Picking my favorite songs came with a new challenge this year. In January I started going to the gym, so a lot of the new music in my life was geared toward workout playlists. But are those necessarily the ones that I consider the best? In the end I chose a few highlights from the workout realm and otherwise chose favorites from everyday listening. Any song that I encountered for the first time in 2015 is fair game, whether it was released this year or ten years ago.
10. Florence + the Machine, “Third Eye”
I wasn’t over the moon about the third Florence + the Machine album, in part because it has less of the bombast that I enjoy in their previous albums. However, “Third Eye” is one track that scratches that itch. I love the imagery of the chorus: “There’s a hole where your heart lies / And I can see it with my third eye.”
9. Fitz and the Tantrums, “6am”
This year a lot of my exposure to new music came from ALT 93, a new alternative station. I was somewhat familiar with Fitz and the Tantrums, but hearing them on the radio regularly inspired me to actually buy an album. “6am” is my favorite for jamming in the car, a soulful groove with a mix of male and female voices.
8. Beth Orton, “Sugar Boy”
Rainbow Rowell makes playlists for her novels, and “Sugar Boy” is on one of the playlists for Carry On. I listened to Beth Orton a bit in high school, but not the Trailer Park album. Her husky voice is particularly well-suited to this song. “Told you I loved you / You beat my heart black and blue” is one lyric that always gives me fond flashbacks to Carry On, as strange as that may sound.
7. Bleachers, “Rollercoaster”
“Rollercoaster” was on my very first workout playlist, so it has a special place in my heart. I find it energizing from start to finish, and the romantic yet slightly off-kilter lyrics are just my taste. I can highly recommend it as a way to keep things peppy while doing cardio—or, you know, cleaning the apartment.
6. Patty Griffin, “You Never Asked Me”
I love sad songs. I love Patty Griffin. Give me a sad Patty Griffin song, and I am mush. “You Never Asked Me” is a heartbreaking piano ballad with a simple message to an ex-partner: “I don’t believe in love like that anyway / The kind that comes along once and just saves the day.” Please excuse me while I go weep in the corner about how beautiful this song is. (If you’re interested, I reviewed the entire Servant of Love album here.)
Come back tomorrow for my 5 favorite songs of 2015!