What a year for music! 2015 saw tons of great releases, memorable live shows, and a jam-packed #FestivalSummer. We asked all the Indie88 announcers to narrow it down to just three of their favourite songs and one live show from the entire year. Take a look below!
GRIMES – “REALiTi”
There are two different versions of this song – she posted the first (better) one on YouTube back in March and declared it was “no longer gonna be on the album.” There must have been a change of heart because after slightly altering the bpm and re-recording the vocals it was included on her triumphant fourth album Art Angels. Check it!
OF MONSTERS AND MEN – “I OF THE STORM”
The military snare intro on this track perfectly encapsulates the darker tone of Beneath The Skin. Nanna Hilmarsdottir has one of the best voices in rock music right now so to hear her sing “I’m shaking like a leaf” is incredibly powerful.
FATHER JOHN MISTY – “HOLY SHIT”
“Love is just an institution based on human frailty/maybe love is just an economy based on resource scarcity…” Life and love can be overwhelming and I Love You, Honeybear is an album chock full of honest insight. Listen for the key change and backing choir two minutes and 15 seconds in.
THE DECEMBERISTS – MASSEY HALL, MARCH 30
Colin Meloy’s voice has never sounded so rich as it did reverberating off the walls at Massey Hall. The setlist was the perfect mix of old and new, with highlights like “A Beginning Song” and “The Rake’s Song” after which Colin joked “You just cheered for a song about child murder! Infanticide!”
KURT VILE – “PRETTY PIMPIN’”
Because we all need a little more acoustic guitar in our lives.
BØRNS – “ELECTRIC LOVE”
Because I can’t get it out of my head.
Major Lazer & DJ Snake – Lean On (feat. MØ)”
Because who doesn’t like to dance.
MIAMI HORROR – “CELLOPHANE (SO CRUEL)”
This song is depressing and uplifting in equal parts, this is also arguably my favorite pop record of the year (All Possible Futures).
TAME IMPALA – “LET IT HAPPEN”
Somehow the Aussie band combined late 90s French Touch and 60s psych rock flawlessly.
O.T. GENASIS – “COCO”
If this song wasn’t on your radar, you didn’t get out enough. The refrain of “Baking soda, I’ve got baking soda” was inescapable for me. Not a great song but undeniably catchy and guaranteed to make a party explode.
DE LA SOUL- FIELD TRIP, JUNE 6
I’m so glad that the summer festivals are acknowledging hip hop. All the kids are listening to it, some of us grew up with it and yet we still have almost exclusively white bands with beards at these fests. A Tribe Called Quest next year?
MAJICAL CLOUDZ – “DOWNTOWN”
This song made me cry the FIRST time I ever heard it. It’s so unbelievably gorgeous. I don’t know how to describe it any other way but as the feeling you feel when you’re falling in love with someone and your whole world opens up in a brand new way and you don’t care where you are as long as you are together and every time you see them it’s an entirely new adventure and that’s all that matters anymore.
DEERHUNTER – “SNAKESKIN”
#1 Strutting Song Of The Year, awarded by me. Whenever I’m walking around the city, I’ve probably got this song on repeat. The whole album is great but this tune is a mega-jam.
FATHER JOHN MISTY’S I LOVE YOU HONEYBEAR”
Every single song on Father John Misty’s I Love You Honeybear – ESPECIALLY “I Love You Honeybear,” “Ideal Husband”, “Holy Shit”, and “I Went To The Store”. I know that’s more than one song but I don’t care. The best album of the year.
RUN THE JEWELS – WAYHOME, JULY 24-26
The entire festival was a MASSIVE success, the first year out of the gate. Loved every moment, but loved THIS moment the most. I’d been waiting to see them live ALL summer and they did not disappoint. Unreal.
THE LONE BELLOW – “THEN CAME MORNING”
The Brooklyn band is an outlet for Zack Williams to turn the pain of his personal life into poetry.
NOEL GALLAGHER’s HIGH FLYING BIRDS – “LOCK ALL THE DOORS”
While his second solo album Chasing Yesterday stands out for its diversity in sounds, it’s this throwback to the days of his (Morning) glorious past that is the LP’s smiler.
COURTNEY BARNETT – “DEAD FOX”
Fave track from the Aussie songwriters’ brilliant debut long player Sometimes I Sit And Think, Sometimes I Just Sit. Her talent of turning her daily trial and tribulations into a rockin’ tune works perfectly here.
WILCO – TURF, SEPT. 19
With an overcast grey sky and a set that served up the new album Star Wars followed by a trip through their finest songs, Jeff Tweedy and company gave us all we could have asked for and more!
GRIMES – “FLESH WITHOUT BLOOD”
This is the type of song where you will hear something new to appreciate on the 40th listen. In my humble opinion, Grimes wrote the best pop song of the year; it has the ability to get stuck in your head on the first listen.
PRINZE GEORGE – “VICTOR”
By far my favorite new band of the year. They make gigantic hooks and this song’s slow build, deep groove, and unique voice makes it ridiculous catchy.
BRANDON FLOWERS – “LONELY TOWN”
If you turned your nose up at this album because it’s Brandon Flowers, give it a listen, you will not regret it. My favorite part of the whole record is in this song when he sings, “Now I’m standing outside your house”.
YEARS AND YEARS – DANFORTH MUSIC HALL, SEPT. 14
It was one of those shows where the whole crowd was into it making it one of the best atmospheres/loudest shows I went to all year. Plus their singer Olly’s voice is immense live.
(Photo via Years and Years’ Facebook)
MAC DEMARCO – “NO OTHER HEART”
Mac didn’t give us a full record this year but any DeMarco is good DeMarco. This laid back piano-driven tune is all about lovey-dovey stuff and it makes for nice ear feels.
FIDLAR – “40oz. ON REPEAT”
When this song came out I legitimately listened it 31 times in one day and still I screw up the words singing along. It’s poppier than early Fidlar but it was a refreshing change of pace.
BRANDON FLOWERS – “STILL WANT YOU”
B. Flowers brought back the 80s in the best way possible with his new album. This song will always remind me of the crowd screaming the lyrics with him at WayHome.
FATHER JOHN MISTY – DANFORTH MUSIC HALL, FEB. 18
I know Father John Misty isn’t considered a band, but this guy is the most entertaining frontman in music right now.
THE WEEKND – “CAN’T FEEL MY FACE”
For about 30 seconds I thought Michael Jackson came back from the dead and moved to Scarborough. Imagine how that feels!
GRIMES – “FLESH WITHOUT BLOOD”
I listened to this song about 16 times in a row last week, so….
LEON BRIDGES – “COMING HOME”
For all the retro revival these days, it’s nice to hear someone going a little farther back than ’80s synths to bring back the sound of ’60s soul. I missed out on Sam Cooke and Otis Redding, so Leon Bridges fills the gap some.
CONSTANTINES – MASSEY HALL, May 27
Favourite show: Constantines at Massey Hall. To watch the incredible Constantines reunite in that historic, marvellous space filled to the rafters with fans singing along to every word; it was nothing shy of magic.