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50 Best Songs of 2015

Adele, Drake, Fetty Wap, the Weeknd and more

50 Songs

Illustration by Ryan Casey

2015 was the year Drake made our hotlines bling, the Weeknd made sure we couldn't feel our faces, Adele said "Hello" again and Fetty Wap made us all jealous of his steady pie-cookin' companion. Check out the year's 50 greatest songs below, and stream them all here.

50 Best Songs of 2015

Illustration by Ryan Casey

36

Rihanna, Kanye West and Paul McCartney, “FourFiveSeconds”

2015 was a car crash of a year. When we woke up every day as optimists and were ready to go wild by nightfall, this was the blues song we needed, with Rihanna voicing our pain, Kanye venting our frustration and a Beatle strumming along in support.

50 Best Songs of 2015

Illustration by Ryan Casey

35

Car Seat Headrest, “Something Soon”

After five years and 12 Bandcamp releases, lo-fi hero Will Toledo yelped loud enough for the world to hear, announcing, "I want to romanticize my headfuck," complaining about sitcoms and idolizing Raymond Carver over wiry indie-rock.

50 Best Songs of 2015

Illustration by Ryan Casey

34

JD McPherson, “Let the Good Times Roll”

Though Shirley and Lee, Sam Cooke, Louis Jordan and the Cars all sang that title before, that didn't stop one of the top rock & roll revivalists of his generation from writing his own version with the perfect mix of arrogance and respect.

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33

EL VY, “Return to the Moon (Political Song for Didi Bloome to Sing, With Crescendo)”

Matt Berninger from somber Brooklyn indie-rock dads the National and a Portland buddy named Brent steal a title (the parenthetical part) and some guitar action from Eighties lefty-punks the Minutemen and knock out some swooned-out hand-clap disco-pop that's one of Taylor Swift's favorite new songs.

50 Best Songs of 2015

Illustration by Ryan Casey

32

Disclosure feat. Lorde, “Magnets”

Lorde finds the ecstatic liberation buried inside a slow-burn groove from Disclosure. The year's most understated dance-world magic.

50 Best Songs of 2015

Illustration by Ryan Casey

31

Kurt Vile, “Pretty Pimpin'”

Our man with the golden guitar tone finds himself staring in the mirror at a total stranger — then shrugs off the panic with a jokey tune that's loopier than a Möebius strip.

50 Best Songs of 2015

Illustration by Ryan Casey

30

Selena Gomez, “Good For You”

A seductive smile of a song that wouldn't leave your head for the rest of the night, or the year. 

50 Best Songs of 2015

Illustration by Ryan Casey

29

Drake, “Know Yourself”

No one outside of Drake's inner circle called Toronto "the 6" before this year, and few will call it that in 2016. But for the space of this song, he made his imaginary slang sound like the absolute coolest syllables in the universe.

50 Best Songs of 2015

Illustration by Ryan Casey

28

Eric Church, “Mr. Misunderstood”

Sung from one outsider to another, the Nashville maverick borrows an old Wilco tune and big-ups Jackson Pollock for an ode to a small-town outcast with rock & roll dreams.

50 Best Songs of 2015

Illustration by Ryan Casey

27

Miguel, “Coffee”

The alt-R&B seducer promises a night-long session of intellectual, sensual, carnal and playful pleasures, capped by either "coffee in the morning" or "fucking in the morning," depending on which version you hear — though, really, he's probably got time for both.