There was a ton of great music this year - almost too much for me to cover. Here are six of my personal favorite songs of the year (yeah, it’s a well known fact that I am a sucker for a female vocalist…and this list is proof).
Shura - 2Shy
Shura is the stage name for British singer, songwriter, producer Aleksandra Denton. I discovered her only recently via a song she released last year called Touch. While that song is excellent, 2Shy, which was released in April this year and is part of her “White Light” EP, is even better. It’s not just her voice that is fantastic, but the lyrics are very touching as well.
POLIÇA - Lime Habit
I’ve listened on and off to POLIÇA for some years, but, honestly, I was only a moderate fan. Then I heard this song and I was like, “I have to have this, now!” Unfortunately, it’s part of their “United Crushers” album that isn’t set to release until March 2016. The good news, if you’re impatient like me, you can get the song if you preorder the album.
Made in Heights - Ghosts
I first came across Made in Heights via their song Forgiveness which was featured on a list of unsigned artists in the iTunes store I believe. Both songs are part of their excellent “Without My Enemy What Would I Do” album, which, if you like this song (and you should), you really should go buy right now.
The Bird and the Bee - Will You Dance?
I’ve loved the Bird and the Bee since their first album way back in 2007 (remember “F–king Boyfriend”?). I’ve owned every album they released - and they don’t release too many to be honest. Recreational Love is only their fourth studio album, and first in about five years. But it was worth the wait if only for this gem of a song. From here on out, this song will always bring me back to the summer of 2015.
School of Seven Bells - Open Your Eyes
School of Seven Bells (or SVIIB) is another group that I have followed since their first release, Alipinisms, in 2008. They were very prolific for a time during their early years - and pretty much every single or album was worth owning. Sadly, in 2013, one of the founding members, Benjamin Curtis died of T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma. Knowing that story is part of what makes this song so touching. It’s beautiful anyway, but even more so because I feel that the message speaks to pain of trying to get over a major loss. The new SVIIB album, recorded before Curtis’ death, is set to be released later this year and is intended to be a love letter by Alejandra de la Deheza to her friend and co-band member Curtis.
Yumi Zouma - Song For Zoe & Gwen
It’s really hard to pick the best song from Yumi Zouma’s EPII EP. All of the songs are excellent and feature the same ethereal (and, yes, hard to understand) singing - reminds me of the days of the Cocteau Twins a bit. Anyway, I don’t know much about the band, other than that I think they deserve your attention.