When evaluating lists like this, it’s always important to remember the subjectivity in music. The songs here are not just what I would say are the “best” of 2015 or even necessarily my favorites, but the ones I had the most attachment to for one reason or another. Music is the closest thing we have to time travel in that it can evoke emotions unlike any other and effortlessly bring us back to moments long forgotten. This compilations of songs serves almost as a walk through memory lane, and choosing just 15 tracks to represent my 2015 proved to be a daunting task. Alas, I was able to finally narrow down my choices, so I hope you all enjoy my picks even if you don’t fully agree with them (which let’s be honest, you won’t). Finally, if you are curious about what didn’t make the cut, I’m going to shamelessly plug this massive Spotify playlist I compiled that includes pretty much all of my favorites from 2015.
’Kendrick Lamar – These Walls ft. Bilal, Anna Wise, Thundercat’
’Thundercat – ‘Them Changes”
’The Internet – Girl ft. KAYTRANADA’
’Alina Baraz & Galimatias – Can I’
’SG Lewis – No Less Ft Louis Mattrs’
’Jamie XX, Young Thug & Popcaan – I Know (Good Times)’
’Snakehips x Tory Lanez – Dímelo’
’Mura Masa – Firefly (ft. Nao)’
’Disclosure – Superego (ft. Nao)’
’Skrillex And Diplo – To Ü (Feat. AlunaGeorge)’
’Gallant – Weight In Gold (Louis Futon Remix)’
’Tame Impala – Let It Happen’
Even though I’ve been writing for TMN over the past five years, I certainly don’t expect any of you to have me or my musical tastes pegged. In fact, I’d much rather you see this site as a whole, enjoying the eclectic blend that all the ninjas bring to the table. But, if you have paid attention, you’ll know that I love nothing more than hunting through submissions, SoundCloud, BandCamp, tweets, and smoke signals to try and find the best and brightest emerging artists.
2015 brought a few new acts to the scene that I simply couldn’t get enough of, a few of which made it into this year-end playlist. In addition to those, my musical world was blessed with albums from artists who haven’t released something in quite some time, including one band that surfaced after a six-year hiatus.
My 15 favorite tracks are listed below in no particular order because that would be painfully difficult and time-consuming. Instead, I’ve compiled them in a way that should provide you with an enjoyable listening experience, start to finish. If you’re unfamiliar with any of them, I’ve included a one-sentence description that should help highlight what to expect.
’Patrick Watson – Places You Will Go’
’Mew – Satellites (Edit)’
’James Vincent McMorrow – How To Waste A Moment’
’Viola Beach – Swings & Waterslides’
’The Watermelons – Best Of You’
’Jack Garratt – Breathe Life (Radio Edit)’
’Drenge – We Can Do What We Want’
’Gallant – Talking In Your Sleep’
’Bobby Nourmand – The Sound’
Snakehips x Tory Lanez
Dimelo (GANZ Flip)
Merry Christmas to all the Ninjas out there! Today we come bearing gifts.
Early yesterday morning longtime favorite and friend of TMN, Jordy Saämena, released his latest work of art. In our exclusive interview with Ganz and his management team this past summer, Saämena referenced a desire to move away from his signature flip-style. In addition to producing more original works, he also noted his intentions to grow the newly minted collective The Hard Headed with up and coming producers out of The Netherlands.
In taking a momentary step away from those longterm plans, Ganz unexpectedly dropped another flip to end 2015 with an electronica-fueled bang. By sampling one of the most popular hip-hop tracks of the year, he turns Tory Lanez’ “Dímelo” into a club-raving anthem.
The Dímelo flip is a blend of two of the more notable breakout artists this year, combining the smooth rhyming vocals of rising star Tory Lanez with the dynamic technical aspects of previous Ganz works. Take the advice of the TMN staff and add this one to the snowboarding playlist. Happy holidays!
Gone (The Knocks Remix)
Detroit indie-pop duo JR JR have had quite the 2015. Their self-titled album, which dropped in September, feels like their most polished work to date proving cohesive both sonically and in its lyrical content. “Gone,” the project’s lead single, exemplifies that refinement striking a flawless balance between inspirational and downright addicting. Seeing as JR JR have found themselves in regular rotation with the TMN staff, we’re beyond excited to be bringing you a remix of their hit single from fellow-Ninja favorites The Knocks.
The Knocks have been seemingly everywhere this year as well starting with the release of their So Classic EP which has been followed by numerous stellar remixes and the first singles from their upcoming debut album. Although more electronic in sound than JR JR, the Brooklyn duo similarly toe the line of mainstream without sacrificing a drop of integrity. While The Knocks’ recent originals fall squarely in the realm of electro-pop, their take on “Gone” sees them flexing their versatility crafting a massive bass-house tune. Contrasting vastly from the original’s playful sensibility, The Knocks’ re-imagination is fueled by a massive, brooding bass line that brings to mind their recent collaboration with Alex Metric and takes the song from a sunny summer day to a club dance floor. Kick your Friday off right with this one above–you can buy JR JR’s 2015 album here.
Kygo Feat. Parson James
Stole The Show (iSHi Remix)
As this writer pens this post from a wintery wasteland in Denver today, I couldn’t help but feel the bounce from Stockholm’s iSHi. Kygo’s original track “Stole The Show” has already made the viral rounds with its standard chart-topping Tropical-House gleam, but on his latest revision, iSHi rides an inverse wave and flips it into his own gritty blend of larger than life electro sounds and hip-hop infused cadence. Quickly entrenching himself in the minds of dance fans worldwide behind anthems like his Pusha T. featuring “Push It”, it’s clear to see why as iSHi manages to tastefully craft a tune that is completely his own brand of wobbly, boisterous dance music, while pitching out the vocals and keeping intact the perfect amount of original stem work so as not to alienate those Kygo diehards either. Step up your Tuesday for a moment with iSHi’s “Stole The Show” remix above.