December 31, 2015

Top 100 Rock Songs of 2015: #75-51

As we continue the list of the 100 best rock songs of 2015, we now move on to the second day of the countdown: numbers 75 through 51.

75. "Tie Up The Tides" – Quilt

Styles: Dream pop, folk rock, indie rock

Based in Boston, Quilt feels like a time capsule from the 1960s that have been waiting 50 years to be cracked open. But in a way, a unique 60s band, they have the vibe and sound, but nothing that says I'm mocking another band, and that's what truly makes them special.

74. "Undone" – Paerish

Styles: Grunge, shoegazing

Paerish fits the bill of modern mid-2010s rock by inflicting the listener with shoegazy bridges. However, what helps them stand out, like this track, is their ability to throw in several crunchy guitars with a soothing voice. It is something that bands like Chevelle and The Smashing Pumpkins accomplished with much commercial and critical acclaim, and something Paerish will be well on their way to doing.

73. "Mountain at My Gates" – Foals

Styles: Art rock, indie rock

Foals became a thing in 2010 and became a big thing in 2013. How they would follow up was going to be interesting, and their fourth outing What Went Down sees the band handling the mainstream success and doing a great job at being a mainstream rock band, which can be seen with mixed reactions. Their second main single off the album, "Mountain at My Gates" is a great way to see how Foals have embraced and, even, improved their sound.

72. "I Found A New Way" – Twin Peaks

Styles: Garage rock

As goofy as this music video is, is the kind of vibe that is left from Twin Peak's song "I Found A New Way". The song, silly in nature, is a tune that your parents probably would like and would remind them of a young Rolling Stones. The slacker, PG-13 Sandlot inspired video shows the song and band's facination with vintage entertainment, and in a way provide us with that in this song.

71. "Pure Blue" – Splashh

Styles: Shoegazing, nu gaze, psychedelic rock

Splashh, a bit of a sleazy band from London makes psychedelic shoegaze, which well, isn't so out of the ordinary nowadays. The electric overtones in there most recent single "Pure Blue" make for solid song.

70. "Gates of Dawn" – Heartless Bastards

Styles: Folk rock, country rock, blues rock

Cincinnati's Heartless Bastards have been around since 2003. What's crazy nowadays is that bands that have formed in the 21st century are now mature bands that have tenure. And that maturity has been shown on the Bastards' newest outing Restless Ones. "Gates of Dawn" exemplifies how far the band has come.

69. "Jumanji" – Glass Towers

Styles: Pop rock, surf pop

Sydney's Glass Towers were made for 2015. New Wave music with poppy hooks is what the market had ordered. Sure it is not exactly the most groundbreaking album, but the fun and energy of falling in love exhibited by the band makes this a fine track to enjoy in any driving playlist.

68. "Footprints" – Lamb of God

Styles: Groove metal, trash metal

While most modern mainstream metal has gone either the route of metalcore or to blackgaze. Richmond, Virginia's Lamb of God has well, remained Lamb of God, and retained the groove metal aesthetic. Their eighth album VII: Sturm und Drang is perhaps the most refreshing album to date, and their best work in nearly 10 years. A lot of the album focuses on the current state of media chaos and Randy Blythe's arrest in the Czech Republic back in 2012.

67. "Archie, Marry Me" – Alvvays

Styles: Indie pop, dream pop, lo-fi, jangle pop

One of the defining characteristics of Toronto's Alvvays is the ability for Molly Rankin to blend her voice to perfect instrumitize it. By that, her voice perfectly fits the melody and tone of the song, and jangley vibes created by Alvvays.

66. "Mercy" – BOOTS

Styles: Blues rock, alternative rock, indie rock

I love myself a song that builds up for a majority of the song. It makes the break out so much worth the wait, and allows you to appreciate the entire song.

65. "I Can't Explain" – Surfer Blood

Styles: Surf rock, surf pop, indie rock

While 1,000 Palms is unfairly criticized, it's understandable. Surfer Blood may not be the band people want to see slow down their sound and have moments of reminiscing. While the album may feel like a blur, this track feels like an enjoyable soothing summer afternoon, regardless of how it might be outside.

64. "Battle Lines" – The Helio Sequence

Styles: Experimental rock, art rock

The Helio Sequence can somewhat be described as vintage indie rock, given their formation in the late 90s in Portland. Long those days are gone and since has the band's sound ventured to more art and experimental cues away from traditional indie rock sounds. The band's self-title sixth album contains the excellent track "Battle Lines" which has a soft vibe but a ton of to offer.

63. "Mene" – Brand New

Styles: Alternative rock

One of the pioneers of emo revival completely missed out on the emo revival scene: Brand New. Daisy, released in 2009, was their most recent studio album, and then this past spring a new single "Mene" came out. And it was not emo-esque, if anything, it would feel like a solid lick from R.E.M. In a way refreshing, and makes for an enjoyable three minute outing.

62. "Class Historian" – BRONCHO

Styles: Indie pop

Annoying at times, but undeniably catchy, BRONCHO crashed the scene with "Class Historian" being the darlings of summer music festivals who enjoyed catchy, fun indie pop. With Ryan Lindseys somewhat-Strokes reminiscent vocals, blended with Nathan Price's rhythm has constructed a great little tune that will be stuck in your head, and stuck on your Spotify playlist.

61. "Talk to Me" – Kopecky

Styles: Heartland rock, roots rock, folk rock

Kopecky, formerly known as the Kopecky Family Band, have long been a heartland sounding band with elements of folk and roots. Their newest release, Drug For the Modern Age, contains some crossover genres, but above all else, their heartland tinged "Talk to Me" remains their top song off the album.

60. "Rose of Sharon" – Title Fight

Styles: Melodic hardcore, post-hardcore, emo, shoegazing

There's nothing quite as enjoyable as seeing Internet arguments, specifically ones conducted by young Title Fight fans that are self-destructing over the band's the shoegaze crossover. Which is a bit funny really, because Hyperview is easily the best album Title Fight has put out, and one of the finest shoegaze albums in recent history. However, this song reminds us of their roots, but their ongoing evolution as a band.

59. "Is This How You Feel?" – The Preatures

Styles: Indie pop, rock n' roll

Technically, this song came out in 2013, but was released in 2014 and got recognition in 2015. So in that regard it counts. A catchy intro followed by some lovely crooning makes for a great old fashion rock n' roll song.

58. "Greek Tragedy" – The Wombats

Styles: Electronic rock, new wave, synthpop, post-punk revival

Very few of the 2000s wave of Britpop revival bands made it out today, and I don't think anyone expected The Wombats to the band to survive the brief scene. Fittingly, after being off the grid for nearly six years, they recharged their sound and took a more synthpop approach. The result, Glitterbug, which, in truth, was corny at times, but an album that could become a guilty pleasure given its catchy hooks. The goal, in trying to make sweet tunes was a success with their main single, "Greek Tragedy", which exemplifies the snythpop approach the Wombats took while retaining their sound.

57. "Candyman" – Darlia

Styles: Post-grunge, noise rock, alternative rock

We might have to define a line between "grunge revival" and "post-grunge". Partially because "post-grunge" has become an extremely dirty word in music, and because new bands that take the grungy cues from the late 1980s and early 90s do not really follow the playbook of late 1990s/early 2000s post-grunge. Darlia falls on the side of "grunge revival", which can be applied to the likes of Speedy Ortiz and Superheaven. However, it's more radio-rolled out than grunge was, but does not contain the cliches found in ballard-ridden post-grunge. To save myself from thinking how to shoehorn it, let's enjoy this decent track churned out by Darlia.

56. "No Life For Me" – Wavves, Cloud Nothings

Styles: Garage rock, noise rock, lo-fi

On paper, a mashup between Wavves and Cloud Nothings seems like the indie rockers wet dream. Both critically acclaimed rock bands that brought life into a new sound of rock that diverged from the traditional post-punk revival and post-grunge sounds around it. The album, No Life for Me, was largely a dud in contrast what these bands have accomplished. However, in spite of that, the self-titled track offers a well crafted tune that is fun to play.

55. "Cutting My Fingers Off" – Turnover

Styles: Shoegazing, emo, new wave

Gloomy and introspective is two words that describe "Cutting My Fingers" off, perhaps the best song on Turnover's most recent album, Peripheral Vision. The Virginia Beach band has tuned a song that, well, is made for this time, and can hold relevance into the future.

54. "Multi-Love" – Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Styles: Psychedelic pop

Poppy psychdelic-infused songs have become very vogue thanks to the likes of Animal Collective, MGMT, The Mars Volta and Tame Impala. Sometimes, it causes certain acts, such as New Zealand's UMO to be casted into a shadow. However, with the vocals of Ruben Neilsen, he is able to carve out his own unique sound and quirky vibe that sets UMO apart from other contemporaries.

53. "Come Back" – Deafheaven

Styles: Black metal, blackgaze

Some say that Neige birthed blackgaze, but Deafheaven easily perfected the sound in their 2013 sophomore album, Sunbather. The San Francisco black metal band released their third album, New Bermuda this year, and it's darker and, dare I say, more ambitious than Sunbather? It might be too soon to tell. "Come Back" reveals how dark New Bermuda is as an album and what listeners loved about this band in the first place: shrieking vocals, shoegazy rhythms, and a dark aura.

52. "Stain" – Citizen

Styles: Emo revival, alternative rock, post-hardcore

In some respects, emo revival was quiet this year in contrast to the previous five or so years. Sure, it is safe to say that the genre is not widespread as it used to be, but there's still plenty of promising sounds come out. The emotionally charged song "Stain" comes from Citizens sophomore album, Everybody Is Going to Heaven.

51. "The Sunshine of Your Youth" – Cheerleader

Styles: Heartland rock, roots rock, new wave, indie pop

Early 2010s indie pop, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers had a child and birthed Cheerleader's song "The Sunshine of Your Youth". The Philadelphian band's debut album, also called The Sunshine of Your Youth has the predictable elements of mid 2010s records: nu gaze, new wave and pop; yet, this heartland-infused, nostalgic tune takes the cake as their best work to date.

About the Author

Tyler Walter

Author & Editor

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