WiAC’s Top 40-ish Songs of 2015

2015 Songs Header

Here’s another late addition to our favorite music of 2015–this time it’s our favorite songs. You’ll find Logan’s favorites first, then Chris’s, each in alphabetical order.

And if you have any interest, here’s a link to a Spotify playlist with most of the songs below–enjoy!

.:Logan’s Favorite Songs of 2015:.


Aero FlynnDk/Pi

by Aero Flynn

I loved this song when it came out and was eagerly waiting for the full album… which I ended up not really getting into, but this song is still amazing.



mp3: Aero Flynn – Dk/Pi


Carly Rae JepsenRun Away With Me

by Carly Rae Jepsen

This is a duplicate from our year end list. I just think we need to acknowledge, to each other, that this is one of the best songs of the year.



mp3: Carly Rae Jepsen – Run Away with Me


Crooked FingersThe Old Temptations

by Crooked Fingers

I saw Eric Bachmann open for Josh Ritter years ago. It was my first proper Josh concert. I wish I had paid more attention to Eric.



mp3: Crooked Fingers – The Old Temptations


DestroyerTimes Square

by Destroyer

Saxophones are back!




mp3: Destroyer – Times Square



by The Dodos

The album this comes from probably should have been on my year-end list.



mp3: The Dodos – Bubble


FoalsMountain At My Gates

by Foals

The album this comes from should not have been on my year-end list… but I still love their sound.



mp3: Foals – Mountain At My Gates


Kendrick LamarKing Kunta

by Kendrick Lamar

Full disclosure. I rarely make it past this song on the album.



mp3: Kendrick Lamar – King Kunta


Lord HuronThe Yawning Grave

by Lord Huron

I couldn’t make up my mind on whether to include this song or “La Belle Fleur Sauvage”… I still wonder if I made the right choice. It haunts me.



mp3: Lord Huron – The Yawning Grave


Sufjan StevensBlue Bucket of Gold (remix)

by Sufjan Stevens

This song was already on our year-end list… but not this remix. [Note from Chris: this version is closer to how Sufjan performed many of Carrie & Lowell’s songs live (minus about 15 minutes of outro) – as beautiful as the proper album was, I’m hoping and praying for a full remix album, because this is amazing.]


mp3: Sufjan Stevens – Blue Bucket of Gold (Remix)


Titus AndronicusDimed Out

by Titus Andronicus

My wife’s tastes and preferences have had a profound influence on the music I listen to.




mp3: Titus Andronicus – Dimed Out


Viet CongSilhouettes

by Viet Cong

When I sold off all my CDs this year I picked this record up at the same time. It is a bittersweet association.




mp3: Viet Cong – Silhouettes




.:Chris’s Favorite Songs of 2015:.


Belle and SebastianPlay For Today

by Belle & Sebastian

I think Stuart Murdoch has made a deal with the devil. There is simply no other explanation for the way he continues to conjure up these kinds of impeccable melodies 20+ years into his career.


mp3: Belle & Sebastian – Play For Today


Best CoastCalifornia Nights

by Best Coast

Nobody does what Best Coast does better than Best Coast, and this is Best Coast doing it the best.




mp3: Best Coast – CaliforniaNights




by Braids

A pretty damning indictment of a culture that continues to blame the victims of sexual assault. The first time I heard it, the song sorta sucked the breath out of me, and I’m pretty sure that’s what they intended.



mp3: Braids – Miniskirt


Brandon FlowersLonely Town

by Brandon Flowers

Flowers’ record this year was way better than it had any right to be, and this song is the perfect example of what made it so special for me. The perfect marriage of Flowers’ melodramatic bombast, producer Ariel Reichstadt’s penchant for ’80’s affectations, and a healthy dose of pure melody-magic–this song is absolutely perfect in every way. “Lonely Town” belongs in the conversation with “Mr. Brightside” and “When You Were Young” for Flowers’ greatest singles. A quick personal aside–the horns on this song sound uncannily similar to something a teenage-Reichstadt’s ska-pop band The Hippos might have done–and The Hippos were pretty foundational for a young Tobler’s musical tastes in 1997–so there’s no way I don’t smile when I hear that brass come in.

mp3: Brandon Flowers – Lonely Town


chvrchesMake Them Gold


Just exactly what you want a CHVRCHES song to be.




mp3: CHVRCHES – Make Them Gold


Dan DeaconFeel The Lightning

by Dan Deacon

Deacon makes sorta self-conscious party music (“I try not to worry / but I always worry“)–which is exactly how I like to party.



mp3: Dan Deacon – Feel The Lightning


dmm_jacketTo Make It True

by Daniel Martin Moore

This pretty well encapsulates everything I love about DMM–“If you’ll think well of me, I will work to make it true / with a sleepless hand, I’ll do everything I can for you.”


mp3: Daniel Martin Moore – To Make It True


DawesDon’t Send Me Away

by Dawes

I’m only a fair-weather Dawes fan at best–but these guys are responsible for some near perfect vocal melodies–this being only the most recent example.



mp3: Dawes – Don’t Send Me Away


Death Cab For CutieNo Room In Frame

by Death Cab For Cutie

I never quite made it all the way through Kinstugi, but this song made me pretty dang nostalgic.




mp3: Death Cab For Cutie – No Room In Frame


Donnie TrumpetSunday Candy

by Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment

Chance The Rapper’s ode to his grandmother is absolutely my Song of the Year. And if the song wasn’t perfect enough, it’s video seals the deal.



mp3: Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment – Sunday Candy


DrakeHotline Bling

by Drake

I’ve never paid much attention to Drake, but this song is great.



mp3: Drake – Hotline Bling


EL VYReturn To The Moon

by EL VY

A very close runner-up for my Song of the Year. Somehow it’s exactly what I’d imagine a mash-up of The National and Menomena to sound like, if that’s ever a thing I would have thought of on my own.


mp3: EL VY – Return To The Moon


GrimesFlesh Without Blood

by Grimes

It’s a close race between “Flesh Without Blood” and “REALiTi” for my favorite Grimes track of the year–ultimately this one wins because of how out-of-the-blue it sounded when I heard it. Also, she kind of sounds like the singer from the Cranberries, and I love the Cranberries.


mp3: Grimes – Flesh Without Blood


hop alongWaitress

by Hop Along

This song is unstoppable.




mp3: Hop Along – Waitress


Hot ChipBurning Up

by Hot Chip

Hot Chip is responsible for at least three unimpeachable jams this year–this song, the smoky “Huarache Lights,” and their cover of Springsteen’s “Dancing In The Dark,” which they take to dizzying new heights–all three have been played ceaselessly by me this year. But there can be only one. Just kidding, I just like this one a little bit more (there are a couple swears, so beware).


mp3: Hot Chip – Burning Up


jamie xxLoud Places

by Jamie xx

This song makes me feel things.




mp3: Jamie xx – Loud Places


postcardPostcard #1

by Jens Lekman

In many ways, this year was saturated by Jens Lekman for me. He steadily released a song a week all year as part of his Postcards series, which proved to be consistently wonderful, and he came to Cincinnati this Fall to do a “Ghostwriters” project where he wrote songs based on stories submitted by total strangers. One of those stories was submitted by my wife, and although the resulting song is pretty great, I’m instead including this short and sweet introduction to his Postcards series – released a little over a year ago as a beautiful inauguration for a new year.

mp3: Jens Lekman – Postcard # 1


Jon-Hopkins-I-RememberI Remember

by Jon Hopkins

The LateNightTales series had my number this year, releasing compilations by both Jon Hopkins and Nils Frahm, both of which are absolutely gorgeous, and both of which you should listen to right now–Hopkins’s in particular is exquisite. This solo piano interpretation of Yeasayer’s “I Remember” is the quietly beating heart of the whole mix.


mp3: Jon Hopkins – I Remember


Jose GonzalezLet It Carry You

by José Gonzalez

Such a gorgeous melody, such gorgeous guitar work.




mp3: José González – Let It Carry You


Josh RitterHomecoming

by Josh Ritter

I’m a sucker for whenever Josh gets majestic.





mp3: Josh Ritter – Homecoming


Kanye WestOnly One

by Kanye West

I guess this won’t be making it onto SWISH/Waves/So Help Me WHATEVER, which is a shame, because it’s gorgeous. Come for West’s hyper-earnest/hyper-endearing lyricism, stay for Sir Paul’s improvisational organ jam on the end.



mp3: Kanye West – Only One (feat. Paul McCartney)


Mates Of StateI Want To Run

by Mates of State

This has been the opening song for this show for a couple years now, and I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t check in about once a month to see if they’d finally released a full version. Well they finally did, and it’s as euphoric as I’d hope.


mp3: Mates of State – I Want To Run


Natalie PrassMy Baby Don’t Understand Me

by Natalie Prass

This song is so sad and so beautiful and such a perfect introduction to this fantastic new talent.



mp3: Natalie Prass – My Baby Don’t Understand Me


CS2873734-02A-BIGLife Story

by Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm

Just one of many beautiful recordings by these two this year, this subdued piano piece is a perfect encapsulation of what I love so much about these guys.


mp3: Olafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm – Life Story


Only RealCan’t Get Happy

by Only Real

What is this song?? What year did this come from? Because there’s no way it’s from 2015.



mp3: Only Real – Can’t Get Happy



by Radiohead

I didn’t see the latest James Bond movie, but I’m sure it would have been vastly improved with this at the beginning.




mp3: Radiohead – Spectre


SVIIBOpen Your Eyes

by School of Seven Bells

It’s hard to imagine a more fitting farewell for School of Seven Bells than “I Got Knocked Down (But I’ll Get Up),” the Joey Ramone cover that Benjamin Curtis finished from his hospital bed before tragically succumbing to lymphoma in 2013. For that reason, when I first heard that Alejandra Deheza was finishing and releasing their last work together, I was a little skeptical. I shouldn’t have been. Just listen to “Open Your Eyes” and join me in anxious anticipation for their final record (out in just a few weeks!).


mp3: School of Seven Bells – Open Your Eyes



by Shlohmo

This song makes me anxious.




mp3: Shlohmo – Beams


Sleater-KinneyA New Wave

by Sleater-Kinney

I like Sleater-Kinney, but I LOVE Bob’s Burgers. So I clearly approve of this.




mp3: Sleater-Kinney – A New Wave


Supreme JubileesIt’ll All Be Over

by The Supreme Jubilees

I’m not as hip to Light In The Attic’s fantastic catalog as I should be, but a friend recommended this unearthed disco-gospel treasure to me this year and it’s been kind of a revelation. I haven’t heard something this holy swing this hard since “Stand On The Word.”



mp3: The Supreme Jubilees – It’ll All Be Over


Tallest Man On EarthSagres

by The Tallest Man On Earth

The usually rather minimalist Tallest Man went all maximalist on this year, to beautiful effect–as evidenced by this song.




mp3: The Tallest Man On Earth – Sagres


This Is The KitMagic Spell (Paris sessions)

by This Is The Kit

As far as I’m concerned, the record this song came from is perfect… but Stables still found a way to improve on it! By adding just a pinch of ’70s-era Eno and a whole lot of spaced-out guitar spazzing, she found just what I didn’t know this song needed!


mp3: This Is The Kit – Magic Spell (Paris sessions)


Tobias Jesso JrWithout You

by Tobias Jesso Jr.

Just try and get this out of your head. I dare you.




mp3: Tobias Jesso Jr – Without You



by Waxahatchee

My favorite song on an album full of favorite songs.





mp3: Waxahatchee – Air


WeekndCan’t Feel My Face

by The Weeknd

I’m a dentist, so this is obviously my jam.





mp3: The Weeknd – Can’t Feel My Face


WilcoWhere Do I Begin

by Wilco

Star Wars hasn’t totally revealed itself to me yet (this Star Wars, not that Star Wars) (that Star Wars is amazing)–but this song is pretty dang incredible. Also, the fact that my 1-year-old loves the cat-themed album art might be the reason I own a physical copy of this one.

mp3: Wilco – Where Do I Begin



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