Sunday, 28 February 2016

The 50 Best Songs of 2015

It's rather late this time, but my embarrassingly labour-intensive tradition continues. As ever, songs get better as you go down the list, anything that appeared on an album/EP/single this year is allowed, and 'song' is defined as loosely as necessary. New rules this time round: I've added a 25 minute time limit on music, which means that you don't get an entry for 'Africa Express Presents... Terry Riley's in C Mali' (forty minutes of hypnotic mid-century minimalism, rearranged to be played on traditional Malian instruments). And the list only includes songs I first discovered in 2015: this means there's nothing from Aidan O'Rourke's 'Music for Exhibition and Film' (like the best of Eno's ambient stuff, only with fiddle instead of keyboards; best experienced in cars late at night) or Rhiannon Giddens' 'Tomorrow is my Turn' (American folk with mind-blowing vocals; would easily be in the top twenty of this list). All that stuff is on Spotify if you want to explore further.

Speaking of Spotify, the playlist for this year's list is here:

It's probably been the best year for music since I started doing this list, with the entries at 1, 2, 4, 7 and 9 all coming from records that I've felt are my album of the year at some point or other. And while I usually have to scrabble around to find music for the bottom end of the top fifty, this year I had a shortlist of 65 to choose from. This is all very good stuff.