Top 20 Songs of May 2015

Here are my top 20 songs of May, 2015:

20. Garbage f. Brian Aubert – The Chemicals

 

19. Carly Rae Jepsen – I Really Like You

 

18. San Cisco – Run

 

17. Grimes – REALiTi

 

16. James Bay – Hold Back The River

 

15. Belle and Sebastian – The Party Line

 

14. Flagship – Life Underwater

 

13. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Can’t Keep Checking My Phone/Multi-Love

 

12. Scott Helman – Bungalow

 

Bonus: Metric – Clone/Lost Kitten

Revisited Metric’s last LP in May, and played these two tunes a bunch. Synthetica is a fantastic record.

 

11. Twenty One Pilots – Tear In My Heart

Rare to find this much cheek and fun in a song by an American band. Refreshing.

 

10. Florence And The Machine – Ship To Wreck

 

9. Mumford and Sons – Believe

Took me quite to get into this track, and though I don’t love it like I do “Babel” or “”Little Lion Man” or “The Cave”, it’s still a cool tune.

 

Bonus: London Grammar – Strong (High Contrast remix)

The original is brilliant, so even a passable remix (this is more than that) would sound great.

 

8. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Dying Of The Light

Legend.

 

7. Elliphant – Love Me Badder

Shame this probably won’t break in North America. Super catchy pop song.

 

Bonus – Jann Arden – Good Mother

Forever and always special to me. The melody, the lyrics, and Jann’s comforting, pleading, heart-piercing vocal.

 

6. Death Cab For Cutie – The Ghosts of Beverly Drive/You’ve Haunted Me All My Life/Little Wanderer

From what I’ve gathered so far, DC4C’s last record with Chris Walla is pretty dope. The first two singles and this trio of songs are really, really good.

 

5. Future Islands – The Chase

A new song by Sam T. and co. is always welcome. And, per usual, it’s a banger.

 

4. Brandon Flowers – Lonely Town

I don’t think any song on Flowers’ quite good new solo record can touch lead single “Can’t Deny My Love”, which is a monumental pop smash. If anything else can come close though, it’s “Lonely Town”, particularly the bridge (2:03-2:30), which I played on repeat. The bridge is a massive hook in an already stellar earworm.

 

3. Day Wave – Drag

A song to get lost in. Sun meets shade and fun finds fade. I have a feeling this song will linger with me for quite some time.

 

Bonus: Imagine Dragons – Shots

This tune was #18 in my top 20 from February, but I’ve come to listen to and dig it vastly more than that ranking signifies. “Shots” is a beast, plain and simple. My favourite song from Imagine Dragons’ latest album.

 

2. The Vaccines – Handsome/Dream Lover

These two tracks couldn’t be more different, and that speaks to how talented The Vaccines are and how varied their songs can be. “Handsome” is frenetic, full of English cheek, with an irresistible melody that on several occasions made me smile from ear to ear. “Dream Lover” plays at a much slower pace but is just as catchy. It’s a haze of distorted guitars and harmonies. I love lead singer Justin Young’s vocal on that song.

 

1. Metric – The Shade (I Want It All)

I’ve always loved Metric. They were early adopters of a synth-pop sound that blew up in the early 2000’s. Way more substance than style (though they’ve had that in spades since the jump), Metric always came to the party armed with a bevy of hits. Something happened though when they released their fourth studio album, Fantasies. They dropped what I think is a perfect pop song: “Gimme Sympathy”. It’s a song so good most bands would kill to have written something half as good. I was so happy for Metric. I’d felt like they’d become one of the best bands in the world, with an unrivalled ear for dashing pop songs. I thought they’d never come close to the greatness of “Gimme Sympathy”, but that was okay, because they crafted something otherworldly, and they have a shit tonne of other super songs to keep it company.

I may have been a bit early in thinking they couldn’t touch “Gimme Sympathy”.

When I first heard “The Shade”, I thought it was a huge risk to have that video game-ish sound effect feature so prominently in a song — a lead single to boot. By about the third listen or so though, the effect seemed to retreat a bit into the background, and the true beauty of “The Shade” stepped out of its shadow. It’s incredible. The verses, the chorus, the vocal, the music. Everything is wonderful.

Moral of the story: Metric are preternaturally gifted at songwriting, and I’ll never doubt their ability to achieve perfection again. Stars.

Top 20 Songs of February 2015

Comebacks by a couple legends, and a plethora of other massive tunes. The shortest month of the year will end up one of the best in 2015, I have no doubt. My Top 20 Songs of February 2015:

20. Odesza f. Zyra – Say My Name

Cool tune. Cool vid.

 

19. Natalie Prass – My Baby Don’t Understand Me

Gorgeous. A great vocal attached to a thrilling instrumental.

 

Bonus: Bad Suns – Dancing On Quicksand/20 Years/Transpose

A trio of delicious tunes from last year that I just discovered.

 

18. Imagine Dragons – Shots

Chalk up another hit for the Vegas group. Neat video too.

 

17. Hot Chip – Huarache Lights

They never disappoint. This is a beast of a song through headphones or propelled through pulsating speakers.

 

16. Mike Mago & Dragonette – Outlines

Dragonette are an underrated collective. They’ve several super catchy tunes; count “Outlines” among them.

 

15. Kendrick Lamar – The Blacker The Berry

Wow. If intensity had a stronger, more serious, compelling, fiery brother, this is him.

 

14. The Wombats – Greek Tragedy

Digging this new song quite a bit.

 

13. Life In Film – Get Closer

Reminds me a bit of some really fun Britpop/Indie stuff from the 90’s and the 00’s. This is sing-a-long music with oodles of charm.

 

12. Blake Shelton – Neon Light

Really well constructed country-pop tune.

 

11. Awolnation – Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)

I was wondering when Aaron Bruno would release new material under this moniker. If this song is any indication, the wait was worth it. This is freshwater catch.

 

10. Angels and Airwaves – Anomaly/Kiss With A Spell/The Wolfpack/Tunnels

I missed the release of this album a short while ago. The quality of these four songs can, I think, rival anything from Angel and Airwaves’ debut album (excepting “The Adventure”, which they’ll never top). It’s clear that Tom Delonge is more comfortable wearing this outfit than anything he’s worn with Blink-182 in ages. This is too bad, but he’s clearly focused on this project, and it’s apparent in the way these songs sound: more comfortable, more fleshed out, and warmer than what A&A’s done before.

 

9. Susanne Sundfor – Delirious (Richard X Remix)

This is a furious dancefloor breakdown, a decadent dance-pop remix. One of Richard X’s most impressive re-imaginings.

 

Bonus: Ben L’Oncle Soul – Seven Nation Army

One of the best covers I’ve heard in the last couple years. How did I miss this for so long?

 

8. Springtime Carnivore – Name On A Matchbook

This song is so bloody catchy. Warm weather cruising music at its finest. Fun flip-the-script video too.

 

7. Eric Prydz vs. Chvrches – Tether

Huge. So, so huge.

 

6. Drake – Energy

Faster tempo than it should be (to avoid the copyright popos). But the point is obvious: Drake feasts when he has this much Energy.

 

Bonus: Goo Goo Dolls – Come To Me

Just turned on to this tune. I’m sorry it took me so long, but the point is that I found it eventually. The best song they’ve done in forever.

 

5. Robert Plant – Rainbow

So, so impressed. “Rainbow” is a brilliant tune, and Robert Plant sounds fantastic. This is a legend who has not lost his way with melody whatsoever.

 

4. Borns – Electric Love

This is going to be a gargantuan. It may be already in some parts of the world. It deserves every bit of the attention.

 

3. Father John Misty – I Love You Honeybear/Chateau Lobby #4 (In C For Two Virgins)

“Chateau Lobby #4” was the first of these two songs I’d heard. It took a couple listens to stoke the fire of my brain’s living space, but it did. It’s wonderful. “I Love You Honeybear” got to me on the first listen. It reminds me a bit of the all-encompassing beauty of Phosphorescent’s Muchacho (possibly my favourite album from the past couple years). It’s the sound of an artist connecting with his emotions, his songcraft, his words, his art. The result is a flawless gem. I simply adore the way Joshua Tillman sings, “I love you honeybear.” It’s a simple yet devastating statement.

 

2. Years and Years – King

Give it a couple months, and this will be all over your everywhere. It sounds like a contender for North American song of the summer (if it gets the push it should), but really, it’s a song for all seasons. It’s a king and it’s dominion is boundless.

 

1. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Ballad Of The Mighty I

I listened to this tune a couple times in January, but I didn’t really fall for it until February. It’s the chorus. It’s Johnny Marr. It’s the cymbal-walking verses. But more than all of that, it’s Noel’s soaring, incredible vocals. I think it could be the best song — keep in mind we’re talking about one of the best songwriters of the past 20 years — Noel’s written in 10 years. He sounds completely invested and invigorated here and I love every second of it.

“Yes I’ll find you,” Noel sings with a sadness propelled by passion. It’s good to know he’s on the look out, but he must know, I was never trying to hide. I was always here, waiting… for something incredible like this.