I feel like August 29th is close enough to the end of the summer that I can recap 7 songs that came to define the crazy, topsy-turvy summer of 2015. It was a pretty awesome summer for music – maybe not as good as 2012, but as we head into the autumn months, I’ll look back fondly on this summer’s music, but I’ll also remember just how shitty I was at managing my anxiety for most of it. So the songs on this list are a little bit bittersweet, but mostly, they are awesome.
- Forget / Marina & the Diamonds
I wrote about this song at length in a post a few days ago so I won’t say much more than it’s still my favorite song of the summer. And here’s its amazing video again.
- Shut Up & Dance / Walk The Moon
I heard this song a million times at work this summer. Unlike other songs that have been overplayed at work, I don’t want to gouge out my eardrums when I hear it. (see: Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” and John Legend’s “All of Me.”) On the contrary, this little slice of 80s synth-pop in the year 2015 has more staying power than I expected.
- Bitch I’m Madonna / Madonna
It’s not the most accomplished piece of art Madonna has ever recorded. The song itself is nowhere near as good as its title. Regardless, I’ve listened to “Bitch I’m Madonna” more times than I thought I would when I initially listened to it in December of 2014. No matter what you think of it, “Bitch I’m Madonna” is a song Madonna was born to sing.
- The Other Boys / NERVO (feat. Jake Shears, Kylie Minogue & Nile Rodgers)
I kind of love that Kylie Minogue is just doing whatever the fuck she wants to do. At this point in her career, she can afford to do it. Clearly, part of that is performing one-off tracks with other people and by and large, the results have been glorious. Of note: I’d listen to an entire album of Shears & Minogue.
- I Can Change / Brandon Flowers
Flowers’ The Desired Effect is probably my favorite album of the year. It’s a smart, concise album steeped in retro sounds. Trying to pick a single song from it is a challenge because all the songs from the album have taken a turn in heavy rotation. But “I Can Change”, with its Bronski Beat sample and Neil Tennant guest vocal probably wins the prize.
- Pageant Material / Kacey Musgraves
Oh, Kacey Musgraves. You might just save country music from itself yet. Her voice is so effortless and her songwriting so clever. With not a single bit of autotune, she continues to crank out song after song that is true to the spirit of traditional country music while at the same time, poking fun at it. She remains the heir apparent to Dolly Parton. She could do worse.
- High By The Beach / Lana Del Rey
I was not a fan of Lana Del Rey’s second album Ultraviolence. Every song sounded pretty much like the one before it. It was definitely no Born To Die. I have high hopes for this next record though, based on the strength of “High By The Beach”, a song that feels so much like late summer, you kind of have to think she planned it like that.