Wednesday, December 30, 2015

NSOTP Best Singles of 2015
I don't know if Miley can tell you that Nicki, but let me help you out with the shitload of amazing music that has been released this year.

 2015 has been a year of surprises, joy, romance, sadness, really's, Tove's and huge moments in pop. In all honesty, it was one of the most exciting years in recent memory. If you don't think so, look at this list of songs, each better than the last. So, let's get down to it and see who came out on top.

50. "Number One" by Tove Styrke

The irony of Tove Styrke kicking the list off with a song called "Number One" will become apparent by the end of this. Nonetheless, Ms. Styrke exceeded everyone's expectations and this bubbly song tells exactly that. 

49. "New Americana" by Halsey

Halsey has been heralded as America's answer to Lorde but she is more like Ellie Goulding than anyone else. "New Americana" sums up her appeal to this generation pretty quickly but the backing vocals are what make the song magical.

48. "Red Eyes" by Alexx Mack

Charli XCX is notably absent from this year's list but Alexx Mack is here to supply the X count with a bouncy party ode from the 90's. Actually, this is kind of what we want Kesha's new band to sound like. She is one to watch for next year!

47. "Bitch I'm Madonna" by Madonna feat. Nicki Minaj

Isn't it amazing that Madonna's best song of the past 7 years has her name and "bitch" in it? The video is a little desperate though. Luckily, desperation suits her quite well.

46. "Be The One" by Dua Lipa

Dua Lipa is being pinned as the next best thing in pop music for 2016 and her ethereal take on electronic Tumblr pop makes me excited for what's to come. "Be The One" is a great taste of that and her husky voice definitely has a place amongst the rest of the songstresses out there.

45. "Lean On" by Major Lazer & DJ Snake feat. MØ

"Lean On" was a classic summer anthem and proves that Major Lazer can make an amazing trap song without having to throw "TRAP" in your face. It also shows can be a good vocalist when her voice isn't doing somersaults for no reason.

44. "So Sweet" by Kyla La Grange

Kyla La Grange had the 31st best album of 2014 and she took her knack for minimal electropop, added a couple of bells and whistles, and threw in a proper drum machine to create the avant-garde poptastic "So Sweet." Upward trajectory is what we like to see in our pop stars.

43. "Red Heart Black" by Dada, Paul Harris & Dragonette

It's a dance song whose chorus has a guitar sting from an Old Western film. Also, and I mean to say this with every ounce of excitement in my body, this song has DRAGONETTE!!!!!!!

42. "Shine" by Years & Years

Olly Alexander (Years & Years' frontman) wrote this song as a love letter for his boyfriend.  *Gushes tears of gay joy* That just adds to the beauty that this tropical bop exudes with every note. The breakdown in the bridge is one of the best pop moments of the year to be sure.

41. "Do It Well" by XYconstant feat. Tom Aspaul

The tropical dance pop takeover was really caused by Kygo's "Firestone." Unfortunately, that song wasn't good enough to represent lilt-pop on the list. This XYconstant song does. Also, Tom Aspaul is one of the most exciting male singer-songwriters in the world, and he definitely did those vocals well.

40. "Good For You" by Selena Gomez feat. A$AP Rocky

Selena Gomez made this year's sexiest song. It's literally about being sexy with clothes on, then being sexy without clothes. That is pretty damn sexy.

39. "Flesh without Blood" by Grimes

If this Grimes song that sounds like indie Xenomania had a proper chorus, it would have easily been in the top 20.

38. "Can't Feel My Face" by The Weeknd

The Weeknd has become the breakout star of 2015, even if his lyrics about "pussy" and "hoes" are quite uninspiring. Clearly, hooking up with Max Martin for "Can't Feel My Face" was the best decision of his life. As it would be for any human being.

37. "Turn The Music Louder (Rumble)" by KDA feat. Tinie Tempah & Katy B

This is probably Katy B's best song and definitely Tinie Tempah's. Hopefully, this becomes an annual thing: a mambo for the new generation.

36. "Wings" by Delta Goodrem

Delta Goodrem is quite big down under, but who really needs another Australian songstress when you have Kylie Minogue? Let me tell you, it's when they create an explosive hit like this and throw in a piano/violin breakdown for kicks. It doesn't seem like anything special at the start but that chorus  really keeps you coming back for more.

35. "Clearest Blue" by CHVRCHES

CHVRCHES' ability to make futuristic electronica is quite astonishing and "Clearest Blue" is the best example of that. It pulses rather quietly at the beginning but halfway through it erupts into a major electrobanger. A classic 2015 surprise!

34. "No Words" by Erik Hassle

This melancholic disco jam was not something we expected from Erik Hassle. In fact, we did not expect much of anything from Erik Hassle. But here we are with "No Words" so I guess we're all winners in this situation.

33. "The Way We Are" by Alesha Dixon

Similar to Erik's case, we didn't expect much from Alesha Dixon, especially since her last hit was quite a fluke. But "The Way We Are" took the 90's house revival from last year and threw some brass in there to make a self-help anthem of substance for once.

32. "Don't Be So Hard On Yourself" by Jess Glynne

Speaking of self help anthems... Jess Glynne might as well just stay at number one and let others fight it out for number 2. This song was definitely her best number one to date, just so you know.

31. "On My Mind" by Ellie Goulding

Ellie Goulding has finally reached her potential as the hitmaker she was destined to be. The ingenuity of "On My Mind" can be linked to Max Martin, but at least 30% of its amazingness is because of Ellie.

30. "Movin On" by Twax feat. Solomina

This song might as well not have existed considering so one knew about it. However, it defined summer 2015 for us and the video remains quite a subtle romantic achievement so here it is at #30.

29. "Body Talk" by Foxes

"Body Talk" walks that fine line of sounding like a hit from another time but really sounding like a hit right now as well. Foxes' new album is something we are very excited about in 2016.

28. "No Hard Feelings" by ROOM8 feat. King Deco

No other song this year straddles the line between uncaring ambivalence and suppressed anger quite like "No Hard Feelings." The ultimate pensive banger.

27. "Jitter" by Grace Mitchell

Every time we hear this song, we try to think of a song that remotely sounds like it. We come up empty, mainly because of the French that Grace throws into the chorus. French and alt-pop don't seem to be commonly used together. This leads to "Jitter" remaining exciting all these listens later.

26. "I Really Like You" by Carly Rae Jepsen

We will end the conservation surrounding the legitimacy of this song with one sentence. We really really really really really really really think this song is amazing and anyone who says it isn't is a douchebag.

25. "Peanut Butter Jelly" by Galantis 

This song was a spazztastic explosion of insanity. If Galantis had properly credited the vocalist, this song would have been 5 places higher. The reason why is because the vocalist is most likely, and get ready for this: DRAGONETTE!!!!!!!

24. "Love Me Badder" by Elliphant

Regardless of the grammatically incorrect title, this song would have been a perfect Rihanna comeback track for 2015. Don't even get me started in how disappointed I am with that one... 
Instead, it became Elliphant's formal introduction to the pop stratosphere. Her album is one we can't wait to hear in 2016 too.

23. "Sax" by Fleur East

The rise of Fleur East to pop stardom has been hugely satisfying and "Sax" was exactly what we wanted to hear. Her X factor performances are also the best we've ever seen so make sure to check those out too.

22. "Sorry" by Justin Bieber

Justin... In a lot of ways, it is too late to say sorry. The shit tunes, the shit behavior, and the shit tattoos are hard to forgive. But you put together a nice song twice in a row so here we are. Don't fuck this up Biebs.

21. "Blue" by Marina & The Diamonds

Marina & The Diamonds hit her stride this year with perfecting her craft. "Blue" was one of the standouts on the stellar Froot album and arguably the most Marina song she has ever created.

20. "The Other Boys" by NERVO feat. Nile Rodgers, Jake Shears & KYLIE FREAKING MINOGUE

It's a dance song about straight girls falling for gay guys and gay guys falling for straight guys. An all too common occurrence but no less heartbreaking. Of course NERVO had to drag in the disco icons but the inclusion of Kylie was a stroke of genius. And it wouldn't be a real year in pop without a good Kylie song right?! (The answer to that question is always yes btw.)

19. "FOOLS" by Troye Sivan

The singer that exceeded all of my wildest expectations this year has been Troye Sivan. He never really impressed me in 2014 but 2015 has shown his songwriting ability coupled with his ability to pinpoint the elements that make relationships so special. More importantly, Troye has set himself up to be the gay icon that a lot of people have attempted to be in the pop industry. "FOOLS" is the best song off his amazing EP, the best of the year in fact, and subsequent album and you can hear why within the first 10 seconds. Just splendid.

18. "The Best" by Lenno feat. Dragonette

This Lenno song would have been the breakout track of the Madeon album. Oh well, it still stands as the Scandinavian's best production and with the three collabs on the list, it seems that 2015 was the comeback of, wait for it, DRAGONETTE!!!!

17. "Pyramids" by Noonie Bao

Each year there is a breakout singer-songwriter that threatens to dominate the world with their genius like how Charli XCX and Tove Lo did it. The first half of the year made me think it was Bebe Rexha, whose own "I'm Gonna Show You Crazy" should have been on the list if it weren't released in 2014...
But Noonie Bao has slowly worked her way towards establishing herself as the most ingenious writer around. Her work includes writing credits for Say Lou Lou, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Charli XCX herself. "Pyramids" itself is a triumph and her whole EP is quite extraordinary. And of course, she is Swedish.

16. "Déjà Vu" by Giorgio Moroder feat. Sia

Giorgio Moroder's comeback is one of the greatest in pop history. This song still makes us cry after all these listens, mainly due to that pre-chorus in the first minute. It's a disco classic for a new age and can anyone ask for more than that in their lifetime?

15. "Love Me Like You" by Little Mix

Little Mix continues their reign as the successor to The Saturdays, who were the successors of Girls Aloud (NEVER FORGET). The girl group game has definitely changed since those times but "Love Me Like You" takes all the best cues from girlband history and adds a glossy production for 2015, so what more can you ask for? (A Xenomania produced album, that's what....)

14. "Silhouettes In Slow Motion" by Cilia

"Silhouettes In Slow Motion" is the most Piscean song ever created. That is to say, it is equal parts romance and heartbreak. If you couldn't tell by now, this blog is written by a Pisces, which explains all the love songs. Sorry, not sorry.

13. "Black Magic" by Little Mix

It takes a gutsy girlband to take one of the most famous 90's samples and turn it into one of the biggest hits of the year. It's a nice progression to see them getting better and better with each tune. Still, I'm waiting on their "Can't Speak French" and "All Fired Up" moment so hop to it ladies.

 12. "Cool For The Summer" by Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato created one of the most forward-thinking songs since the days of 2008. "Cool For The Summer" came at a time when songwriting was at an all-time bland. Her album may have been shit but if we can get a song as good as "Cool For The Summer" every year, the pop world will be just fine.

11. "When I Rule The World" by LIZ

This SOPHIE-produced schizophrenic mess will hopefully act as a predecessor for most of the pop in the next 5 years. We'll be looking back and calling LIZ a visionary, a true testament to the genius of 2015. Regardless, "When I Rule The World" is still a ton of fun since the first time we listened to it.

10. "Lush Life" by Zara Larsson

Zara Larsson's "Rooftop" probably should have been on the best singles list of last year but we won't make the same mistake with the trop-tastic "Lush Life". The song was probably the biggest song in Europe this year and seals Zara's future as the next biggest Swedish export. On a separate note, her label, TEN Music Management, is one of the best labels in the world, which makes sense when you consider Erik Hassle, Elliphant, and Icona Pop are also signed to it. 

9. "Style" by Taylor Swift

Because I'm worried Taylor Swift might sue me in the dead of night, I'll keep my words short and sweet: "Style" is one of the best songs ever created but "New Romantics" would have been higher on our list. Do I hear my lawyer's phone ringing?

8. "Love Myself" by Hailee Steinfeld

Hailee Seinfeld's first hit was a big one. And it's about masturbation. As we all know, some of the greatest music is about masturbation. So good on Hailee for taking on a challenge. Congrats to Justin Tranter and Julia Michaels as well, the pop songwriters of 2015 with credits on this song, the Justin Bieber song, half the Selena Gomez album and a bunch of other stuff from this year.

7. "King" by Years & Years

The best part about "King" is its effortless novelty. It set them apart from every other pop act around but the song screams out for people to see its instant appeal. Years & Years seem to have a long career ahead of them and we cannot wait to hear their future material.

6. "Run Away With Me" by Carly Rae Jepsen

Here we are, with Carly Slay Jesupsen's earth-shattering love song for the ages. "Run Away With Me" has more heart in it than most of the music in the past 10 years combined. You may be wondering why it only ranks number six but trust me, the top 5 of this year is one of the best in some time.

5. "Baby Love" by Petite Meller

Petite Meller understood the importance of a good house piano, a good saxophone, and a good chorus. The best part of "Baby Love" is that it's amazing in all seasons. A year-round banger, a truly rare find.

4. "Your Type" by Carly Rae Jepsen

"Your Type" is, in fact, Carly's best single to date. It's better than "Call Me Maybe" and "Run Away With Me." It takes the best bits of all the modern power ballads like "Style" and adds a twist. A gay twist. It's a song about Carly being in love with a gay man. That theme of hopelessness and beauty sums up more than just the song, or her album campaign. It's a lifelong lesson that will pervade history through the end of time. Good job Carly, on general amazingness but mostly "Your Type."

3. "Moments" by Tove Lo

"Moments" has the best lyrics of the year. "I'm not the prettiest you've ever seen, but I have my moments." How relatable is that? "When I go, I go hard" So do I Tove! "On good days, I am charming as fuck." ARE WE TWINS TOVE? God, how amazing is that women?

2. "Wait" by Sharks

Yes, we know. Technically, this song came out in 2014. But it was re-released in the summer and we forgot to add it to the list last year. Once again, "Wait" sounds like "I Love It". And any song that sounds like "I Love It" makes the top 10 easily. Imagine a "Wait, I Love It" mashup?!?! Sharks could possibly be the Girls Aloud-meets-Icona Pop hybrid the pop world is screaming out for and hopefully 2016 finds them reaching their true superstar potential.

1. "Timebomb" by Tove Lo

I have been lauding "Timebomb" for the past year and half. It's not without good reason. The highlight off Tove Lo's Queen of The Clouds represents everything exciting about pop music. It really is that rare song that shows innovative song structure paired with an explosive production that just screams for your attention. Its lack of structure at the beginning belies a genius level of songwriting and all while the lyrics explicitly illustrate Tove's skill. The aural orgasm of a chorus itself deserves 10 Grammy's. But more importantly, it's the journey that the song takes you on that makes it so special.

"Timebomb" unleashes every emotion a person can possibly experience: doubt, joy, depression, hope, love, hate, and everything in between. It takes on the role as a pop behemoth without going around treating itself as one. It simply exists as a thing of beauty, one that you can't compare to another one as no other song like "Timebomb" exists. Finally, it's a song whose appeal really only hits you upside the head if you are willing to treat it as the masterpiece that it is. A lot of detractors of "Timebomb" simply don't understand the song, they don't find the vocal flourishes and piano crashes endearing but instead, gaudy or cliché. For those people, we feel sorry, because "Timebomb" is without a doubt the best song created in the past 2 years and the sooner you accept that fact, the better your life is. And isn't that what pop music is all about, life just being better due to its existence? Congratulations to Tove Lo and we can't wait to hear what 2016 has in store!

If you wanna hear all these 10/10 tunes, here is a Spotify playlist of the hits in order of amazingness. Sorry if the Delta and Taylor songs don't show up, but there's always YouTube. Enjoy!

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