January 04, 2016

Top 100 Rock Songs of 2015: #50-26

As we continue the list of the 100 best rock songs of 2015, we now move on to the third day of the countdown: numbers 50 through 26.

50. "Electric Indigo" – The Paper Kites

Styles: Indie rock, folk rock

Melbourne's The Paper Kites have often been shoehorned into folk and freak folk music, and understandably so. With their sophomore album, twelvefour, it, along with this song, feels less like a folk record and more of a grown up electronic folk record.

49. "New Sense" – Fawn Sports

Styles: Math rock, screamo, hardcore punk

From Safer Place contains plenty of raw energy, but none as raw as "New Sense", one of the lead of tracks on the album. Like most modern music, it fuses and absurd amount of genres to make a bombastic, wild sound that is simply incredible.

48. "Make Me Wanna Die" – White Reaper

Styles: Garage rock, punk rock, lo-fi

Lo-fi slacker-inspired garage rock is one way the 2010s will be remembered, and how many 20 somethings will remember the decade: being broke, hating their part-time job, hating where they grew up, dead from waiting for a big break, and getting fucked up on the regular to forget the hardships of post-collegiate life. As sleazy as the song comes off, it does illustrate a common hatred young people have of suburban America, and general greed.

47. "What Kind of Man" – Florence + The Machine

Styles: Art rock, neo soul

Florence Welch of Florence + The Machine released her third outing this year, How Big, How Blue How Beautiful. Rare these days did the album win commercial and critical praise. The catchy substance, and the power of Welch's voice easily won her radio time, trips to Grammy and Mercury nominations, while also cleaning out in critical ratings. It is perfectly shown on her lead single "What Kind of Man".

46. "Fired Up" – Titus Andronicus

Styles: Art punk, punk rock

Hipsters over at Pitchfork and Tiny Mixtapes might cringe at me comparing The Most Lamentable Tragedy to American Idiot, but that's their internal crisis to deal with. For background, the New Jersey punk band, titled Titus Andronicus (named after the 1593 Shakespeare play) released their fourth, and easily their best album in 2015.

45. "I've Never Been To Ohio" – Darlia

Styles: Grunge revival, post-grunge, alternative rock

This song could be a millennial answer to "Song 2" by Blur. In an era dominated by revival genres, Darlia has churned out a snarky bit of satire to grunge revival, and how often, revival genres can just contain ear candy and zero lyrical substance. In that regard, this song is brilliant.

44. "Electric Love" – BORNS

Styles: Psychedelic pop, psychedelic rock, pop rock

By some standards, Tame Impala, MGMT, Wolfmother and Queens of the Stone Age brought psychedelic infused rock to the mainstream stage. However, it could be argued that BORNS helped make the phrase "psychedelic music" a household term, that people who are not even music junkies could affiliate with the sound. The reason, the psychedelic tinged hooks in BORNS' extremely catchy "Electric Love", which dominated summer playlists.

43. "Ideal World" – Girpool

Styles: Lo-fi, experimental rock

Girlpool makes very powerful music using the bare minimum of their instruments. This is nothing revolutionary, as many would point out The xx as being a recent example of maximizing minimalism. But you know what? Even if it's not that revolutionary, credit has to be given when it's done very well.

42. "I've Been Bored" – Superheaven

Styles: Post-grunge, grunge revival, hard rock, emo

Superheaven have been a pleasant surprise for hard rockers yearning for mainstream hard rock, that well, is worth their time. Incorporating some tones of emo to their sound, Western Pennsylvania's Superheaven manages to make a song about nothing and make it mean something.

41. "Nightlight" – Silversun Pickups

Styles: Shoegazing, nu gaze, new wave, alternative rock

Materialism is not an unfamiliar term for the Silversun Pickups to discuss in depth.  It's exhibted mightily in their lead-off single, "Nightlight". Yet mid way through the 2010s, it's becoming more acceptable and welcoming to call out and criticize commercialism. As for the musical substance, this song and their fourth album Better Nature, retains many of the Pickups iconic elements. But for the first time ever, a sign of sound departure. Some elements of new wave are to be seen in this album and it's welcomed just as they were starting to feel stale.

40. "Sweet Ophelia" – Zella Day

Styles: Experimental rock, electronic rock, industrial pop, alternative pop

Zella Day could be labeled as a Florence Welch that is willing to play with synths and non traditional rock instruments, yet create an alternative pop track ambiance. The ability to take a more industrial sound to her music is definitely unique and fits her voice.

39. "Lowtalkin'" – Menace Beach

Styles: Lo-fi, punk rock, noise punk

For a song 100 seconds long, "Lowtalkin'" by Menace Beach packs the most punch for any song they have released, and the most per second on this list. The wild, scuzzy, punk song has so much noise going on that it requires so many listens to find everything occurring. But the thing is: you will be wanting to.

38. "The Less I Know The Better" – Tame Impala

Styles: Psychedelic rock, psychedelic pop, neo-psychedelia

We all loved, or at least liked, Currents. Some of the edgelords around the Internet will hate it due to its popularity, much like how people rip Radiohead to shreds. What I personally found attractive about the third outing by Perth's Tame Impala was the ability to put effort and craftsmanship in the entire album. A lot of these songs on this Top 100 list were simply the only great or one of only two or three fantastic songs on an album of 8-12 tracks. In truth, each song on Currents is well orchestrated enough neo-psychdelic vibes to be worth giving a nod to as a Top 100 song.

37. "Big Decisions" – My Morning Jacket

Styles: Alt country, southern rock, psychedelic rock

Fellow Louisville outfit, My Morning Jacket, has been in the game for awhile, reaching 18 (wow!) years of making music. The seventh outing, The Waterfall, features a more psychedelic-tinged take on their sound, but yet, a more happy vibe. "Big Decisions" could be one of the happier songs written by the band.

36. "January 10, 2014" – The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die

Styles: Emo

The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer afraid to die make "emo ballads" as long as the band's namesake. Evidently, the ballads crafted by the Connecticut band strangle many emotions and push many internal emotions out. It is what made the band a great band and a cornerstone of the emo revival movement. In the midst of countless EPs, splits and demos, the band has come out with their second full release, Harmlessness, which given time, might be seen as one of the better sophomore albums. Yes, even better than Whenever, If Ever.

35. "Pray For Rain" – Pure Bathing Culture

Styles: Indie pop, new wave

New Jersey-raised, Portland-formed Pure Bathing Culture have found their sound in this track, "Pray For Rain", the title track on their third album. A fierce, indie pop sound goes a long way for them on this song, making it one of the catchiest songs of 2015.

34. "Blinded" – The Bots

Styles: Blues rock, garage rock, afropunk

One of the newest two-man groups to enter the arena are possibly one of the more exciting duos. The Bots, a two-piece group from Los Angeles. Composed of brothers Mikaiah and Ananiah Lei, the two have soul infused their blues sound to make for a thumping track.

33. "What Went Down" – Foals

Styles: Art rock, alternative rock

As mentioned for "Mountain at My Gates", Foals have seemed to find comfort in their new fame, and have gracefully mastered their art rock sound. "What Went Down" an art rock song with an alternative swagger that will be a fun song to get down to at the next music festival.

32. "Grinder" – Gary Clark, Jr.

Styles: Blues rock, roots rock, soul, funk rock

We have seen hints of what soul-infused blues rock could sound like when The Heavy, Alabama Shakes and to a degree, newer work by The Black Keys teased us. However, Gary Clark, Jr. has delivered our desire to have a full-blown bluesy soul record for us.

31. "Loose Men" – Torche

Styles: Stoner metal, stoner pop, noise rock, sludge

It seems to me that Torche's intention is to make pummeling, fuzzy hard rock and hash it out in a repetitive beat. On Torche's fourth effort, Restarter, the Miami band takes less of a stoner approach and gets sludgy a bit with their song. The subtle changes make for a fantastic lead off single that hits right up there with classic Torche cuts.

30. "I Feel Love (Every Million Miles)" – The Dead Weather

Styles: Blues rock

Five years since The Dead Weather released their last album, a lot has changed for the world of Jack Whiue. The White Stripes called it quits, White released two solo albums, and his stunt with Tidal kicked off. Perhaps out of surprise, the band released two singles back in 2013 in anticipation for the long awaited third effort: Dodge and Burn.

29. "Shock Me" – Baroness

Styles: Hard rock, synth metal, progressive metal

There's something captivating about a metal band that is ballsy enough to put synthesizers in a metal song. In a way "Shock Me" transcends upon the entire album, Purple, the fourth album by Savannah, Georgia-based metal band, Baroness. It's a departure from their sludge days and into a more melodic, poppy hard rock anthem. The crazy part is that it actually works.

28. "Narrow Mouth" – The Early November

Styles: Post-hardcore, alternative rock

It's no surprise that Imbue is possibly the most critically acclaimed album by The Early November. The post-hardcore outfit from emo hotbed of New Jersey have seemed to perfected their songwriting and the style. "Narrow Mouth", the lead single off of Imbue, contains excellent lyrics, brash vocals, and intense swings of mood.

27. "Inside Out" – Spoon

Styles: Indie rock

Spoon was never expected to be this good. Yes, they have long been a solid band that sputtered out a good album every so often, but They Want My Soul sent the band to a whole new unprecedented level. It's deep, introspective and hauntingly beautiful. Just like their song "Inside Out" which was a relatively minor single on the album.

26. "Fake Knees" – Dads

Styles: Emo, pop punk, math rock

As emo revival seemed to take a breather in 2015, Dads were around to carry the torch thanks to their sophomore release, I'll Be The Tornado in late 2014. As far emo songs are concerned, it hits every mark on the checklist with emotional, heartbroken lyrics and somber riffs.

About the Author

Tyler Walter

Author & Editor

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