Following on from part one of my top forty tracks of 2015, comes...errr...part two. As usual, the general rules are maximum one track per artist, and the song should have been released or premiered as an individual track in 2015. Check out #20-#1 below, and scroll to the bottom for a Spotify playlist.
20: Sam Bruno - 'Search Party'
Seemingly making up the numbers on a star-studded cast on the soundtrack to teen romantic drama 'Paper Towns', relative newcomer Sam Bruno surprised me with this slow-burning anthem. Not the only track from that soundtrack to appear on this list....
19: Muse - 'Mercy'
I'd honestly somewhat written off Muse by 2015, but their terrific live rendition of 'Mercy' on 'Later With Jools Holland' showed me the error of my ways. Sure, 'Drones' was ultimately a bit of a let down, but this track showed Muse can still crank out top tunes.
18: STORME - 'Brave'
A somewhat hidden talent, but one that I'm confident will make some waves in 2016, as demonstrated by this pulsating track from her debut EP.
17: Alessia Cara - 'Here'
At one point in 2015, Alessia Cara's breakout hit felt completely inescapable. And that was a good thing! Appealing to everyone's introverted side, 'Here' feels even more relevant in the cold winter months.
16: Twin Graves - 'DIVORCE'
Post-punk duo Twin Graves made an appearance in my top tracks of 2014, so it's pleasing that they followed up their strong work with yet more strong work in 2015, particularly with the rousing double A-side 'DIVORCE'/'POLITICS'.
15: Dive In - 'Can't Hold Me Down'
When did Dive In start sounding like Passion Pit?! Sparkling synth-pop from the Glastonbury outfit - indeed, befitting of a sun-laden mid-afternoon dance at the festival of the same name.
14: Alex Winston - 'Down Low'
A mile away from the wonky pop that brought her some success, 'Down Low' smothers itself in melodrama, somewhat akin to Lana Del Rey. However, the flourishing final third eclipses anything done by the aforementioned artist, and the yearning cry of "I can't let go" is especially stirring.
13: Highasakite - 'Keep That Letter Safe'
I'm still really not sure about their band name, but they certainly know how to write a joyously soaring tune. I don't even know half the words and yet I feel compelled to sing along regardless.
12: Black Gold Buffalo - 'Penkenna'
The London trio bore obvious comparison to Warpaint not just in terms of their gender composition but also in their musical style. 'Penkenna' was their most outwardly pop and richest sounding offering yet. Swim in its warm melodies.
11: Young Wonder - Enchanted
Enchanted by name, enchanted (as listeners) by nature. Young Wonder did the business in 2015 with an impressive debut album, and this glorious piece of electro-pop was a big part of that.
10: Heroics - 'New Lovers'
Responsible for perhaps the finest opening gambit I heard in all of 2015 - "Got yourself a new lover? Do you love her? Do you love her?" Beauty in its simplicity and wit.
9: Shy For Shore - 'One More Life'
Hitting a personal note for me earlier in the year, this bustling offering provided tone-perfect emotional lyrics ("how I can't have you to myself again") backed up by a huge synth-pop vibe.
8: k.i.d - Bong Song
One of most bizarre bands to appear in 2015, it was tough to decide which of the Canadian duo's efforts to include in this list. Ultimately, the more pulsating 'Bong Song' made it but their video (see above) for the track handily segued into one of their other excellent 2015 tracks, 'Stoned On The School Bus'.
7: Ten Fé - 'In The Air'
Undergoing a slight rebrand, the previously mysterious Fé opened up a tad in their new guise as Ten Fé, and managed to deliver their finest track to date along the way.
6: SOPHIE - 'JUST LIKE WE NEVER SAID GOODBYE'
I've been intensely sceptical of the PC Music movement, of which Samuel Long's SOPHIE project is associated, but curiosity got the better of me. And while most of the music failed to connect, this slice of reconcilatory electro-pop felt particularly resonant in 2015 at least.
5: Santigold - 'Radio'
"Be my number one fanatic, while I keep making classics", Santigold sings with a swagger - but she's not half wrong on this juggernaut of an anthem, which also appeared on the 'Paper Towns' soundtrack alongside Sam Bruno.
4: Ra Ra Riot & Rostam - 'Water'
Pretty much everything we hear from Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij (he also co-directed the track's video) is above par, and his seemingly gospel-inspired collab with Ra Ra Riot is no exception. "Don't punish me for what I feel"
3: Owen Rabbit - 'Denny's'
An unexpected find very late on in 2015, the Aussie solo artist's way with words and melodies reminded me of Jamie T, albeit with a strongly electronic tinge. A tale of internal panic, its lyricism is wonderfully matched by the busy instrumentation. As one Soundcloud user appropriately said: "i can't remember the last time i got this excited about a song".
2: Elliphant - 'Never Been In Love'
Considering Elliphant's status as a rising star, it felt like the rambunctious 'Never Been In Love' went massively under the radar in 2015. "POLITICIANS KEEP LYING, WE KEEP ON DYING. THERE IS ALWAYS A WAR." Download the track for free from Soundcloud, and also check out RAC's ace remix of the track.
1: Tellison - 'Tact Is Dead'
"On the day I graduated, I passed out on the floor. You mean there's more? I've done everything you said. I don't want to intern." Tellison came roaring back in 2014, with the on-point graduate anthem 'Tact Is Dead', appropriately capturing the current climate of youthful dissatisfaction.
Read part one of the list here.