Like I did this time last year I’m picking my five favourite new tracks from 2015 rather than an album of the year. I have 301 tracks in my 2015 playlist in iTunes. Here are my picks from that selection. I’m not going to say a lot about them. Just go listen via the links to Apple Music, YouTube or Spotify. I’ve created an Apple Music Playlist for the tracks.
Better Than That – Marina and The Diamonds. This won’t surprise many people. Marina and The Diamonds are my favourite artist at present. FROOT made the list last year as it was released in 2014. Better Than That came out in March this year I think. It’s stupendous. The vocal in the middle 8 section is the best singing I’ve heard in a long time. It wasn’t part of the live set when I saw them in Belfast. Maybe because that middle 8 section would be too hard on the voice night after night. If you have a chance to see Marina live then take it. [Apple Music link] [YouTube link]
Rey’s Theme – John Williams & freelance orchestra. This made a late appearance in the year and went straight on to my favourite tracks. Last years list had two tracks from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 soundtrack. Just the one soundtrack entry this year. From the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens score. I’ve more or less had this on repeat for a week. Loved the film too. The best of all the Star Wars films in my opinion. More about that in a separate post later. [Apple Music link] [YouTube link]
Northern Lights – Kate Boy. I can’t recall how I discovered this. It may have been a recommendation from Apple Music based on my love of The Knife. I’m glad I did though. I love the sound of Kate Boy. An electronic trio from Sweden and Australia. Very reminiscent of The Knife while also great in their own right and with their own sound. Northern Lights just reaches into my brain and sets it alight. [Apple Music link] [YouTube link]
The Red and The Black – Iron Maiden. Still going strong after all these years. They have a formula and they stick to it. Every now and then that formula conjures up an absolute gem in the rock music pantheon. It happened this year with the track The Red and The Black from their new double album. It’s epic. With harmonised vocals, tempo changes and guitar that will melt your head. And just listen those power chords? Classic. [Apple Music link][Spotify link]
Raw Honey – Du Blonde. I got through 50 weeks of 2015, and my life before that, without ever hearing of Du Blonde. But Twitter saved me when Marina Diamandis tweeted that the Welcome Back to Milk album was her favourite of the year. So I had to listen. She was correct. It is a fabulous album. But Raw Honey is the one that grabbed me the most. It has a Red Hot Chilli Peppers vibe to it in my opinion. And that’s a good thing. Interestingly I discover nearly all new music via Twitter now. From recommendations, musicians following me, and Retweets. [Apple Music link] [YouTube link].