#30. “Want to Want Me” – Jason Derulo
In the six years since the release of his debut single “Watcha Say“, Jason Derulo has made the unlikely transformation from pop-punch line to ultra-efficient Top 40 hit machine. “Want to Want Me” is a pure and blissful entry into his growing catalogue of hits but no matter how good Derulo gets, I still miss his heavy handed self-referential name drops at the beginning of his songs.
#29. “Trap Queen” – Fetty Wap
Hey. Whats up? Hello. Fetty Wap’s triumphant drug slinging romance “Trap Queen” is a weirdly adorable, almost silly entry to this list but the heart wants what it wants.
#28. “When We Were Young” – Adele
Co-written by Tobias Jesso Jr., the grandiose nostalgia of “When We Were Young” is right in Adele’s wheelhouse. The song imagines a party where all of Adele’s former friends and lovers are present and *spoiler alert* she has some feelings about it. By anyone else, it might be unforgivably sappy but in the hands of Planet Earth’s Greatest Vocal Talent at the Height of Her Powers, “When We Were Young” is profoundly moving.
#27. “Alright” – Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar’s status as the Best Rapper Alive was uncontested in 2015. His latest groundbreaking LP To Pimp A Butterfly demonstrated that Lamar’s lyrical prowess and artistic vision are a full step ahead of the nearest challenger. For proof, look no farther than the jazzy album centerpiece “Alright” and its stunning music video.
#26. “Hey Darling” – Sleater-Kinney
A decade after their dissolution, Sleater-Kinney mounted an unexpected comeback in 2015 with their excellent new album No Cities To Love. Impossibly, the women of Sleater-Kinney were able to pick up precisely where they left off in 2005 as if no time at all had passed. On “Hey Darling”, Sleater-Kinney sound as sharp and vibrant as ever.
#25. “On the Regular” – Shamir
Easily one of the most refreshing new voices of the year, Shamir attacks electro-singer-songwriter tunes with youthful abandon. His fierce countertenor sounds entirely unique and there is absolutely nothing regular about his breakout single “On The Regular”
#24. “Weight in Gold” – Gallant
Another Beats 1 Radio discovery, Gallant has yet to release a proper LP but his single “Weight in Gold” is one of the defining sounds of the year. Classic R&B and contemporary synthesizers move together on this devastatingly enjoyable song.
#23. “Where Are Ü Now” – Jack Ü ft. Justin Bieber
The Bieber Resurgence has been entirely magnificent and it all started with “Where Are Ü Now”. It’s an understated and impeccably produced lite-banger that has undoubtedly converted many a non-Belieber. I was never much of a fan of the Biebs before 2015 but I also understood that he was a rich, maniacal teenager with a outrageous amount of untapped talent. It was only a matter of time before he grew up and started cranking out some serious hits. Last week, Bieber held the top THREE spots on the UK top singles chart. Clearly, grown man Bieber means business.
#22. “Cha Cha” – D.R.A.M.
D.R.A.M. (Dope Real Ass Music) doesn’t even have a wikipedia page but he claims Drake stole his sound for “Hotline Bling”. While there is an undeniable resemblance, “Cha Cha” is way more insane than “Hotline Bling”. The Super Mario Bros sample, the irresistible hook, the Chipmunk vocals on the entirely unhinged breakdown – just try to listen to this song and not have a good time. I dare you.
#21. “Lovesick F***” – Mura Masa
“Lovesick F***” is a lavish sonic treat. Get your good headphones on for this one folks.