To be completely honest with you, 2015 hasn't been a vintage year for music has it? Sorry about that! However, there's thankfully been some cracking tunes that have helped us recoup some dignity from a year that's featured songs from boy bands following radio news updates about pig penetration. The 15 hand-picked tracks here (compiled with assistance from contributors at Electric Banana) prove that there was much more to music in 2015 than clichéd teenyboppers, retro flip-phones, and Drake pulling shapes!
Here we go, these are the crème da la crème of REAL music from the past 12 months...
Blur - Ong Ong
A bouncy summer tune that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Blur's comeback album The Magic Whip was an absolute triumph, with "Ong Ong" being a fun highlight.
Foals - Mountain at my Gates
"Mountain at my Gates" is arguably the greatest Foals' song in their career so far. And yes, you should all be totally ashamed of yourselves for this single only reaching number 87 in the UK Singles Chart. Tut-tut.
Twerps - Back to You
"Back To You" was actually released in late 2014 (somehow slipping under my radar!), but this catchy jangle-pop tune has sneakily forced its way onto my list on the back of it being included on the Aussie band's 2015 debut album Range Anxiety.
Tame Impala - Let It Happen
Is this a classic Donna Summer or Bee Gees track? Nope. It's a funky and danceable beast of a single from a long-haired and bearded Australian chap.
Rihanna - FourFiveSeconds
The news that Rihanna, Kanye West, and Paul McCartney had collaborated on "FourFiveSeconds" was greeted with such a huge gargantuan eye roll from me that I seriously risked damaging my retinas. But to be fair to the unlikely musical triumvirate, it still surprisingly remains a real toe-tapper. Guilty pleasure.
Girlpool - Before The World Was Big
Extremely simple and low-fi. But this won't prevent you from listening to "Before The World Was Big" a hundred, million, billion, trillion times.
Adele - Hello
An unashamed power ballad that your mum and gran both love, but only Adele could transform this potentially middle-of-the-road song into a towering beast of a song via her impressive tonsil gymnastics. "Hello from the other side, I must've called a thousand times..."
Everything Everything - No Reptiles
"It's alright to feel like a fat child in a pushchair old enough to run." No seriously, it is.
Diet Cig - Harvard
F*ck your Ivy League sweater!
Jamie xx - I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times) ft. Young Thug, Popcaan
The xx man samples a snippet from a 1972 song by the Persuasions, adds some beats, and has a couple of rappers rapping all over it. Good times.
Ryan Adams - Blank Space
No anti-pop snobbery here, as I concede that the Taylor Swift original is a damn fine pop song. But Adams turned her 2014 single into a new surprising (and inspired) plucked direction. Kudos. BTW he covered her entire 1989 album. Genius.
SOAK - Sea Creatures
Bridie Monds-Watson, a young singer-songwriter from Derry, is responsible for this gem. Just listen to it. It's utterly gorgeous.
Grimes - Flesh Without Blood
The talented Claire Boucher (AKA Grimes) wrote, sang, recorded, and produced her entire album Art Angels herself. She also directed this song's video. The adjective 'talented' therefore seems like an insulting understatement. Apologies.
Courtney Barnett - Pedestrian at Best
Not "pedestrian" in the slightest! Witty slacker alt-rock from yet another Australian, who quite rightly received overwhelming praise from the fawning music press for her stunning debut LP Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit.
And last but not least, the best track of 2015 is...
Mini Mansions - Vertigo ft. Alex Turner
Yep, this is killer psych-pop tuneage from the Los Angeles trio. Mark Ronson would surely have trampled all over poor Bruno Mars for the opportunity to produce this? Yes. No doubt. "Vertigo" has a slow danceable beat that almost sounds like LL Cool J, with Arctic Monkeys' frontman Alex Turner contributing (and singing) a verse. Perfect.
And that's it. Please feel free to lament me on Twitter for my choices. Bring on 2016!Suggest a correction