This is the first year I have decided to compile a Songs of the Year list, but then 2015 has been a rather good year for music. It was hard to restrict the list to just 25 tracks; there could have been many more. Not only could most of the year’s best albums have contributed more than one, there are several songs from earlier years that I have included in the list, because I only discovered them this year, and they are too great to leave off. Most of the tracks do have associated videos, but not all of them do. I will note that when relevant.
So: starting at No. 25 and working my way up:
25. “He Is” by Ghost: Album Meliora
A great sing-along track from an album that is definitely fun and listenable but not truly “great” (at least in any real meaning of the word).
24. “Beyond Metropolis” by Shriekback: Album Without Real String or Fish
The 80s are back…in a big way this year, and 80s alternative icons Shriekback do it the best. The cleverly post-apocalyptic track “Beyond Metropolis” is the one that grabs me most from this album, but there is no video for it alone. Start at 17:33 in the link below, or listen to the whole album.
23. “Happy Returns” by Steven Wilson: Album Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Wilson does pop. Or something like that. This track does have its poignant moments, but I simply cannot muster up the interest to place it higher.
22. “Edification of the Fall” by Hacride: Album Back to Where I’ve Never Been
The album came out in 2013, but I only found it this year, quite by accident. Hacride is a progressive death metal band from France, and I quite fell in love with the album, much to my surprise.
21. “Teargas” live, by Katatonia: Album Sanctitude
I think this is one of those concerts that was best attended live, rather than viewed on dvd — it is certainly nice, but tends to drag some. This, however, is just a beautiful song.
20. “Faces” by Hearts of Black Science: Album Signal
Another entry in the “return to the 1980s” category, although Hearts of Black Science have always sounded retro. Nice melodic synth pop here.
19. “Under the Red Cloud” by Amorphis: Album Under the Red Cloud
I’d never paid much attention to these guys before, and this album is a favourite of a few people I know. It’s okay, and a few of the songs really scratch that heavy folky itch that I have.
18. “Machines” by Riverside: Album Love, Fear and the Time Machine bonus disc Day Sessions
One of the tracks from the Day Sessions bonus disc, that continues the ambient electronica side project of some of the Riverside guys.
17. “Marching Orders” by Editors: Album In Dream
Yet another band looking back to the 80s for their latest album. A very intense track…
16. “New Jerusalem” by Killing Joke: Album Pylon
This album hit late and hard. I could easily choose half a dozen tracks from it for this list; so many monsters. I decided to start with this one.
15. “Backslide/Fakeworld” by LizZard: Album Out of Reach (2012)
Another accidental discovery, a French/American trio. Nice hard alt rock. This is in fact two tracks, but “Backslide” acts as an instrumental intro to “Fakeworld”, and they really should be considered as one track. They treat them that way live — so here is a live version.