Top 100 Songs of 2015 – Part 7 (#40-31)

For the previous list (Songs #50-41) click here.

Songs #40-31

40. Believe, Mumford & Sons

Mumford & Sons third studio album, Wilder Mind is a bit of a departure from their typical folk rock style that they have become to be known for. Instead, it is more rock heavy, with an electric feel that we have not heard from them before.

Their first single off the album, “Believe,” is just what Mumford & Sons needed to prove to some of their nay-sayers who considered the band to be one-trick ponies. “Believe” proves that Mumford and Sons have perfected the folk rock sound, and are well on their way towards alternative rock dominance.

39. Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah), Andy Grammer

If any pop rock song is going to make you get up and dance, it has to be “Good to Be Alive (Hallelujah).” Along with “Honey, I’m Good” and his stint on Dancing With the Stars, the track has led Andy Grammer to the most successful year of his life.

“Good To Be Alive” is about reaching success after years of struggles and let downs. Andy Grammer is known to be one of the hardest working men in the business, and an all around great guy. He always has a smile on his face, and his positive attitude is contagious. Here is to hoping he has not even begun to reach his full potential yet, and will continue to create music that fans of all ages and musical preferences can enjoy.

38. Long Way Down, Robert DeLong

Released in late 2014, “Long Way Down” blew up in 2015 and helped Robert DeLong become a significant name in the world of electronic music and alternative rock. In an interview with All Access Music, DeLong said the inspiration behind the song was “the sentiment that everyone will die, so don’t be a dick about stuff that doesn’t matter, if you don’t have to.”

If everyone lived by the wise words of DeLong, the world would be a much better place. DeLong for President 2016?

37. Wolves (You Got Me), Dreamers

“Wolves” is basically a three and a half minute lecture from your mother about choosing the people you hang around with carefully. The ridiculously catchy track centers around the refrain…

“You got me brainwashed
You got me so lost
You got me f*#@* up
Like you

And if you lie down with wolves, you’ll learn to howl….”

People are going to influence you in good ways and in bad ways, it is human nature, but if you hang around wolves, you will begin to learn how to howl, and eventually become one yourself.

Regardless of its message, it is fun as hell to sing along to and a great introduction to the band.

36. Great Big Storm, Nate Ruess

It seems that everything Nate Ruess touches turns to gold. The sophmore album for his band, Fun., “Some Nights“, has been certified Gold or Platinum in eight countries, and spawned four massive hits. He has found tremendous success in collaborating with some of the biggest names in music (i.e. P!nk and Eminem), and has now branched out on a solo career, which led to his first single, “Nothing Without Love” racing up the charts.

After just a few listens of his second track, “Great Big Storm” you will likely find it impossible to not sing along with Ruess during the refrain, which almost sounds like he started an impromptu rock concert with a native African tribe in a remote region of Kenya. As Ruess assures us, he is “holding his own, in a great big storm.” Looking forward to what Ruess has in store for 2016. Whether he does more solo work, or makes new music with Fun., it is sure to be fantastic.

35. Work This Body, Walk the Moon

Last year “Walk the Moon” had the number 2 spot on the countdown with their hit “Shut Up and Dance.” Once again, this year they released a new song just in time for the end of the year countdown with “Work This Body.” A calypso style track with enough energy to wake the dead, “Work This Body” will likely be played on radio stations across the country in 2016 until you are completely sick of it, just like its big brother, “Shut Up and Dance.” For the first six months, however, you are going to love it.

34. Let’s Not Be Alone Tonight, R5

With easy to sing vocals, and a ridiculously catchy beat, “Let’s Not Be Alone Tonight” is easily R5’s best effort to date. More rock than pop, it could be signifying the bands maturity and transition from pop to alternative rock. Hopefully the older they get, the more they will begin to focus more on the alternative and less on the pop, as this song is a complete gem.

33. Congregation, Foo Fighters

Foo Fighters have such a distinct sound that they have begun to be the basis of what modern rock should sound like. Not many bands can rock out as hard as Foo Fighters, and “Congregation” is proof of that. While the song is clearly an anthem, it is difficult to imagine it being anywhere near as powerful if it were performed by any other band.

Foo Fighters have the ability to make anything amazing, and their performance of “Congregation” is THE definition of Rock and Roll.

 

32. Ex’s and Oh’s, Elle King

Clearly the breakthrough female artist of the year, Elle King became 2015’s answer to 1995’s Alanis Morissette. “Ex’s and Oh’s” was everywhere, and Elle King basically became an overnight sensation. Growing up as the daughter of funny man Rob Schneider, Elle King must have learned from a very early age that it is not important what others think about you. She is brave, bold, and not scared to release a song about using and abusing men.

She is nominated for 2 Grammy’s at this year’s awards, including Best Rock Performance, and Best Rock Song, both for “Ex’s and Oh’s.” It will certainly be a challenge for her to beat out Alabama Shakes, Foo Fighters, and Florence and the machine, but if she does, expect a close up from Daddy Schneider, and a lot more of Ms. King in 2016.

31. The One, Kodaline

Wedding bells in y

our near future? Searching for that perfect first dance song? Well, search no further. “The One” by Irish rock band, Kodaline, could be the most perfect wedding song of all time. In fact, it is so perfect that it is almost nauseating.

For the third straight year Kodaline makes the end of the year countdown with a tender, yet poignant rock song that could both lull a child to sleep, as well as pump you up for a night out on the town.

Rightfully so, Kodaline is massively successful in Ireland, but in my opinion is still one of the most underrated bands in music today in the United States.

Top 100 Songs of 2015 – Part 6 (50-41)

Songs 100 – 91     Songs 90-81     Songs 80-71     Songs 70-61     Songs 60-51 

50. All Your Favorite Bands, Dawes

Anyone that considers themselves a music lover knows that there is not much more devastating than their favorite bands breaking up. Dawes frontman, Taylor Goldsmith said of the “All Your Favorite Bands”…

“I know that my favorite bands are a really deep part of who I am.” “They help define me, they help represent me, they trigger certain emotional memories, and they stand for the ideals and lifestyle that I will always hope to achieve. And I don’t mean rock and roll fantasies, but rather concepts like freedom and enlightenment.”

“I would love for someone wishing me well to put it in the terms of ‘may all your favorite bands stay together.’ That would be a real friend. That person would know what truly matters. To me, the statement of ‘All Your Favorite Bands’ immediately gets down to a highly personal and singular part of anybody in a way that few other concepts can.”

“All Your Favorite Bands” is a beautiful, thought provoking song that will make you question why nobody has ever wished that blessing on you before. Hopefully, for the sake of music fans everywhere, Dawes will be one of those bands that stays together forever.

*The addition of Brandon Flowers, lead singer of The Killers, in the music video makes a great song even more amazing.

49. Wasn’t Expecting That, Jamie Lawson

Break out the tissues for the most gut-wrenching, heart-breaking song of 2015. “Wasn’t Expecting That” (released in Ireland in 2011, but did not make it to the States until this year) is a love story to end all love stories. Newcomer Jamie Lawson tells the story of a couple’s journey together from their first meeting, until the woman’s untimely death, and it could not be more beautiful and traumatic at the same time.

Based on this track alone, it looks as though Lawson could be following in his buddy Ed Sheeran’s footsteps as a dominant force in the singer-songwriter world.

48. Big Decisions, My Morning Jacket

My Morning Jacket has been around for nearly 18 years, and “Big Decisions” is arguably their best song, and most successful song to date. Lead singer, Jim James says that the track is about people that are unhappy with their lives and constantly complain, but refuse to make any changes.

Just about everyone can listen to this song and think of that one friend they have and relate. How many times have you thought, “what do you want me to do, make all the big decisions for you” while giving advice and pretending to feel sympathy for your disaster of a friend? Thanks to My Morning Jacket, you can now play “Big Decisions” and let the song speak for itself.

47. Where Do Broken Hearts Go, One Direction

Before you spit your drink out all over your computer scr

een or phone, I think you need to listen to the song, and ignore the band name. Despite being One Direction, “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” is just as much rock as it is pop. If you are not a One Direction fan, or secretly are one, but you are too embarrassed to admit it to yourself, I am here to tell you that it is alright to like this song, no matter how old you are.

Do yourself a favor and blast this song in your car and sing along. You will not be sorry.

46. I Don’t Wanna Be Sad, Simple Plan

Canadian pop-punk-rock band Simple Plan is back and as fun as they have always been. If you or someone you know is sad, this is a must watch video. “I Don’t Wanna Be Sad” will turn your frown upside down, and make your sad feelings disappear, if only for a few minutes. The motivational track is just enough to hold fans over until they release their highly anticipated fifth studio album, Taking One For the Team in February, 2016.

45. Ship To Wreck, Florence and the Machine

We have all had those mornings where you feel the same was that Florence feels in “Ship to Wreck.” You drank too much, partied too hard, hooked up with someone you would rather not have, or simply made disastrous, awful decisions. We feel you, Flo.

Florence said the following about her writing “Ship To Wreck.”

I was thinking about my own self destructive side, and how you can make something only to tear it down, enjoy/destroy, create/devastate etc. When you’re in that whirlwind, you often end up breaking the thing you love the most.

At 2015’s Coachella festival Florence introduced the song the with..

“Some time off I had in London where I had some drunken parties and trashed my house and said a drunken ‘I love you’ too soon.”

“Even though all that disastrous stuff happened, I got this song out of it,” she added. “It all works out, and even if it doesn’t, write a song about it.”

The rock world is thankful for your drunken parties, your trashed house, and your drunken “I love you’s” Florence. Keep up the partying, and keep releasing songs about your self destruction.

44. Cocoon, Catfish and the Bottlemen

Welsh rock band, Catfish and the Bottlemen formed back in 2007, but it was not until late 2014 that they released their first full length studio album, The Balcony. From the first second when the guitar rips, “Cocoon” is a rock and roll juggernaut which keeps the pace through the entire track.

Simply put, the song “Cocoon”, written on a rooftop in New York City across from a million strangers, is about “being in love with the moment,” says lead singer Van McCann.

Hopefully now that Catfish and the Bottlemen have released their first album, fans will not have to wait another 7 years before they release their next one.

43. Wherever is Your Heart, Brandi Carlile

Brandi Carlile could sing the McDonalds dollar menu and it would probably be considered one of the best songs of the year. This woman can do no wrong. Each and every time she releases a song, it is better than the one before it (with the exception of “The Story“) which, in my opinion, is one of the greatest female fronted songs of all time. In fact, if she ever released a song I was more obsessed with than “The Story” I think my head would explode.

“Wherever Is Your Heart” is pretty damn close to being her best though. Nobody can do folk-rock and make it sound SO folky and SO rock at the same time, quite like Brandi Carlile. “Wherever Is Your Heart” starts out as a laid back, peaceful track that you want to listen to as you lay in a hammock on a warm summer’s day. It ends with me wanting to jump out of the hammock, rip off my shirt, and sprint around my block which singing along with Carlile.

* On a devastating note: I just found out that Brandi Carlile is married…… and a lesbian. Therefore she will definitely never be able sing “The Story” to me at our wedding. I’m crushed.

If you have never heard “The Story” you have failed at life, and you must save face and listen to it immediately. Multiple times.

42. Dumb, The Heydaze

I’m beginning to think that The Heydaze have some sort of recording device in my house because the lyrics to “Dumb” are basically the words that come out of my mouth every morning in the summer. And on the weekends. And Tuesdays.

“Dumb” is one of the most playful songs on the year, and catchy as hell. Hopefully The Heydaze can continue to drop hits like “Dumb” and steer clear of one-hit wonder status. Because of their unique style, they certainly have the ability to stand out from the pack and expand their audience in 2016 and beyond.

41. Renegades, X Ambassadors

Quite possibly the most inspirational song of the year, “Renegades” is about people overcoming their challenges. The video features athletes with physical disabilities competing as any other athlete would compete. From weight lifting, to wrestling, boxing, and rock climbing, disabled athletes are shown overcoming the odds and achieving their goals.

It is especially poignant since one of the members of the band, Casey Harris (keyboards) has been blind since birth.

“Renegades” is a great rock song, but more importantly, it is a great song to inspire people with any sort of disability that they are capable of achieving whatever they put their minds to: like being in a killer band, and having one of the best rock songs of the year.

Top 100 Songs of 2015 – Part 5 (#60-51)

60. Shy Hinges, Wild Sun

Westerly, RI’s Wild Sun has been around for a few years, and have been showcased on 95.5 WBRU’s Home BRU’d, and participated in their 2014 Rock Hunt contest. “Shy Hinges” is their single off their debut album, Little Truths. It is lively, upbeat, and refreshingly easy to sing along with. Their best work yet, and a sign that the guys of Wild Sun are more than capable of expanding their commercial success in the new year.

Do yourself a favor a check them out live. For a list of their upcoming gigs, check out their website.

59. Cool Kid, The Eeries

Not only do The Eeries look like they are straight out of the early 90’s Seattle grunge scene, they have the sound to fit right in. Tell me Kurt Cobain would not write these lyrics….

“Here comes the weekend/hanging out with my best friend/wish I was a cool kid/wish I was a cool kid…… aspartame/I like the buzzing in my brain.”

The Eeries have yet to release a full length album, but from the sound of their 5 track EP, they have potential to make some big waves on the rock charts in the coming years. This acoustic version of “Cool Kid” is fantastic (the music starts at :40), but the studio version is where it is at.

Who will love this track? 90’s rock fans, anyone that loves the weekend, cool kids, not cool kids, and of course, Kurt Cobain.

58. Hold Back the River, James Bay

In addition to his break out year in the States, James Bay found chart success in just about every country in Europe with “Hold Back the River.” Bay has also added to his best year ever by being nominated for three Grammy Award Nominations, including the dreaded “Best New Artist” category.

Bay’s gritty vocals and soulful musical style combine to create music that seems so mature that it is surprising that he is only 25 years old.

57. Waste Another Beer, Old Southern Moonshine Revival

“Waste Another Beer” is a full-on break up song for the light hearted country boy. This concept is simple: the man has wasted so much time, money, emotion on his ex, and decided that he will not waste anything else on her, especially his beer.

Even country haters will likely find the track catchy and enjoy singing along. Old Southern Moonshine Revival is fun, and “Waste Another Beer” will get the party going, and keep the beers cracking all night long.

56. Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart, Chris Cornell

At the age of 51, Chris Cornell has shown no signs of slowing down. This is most evident with “Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart”, the lead track off his fourth studio solo album, Higher Truth. 

Cornell’s voice, one of the most recognizable in rock music, is flawless. He packs so much emotion into each syllable as only he can do. Despite the fact that he has had a grimace on his face since the early 90’s, Cornell has made rock fans smile since the early 90’s. “Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart” is rock at its best, and Chris Cornell has proven why he is so great at what he does.

 

55. Don’t Wanna Fight, Alabama Shakes

Nobody mashes funk, soul and rock better than Alabama Shakes do. Lead singer, Brittany Howard is the queen front woman of modern rock. Her use of falsetto in “Don’t Wanna Fight” is downright epic.  Nominated for a Grammy for “Best Rock Song”, the rest of the field should have a hell of a steep hill to climb if they want to take the award from Brittany and the boys of Alabama Shakes.

54. Listen to the Man, George Ezra

George Ezra, the 22 year-old (!), yes that voice is coming out of a guy that was born in 1993, has found massive success in the States for his smash hit “Budapest” and more recently, “Blame It On Me“, which itself is a must hear song if you are not familiar with the track.

Ezra shows his playful side in the video for “Listen To The Man”, that is reminiscent of Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al”, which insanely enough was released 4 years before Ezra was even born.

“Listen to the Man” comes across as a little “ditty”, but in true “ditty” form, is so pleasant and fun that if you don’t find Ezra to be a charming, young lad with the potential for a major music career ahead of him, you are a cold human being.

53. Angels Fall, Breaking Benjamin

“Angels Fall”, the second release off Breaking Benjamin’s fifth studio album, Dark Before Dawn, is about not giving up when all appears to be lost, says lead singer, Benjamin Burnley.

Breaking Benjamin have proven to be the kings of their genre and after 13 years and 5 albums, they are better than ever. “Angels Fall” will get your blood pumping, and your adrenaline flowing. It is pure Breaking Benjamin at the top of their brilliant game.

52. Hold On Tight, Greg Holden

Greg Holden, who co-wrote one of the best songs to come out of American Idol, Phillip Phillip’s “Home“, now has a hit of his own. “Hold on Tight” is an inspiring, uplifting track that send out the all-important message of not taking one’s life for granted.

“Why don’t you hold on tight, to what you’ve been handed. Because you just don’t know how long you will have it.”

Greg Holden is a triple threat with his vocals, instruments, and phenomenal song-writing abilities. Look for his continued success in 2016.

 

51. Mountain At My Gates, Foals

Formed back in 2005, Oxford, England band, Foals, have had success in the UK for years. But 2015’s “Mountain At My Gates” was the first time the band found a significant amount more success for a track in the States than in their home country.

“Mountain At My Gates” is produced with intricate perfection, combining a catchy guitar hook, stellar drum beat, and spot on vocals and blending them into a modern rock gem.