1. Hot Chip – Dancing in the Dark
You’ve got to love a good cover, especially when it comes out of nowhere during a powerful set at a festival. Hot Chip’s take on ‘Dancing in the Dark’ blew people’s little minds when they played it at live gigs over the summer, so there was collective delight when they released a recorded version of it in October. It’s a song of pure joy which takes me back to a summer of craic.
2. Skepta – Shutdown
I’ve always liked grime, but this year I learned to love grime thanks to this tune. It’s been really exciting to watch Skepta take over with mad gigs in the States, and perform this song onstage with Drake at his own OVO festival in Toronto. You’d be hard pressed to find a decent party in 2015 which wouldn’t have been taken to the next level by this tune.
3. Rihanna – BBHMM
Rihanna is a goddess, and if you disagree with me I will fight you. This tune, in particular, is so full of swagger that my pal Fiona and I basically wore out the YouTube video of her performing it at an awards show in the States. It’s achingly cool, and makes me really excited for the album. (If it ever arrives.)
4. Jamie XX – GOSH
Everyone was excited about the Jamie XX album this year, and I was no exception. For me the standout track was GOSH. It’s such a banger that it’s virtually impossible to stand still when it comes on, and somehow it actually makes you feel cool while you dance to it.
5. Tame Impala – Let it Happen
Tame Impala released a good few songs from their brilliant album Currents before we got to hear the album itself, which I think was pretty clever (although I got to interview Kevin Parker over the summer and he said it was actually a fluke to do with the album not quite being ready on time). It meant we got to sit with the songs themselves before listening to the album as a body of work. This song was the perfect introduction to the album, and I played it loads on 2FM, prefacing it with a warning that listeners did not need to adjust their radios when it started to sound like the song was skipping in the middle.
6. Kendrick Lamar – Alright
It’s hard to choose between King Kunta and Alright for a list like this. King Kunta is a song I listened to obsessively this year, but Alright is a true song of 2015. Aside from the fact that musically it’s excellent, it’s a powerful political anthem which has been adopted by Black Lives Matter protesters across the US.
7. Justin Bieber – Sorry
Sorry I’m not sorry! I make no apologies for the love I have for Justin Bieber’s new album Purpose and the absolute tunes he brought out in 2015. From his collaboration with Jack U, to What Do You Mean?, I listened to his songs on repeat this year, but none more so than Sorry. It’s a perfect pop song, which brilliantly harness the Carribean-House flavour that seems to be popping up all over the place at the moment. Also, what a video!
8. Kiiara – Gold
My show is all about new music, which means that I’m constantly on the lookout for new songs and new artists. Kiiara is one of my favourite discoveries of 2015. She was working in a hardware shop in Illinois when she put this tune on the internet. It now has six and a half million plays on Soundcloud. I think I might be responsible for one of those millions. The production on it is whopper from Felix Snow, and her other songs are great too. I can’t wait to hear more from her.
9. Daithi – Mary Keane’s Introduction
This is one of those songs which instantly grabs you, and I found that whenever I played it on 2fm this year I got loads and loads of enquiries from people wanting to know more about ‘the song with the auld wan chatting on it’. I love what Daithi is doing at the moment, making music which tells stories and links contemporary Irish music with a traditional element. It makes me excited about where Irish music is going.
10. All Tvvins – Darkest Ocean
This one is a bit of a personal one for me, It’s about pulling through something tough,and having started the year in chemotherapy and ended the year cancer-free, it’s a subject I can definitely relate to. Aside from that, it reminds me of one of those perfect ‘standing in a circle with your arms around each other’ moments at my wedding this year. I love the song, I’ll always feel close to it and it will always take me back to 2015.