The complete opposite of Little Toy Guns, Smoke Break is so unlike anything else that Carrie Underwood has released before. It’s so damn relatable though, haven’t we all felt like acting on that need to go and get wasted, or just stop the madness and have a much-needed break. Maybe this song just spoke to me in a stressful year. That final chorus is undeniably amazing though isn’t it?
‘Is it still okay that I don’t know how to be alone’ is an opening line that couldn’t be more Laura Marling if it tried. False Hope sounds like Laura reading a descriptive book aloud, adding in a falsetto chorus for good measure. It sticks out on this list, but for the first half of 2015 I was listening to False Hope over and over again. I love Laura Marling, she really can do no wrong in my eyes.
Nicki Minaj and Beyonce trading verse about having some ‘alone time’. Feeling Myself ore amazing than you could possibly imagine. The ‘Changed the world with that digital drop’ moment is one of the best Beyonce moments of the last decade too.
Yet another slow dance record on this list, Lay It All On Me is probably my favourite Ed Sheeran song. After a number of decent, but slightly disappointing album lead up singles, Rudimental finally knocked it out of the park with this one. It’s a different side to them, but still manages to sound totally like them. This song single-handedly saved the We The Generation album campaign.
Shine is a glorious pop song. It’s euphoric and yet hits you with pangs of sadness at every turn too. That moment just after the middle eight as the synths explode back in tips Shine over the edge for me. Years & Years had one hell of a year and Shine is their crowning achievement.
I still have absolutely no clue who Pia Mia is, but the chorus of Do It Again is infuriatingly catchy. If it wasn’t for the Chris Brown feature this would be the best ‘should have been a Rihanna single’ of the year.
Speaking of Rihanna, 2015 will be known as the year of Bitch Better Have My Money, a non hit that somehow managed to define a year where Rihanna seemed to be at the lowest point of her career. In a year where most of her fans complained from January to December about the lack of a new album, Bitch Better Have My Money is a massive fuck you to each and every one of them. It’s all the better for it too. Rihanna answers to no one, she can cause controversy and outrage in a single 4 word tweet and amongst it all is this song. The most Rihanna she has ever sounded, 2015 wouldn’t have been the same without this anthem.
The most politically charged moment of To Pimp a Butterfly, The Blacker the Berry is a baffling song at times. Kendrick is talking directly to the listener at times, where the production manages to replicate the intense feelings of the artist. The second verse is so charged with emotion, there was no one else in 2015 who had control over their lyrics as Kendrick does here. He just gets it.
Unfortunately not a dance version of the Bee Gees classic, this is the spiritual successor to official ‘Best Calvin Harris Song’ Thinking About You. As such it manages that perfect balance between thumping bass and layered emotional that Calvin repeatedly tries to achieve. It’s unfortunate that singer Ina Wroldsen doesn’t get a featured mention as she’s a big reason in why How Deep Is Your Love is one of the dance tracks of the year.
Adele owned 2015 with the opening 30 seconds of Hello. The ad that will probably go down in history as one of the most genius pieces of marketing was the spark that started the insane 9 weeks of Hello and 25 dominating the charts. The most amazing thing for me is that the rest of Hello manages to be even better than the opening, the chorus is as epic as Set Fire To The Rain, the verses as emotional as Someone Like You. That final chorus too? Epic doesn’t begin to describe it. Such an impactful record, You can’t even say the word anymore Adele literally OWNS the word Hello.
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