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The Best of 2015: rock nyc Best Songs In Order And Reviewed Through April 30th, 2015

GLASGOW, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 30: Kayus Bankole, Graham Hastings and Alloysious Massaquoi of Young Fathers performs on stage at The Last Big Weekend at Richmond Park on August 30, 2014 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ross Gilmore/Redferns via Getty Images)

1 –  Old Rock N Roll – Young Fathers – The Scottish Nigerian trio suggest here something that is just about self-evident, “I’m tired of playing the good black, I’m trying to have to hold back”. Which makes sense but not as much as Young Fathers equating racism with money and power. Which is where the real stuff is.

2 –  The Blacker The Berry – Kendrick Lamar – This is what rap needs to be. This is where art and politics intermingle. This is self-confidence without bullshit

3 –  Really Love – D’Angelo – Really released late 2014 of course, still, it lives on as a 2015 song. A ballad as good as anything but the best he has ever written.

4 – Song Of Life – David Bronson – The song allows the great singer songwriter to pinpoint his concerns and also to answer his concerns: it is where he answer the one question, how to live with love.

5 – Joan Of Arc – Madonna – An impossibly fragile Madge, shows her heart is going up in flames as scumbugs like yours truly put her through the ringer for being a middle aged diva well past her prime. Which she might well be, but you can’t tell from this song.

6 – Shoegaze – Alabama Shakes – This is the great pop move that allows the band to fuck about with the rest of the songs structures, it’s like it proves they know what they are doing because they’ve proven they can do this.

7 – That Means A Lot – The Weekling – One of the greatest Beatles covers i’ve ever heard.

8 – I Want You Bck – Tony Succar and Tito Nieves – Horns aplenty on this splendid Latin American style remake.

9 – Up Above My Head – Rhiannon Giddens – Her achievement on this is not to improve on Sister Rosetta Tharpe, nigh on impossible, but to sing it beautiful and to make make some of its heaven Rhiannon’s very own.

10 – No Cities to Love – Sleater-Kinney – If this isn’t agitprop, than what is it. If they aren’t rebuilding David Byrne, or rebuilding where you live or why, they are teaching you how to choose better.

11 – Fairly Local – Twenty One Pilots – Extremely dramatic neo-new wave electronica, and smart as a whip. A shockingly great mix and match of Blur and  any number of indie bands.

12 – Murder In The City – Brandi Carlile – The last song on the album, and the best, a sad story of familial regard, disregard, futures and passed, “I’m proud of you both in so many different ways”, the father says to his children. A stunning song.

13 – Another World – Dwight Yoakam – Timeless country rocker

14 –  Jet Pack Blues – Fall Out Boy – As a lyricist Pete Wentz is a child of his emo rock urges, the strange drawn out song titles that turn and move in ways you don’t expect. Except it never quite manages to pay off well enough. Except this one does, a masterpiece of lost love which uses Judy Jetson’s mobility as a future history of a disappeared love

15 –  Fool For Love – Lord Huron – I bet they don’t have another song this great in em, and I bet this is a song this great. Even the intro is excellent

16  – How Can I – Laura Marling – In which Laura mines Blue and finds herself, with an acoustic guitar and her soaring voice, with run on sentences and real sentences: “I will go anywhere with you…” Laura promises. We will see.

17 –  Go Out – Blur – droning guitars meets an addictive chorus,when was the last  time Damon was involved in an addictive chorus

18 – Honey Trap – Shinobi Ninja – Without a doubt, the best guitar hook the band has ever come up with.

19 – Underwater – Matt Whipkey – The best rock song you won’t hear this year

20 – Top Shelf Drug – Ryan Bingham – Terrific metaphor for love for a song that sounds like a cross between love and Exile

21 – 6pm In New York – Drake – “oh you gotta love it”, now this is unbridled ego.

22 – Before The World Was Big – Girlpool – This sounds like the Roches if the Roches  weren’t so much or Girlpool wasn’t so damn LA. A completely lovely fingerpainted art popper.


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