Top 10 Songs of 2015 – Chloe Gynne

Here are the top 10 songs I’ve chosen for 2015.

10. Alabama Shakes – ‘Shoegaze’
‘Shoegaze’ is warm and dreamy, a song for which repeated listens are a necessity, not a hindrance. “Let’s all make memories/ Precious and temporary”, sings Brittany Howard, sounding like those sunny days when everything is going a little too perfectly. It’s bittersweet and beautiful.

9. Spring King – ‘Dream Boy’
From their breakout ‘They’re Coming After You’ EP, ‘Dream Boy’ is how everybody wishes The Vaccines had ended up sounding. It’s relentlessly rhythmic, positive to the extent that it’s almost cheesy, and a song so catchy that it will become an earworm for many months after the first play.

8. Twerps – ‘Simple Feelings’
There’s something hypnotic about the bassline in ‘Simple Feelings’ that sucks you in. It whirlpools into an unexpectedly melancholy vocal, which goes perfectly with the peppy guitars, reminiscent of The Go-Betweens. It’s simple, but effective.

7. Kate Tempest – ‘Europe Is Lost’
It hasn’t even been out for a month, but it earns its place on the list, summarising a year of terrible politics in a world that feels like it’s getting worse with each news story. Tempest’s voice goes from sarcastic, ironically indifferent, to shaking with rage, as she outlines everything terrible about existing in 2015. She’s captured the year with a depressing accuracy.

6. Grimes – ‘Kill V. Maim’
With ‘Art Angels’ comes a poppier Grimes, and Kill V. Maim sounds like a more experimental Charli XCX: the vocals in the verse are suspiciously similar to Charli’s, and that guitar riff sounds like it could have been on ‘Sucker’. But the bridge is like a cheerleader chant from a twisted dream, before the song erupts, excessive and exuberant. It’s the best type of pop song: original, a bit weird, and brand new.

5. Kagoule – Glue
Kagoule’s rhythm section should be pleased with itself: the pattering drums on ‘Glue’ are immediately captivating, as are the backing vocals in the chorus. ‘Glue’ is a straight-up rock song, and it stands out in an album of standout songs. Plus, the Breeders would be proud of that ‘Cannonball’-esque riff in the chorus.

4. Kurt Vile – Wheelhouse
‘Wheelhouse’ was written after Vile spent some time in the studio with Tinariwen, and the effects are plain to see in the droning guitars and the sparse, spaced-out drums. Vile mumbles his vocals as if he’s put himself in a trance, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he had, as this song is sprawling and mind-altering in its liquid-like form.

3. Courtney Barnett – ‘Depreston’
‘Depreston’ has been a staple in Barnett’s live set long before its release as a single this year, but with the studio version comes a fleshed out, country-tinged backing track and a new prominence placed on the two simple chords which make this song. It’s incredibly simple, but that just makes her lyrics more profound. Barnett has proved herself as a brilliant lyricist time and again, but it’s on ‘Depreston’ where her genius is confirmed.

2. Kendrick Lamar – ‘King Kunta’
‘King Kunta’ is timeless. Its bassline would have won over hearts in any decade, but it’s the lyrics which make the song so very 2015. Lamar growls his way through the choruses, as they build on top of each other, becoming more urgent each time. Plus, it bred the best impression of Drake ever seen on live TV, and for that I am eternally grateful.

1. Moon King – ‘Roswell’
‘Roswell’ is six minutes of pure adrenaline, a song that moves in a dozen different directions, but remains totally cohesive. It’s empowering, euphoric and escapist, especially as it swirls into the second half, purely instrumental. ‘Roswell’ is a burst of pleasure that somehow sounds down-to-earth despite its spacey electronics. It is the crowning glory of Moon King’s career so far.