New York City’s first taste of spring arrives today in the form of 60-degree temperatures. Until yesterday snow piled on the edge of the city’s sidewalks. 2015 is still in its infancy but it is shaping up as a monster music year. Below are my favorite tracks so far from major artists like Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar and Alabama Shakes to personal faves like And And And, Aero Flynn and Phony Ppl. Read through my Favorite Songs of 2015 (1st Quarter edition) list and listen to the songs on my Spotify playlist below.
Aero Flynn – “Dk/Pi”
Bon Iver contemporary retreated to space – not woods – for musical inspiration on first album since forever ago.
Alabama Shakes – “Gimme All Your Love”
Definitive proof Brittany Howard’s lungs know no bounds, as I wrote here.
And And And – “Animals”
If I listen to this too much I will buy a flannel shirt and drink PBR in some dusty Williamsburg bar, in a doomed attempt to recreate my Portland years.
Braids – “Taste”
Sparks fly when Braids frontwoman Raphaelle Standell-Preston sings about sex and relationships in her liberated, vivid language.
The Dodos – “Pattern/Shadow”
The male-female harmonies that bridge this song’s more contemplative first half with its electric second half make my ears tingle. Read my album review of The Dodos: Individ for Spectrum Culture here and my recent The Dodos concert review for Spectrum Culture here.
Drake – “6 God”
I am convinced Aubrey Drake Graham is an Ayn Rand devotee, and yet I still fuck with him. Unexplainable.
Frank Ocean – “At Your Best (You Are Love)”
A gorgeous example of why a new Frank Ocean album in 2015 would be a blessed event. Listen here and read my examination on Ocean’s legacy for Mixologi here.
Heems – “Flag Shopping”
Former Das Racist jokester gets serious with reflection on post-9/11 life for Muslims, Hindus. Listen here.
Kanye West – “All Day”
How long do I listen to this on the train? All day, ginger!
Kendrick Lamar – “The Blacker the Berry”
Come at the king, you best not miss. Make no mistake: Kendrick Lamar is hip-hop’s king.
Leon Bridges – “Coming Home”
This retro-soul bombshell is too good to let the small fact Bridges released it in 2014 stop me from including it on this list. Read my song review here.
Phony Ppl – “Baby, Meet My Lover”
It goes without saying an ode to free love should have an eargasm-inducing hook, no? Read my Phony Ppl profile for Mixologi here.
Purity Ring – “Bodyache”
I’ve listened to Purity Ring electro twee goddess Megan James inquire about my “quietest feeling” a dozen or more times and I still haven’t decided on an answer. Read my Purity Ring: Another Eternity album review for Spectrum Culture here.
Sleater-Kinney – “Bury Our Friends”
Best couplet of 2015: “Make me a headline / I want to be that bold.”
Sufjan Stevens – “No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross”
Sufjan rips me apart with this autobiographical tale of how vice failed to fill the hole left by his mother’s death. Read my song review here.
Tame Impala – “Let It Happen”
Only needed one listen to this almost eight-minute psych-rock bliss explosion to declare it my spring 2015 soundtrack. Listen here.
Viet Cong – “Continental Shelf”
Gimme all your droning guitars as I walk through ice and snow to the subway.
What is your favorite song(s) of 2015? Let me know in the comments section!