The 14 Most Underrated Songs Of 2015 Which You Need To Listen To Immediately
It'll be a small triumph if any of us manage to get out of 2015 with anything other than Adele's "Hello" in our head, and that's really saying something in a year full of insanely (and at times, infuriatingly) catchy songs. From Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars' "Uptown Funk" to "Cheerleader" by OMI, 2015 has been a year of audaciously big, contagious hooks which wriggle into your ear and remain there for months.
With big hitters like those blasting out of every store and club you happen upon in your daily life, it can easy to forget that any other songs actually exist (this, so I hear, is one of the first stages of insanity), and while everyone was getting rightfully giddy over the new Missy Elliott tracks which dropped this year and playing Adele with an obsessive gluttony (control yourselves, people!), there was a lot of songs which went right under everyone's radar which, in retrospect, they really shouldn't have.
Though we could sit here all day with you, just shooting the breeze and playing all the songs from 2015 that we think went without the fanfare they deserve this year, we've decided to do you a solid and put together 14 of the very best. Plug in your headphones, pour yourself a tall glass of something fancy and seriously enjoy these terribly underrated musical revelations.
1. Grimes "Flesh Without Blood"
The first single off her spectacular album "Art Angels," "Flesh Without Blood" (shown above in the double-song music video alongside "Life In The Vivid Dream") has such amazing pop sensibilities to it that it deserved to sit in the charts alongside big chart players like Taylor Swift and Katy Perry. It's ridiculously catchy, too, and the perfect song to put a smile on your face on the long commute into work.
2. FKA Twigs "Glass & Patron"
Elegant, cool and with a composed hook that whispers out in a seductive plea of dance fortitude, "Glass & Patron" is nothing short of being a minimalist masterpiece with a video which showcases a drop-your-jaw-in-awe masterclass in Voguing.
3. Jazmine Sullivan "Forever Don't Last"
Easily one of the best modern voices in R&B, Sullivan's song is genuinely devastating. What holds her heartbreak together during the song is her formidably powerful voice which holds her pain together with a truly alluring strength.
4. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis "Downtown"
OK, so this song was kind of a hit, but it had a lot of detractors who loathed it. As ridiculous as the song is, there's no denying that it's structural insanity and 'I wrote this using a rhyming dictionary' approach to song writing are truly charming when combined with that big hitting chorus and that piano twinkle, cowbell ringing magic. Yass.
5. D'Angelo And The Vanguard "Ain't That Easy"
D'Angelo's comeback album "Black Messiah" is easily one of the best of 2015, and though "Ain't That Easy" wasn't a single from it, it's still the best song on the album. With dark, opposing harmonies and an arcanely funky beat which dissolves into a symphonic dirge, this is absolute perfection.
6. Miguel "Coffee"
I don't know what it is about this song, but I can't get enough of it. It's quintessential, dreamy cool.
7. Speedy Ortiz "Raising The Skate"
The alt-rock feminist anthem of 2015 from their second full album "Foil Deer," "Raising The Skate" is the perfect song to blast through your headphones when you need a little self-affirmation to see you through the day. Sing it with me: "I'm not bossy/ I'm the boss".
8. Drake "Know Yourself"
From If You're Reading This It's Too Late, "Know Yourself" is a near-hypnotic masterclass in minimalism, bookmarked by the catchy refrain of "Running through the 6 with my woes."
9. Sleater Kinney "A New Wave"
One of the most underrated songs of 2015 from one of the most underrated bands of all time, "A New Wave" is no-wave punk cool at it's finest, plunging a sprawling guitar riff into deliriously cool screeching vocals. I mean, if Tina Belcher is a fan, then you should be too. It's as simple as that.
10. Britney Spears & Iggy Azalea "Pretty Girls"
Don't get me wrong here, I'm no fan of Azalea, but I am a fan of Spears and this song — despite failing to make much of an impact in the charts — is Spears remaining to perform on full form and most having fun. Sure, it's superficial and kind of dumb but I love it.
11. Bjork "Lionsong"
From her highly anticipated album "Vulnicura" which is full of stunningly complex oeuvres bursting thick with heartbreak, "Lionsong" is dramatic, thoughtful and terrifically beautiful. If it doesn't give you goosebumps then you need to see a doctor.
12. Elle King "Ex's & Oh's"
This song might have been a hit and received a couple of well deserved Grammy nominations, but I can't help but feel that it's completely out of place in the rock genre department, of which it's been placed. "Ex's & Oh's" is pop at it's very finest and most subversive, hinged by King's snarling, gravelly vocals and sense of unapologetic innuendo.
13. Courtney Barnett "Pedestrian At Best"
A quirky singer-songwriter to look for, Barnett has a unique voice and an original storytelling sensibility which sees her using self-deprecating humour to full effect alongside memorable riffs that wouldn't have sounded out of place on any Veruca Salt album from the '90s.
14. Kat Dahlia "My Garden"
A song which truly came out of nowhere, and I love it. With a bizarre blend of raspy vocals and, yes, rap, Dahlia combines two things which you don't ever expect to hear together on this song but it totally works. "My Garden" is a brazenly bold sexual mantra delivered with contagious confidence.
I highly recommend ignoring whatever warning your music playing device of choice may give you about the volume you choose to play these songs at. My advice is to make like Spinal Tap and turn them up to 11. They might be underrated, but they're plenty appreciated here.