The first quarter of a year has never been diverting like this year before. The beginning of the year is usually quiet and tranquil from major releases, as if the musicians are lulled by the cold winter and the warm spring. So, when they all decided to drop their latest songs at the same time, it just feels so surreal and magic. We already heard the first Sufjan Stevens’ song after five years of waiting, and Madonna dropped her new album this month, and the synth-pop band Passion Pit surprises us with their latest album, Kindred, out next month and Kendrick Lamar ambushes us with his new album, To Pimp a Butterfly.
It is actually arduous to pick some best songs to make it to this list. I cannot spew all of my favorite songs out since that will be exhausting to write. I still have many things to do (my final project *scoffs*, actually). So, I will only mention 10? Or 15? I do not know, though. This list is actually spontaneous. I decided to write after getting bored of studying for my mid-term.
Either way, in no particular order, these are best songs of 2015… so far.
Madeon – Pay No Mind (feat. Passion Pit)
Leclerq a.k.a. Madeon has everything. He has the face, the age, the girls who scream his name, the talent to create a great song and the experience of working together with Passion Pit. ‘Pay No Mind’ is really funky, and I am finally be able to distinguish his work from another EDM musicians. As Angelakos, shouted Don’t you pay them any mind to the air, both of my hands are up in the air. And trust me, I am not a guy who can easily put his hands on the air.
Years & Years – King
You cannot underestimate this rookie. Years & Years won BBC Sound of 2015, and they beat James Bay, Raury and Wolf Alice (and I know you do not care with them). For your information, this Sound of… polling is like Trelawney’s prophecy in terms of predicting future successful musician: it is eerily accurate. It is the same polling who predicts Sam Smith, Haim, Ellie Goulding and Jessie J to be megastar, long before they all are famous. Years & Years’ songs are easy to digest, like a Serbu Rame rice porridge in Cisitu. ‘King’ is heavily filled with synth, and this is not typical, and that is why I like Years & Years. Not a fan of its music video, though.
Westkust – Swirl
I cannot point out why I like this song. ‘Swirl’ is like any other songs from shoegaze band, but there is something different and something unique from this song.It probably reminds me of a background music from RPG game, even though I know exactly that is not the exact reason.
Tobias Jesso Jr. – How Could You Babe
After I watched Jesso Jr performing ‘How Could You Babe’ in Jimmy Fallon, my jaws never closed perfectly. That is exaggerating, honestly, but that is actually the exact way to describe Jesso Jr’s performance. Stunning. ‘How Could You Babe’ seems filled with teenage angst and rage, but somehow Jesso Jr. arranges this song to be more mature and more sad. How could you babe? How could you babe? sounds like a scream of agony, and I can’t help but cry.
Kendrick Lamar – King Kunta
It has become a trend for musicians to release their album unexpectedly. It started from Beyonce, then D’Angelo. Kendrick Lamar’s latest album To Pimp a Butterfly can be said the same. He told his new albums a week prior its release date. This formula doesn’t always work, but of course it works for Kendrick Lamar. ‘King Kunta’ the lead single from the album is fun rap song, and this statement comes from guy who does not enjoy rap song. So, that must be something.
Ellie Goulding – Love Me Like You Do
Despite the controversy, I honestly find 50 Shades of Grey is an aesthetic movie. It does not make me a BDSM supporter, though, but I like some parts of it, especially the part when Grey closed Anna’s eyes with a blindfold, and the next thing is… you can watch the rest of it in the film. Or the trailer. Well, I only judge this film from its trailer. And the soundtrack. No kidding, ‘Love Me Like You Do’ is a no joke. It feels like I listened to another shade from Ellie Goulding (no pun intended, of courses). I have never been a fan of Goulding, and I have never gone berserk every time I see her (That honor–me being berzerk–is for Taylor Swift), but ‘Love Me Like You Do’ is really catchy even if the lyrics are cliche. Such an unfortunate that this song is used as a soundtrack of a BDSM film. Whoops! No judge. No hate.
Speedy Ortiz – Raising The Skate
‘Raising No Skates’ is started with a tone that sounds exactly like the soundtrack of Life Is Strange. But, it’s not only the best part about it. As Dupuis sings, Heaven have mercy on me and the chorus I am not bossy I am the boss. They all are such a bold statement.
Waxahatchee – Air
This song sounds like a song from rock band or something, as the heavy beat of the drum opens the song. But once Crutchfield’s voice are heard from my headphone, I can finally breathe. ‘Air’, taken from her latest album Ivy Tripp is familiar from her previous works in Cerulean Salt. But as she said, Ivy Tripp will be like gas, while Cerulean Salt is a solid, ‘Air’ is not easy to grab. But, the lyrics are beautiful, and the metaphor Crutchfield is trenchant, like I left you out like a carton of milk.
Blis. – Floating Somewhere High and Above
‘Floating Somewhere High and Above’ is a pleasant surprise. The opening is soft, but when the song hits chorus, it gets as rough as reef. This song is literally my everything. A catchy opening, a fuzzy screaming at the back and a great ending.
Rumah Sakit – 3:56
After the arrival of its new vocalist, Arief, Rumah Sakit released their newest songs from their 4th album. ‘3:56’ is really fresh, and I really like this song. Kinda remind of Pee Wee Gaskins, but it is million times better. Saat bersama tak terasa segala lelah dan lara, yes of course, Rumah Sakit, I will never get tired of hearing your song.
Suar Suara – Bolt & Whisper
It is actually last year’s release, but let’s just ignore that and pretend that this song is released this year. No, I am not being nepotistic here just because I know one of its members, Agra. But, really ‘Bolt & Whisper’ is a triumphant. If I have not made acquainted with him (who happens to be my ketua angkatan), I will think Suar Suara is a band from far-faraway land where people make good music there. ‘Bolt & Whisper’ is something I have never heard before, particularly from a campus band, and this is really jaw dropping. Daniel’s voice (Yeah, yeah I know, God must really love people whose name is Daniel since He always showers them with talent) varies from high note to whisper and his voice successfully makes my nape hair stand on end.
Sufjan Stevens – Should Have Known Better
In his latest album, Carrie & Lowell, Stevens–the guy whom I would turn gay for–sounds so emo. If there is a genre called emo-folk (or folkemo), then Stevens nails it. ‘Should Have Known Better’ may sound a lot like his materials in Illinoise, but this song is not cheerful, bright and happy. Instead, ‘Should Have Known Better’ is sad. After all, it tells us about his childhood experience where his mother left him when he was three, three, maybe four. In a hushed voice, he told his gloomy memory like a shy boy under a blanket.
Grimes – REALiTi
Many critics hate last year’s ‘Go’ by Grimes, but I do not hate ‘Go’ like them. But, when she released ‘REALiTi’, I know why they hate ‘Go’. ‘REALiTi’ is why critics love Visions or Grimes in particular. It is no wonder since Grimes recorded the song in early 2013, a year after her critically acclaimed album was released. ‘REALiTi’ is really chilling and surprisingly like a lullaby. Most people say electronic music is noisy. I bet they have never listened to this song before.
Courtney Barnett – Pedestrian At Best
Bartnett goes crazy in this song. It is as if she just found a new dictionary, and pour every words she can find on it out. She is angry, she despises, she is livid, she hates anything sanctimonious.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Multi-Love
Oh, how much I love Unknown Mortal Orchestra.
Tame Impala – Let It Happen
Jack U – Where Are U Now (feat. Justin Bieber)
Maroon 5 – Sugar (Remix) (feat. Nicki Minaj)
Chromatics – I Can Never Be Myself When You’re Around
inc. – A Teardrop from Below
Natalie Prass – My Baby Don’t Understand Me
Yura – Berawal dari Tatap