Kick Kick Snare's Top 40 of 2015
Time stands still for no one as they say, so while we all wrap our heads around another year gone by, allow me to reflect and ruminate the very best way I know how...with 40 of my favorite music highlights of 2015. In no particular order. Frank Gamble - "Myths" Let’s be frank, there’s no gamble with Frank Gamble, this mysterious overseas producer holds the winning hand.
kiiara - "Gold" Leprechauns rejoice! kiiara's gold is so shiny I’m surprised 2 Chainz isn’t wearing her. I remember when I first heard this I was already running late (story of my life) but I had no choice but to hug her with a KKS post, changing my TO-DO list to my YOLO list.
FRANKIE - "Problems, Problems" Here are the cliff notes on FRANKIE. She oozes California cool, her style is a mix of retro and contemporary, her band (special nod to Petros) is ultra talented, I know them, I know her, and it's an absolute love fest.
The Chainsmokers - Roses No one deserves their success as much as Alex and Drew. Literally, you just want to pinch their cheeks because they're just so damn lovable, and every grandmother in the world would agree.
KLP Feat. REMI - "Recovery" Something tells me KLP's studio doubles as a dojo. With cuts like “Recover,” I mean you’re literally facing the kind of vocal jabs, swift kicks and bass-driven punches that Extra Strength Tylenol can’t even relieve.
Heather Russell - "This Is Who I Am" I'm not just saying this, I truly believe Heather is the best singer in the world. I've been so lucky to witness her growing up, getting to meet her family, and recently having her a part of a KKS project. This song in particular is close to my heart, and have I belted this one out in my car? Countless times.
Major Lazer x DJ Snake Feat. MO - "Lean On" Because all we need is somebody to lean on.
Golden Coast - "Futurist" LA's freshest indie-pop indulgence, Golden Coast, rang in 2015 with a pop gem of a song, “Futurist.” Just like neon windbreakers and stonewashed jeans inevitably complete the cycle of old becomes new, the song sprinkled in tried and true roots influence with Golden Coast's signature poly-synths and soaring falsetto, delivering sweet satisfaction with refreshing self-confidence and a dash of pop star swank.
Mac Miller Feat. Miguel - "Weekend" Because 2015's motto was, "Everything will be good by the weekend." And it always was. Plus, no list is complete without something Mac Miller.
Louis The Child Feat. K.Flay - "It’s Strange" When familiar synthy sounds of summer are chilled down a bit with a cool steel drum-esque beat and dreamy vocals, it becomes the perfect tweener jam to get you through when you’re feeling a bit stuck in the middle.
Lana Del Rey - "High By The Beach" Only Lana Del Rey can gun down a helicopter with such elegance and grace. I’d feel terrible for all those people by the beach, just trying to get high and instead getting an explosion in the sky of fireball magnitude, if I didn’t want to be one of them.
Hoodie Allen Feat. Blackbear & KYLE - "Champagne And Pools" Out of my top 10 things I get down with, you can bet champagne and pools are on that list.
Zak Downtown - Kylie Kendall “It’s first place or fail, bitch.” God I love Zak Downtown. His video for “Kylie Kendall” is like a good book I just can’t put down and continue to read over and over again. Literally, every single line is a piece of art and should be sold separately on Etsy or something. “I spit the jalapenos for the pesos, not a day goes by that I ain’t stackin’ up like Legos.” I mean, right?
Rihanna - "Bitch Better Have My Money (Diplo & Grandtheft Remix)" From Anguilla’s Little Bay to Shoal Beach West, this song shook the convertible Jeep’s speakers and was embedded into my sun-kissed skin after my Summer vacation. It's almost as dope as the entourage I rolled 8-deep with - shout out to the illest family no matter what the coordinates!
Matoma Feat. Astrid S - "Running Out" This is one of those songs you find yourself dancing down the grocery store aisle to, while singing aloud, and somehow managing to channel choreography from cirque du soleil. Meanwhile, you have your headphones on so you’re oblivious - but that's my point!
ZHU x AlunaGeorge - "Automatic" This was the first single off ZHU’s highly anticipated ‘Genesis Series’ LP called “Automatic” and if this was a boxing match, it would weigh in at...A LOT. Having AlunaGeorge featured on the track enters automatic heavyweight status.
The Weeknd - "Can't Feel My Face" If you didn't have The Weeknd's "Can't Feel My Face" stuck in your head at some point since its release, you're a liar. Same goes for catching yourself dancing to the song like no one's watching.
Adele - "Hello" Hello, Adele. Hello.
XYLØ - Between The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea (BECOME Remix) This is how you do production in 2015 and make it shine. Seriously. Billowing synthesis, pristine drum programming, and a lazy haze hangover of the fleeting trap movement come together in sublime fashion on BECOME‘s latest release. Tucked between the finely details rhythm section, handspring guitar, and XYLO‘s soaring vocals, there’s a new soundscape bubbling up that screams originality. Get your ears on this. Fast. You’re not going to want to miss this.
Skrillex x Diplo Feat. Justin Bieber - "Where Are Ü Now" This was the moment I accepted that I was a fan of Justin Bieber. Not that I wasn't, but this track told me and the world that it was okay to embrace it, to speak freely about it, even to share the song with your closest loved ones. Well, considering the title, maybe not someone you're in a tiff with.
Major Lazer Feat. Wild Belle - "Be Together (Vanic Remix)" Warning: Natalie Bergman (of Wild Belle) is about to make your heart race. She sings, "Maybe if the stars align/Maybe if our worlds collide"...let me stop her right there. TOO LATE. “Be Together” mesmerizes with a one-two punch that’s part push-the-envelope production, and part lyrical ingenuity that seals up that envelope, spritzes itself with an invigorating scent and delivers First Class.
Harrison Brome - "Fill Your Brains" Deep. Harrison Brome is filling our brains with the grit of anxiety and influences of yesteryear’s troubadours. His debut is a powerful composition with a sophistication beyond his years, and will surely exercise the hair from your arms through its chilling harmonies and gospel undertones.
Lola Marsh - "You're Mine" Escapism at its finest. Close your eyes and take a mini virtual vacation though was the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. On display is Lola Marsh’s song, “You’re Mine.” With its handsome display and sophisticated electronic elements it's postcard-worthy and the reason you'll plan to visit again soon.
Jamie Prado - "Tonight" If Jamie Prado says tonight, then that’s when it is. Not yesterday, not tomorrow, TONIGHT. That said, with Jamie Prado we say all day, every day, right now.
Ofelia K. - "White T-Shirt (Golden Coast Remix)" Leave it to the Golden Coast boys to get you all sapped up on Cali-stalgia if you're anywhere else in the world. Their remix release of Ofelia K’s “White T-Shirt” will have you dreaming of a time where cars were used not because you had somewhere to be, but as music vessels to be enjoyed amongst friends with nowhere to be. Windows down, eyes closed in the passenger seat while your arm hangs off to the side and pushes against the wind in a way that only can be attributed to Tai from Clueless’ “rollin’ with the homies.”
MS MR - "Painted" In marketing, a blind taste test is often used as a tool for companies to compare their brand to another brand. For example, we all know the Pepsi Challenge which the company has been running since 1975 as a method to show their superiority to Coca-Cola. Well, think of MS MR as Pepsi (in this example) and Coca-Cola as everyone else in the music game.
Galantis - "Peanut Butter Jelly" If you know me well, my breakfast of choice is waffles with peanut butter and jelly, so praise to Galantis and this song for hitting the spot (and releasing this on my birthday).
HOLYCHILD - "Money All Around" Maybe HOLYCHILD can lend me $20? It could get me out of a couple jams. So could an Apple Watch (congrats on that sync, guys!), because I seem to be running late these days and I don’t want people to start worrying about me, you know?
Misun - "Give It Up" Give it up for Misun. Their new single is as big as Misun Wojcik’s hair. Maybe even bigger. The Nacey-produced “Give It Up” is the exact millisecond when all the stars align and a constellation like never seen before lights up the sky.
Kill J - "You're Good But I'm Better" One part music producer, Kill. The other part songstress, J. The combined two make up the Danish pair known as Kill J. Their track “You’re Good But I’m Better” is all the things you would expect from a Scandinavian pop tune.
Taylor Swift - Wildest Dreams I can take or leave the video, but the song was a standout off the album from the get-go. Still is.
ZZ Ward - LOVE 3X (RAC Mix) When RAC is behind the boards, you know you’re in for an intoxicating aural treat. On his remix for the ever lovely ZZ Ward, he showcased his ability to flip this blues-soaked pop track into a delectably chilled out number.
Sam Smith - "Writing's On The Wall" When your fandom for James Bond movies and Sam Smith's music collides.
DNCE - "Cake by the Ocean" If Basement Jaxx fell into a fountain of youth, but kept their current-day skills, and multiplied, they'd be DNCE. This is a compliment, dipped in credibility and I can't wait to get this fiery foursome to perform at an upcoming KKS event.
Alessia Cara - "Here (Lucian Remix)" A serious case of Remix vs. Original.
Purple Crush + Josh Peace: "Little Bitch (Jamie Prado & DJ Roxanne Remix)" "This shit's gonna pop off like a bitch on a stick." Talk about a perfect addition to your pre-gaming playlist sponsored by Fireball.
KAPTAN - "Anywhere We Go" Put your finger on a map of downtown Nashville and you can feel the pulse of Andrew de Torres. The singer-songwriter forged ahead this year with a solo bow and new EP of conceptual, thoughtful and playfully-orchestrated indie-pop as KAPTAN. With "Anywhere We Go," Andrew debuted his knack for melding emotionally direct lyrics with refined, nuanced compositions.
Monarch - "Stay" Steeped in dark, thematic aesthetics, MONARCH plays indie-driven pop, coated with indulgent, sentimental vocals and a shiny synth veneer. "Stay" represents their love of film noir and has a vintage feel of the 80s and 90s but is modernized with a pure adrenaline rush.
Jasmine Thompson - "Adore (Addal Remix)" If this was actually a game of Monopoly, at this point Addal is humiliating opponents by having them mortgage their kids to pay off rent at Green. In other words, this is another release well played. The producer’s remix of Jasmine Thompson’s “Adore” gives the original the love and respect it so deeply deserves, and by deeply I mean deep house with a door wide open and an invite with your name on it.
Notes Floats - "Sometimes (Mr Beasley Remix)" Sometimes it’s hard to say whether or not something is good. On the other hand, sometimes it’s easy to know when something is great. If we had a check off list, like an automotive technician doing a diagnostics test at the garage, everything would be checking out under this hood with flying colors!