Merry Christmas internet! As I sit here at home, drinking a hot cup of coffee on Christmas Eve, I’m grateful for all the rad music that’s come out this year. As a simple gift to the readers of F&F, I’ve put together a top 15 song list full of great music just perfect for opening presents on Christmas day.
14. "Prime" by Allie X: Released April 21 off her EP “Collxtion I” Canadian indie/pop singer Allie X gave us a little bit of naughty and nice. “Prime” is a sensual sensation full of fun lyrics and a killer beat, not to mention that girl can belt it out.
13. “River” by Ibeyi: Ibeyi, a French-Cuban duo, came out with their self-titled debut album Feb. 17. Their music is rhythmic and soulful with lyrics sung both in English and Yoruba, a Nigerian language. "River” is a great example of their work with prominent drum beats and striking vocals.
12. “Lover Come Back” by City and Colour: Canadian musician Dallas Green brought us another beautiful album with “If I should go Before You,” released Oct. 9. The song is simple and embodies the sound and honesty City and Colour is known for.
11. “Palindrome” by Wildling: I love this song “backwards and forwards.” Wildling, a new band only a year old, has done a lot in 2015, including making a fun EP filled with catchy songs. “Palindrome” of their self-titled EP, released Dec. 5, is a song for anyone. It’s sweet, infections and all around lovely. I’m so happy to have stumbled across this band, and they’re one anyone can enjoy.
10. “Scar” by The Lonely Wild: Los Angeles based band The Lonely Wild released their second album on Oct. 2. The album is a pensive blend of music about life and death and all the in between. “Scar” is an impressive tune with deep lyrics.
9. “Sedona” by Houndmouth: Off the band’s LP, “Little Neon Lights,” released March 17, “Sedona” has such a good sound with lyrics meant to be sung along to. I had the chance to see this band earlier this year, and they definitely got the crowd moving.
8. “I Love You All the Time” by Eagles of Death Metal: So not really a death metal band, but the immensely talented desert rock group made one hell of an album, “Zipper Down,” released Oct. 2. “I Love You All the Time” is a heart wrenching song with a melody to remember. There is no need to go into detail about the horrible chaos the band found themselves in recently, but I will say, their music has touched so many lives, and they are true musicians through and through.
7. “Something like Happiness” by The Maccabees: Listening to The Maccabees, especially their latest album, “Marks to Prove It,” released Nov. 13, is definitely something like happiness. Their melodies, rhythms and style are reminiscent of 60s rock and roll with the sweet taste of modern indie. “Something Like Happiness” hangs loftily over your head to sink into your mind effortlessly.
6. “Cause I’m a Man” by Tame Impala: Off their album “Currents,” released July 17, “Cause I’m a Man” is a perfect blend of psychedelic bliss and honest truths. The lyrics are simple with little care for tact. After all, a man is a man, and Tame Impala knows it.
5. “Molecules” by Atlas Genius: Atlas Genius really impressed me this year, not only with their sophomore album, “Inanimate Objects,” released Aug. 28, but with their stage presence, musical talent and all around friendliness. “Molecules” is an articulate song with lyrics that really hit home – how many of us in love have had the nerve to think, “I wanna confess that you own me.” I had the fortune of interviewing the band’s lead singer, Keith, right before their album dropped, and he said something very true about music and this song especially. Sometimes music and moments in life resonate with you in a weird way and speak to you on a molecular level.
4. “Any Emotions” by Mini Mansions: Easily one of my favorite songs and favorite bands, Mini Mansions, the eccentric desert/LA rock band hit the mark with their latest album, “The Great Pretenders,” released March 23. “Any Emotions” is so unassuming but so good with a mellow vibe and absolutely brilliant lyrics.
3. “West Coast” by Hey Marseilles: Seattle brewed Hey Marseilles is an absolute delight. Their music is beautiful with a full sound and thoughtful lyrics. Off their yet to be released self-titled third album, “West Coast” was released in November as a prelude to their upcoming work. The song is as eloquent as their previous tunes and is perfect for driving around on a sunny day (this I know from personal experience). Plus we all know the West Coast is the best coast.
2. “Slow Dance” by The Tallest Man on Earth: One of my favorite musicians of all time, Kristian Matsson, aka The Tallest Man on Earth, took his music to new heights this year by opening up his sound to a full band. “Slow Dance,” off of his album “Dark Bird is Home,” released May 12, is a wonderful song with lyrics that melt your heart. The ever poignant story teller, Matsson gives the weary traveler a taste of home in his music.
1. “Sound and Color” by the Alabama Shakes: So the Alabama Shakes are one band I want to pay more attention to. Their album, “Sound and Color,” released April 21, is one I haven’t delved extensively into yet, but their song of the same title is more than enough reason to take some more time for them. With a soulful sound and sultry lyrics, “Sound and Color” is the whole package.
There you have it, 15 songs for 2015. Be on the look out for my post next week where I’ll take you through some of my favorite musical moments of the year through photos.