I think its awesome, they are purposely trying to become a more well-rounded “rock” and not just a super indie folk band. This song is definitely the stand-out of the album, I could not listen to an alternative rock radio station for ten minutes without hearing it. With Marcus Mumford’s somewhat cryptic lyrics, killer melody and songwriting, and new fuller guitar and drums sound makes this one of the best songs of the year.
21. Alessia Cara – Here : Probably one of the biggest standout newcomers of the year. On the hit song ‘Here’ the Canadian pop singer sings about being at a party but not enjoying it and not wanting to be there. Although many people may not agree, it is so hard not to sing along. It brings out the pessimistic anti-social side that we all have. It’s really cool that this song became such a hit because it seems like our generation is so against, not turning-up and not being the life of the party, but it seems like everyone has a side like this. There is still hope for us.
20. X Ambassadors – Renegades : It’s great to see a band out-do their last hit, which is exactly what X Ambassadors did with their song ‘Renegades’ compared to last years hit ‘Jungle’ which even earned a Jay Z remix. This one didn’t make Hov come out but it is a much better song. With the help of being in a Jeep commercial, timed with the release of the Jeep Renegade, this song moved up the charts rapidly. The lead single for their debut album ‘VHS’, this song helped them move up to a new level. This songs relaxed guitar but huge chorus with the impossible-not-to-sing-along-with “And I say Hey! Heyeeay! Were living like were renegades” makes it great song.
19. Shawn Mendes – Stitches : The young Canadian pop artists biggest hit yet and the biggest song off his debut album “Handwritten”. The heartbreaking love song does nothing less than hit the feels and make you want to sing along especially if you’ve experienced similar heartbreak. The simple instrumentals with Mendes’ clear cut vocals on top make it impossible not to press replay.
18. The Weeknd – Can’t Feel My Face : Basically the biggest song of the summer, and with a chorus to catchy to even bear. The Canadian singer transformed himself from an indie r&b artist to a full-blown pop star and household name with this one. Drawing on what sounds like almost a Michael Jackson vibe especially with the big “Woo!!” before the chorus. He basically creates a plethora of new hooks throughout the whole song. This song which sounds so nice from the outside, is actually a love song to the magical drug of cocaine, which is known to be numbing agent. This ensures that The Weeknd isn’t trudging too far from his original drug-ridden and sex filled woes that made him what he is. There are many Grammy nominations for this song and The Weeknd’s album.
17. Bryson Tiller – Don’t : Becoming one of the biggest r&b hits of the year this breakout Louisville artist stuck himself into the game as a force to reckon with. Gaining up to 20 million hits on Soundcloud before being removed, Tiller basically became a star overnight. By releasing his debut album TRAPSOUL ensured the world he had more where the original spark of greatness came from, with another song ‘Exchange’ which became a decent sized hit of its own accord. Speaking mostly on his foibles of love he still has a way of making himself sound like somewhat of a mysterious badass without totally cementing himself as a lovesick weakling.
16. Justin Bieber – Love Yourself : Just now becoming the third huge hit off Bieber’s comeback album ‘Purpose’, I believe it just went number one in the UK and is number 3 in the US. The slow but not to slow song shows us Bieber still has a soft side. The fantastically catchy songwriting and melody ensures young girls (and boys) from ages 12-25 will be in their feels for this one. Co-written by Ed Sheeran and you can totally tell. I also think Sheeran may have played the guitar for the instrumental because it sounds exactly like one of his songs.
15. Travi$ Scott – Antidote : Oddly enough this one became a massive hit, Scott’s biggest hit to date, and the biggest hit off Scott’s debut album ‘Rodeo’. I say oddly enough because the way he released it made it seem like it was just a throwaway track, just released on soundcloud, and not very much initial radio marketing push. He also raps in one of the verses about kicking a cameraman off of his stage which happened only a few weeks before at Hot 97 Summer Jam which means ‘Antidote’ was one of the last songs Scott recorded for ‘Rodeo’. Maybe he was in a better creative head space, maybe he’s onto something, maybe his next album is gonna be this similar sound. ‘Antidote’ is the most unorthodox club song, its for the most part a pretty chill song, but it will bring an insane rage to any crowd. Just the way Scott flows and the way the beat kicks in and picks up the tempo will definitely get you pumped.
14. Post Malone – White Iverson : This slow burning r&b/hip-hop crossover is a slow song but the beat still slaps. The song is initially about Allen Iverson the basketball player but about how Malone is the white version of him. The way he flows on the beat is just unreal and there is something very unique about his flow and his voice, and thats what makes it so special. The repetitive “saucin, saucin, saucin, on you” is addictive. No album has been announced but we have gotten a few more singles, I think we can expect a lot from the young Dallas MC in 2016.
13. Kehlani – You Should Be Here : Over a year ago, this young Oakland songstress was homeless, in the year since then, she has released her debut mixtape of the same name which has been critically acclaimed since its release. She also went on a major tour with G-Eazy which helped to get her more well known as well. Her beautiful vocals, unique style, bright instrumentals on hip-hopesque beats are something special. Drawing comparisons to Jhene Aiko and Frank Ocean obviously she has a big future. Not to mention her debut mixtape being nominated for a Grammy. Chance The Rapper features on one of the other standout tracks on the mixtape. This song is about wishing someone was there with her, either physically or mentally. We have not heard the last of this young artist.
12. Drake – Back to Back : Possibly one of the biggest rap beefs since Biggie and Tupac, and Jay Z and Nas, caused this song, one of the biggest rap songs of the year. After Meek Mill unwittingly called the biggest rap star of our generation out for not writing his own raps it was over for him. Drake released 3 songs including the diss song ‘Charged Up’, ‘Right Hand’ and another that has almost become the biggest song of his career. Less than a week later, with no response from Meek, Drake literally comes back to back with bangers and releases ‘Back to Back’ literally putting Meek Mill in a coffin with lines like “Is that a world tour or your girls tour” (speaking of how he was touring with Nicki Minaj) and “trigger fingers turned to twitter fingers” and “you getting bodied by a singing n*gga” effortlessly ending Meek Mills career. Drake seamlessly and easily weaves in and out of the hard hitting beat taking shots at his adversary. At Drake’s annual OVO Fest he performed ‘Back to Back’ for the first time and had a plethora of memes that the internet had created about Meek Mill. To end it all ‘Back to Back’ for nominated for Best Rap Performance for the 2016 Grammy’s. Imagine that, Drake might win a Grammy off his diss track.
11. Fetty Wap – 679(ft. Remy Boyz) : The New Jersey singer/rapper has had an amazing year. Starting off early in the year with the mega hit ‘Trap Queen’ which peaked at number 2 on the Billboard charts. ‘679’ was the next single for his self titled debut album which peaked at number 4. This song became a classic after ‘Trap Queen’ got overplayed it seemed like everyone liked this song a lot more. With the infectious bass beat that starts the song and then continues throughout. Featuring his main collaborator Monty and other Remy Boy P-Dice. This song is still quoted on social media, in person, and played at every party, it will get the people dancing.
10. Kendrick Lamar – Alright : The best song off the Compton rappers sophomore album ’To Pimp A Butterfly”. Although it wasn’t released as an official single until after the album release, which is odd because it is the far superior song compared to ‘i’, ‘King Kunta’, and ‘Blacker the Berry’. It served as a rallying for many black rights movements and due to the release around the riots in Ferguson, it became a chant at many black rights events. I believe everybody can take away something from the song and thats always to have hope and no matter how bad things get you will always prosper and be alright. Backed by a jazzy beat and a deep voice on the chorus who is uncredited, it was later announced it Pharrel Williams who also produced the track, he has everyone yelling along with him. This song also has a Grammy nomination for Song of The Year.
9. Jack U – Where Are U Now(ft. Justin Bieber) : Jack U is the combination of two of edms biggest mega producers Skrillex and Diplo. They really pushed the boundaries of edm with their self titled album. Both of these producers had massive years of their own, with Diplo’s other project Major Lazer making hits and headlines, and Skrillex produced most of Bieber’s new album, as well as a dope song with The Game and another one with Zhu. This song is probably all 3 artists biggest hit and also most meaningful song they had made at that point. This song also prompted Bieber’s comeback to music after some troubles with the law among other things last year. Oddly enough they didn’t push it as their lead single and didn’t even release it as a single until after the album came out, it became a sleeper hit and rose up the charts slowly. The producers mix their unique edm styles with Bieber’s pop styles to create a classic. The drop features a flipped version of Biebers voice with what Skrillex calls a dolphin noise. The song has since gone platinum and reached number 8 on the Billboard charts. Jack U was also nominate for a Grammy for best dance album as well as this song for Best Dance Song.
8. Twenty One Pilots – Stressed Out : The hottest alternative act of the year. Twenty One Pilots combines rock, hip-hop, pop, electronic, even some reggae. Sounds like the oddest combination and it really is, which is why I’m kinda surprised they have gained so much mass attention and success. The way they put their music together is unlike anyone else and it creates such a unique. ‘Stressed Out’ was the third single for their album ‘Blurryface’. I think one of they reasons they are so appealing is that no one knows what they are gonna do next, they have so many genres they can dip into and thats what makes their music so interesting is how they’ll combine all of them. Their live show is also quite a spectacle, especially since they are so weird, the drummer wears red eyeliner and the lead singer, Tyler Joseph wears black paint on his arms and neck. The song peaked at number 13 on the Billboard charts. ‘Stressed Out’ is about reminiscing about ones childhood and not looking forward to growing up.
7. The Chainsmokers – Roses(ft. Rozes): Easily the most underrated song of the year. Didn’t even get a Grammy nom for best dance song, which I think it easily should’ve won. The Chainsmokers have grown up and improved a lot since their breakout hit, possibly one of the most annoying songs of 2014, ‘Selfie’. Now they make actual good music, and this song is fantastic. I would label the song as alternative edm/pop. they stated in an interview that Taylor Swift and Max Martin were influences on the song and production of the song. Although its not full-blown edm it still has one of the greatest drops I have heard. The duo also make use of playing with vocal samples and mess around with the singer, Rozes, voice for the drop and the chorus. This song is sonically just fantastic and can make you feel so many different emotions within its less than 4 minute run time. Roses amazing voice plus the two djs singing background and their harmonies are just awesome. I think they have created a new genre within edm all with this song. This song peaked at number 20 on the Billboard Hot 100.
6. Rihanna – FourFiveSeconds (ft. Kanye West & Paul McCartney) : Anytime some artists step out of their normal boundaries and make a song you wouldn’t expect them to make the results are (usually) amazing (see Kid Cudi’s 2015 album, way too far man, way too far). That is exactly what happened when these three artists teamed up for this song. RiRi and Ye both sing over basically just Paul McCartney’s guitar playing making this almost a folk-pop song. Have you ever heard Rihanna or Kanye on a folk song? I think not!! It also has some soul infused. Imagine Kanye directing an old church choir. Thats it! Although Kanye is known for pushing boundaries, I am still very surprised yet pleased at how this one turned out. I also love how Kanye is including Paul McCartney (the frontman of The Beattles) because he is combining generations and making songs with one of the leader of one of the greatest bands of all time. Supposedly it was a song Kanye had for his album that he then gave to Rihanna, also supposedly one of the singles (the other one being ‘B*tch Better Have My Money) for her upcoming eight studio album ‘Anti’. This song peaked at number 4 on the Billboard charts. This song is about getting fed up with something and being so close (how close? why FourFiveSeconds of course!) to having a minor freakout but keeping it together.
5. Major Lazer & DJ Snake – Lean On (ft. Mo) : The biggest edm song of the year. From the crazy post-chorus drop thanks to DJ Snake’s signature sound to the beautiful singing and unique voice of Mo. Major Lazer is Diplo’s other love child that also got way too hot for anyones good this year. I think we can just hands down give Diplo the Producer of the Year award, because he straight up killed it. The song peaked on The Billboard Charts at number 4. It also broke the Spotify streaming for most streamed song of all time with over 600 million plays world wide. Diplo stated in an interview that he offered a slowed down more reggae version of the song to Rihanna and Nicki Minaj who both turned down the song, which he says was a blessing in disguise because Mo sounded better than anyone would’ve on the track.
4. The Weeknd – The Hills : This song is almost a horror movie within a song, makes sense with the title of the song and the bridge coming from the classic horror film ‘The Hills Have Eyes’. Its very adventurous sonically using a huge electronic bass drop plus the sheer high pitch of his voice to create the massive drop that starts the chorus. It’s discordant sounds almost don’t feel right even though they are hypnotizing. The dark soundscape under the Canadian Abel Tesfaye’s brooding about lust, sex, drugs and fame becomes so vivid. The Weekend replaced his own song ‘Cant Feel My Face’ on the Billboard number one spot in October, becoming only the third artist to replace their own song on the top of the chart behind Rihanna and Taylor Swift. Thats good company. At the height of the songs popularity two remixes, an Eminem and a Nicki Minaj one were released. The Weekend combines alternative and electronic to his normal pop/r&b sound to create this song. It transfers so well live, that the live show is almost an entirely different aspect then it used to be during his previous albums.
3. Adele – Hello : This song was released in October and pushed out The Weeknd’s ‘The Hills’ for the number one spot. After 4 years of not releasing any new music after her critically acclaimed diamond(10x platinum, which means 10 million+ album sales) album ’21’ she releases ‘Hello’ the lead single for her new album ’25’ which did over 3 million each week shattering records. The songs music video broke the Vevo record with 27.7 million views in 24 hours. The song also broke records for reaching a million digital sales in its first week. The sad song hits you right in the feels, its a piano ballad that took over 6 months to write. The song is about a love lost and seeing how the person is doing after their relationship ended. The huge hook “Hello from the other side” became such a staple in pop music/culture the past 3 months. It also hasn’t left number one since its release.
2. Justin Bieber – Sorry : The Canadian pop singer who’s career started a internet sensation found by Usher, pushed into being a pop star at such a young age kind a messed him up, he went through the bad boy phase, driving incidents, throwing eggs at neighbor’s houses. he then began his road to redemption starting with a roast on comedy central. Then the song ‘Where Are U Now’ with Jack U was the beginning of bringing his musical career back. The song is a lyrical apology to his fans (see the title of song) for the idiotic things he did the past year and asking if they will accept him back into their lives as a music maker. This fantastic song combines Biebers singing with Skrillex’s production making it a low-key electronic banger employing some tropical house and dancehall complete with some horns, a nice drop and Skrillex toying with some Bieber voice samples (this is becoming a staple for these two). The song peaked at number 2 blocked only by Adele’s ‘Hello’. The video features brightly dressed dancers dancing to his song. Bieber also broke a record the week his album released placing 17 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, breaking the previous record held by Drake and The Beatles.This is a much better and meaningful song then the previous lead single for his album ‘Purpose’, ‘What Do You Mean?’ Bieber uses edm production for most of his new album appealing the older generation and older teens who used to be love-crazed Bieber fans and also appealing to both genders, rendering us all Beliebers.
- Drake – Hotline Bling : This song is the definition of a sleeper hit, a song that is released and takes while to rise but then eventually rises towards the tops of the charts. This song was released in July as a group of three freebies later added to iTunes, including ‘Charged Up’ and ‘Right Hand’, the only non-diss track that was released that day. But what better of a diss to have such a hot song that was originally released on Soundcloud for grouped with other diss tracks. The song entered the charts in late August and then reached its peak at number 2 for five weeks in October and November. The irony is that ‘Bling’ was blocked from becoming Drake’s first number one on the Billboard charts by his prodigy the also Canadian The Weeknd’s ‘The Hills’, who was basically made famous by featuring on Drake’s classic album Take Care. It was then blocked a second time, when it probably would’ve gone to number one that next week, by none other than Adele’s ‘Hello’. Something that also may have blocked Drake from getting to number one is that his video was released to Apple Music instead of Vevo for the first week, and the Neilsen Sound Scan doesn’t count streams from Apple Music yet, so if he had put it straight to Vevo, he may have finally gotten his number one. The song solemnly ponders over the fact of why his ex girl won’t call him anymore, because she moved on when he left the city they live in. Drake plays the jealous ex in this song as he does so well. Drake decides to put on his singing hat for this one to correctly portray the feelings he is feeling as reminisces him and the girls time together. It’s tropical, groovy, and almost happy instrumental backing throw you off as to what the general feeling of the song is. The video had immense success as well, causing to basically shut down the internet for all we saw for the few days after the video was hilarious memes, vines, mockery of the video which showed Drake’s suave unchoreographed dancing skills in colorful & brightly lit rooms, wearing a turtleneck sweater and boots, the outfits he wore in this video also creating many Halloween costume trends. The now over platinum track is produced by frequent collaborator nineteen85. The song has been covered by the likes of Kehlani, Charlie Puth, Disclosure, Sam Smith, And Justin Bieber among many others. The song tied with Drake’s only other number 2 on the Billboard Charts with his old ‘Best I Ever Had’. Will Drake ever score the number one he so highly covets? Only time will tell, but what we can tell is that the 6 god is alive and well
There it is an entire year of songs that made you feel some type of way. 50 songs that either helped you get lost or find your way. We sincerely hope this list reminded you of your favorite song this year and possibly introduced you to some new music you may have missed in the past year. I am just doing the introduction and ending of this piece. Luke put a lot of hardwork into crafting this list and writing about every song. Any thanks or complaints feel free to send your thoughts his way
I made Luke cut his list down from 100 plus to 50. In honor of that soon to come Coachella line up here is his honorable mentions…