Archives For best music of 2015

Top 100 Songs of 2015

December 25, 2015 — Leave a comment

Our family listened to over 100,000 minutes of music in 2015 (20% more than 2014!) from 1009 different artists. Out of the 2,216 different songs I listened to I’ve narrowed it down to the top 100 songs of 2015. There weren’t any clear “song of the year” candidates this year. I like pretty much every song in the top 5 equally – it was tough to pick a #1.

In 2015, women ruled the Indie music world – with 7 of my top 10 songs. According to Spotify, Purity Ring and Chvrches were my two favorite bands of 2015. Those two female-fronted bands (as well as Grimes!) have a huge presence in my top 100 and were easily my favorite groups of 2015.

Biggest shocker – a Mumford song in my top 5 (for most of the year it was my #1)! Totally risking my indie-street cred.

Speaking of which, if you follow indie music at all, you’ll find that most “Top Songs of _____” are trying really hard to be cool and prove their hipster-ness.

My Top Songs list is Indie Music for the Masses – Indie Music that’s actually enjoyable to listen to (not grating avant-garde or sleep-inducing-singer-songwriter).

Most of these songs are Indie-pop, Indie-rock, or Indietronica.

To further explore amazing music, here are a few bonus lists:

Click “Follow” at the top of Spotify if you want to add any of the playlists to your sidebar of lists.

Here are my 100 favorite songs of 2015 (click to play individual tracks or here to play the full list in Spotify): 

100. Beautiful Words – Oscar

99. I Can Never Be Myself When You’re Around – Chromatics

98. New Emotion – K.I.D

97. Sparks – Beach House

96. Do You Remember – Jarryd James

95. Higher – Kwamie Liv

94. Armor – Illuminine, I Will, I Swear

93. Hideaway – Ten Sleep

92. Dancing On Glass – St. Lucia

91. Beyond Love – Beach House

90. Radar – GRRL PAL

89. Too Much – Geographer

88. Fool for Love – Lord Huron

87. The Chase – Future Islands

86, I’m Ready – Geographer

85. Keep Your Lips Sealed – The Dø

84. Evening Ceremony – Active Child

83, Sunshine on My Back – The National

82, Superego – Leyya

81. The Game – Priest

80. America – XYLØ

79. Black Sun – Death Cab for Cutie

78, begin again – Purity Ring

77, Tide Teeth – Night Beds

76, Rich (feat. Anndreyah Vargas) – Radio Edit – Cosmo Sheldrake, Anndreyah Vargas

75. True Affection – Father John Misty

74. Realiti – Grimes

73, Bros – Wolf Alice

72. Red Shifting – The Helio Sequence

71, The Fool – Ryn Weaver

70. Wild Horses – Bishop

69. Hello – Adele – not too cool to put this song on here

68. heartsigh – Purity Ring

67. Until We Can’t (Let’s Go) – Passion Pit

66, Clouds – Cut Ribbons

65. Sister – The Japanese House

64. California – Grimes

63. flood on the floor – Purity Ring

62. Home – Madeon

61. Fourth of July – Sufjan Stevens – great song. A little too slow and depressing to get much play time on the ol’ minivan stereo

60. Make Them Gold – CHVRCHES

59. PPP – Beach House

58. Upward Mobility – The Helio Sequence

57. Patience – Geographer

56. Take Care of Me – Briana Marela

55. Queen Of Peace – Florence + The Machine

54. The Emotion – BØRNS

53. Leave A Trace – CHVRCHES

52. Delirious – Susanne Sundfør

51. I Thought the Future Would Be Cooler – YACHT – this song sums up my youngest child (and many college students!) perfectly. Always bored in a futuristic world. A la Louis CK’s “Everything is amazing and nobody’s happy”

50. Highway Patrol Stun Gun – Youth Lagoon

49. Sagres – The Tallest Man On Earth

48. Don’t Need Nobody – Ellie Goulding

47. Heart Is Full – Miike Snow

46. repetition – Purity Ring

45. Towards The Sun – From The “Home” Soundtrack – Rihanna

44. When Your Love Is Safe – Active Child

43. Falling Apart – Geographer

42. Scud Books – Hudson Mohawke

41. Dreams – Beck

40. Running With The Wolves – AURORA

39. TURN AWAY – East India Youth

38. Holes In The Sky – From The “Insurgent” Soundtrack – M83, HAIM

37. The Guest – Geographer

36. Carry Me Home – From The “Insurgent” Soundtrack – SOHN

35. Mountain At My Gates – Jono Ma [Jagwar Ma] Mix – Foals

34. Gosh – Jamie xx – Give this song a chance. Incredibly infectious.

33. Lost It To Trying – Paper Towns Mix – Son Lux – one of my girls’ favorite songs of 2015

32. Warm Blood – Carly Rae Jepsen

31. AhHa – Nate Ruess – probably my kids’ favorite song of 2015. Bonus points for randomly quoting a e. e. cummings poem during the chorus

30. Levitation – Beach House

29. Never Let You Down – From The “Insurgent” Soundtrack – Woodkid, Lykke Li

28. Sugar Pill – The Japanese House

27. Loud Places – Jamie xx, Romy – my #1 most-listened-to-song over the last few weeks. If I’d found it earlier in the year, it may have been higher up.

26. Animal – HAERTS

25. The Dreamer – Anna Of The North

24. Water – Ra Ra Riot, Rostam

23. stillness in woe – Purity Ring

22. Butterfly – Grimes

21. dust hymn – Purity Ring

20. At Once – Beirut – a great song from a disappointing album (was really looking forward to this album from one of my favorite bands)

19. John My Beloved – Sufjan Stevens – A sincere, longing song about Jesus. You don’t hear that much in the indie world. Sufjan wrestling with whether Jesus is just a myth or alive and active. 

18. Let It Happen – Tame Impala

17. Letter By The Water – The Japanese House

16. sea castle – Purity Ring

15. Easily – Grimes

14. Clearest Blue – CHVRCHES

13. Sedona – Houndmouth

12. Keep You On My Side – CHVRCHES

11. Come Find Me – Emile Haynie, Lykke Li, Romy

10. Eventually – Tame Impala – a great, sincere breakup song

9. Flesh without Blood – Grimes

8. Never Ending Circles – CHVRCHES

7. Space Song – Beach House

6. The Thunder Answered Back – Eskimeaux – super quirky and really good. 

5. Snake Eyes – Mumford & Sons – was my favorite song of the year for much of the year 

4. Belly of the Beat – Grimes – it was hard to pick my favorite Grimes song. In the last couple months, I’ve had Grimes on repeat. She’s super talented – she plays and produces everything you hear on the album (instruments and vocals).

3. Lemon Eyes – Meg Myers – really wanted to put this one at #1. Amazing debut song for her and best indie rock song of 2015.

2. stranger than earth – Purity Ring

1. Down Side Of Me – CHVRCHES


The only concert we went to all year – Chvrches in Kansas City!

Would love to hear – what were your favorite songs of 2015??

Top Albums of 2015

December 19, 2015 — 1 Comment

Here are my favorite albums of 2015. I’d love to hear from you what your favorite albums were.

Here’s my top albums from previous years: 2014201320122011 and 2010

Click links to play in Spotify

Tame Impala

tame-impala-currents6. Tame Impala – Currents

Had only had a little exposure to Tame Impala before this album but they definitely took it up a notch with this album. A couple great songs on this album:

sufjan carrie5. Sufjan Stevens – Carrie and Lowell

I actually loved (and still listen frequently) to Sufjan’s experimental electro-album Age of Adz. So I was a little disappointed to hear that he was returning(regressing?) to a more stripped down acoustic sound. The verdict? In my opinion, not as good as Adz. Especially in terms of repeat listens. It’s a beautiful, dark, honest, depressing album about Sufjan coming to grips with the death of his mom (who abandoned him as a kid). But I don’t find myself going back to it very often. It’s just not very fun (at all). But there ARE some hauntingly beautiful songs. Part of the reason I don’t get to listen to it very often – my kids and my wife hate it. So our minivan is rarely blessed with the beauty of Sufjan. A couple of the best songs on the album:

A sincere, longing song about Jesus. You don’t hear that much in the indie world:


depression cherry4. Beach House – Depression Cherry

A chill album. Minimalist and beautiful. So many great songs. Not fun. But moving. Their music makes you feel like you are floating in space or relaxing in a hammock by the ocean.

A few of the best:


Grimes wins weirdest cover art of 2015. About half the songs are too weird to enjoy. The other half are amazing indie pop. She is one talented woman – she plays and produces everything you hear on the album (instruments and vocals). These are definitely my most listened to songs of the last few months:

purity ring2. Purity Ring – another eternity

It was very difficult to decide #1 and #2. Both amazing indie-pop albums packed with incredible songs. Chvrches just has a little more realness and emotion and depth. But Purity Ring has better beats. A tremendous improvement in this their second album (their first album had a few good songs and lots of bad ones). So many great songs. Hard to pick even a few to mention since they’re all so good:

chvrches1. Chvrches – Every Open Eye

Chvrches first album was really good. This one is bigger and deeper – a more expansive and polished sound. Not a bad song on the album. Definitely my family’s favorite album of the year (I was a little more divided between Purity Ring, Chvrches, and Grimes).

Some standout songs:

Would love to hear – what are your favorite albums of 2015?