Best Songs of 2015

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We were provided with an embarrassment of riches in 2015. Beloved artists returned with flawless albums (Sufjan Stevens, Sleater-Kinney), artists in their peak pushed the boundaries into completely new territory (Kendrick Lamar, Grimes, Tame Impala), and newcomers hearkened back to classics from days past (Leon Bridges, Natalie Prass, Tobias Jesso Jr.). This was my favorite year for music since 2012 — there were so many songs that would have qualified for this list if they had come out any other year, but the competition was just too much in 2015.

D-Brad’s Best Songs of 2015: Spotify Playlist
D-Brad’s Best Songs of 2015: YouTube Playlist

Also, special thanks to Taylor for the awesome cover art.

Before we get to the top 50, here are 15 honorable mentions that it killed me to exclude.

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Five Quality Tracks: May 2015

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This was a feature that I used to do for the Daily Californian’s Arts & Entertainment blog. I decided to give it life again here. At the end of each month, I’ll post a feature highlighting five quality tracks released during that month.

1. Miguel: “Coffee”

Miguel, the smooth-operating soul singer (and force behind one of my favorite songs of the past five years) is releasing a new album soon called Wildheart, and it can’t come soon enough. On lead single “Coffee,” Miguel is completely comfortable in his skin. He sounds cool and confident, but also ardent and passionate.

Miguel could easily sing over any generic beat of the moment and catapult to the top of the charts, just on the strength of his flawless voice. But the thing I love most about him is his excellent taste in production — “Coffee” only furthers this reputation. Like many of his songs, it pushes current R&B boundaries, employing a unique, seamless blend of soul, indie, and arena rock. Miguel said that he “just wanted this album to look and feel and taste like twilight in L.A.” Well, if the whole album sounds like “Coffee,” he succeeded. In the last minute of the song, you can even hear the keyboard and sound effect loops twinkle into the night sky.

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