#MusicMonday: Best Tracks of 2015…So Far

 

Crazed music addicts and generally neurotic individuals like myself are trapped by an undying compulsion to perpetually categorize, list, evaluate our music libraries – “best rock songs of the 1970s,” “best hip hop tracks,” “best Modest Mouse songs,” “best road trip songs,” “songs to put you to sleep,” “best songs for doing the dishes,” etc., etc., etc. We cherish December, as year-end-best-of lists render our obsessive need to rank things socially acceptable. But the most pathological among us (see Rolling StoneBuzzfeed, and Paste Magazine) can’t even wait – we must indulge in a biannual roundup, the journalistic equivalent of throwing a rager for your half birthday. I hope you enjoy the following product of my clinical neurosis. Now excuse me while I tend to my Pinterest page.

 

Listen here: Best Tracks of 2015...So Far

 

  • “Planes” – Jeremih, J. Cole

    • Sounds like: The-Dream

    • Good for: Getting it in

    • Valid question: “Have you ever read ‘The World Is Yours’…on a blimp?”

  • “White Iverson” – Post Malone

    • Sounds like: Dej Loaf

    • Good for: Saucin’/swaggin’/ballin’

    • LIVING: “I got me some braids and I got me some hoes”

  • “Check” – Young Thug

    • Sounds like: Fetty Wap, Ty Dolla $ign  

    • Good for: Cashing out

    • Highlight: Young Thug’s ambient chorus of “sheesh!” during the hook.

    • Check out: All of Barter 6. Flames.

  • “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)” – Jamie xx, Young Thug, Popcaan

    • Sounds like: Star Slinger, Hudson Mohawk

    • Good for: Good times

    • Classic Young Thug: “I’ma ride in that pussy like a stroller”

    • Rap Genius weighs in: “The fact that a stroller is in essence a cradle for an infant and Thugger associates this with sex yields an opportunity for sly Freudian commentary about Thugger’s desire to return to the womb, and his unrestrained, nascent childlike id manifesting itself form his unconscious psyche.” Duh!

  • “Know Yourself” – Drake ft. PARTYNEXTDOOR

    • Wait for it: The song becomes a whole new type of magical at 1:40. And that’s how you let the beat build, bitch!

    • My woes: Rap Genius surmises that “woe” is another term for homie, reasoning that it derives from “whoadie,” a Southern slang term for friend. But Toronto artist and OVO Sound affiliate Devontée told Vice that “woe” stands for “working in excellence.”

  • “REALiTi” – Grimes

    • Sounds like: The best thing I’ve heard since “Genesis.”

    • Good for: Feeling whimsical

    • Don’t miss: The Grimes-directed video, featuring footage taken during her Asian tour and created as a thank you to her Asian fans.

  • “Trap Queen” – Fetty Wap

    • Sounds like: Your gay best friend who happens to be straight.  

    • Because nothing says romance like pie: “I be in the kitchen cookin’ pies with my baby YASSSSSS.”

    • On having only one eye: “I tell everybody it’s nothing, because it’s really nothing to me.”

  •  “Demon” - Shamir

    • Sounds like: Your best girl friend who happens to be a boy.

    • Good for: Feeling corrupted

    • It wasn’t me: “If I’m a demon baby you’re the beast that made me.”

  • “Full Circle (feat. Boxed In)” – George FitzGerald

    • Sounds like: Julio Bashmore, Jacques Greene

    • Good for: Feeling Eurotrash

  • “Ryderz” – Hudson Mohawke

    • Good for: Feeling jubilant & grandiose

    • Fun fact: Hudson Mohawke nabbed a co-producer credit on Kanye’s Yeezus for infusing his signature sound into “Blood on the Leaves” and “I Am a God.”

  • “Firefly” – Mura Mas ft. Nao

    • Sounds like: Odesza

    • Good for: A dance-floor-make-out

  • “Bitch Better Have My Money” – Rihanna

    • Good for: Getting turnt

    • 1-800-feelin-herself: “Every time I drop I am the only thing ya’ll playin!”

    • Insta-famous: Rihanna discovered one of the video’s co-stars on Instagram – Sanam is a 25-year old Seattle resident who works at a plant store. Excuse me while I go step up my selfie game.

  • “All Day” – Kanye West

    • Good for: Reminiscing Yeezus.

    • Classic Kanye: “Don’t really matter what I make, boy, you know I still go wild / Like a light skinned slave, boy, we in the motherfuckin’ house!”

  • “leaves” – Miguel

    • Sounds like: Prince

    • Good for: Realizing that California’s seasonless perfection creates an expectation at odds with the rest of life’s turbulence, setting residents up for disappointment (“the leaves don’t change here, so I never saw it coming.”)

  • “Lovetrap” – Soko ft. Ariel Pink

    • Sounds like: The Chromatics, Glass Candy

    • Good for: Slow-dancing in sequins

  •  “Cause I’m a Man” – Tamp Impala

    • Sounds like: Boy-band Beatles meets psychedelic Beatles meets Cut Copy.

    • Good for: Road trippin’… or just trippin’.

  • “Special Affair” – The Internet

    • Sounds like: SZA, Doja Cat

    • Good for: Feeling groovy

    • Deuces Tyler: The Internet is composed of former Odd Future members Syd Tha Kid and Matt Martians.

  • “Canal St.” – A$AP Rocky ft. Bones

    • Sounds like: The best A$AP track since “Peso.”

    • Pretty Mother Fucker: “Fuck jiggy, I’m flawless/ fuck pretty, I’m gorgeous”

  • “Dumb” – Jazmine Sullivan ft. Meek Mill

    • Sounds like: Mary J. Blige

    • Good for: Feeling vengeful

    • Bye Felisha: “Cause if you wanna go out and be single / Go ‘head, I told you I wont beg / Cause I know you gon’ miss me / So if you leave, baby, you must be.”

  • “The Hills” – The Weeknd

    • Sounds like: “Coming Down” from the Weeknd’s 2011 masterpiece, House of Balloons.

    • Good for: Doing uppers in glamorous settings

  • “Where Are U Now” – Jack U, Scrillex, Diplo, Justin Bieber

    • Sounds like: “Lean On” by Major Lazer. It’s like Diplo and Major Lazer are the same person or something…

    • Good for: Proving to your friends you are sooo not a music snob… I listen to Justin Bieber!!!

  • “2Shy” – Shura

    • Sounds like: Grimes, Sky Ferreira

    • Good for: Feeling fragile & demure

  • “Shutdown” – Skepta

    • Sounds like: Wiley, Dizzee Rascal

    • Good for: Taking a break from hating on all things British…and then swiftly returning to it.  

  • “XT” – μ-Ziq

    • Sounds like: Aphex Twin, Four Tet

    • Good for: Staring at the sky and pondering the universe

  • “Should Have Known Better” – Sufjan Stevens

    • Sounds like: The defining sound of my angsty teenage years – Sufjan’s 2004 album, Seven Swans.

    • Good for: Feeling wistful

By Anna Dorn

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