Monday, December 21, 2015

Top 25 Songs of 2015: #25-22

Here we are again - winding down another good, weird, music-filled year that warrants a little reflection on a number of fronts. It's safe to say that between my job, freelancing, this blog and a number of other opportunities, 2015 might have been the year that, day-to-day, I was the most preoccupied with music. Obviously I always have been, but not to this degree. Looking back, it felt like every hour was spent listening, writing, curating, and just consuming, constantly - and hopefully that will make for one of my best year-end round-ups yet.

Each year I count down what I feel were the top songs (sometimes 50, this year 25, because, life); the tracks that, within the tiny capsule that is one year, either changed the game or contributed to it in some significant way. It's safe to say that 2015 was one of the best years pop - the all-encompassing genre that includes plenty of rock and hip-hop, as well - has ever seen. The spectrum of worthwhile music was so vast, and it became clear early on that no one was about to start predicting, or subsequently judging, what would be considered meaningful in 2015. I liked that.

#25. Wake Me Up When It's Over - Jazz Cartier: According to Toronto's - or, Canada's - most promising up-and-coming rapper, his first full-length offering Marauding in Paradise captured the "sounds of Toronto." Ranging from deep bangers to melodic, horn-infused jams like this one, it's seriously hard to hone in on just one bit of Cartier's collection, because everything the homegrown poet touched in 2015 was fire.

#24. AM // Radio (feat. Wiki) - Earl Sweatshirt: On his darkest work yet, I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outsideformer Odd Future member Sweatshirt, who's easily one of my favourite rappers, continues to work through his demons with more conviction than most rappers double his teenage years. "AM // Radio" might be one of the sonically lighter tracks off the gloomy album, but Earl's statements are nothing less than weighty.

#23. Falling Apart (feat. Brian Wilson & Andrew Wyatt) - Emile Haynie: This year, famed New York producer Haynie stepped out with his excellent debut solo album, We Fall, which included help from 13 of music's biggest players (Lana Del Rey, Dev Hynes, Lykke Li, to name a few). Haynie enlisted the unlikely combination of Beach Boy Brian Wilson and Miike Snow member Andrew Wyatt's vocals on this poignant ballad, and between their harmonies and those soaring strings, "Falling Apart" is beautifully hard-hitting.

#22. Antidote - Travi$ Scott: If I had to pick one song I surprisingly played the most this year, "Antidote" might be it. La Flame's anticipated debut LP Rodeo wasn't as widely received as his mixtapes, but this mindless party single was one of the most unexpected turn-up tracks of the year with its earworm lyrics and moody production (c/o Toronto's very own Wondagurl and Eestbound). On "Antidote," Scott proved that genius is sometimes founded in simplicity.

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