Editorials

PressPlay Picks The Best of 2015

The PressPlay team reviews the year in music with our favorite singles and albums from 2015.

Top Ten Singles

Will Cua’s Picks

10) “SMUCKERS” – Tyler, The Creator feat. Kanye West, Lil Wayne

9) “Bitch Better Have My Money”- Rihanna

8) “All That” – Carly Rae Jepsen

7) “Really Love” – D’Angelo & The Vanguard

6) “oui” – Jeremih

5) “Pray 4 Love” – Travi$ Scott feat. The Weeknd

4) “River” – Leon Bridges

3) “Eventually” – Tame Impala

2) “Firefly – Mura Masa

1) “Sorry” – Justin Bieber 

Marie Davis’s Picks

9) “Keep It Real” – KYLE

8) “Not Enough” – Demo Taped

FIRE AS FUCK NO QUESTION. I instantly became a fan and cannot wait to see what he comes out with in the new year.

7) “Damn, Gravity” – OKAY KAYA

OKAY KAYA packs it into this baby single and it’s SOOOOO good. You get the sense she’s just doing her own thing and we just get to watch it.

6) “Lean On” – Major Lazer

5) “Cheerleader (Felix Jahn Remix)” – OMI

4) “Sorry” – Justin Bieber

3) “Trap Queen” – Fetty Wap

2) “See You Again” – Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth

Quiet and touching, somewhat uncharacteristic of Wiz Khalifa and it’s nice to see that side of him. This is one of the most beautiful songs of the year and will be especially powerful to anyone who’s lost someone special.

1) “Good Times” – Jamie xx 

Josh Messer’s Picks

10) “White Iverson” – Post Malone

9) “The Thrill” (Porter Robinson Remix) NERO

8) “Sneak” (ft. Pell, Michael Christmas, Wonda, and Maarlon)Casper and B.

7) “Jumpman”Drake and Future

6) “Back To Back”Drake

5) “Let It Happen” (Soulwax Remix)Tame Impala

4) “All Day”Kanye West

3) “In Your Own Time” (EPROM Remix) – Amon Tobin

2) “Only One”Kanye West

1) London To LASwindle ft. Ash Riser — This one went unnoticed by just about everyone, and I honestly can’t fathom why. There were lots attempts in 2015 to combine the sounds of the American West Coast with the bass accents coming out of the UK, but most came off ham-fisted. This didn’t. Laidback California vibes melt seamlessly into the hard-hitting, Purple Music sound forged by Swindle and Joker themselves. Put simply, this is the best track you didn’t hear in 2015, and the whole album, Peace, Love & Music, is worth a few listens itself.

Kyle Mest’s Picks

10) “Party Favors (ft. Young Thug)” – Tinashe

9) “Unbreakable” – Janet Jackson

8) “Route 42 to San Fran” – Tink 

7) “Girl (prod. Kaytranada)” – The Internet

6) “Turn” – Ana-Tole x Jonah Christian 

5) “Lone Digger” – Caravan Palace 

4) “Skin Diver” – Teedra Moses 

3) “You Should Be Here” – Kehlani 

2) “Love Agan feat. JMSN & Sango” – Ta-Ku 

1) “Love For That (feat. Shura)” – Mura Masa 

Siv Nilsson’s Picks 

10) “What Do You Mean” – Justin Bieber

9) “Paper Trails” – Joey Bada$$

8) “The Blacker The Berry” – Kendrick Lamar

7) “Good Times” – Jamie xx

6) “Wesley’s Theory” – Kendrick Lamar feat. Thundercat and George Clinton

5) “Loud Places” – Jamie xx

4) “Girl” – Jamie xx

3) “The Stroll” – Madlib, Med, and Blu

2) “Terry” – Action Bronson

1) “Knock Knock” – Madlib feat. MF Doom

Jasper Pakshong’s Picks

10) “What’s It Gonna Be” – Doc Daneeka

9)  “Die Elektrische/ Der Weisse Vogel Part II” – Max Graef 

8) “How Much A Dollar Cost” – Kendrick Lamar 

7) “Hump” – Nachtbreaker

6) “Link Up” – NxWorries

5) “Hotline Ting” – Big Miz

4) “Terciopelo” – Gabe Nandez

3) “Woke” – Flying Lotus feat. George Clinton and Thundercat

2) “Them Changes” – Thundercat

1)  “Wesley’s Theory” – Kendrick Lamar feat. Thundercat and George Clinton

Kitan Ogunfeibo’s Picks 

10) “Angels and Devil’s Horns” – Phora

9) “Right Now” – King Louie

8) “Shutdown” – Skepta

7) “Black Friday (Freestyles)” – Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole

J. Cole & Kendrick swap instrumentals for “Black Friday,” pretty much confirming they’re collabing on the long awaited joint album.

6) “Charged Up” – Drake

Not a lot of people were digging “Charged Up” as a diss track but Drake had me gassed with this one.

5) “You Should Be Here” – Kehlani 

4) “I Wanna Benz” – YG feat. Nipsey Hussle and 50 Cent

3) “9 Shots” – 50 Cent

2) “SoundBwoy” – Hardly Caprio

1) “Hat Trick” – Chip

Guy Roulstone’s Picks

10) “L$D” – A$AP Rocky 

9)  “Johnny Delusional” – FFS 

8) “The Mephistopheles of Los Angeles” – Marilyn Manson 

7) “3500” – Travi$ Scott 

6) “Sparks” – Beach House

5) “100 Grandkids” – Mac Miller

4) “Go Out” – Blur

3) “Fresh Without Blood” – Grimes

2) “These Walls” – Kendrick Lamar

1)  “Let it Happen” – Tame Impala 

Staley Sharples’s Picks

10) “Hotline Bling” – Drake

9) “Nightcrawler” – Travi$ Scott feat. Swae Lee and Chief Keef

8) “Spell It Out” – Toro y Moi

Fell in love with this as soon as I heard the funky guitar riff. I hope you do too.

7) “Where Are U Now” – Jack U feat. Justin Bieber

6) “Airy” – Obey City feat. Kelela

“Airy” lets Kelela’s sultry voice lead, accompanied by retro-classic synthwork. A truly lush ballad.

5) “Blasé” – Ty Dolla $ign feat. Future and Rae Sremmerd

4) “Baby Don’t Stop” – Samo Sound Boy

The delicate piano and emergent vocal sample in Samo Sound Boy’s track are emotional and meditative, capturing exactly what I want to hear in electronic music.

3) “’69 Camaro” – Penthouse Penthouse feat. Bobby Saint

Best original vocal track of the year, by far. If you aren’t listening to Penthouse Penthouse, you should be.

2) “The Thrill (Porter Robinson Remix)” – Nero

1) “Lovesick” – Mura Masa

So many things are going on in “Lovesick,” and each time I listen to it I have a different experience. I’m looking forward to watching Mura Masa take over the charts in the coming year. 

Top Five Albums

Leo Bargery’s Picks

5) Shedding Skin – Ghostpoet 

4) Depression Cherry – Beach House 

3)  I Love You, Honeybear – Father John Misty

2) Kintsugi – Death Cab for Cutie 

1) Return to the Moon  – El Vy 

Will Cua’s Picks

5) TIE: Black Messiah and To Pimp A ButterflyD’Angelo & The Vanguard; Kendrick Lamar

4) If You’re Reading This It’s Too LateDrake

3) Emotion Carly Rae Jepsen

2) Sound & ColorAlabama Shakes

1) CurrentsTame Impala

Marie Davis’s Picks

5) Summertime 06Vince Staples

One of those albums that I put on to listen to and ended up taking notes. I’m not kidding, these rhymes were that powerful. Staples wrote some BITING social justice poetry and backed it up with some seriously nice beats. Drop the mic material.

4) SurfDonnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment 

The ultimate chill out album. Its sound explores tons of nooks and crannies, plus Donnie Trumpet’s horn interludes are sweeeet. I love Chance’s influence and I love that he avoided letting himself get swept up in society’s demands of hip hop artists like so many musicians do.

3) To Pimp A ButterflyKendrick Lamar

2) I Love You, HoneybearFather John Misty

1) Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just SitCourtney Barnett

You can just tell that she has bangs. I love the combination between the jumping beat and Barnett’s straight-faced delivery.

Josh Messer’s Picks

5) To Pimp A ButterflyKendrick Lamar

4) EVENIFUDONTBELIEVERustie

3) ComptonDr. Dre

2) Diplo and Skrillex Present Jack ÜJack Ü

1) TIE: CaracalDisclosure and LP1Nadastrom

These two are the best for me for wildly different reasons. There’s no doubting that Disclosure’s Caracal wasn’t the earth-shattering album that Settle was, but the truth is that it was never going to be. It took three or four listens for it to fully sink in, but once I realized that it was a) a pop record (as opposed to a house record like Settle) and b) that every track on Caracal sounded better than anything else that came out in pop music this year, it was an easy frontrunner. Conversely, Nadastrom’s LP1 was a curveball years in the making from the group that defined the moombahton movement. A relatively slow-paced and mature album that explores the breadth and depth of dance music in a way that no other artists are doing at present, LP1 exuded sap-free emotion and reflection better than, quite literally, everyone else. Where Caracal was a perfect pop record, LP1 was the most essential hour of house music that saw release in 2015, each track on both albums special in their own rights.

Kyle Mest’s Picks

5)  Unbreakable – Janet Jackson 

4)  <I°_°I>  Caravan Palace 

3) You Should Be Here Kehlani 

2) Cognac & ConversationTeedra Moses

1) Songs To Make Up To Ta-Ku

Jasper Pakshong’s Picks

5) I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go OutsideEarl Sweatshirt

4) Backstabber EP – Nachtbreaker

3) SifuGabe Nandez

2) The Beyond/Where Giants Roam Thundercat

1) To Pimp A ButterflyKendrick Lamar

Siv Nilsson’s Picks

5) B4.da.$$– Joey Bada$$

4) To Pimp A Butterfly– Kendrick Lamar

3) Mr. Wonderful- Action Bronson

2) Bad Neighbor – Madlib, Med and Blu 

1) In Colour – Jamie xx

Kitan Ogunfeibo’s Picks

5) To Pimp A ButterflyKendrick Lamar

4) You Should Be HereKehlani

3) Compton Dr. Dre

2) Ego DeathThe Internet

1) Apollo BrownGrandauer 

Guy Roulstone’s Picks

5)  Mutilator Defeated at Last – Thee Oh Sees

4)  Art Angels – Grimes

3) Currents – Tame Impala 

2) To Pimp a Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar 

1) I Love You, Honeybear – Father John Misty

Staley Sharples’s Picks

5) New Wav EP – Madeaux

4) In ColourJamie xx

3) Someday Somewhere EP – Mura Masa 

2) VEGA. INTL NIGHT SCHOOLNeon Indian 

1) Eat Pray ThugHeems