14 Dec 2015

Vapour Trail's 23 best songs of 2015

So, 2015 has come to an end, and what we're left with (apart from a hope-instilling leader of the opposition and a decent group for Euro 2016) is some pretty fucking incredible music. Normally, we go through one big ordered list of songs with one being the best, but to switch it up we've gone for one big unordered list of all the really fucking perfect songs that have come out this year... here you are lads

(It might take a while to load, but it's so worth it, honestly)

OUGHT - BEAUTIFUL BLUE SKY
Maybe the song that absolutely defines the year for me, the Canadian quartet get both a proper gloomy groove and existential thoughts on with the lead song from their Sun Coming Down album. 8 minutes of genius sprawl, it sees hypnotic frontman Tim Darcy rally repetitively, making a wonderful collage of caustic art with his stitching together of small talk.


GRIMES - FLESH WITHOUT BLOOD
Art angel Claire Boucher reaches an overwhelming pop euphoria on the choice cut from her bloody perfect new album.


THE FAT WHITE FAMILY - WHITEST BOY ON THE BEACH
The Fat White Family are back, filthier, sleazier and more ready to offend the masses than ever. Here, they seemingly make dressing a bit like Nazis OK, and sound like a wonderful spaced-out version of an early Joy Division track.


BULLY - I REMEMBER
Alicia Bognanno is one of the coolest women in rock, and this 90 minute burst of visceral grunge that opens up their debut album is probably the screaming, youthful explosion.

ANNA VON HAUSSWOLFF - COME WANDER WITH ME
This German powerhouse's new album basically stitches together harrowing metal and sacred room-size church organs - the results make you really fucking feel things, hard.


MELT DUNES - EPICARICACY
First proper single from our favourite psouthampton psych-heads, this is, as we've said before 'like The Wytches being thrown into a K-hole', as over 8 thundering minutes they take you mentally somewhere you've previously only been able to go previously with the help of psychedelic drugs.


DAVID BOWIE - BLACKSTAR
BOWIE IS FUCKING BACK, FUCKING WEIRD, AND SINGING ABOUT MAJOR TOM BECOMING A GOD. That is all.

DIIV - DOPAMINE
DIIV mix the forlorn, the euphoric, and the overwhelming with Dopamine, and maybe bar that killer version of Dust on youtube, this is their strongest moment to date. Starting like a regular DIIV track, the beginning sounds like a sonic interpretation of what it's like to watch the sun come up - weary, yet joyous - before the middle 8 hits you, glorious, wonderful, perfect, dreamy, lovely, as good as DIIV actually think they are.


BEACH HOUSE - SPACE SONG
So lovely, so perfect, so euphoric, this is the high point of a very strong body of work put forward by the Baltimore dream-pop duo over the course of this Autumn.

SLEAFORD MODS - NO ONE'S BOTHERED
Classic Mods, they even took it to fucking Jools.


SKEPTA - SHUTDOWN
Come on, if you don't think it's a banger you're lying to yourself.


THE WYTCHES - WASTEYBOIS
This literally defines what it is to be a fucking killer song, this is our favourite Brighton trio's best song to date - thrashy rockabilly sections combined with the band cranking it up to a state of apocalyptic terror, The Wytches here showcase why they're just about the bloody best band there is.


MERCURY REV - CENTRAL PARK EAST
Sad, autumnal, forlorn, this entrancing six minute work of magic is everything I love about the seminal NYC sadcore band Mercury Rev.

JUNEAU - GAMES
Choice cut from the Nottinghamshire folk duo's incredible debut EP, which we hyped to within an inch of its life a few months back.


STRANGE WILDS - STARVED FOR
Turbo-charged grunge carrying on the legacy of seminal Seattle label Sub Pop.


DIRTYGIRL - BLINDFOLD
Sounding like if Dinosaur Jr were from York, this teenage teen movie theme in waiting tackles the battle of lust and insecurity in romance. It's brilliant, and this band are so one to watch.


RA! - BE MY BABY
This cover of The Ronettes' classic sees Southampton band RA! strip it of its wall of sound 60's charm, give it a grotty lo-fi twist, then cloak it in space-age noise. It's real different to the original, but just as catchy and one of my absolute favourites.


DEAFHEAVEN - BROUGHT TO WATER
Lots of people hate on Deafheaven, and I'm here and ready to hate on each and every one of them one after another individually. This opens their New Bermuda album, opens with chimes, features their most full on metal guitars, and their most outta place bricolaged dream section, and for that might quite possibly be the best thing that the band have released ever. That, or 2013's Dream House.


THE HOLYDRUG COUPLE - CONCORDE
Glitzy spacetronica from the heart of Santiago, The Holydrug couple have released one of my favourite songs to come out on Sacred Bones records. It's nice and floaty, easy to lose yourself in, and features the best cover art going.


KENDRICK LAMAR - KING KUNTA
Self-assured, the lead single from Kendrick's magnum opus is one of the biggest bangers of the year - the man just gets a groove on, and slows it up and brings it back as and when he chooses. Lamar is one of the coolest men on the planet, and this just codifies that he runs the game and has the whole world talking.

SUFJAN STEVENS - BLUE BUCKET OF GOLD (REMIX)
I don't know if I should include remixes, but seeing as Sufjan did it himself why da fuq not? Blue Bucket is the poignant closer to his Carrie & Lowell album, with lots of subtle ethereal beauty. In Stevens' remix though, he brings that right to fore, crunching dream-pop gives so much extra beauty to his half whispered forlorn beauty.


SPRING KING - CITY
Probably the best NME-styleé indie track of the year, this just hits an instant groove and is just perfect. It's such a satisfying listen.


SPOOK SCHOOL - BURN MASCULINITY
Cutesy Fortuna POP style indie rock given a bit of attitude, Scot band Spook School mess with the macho, and quite rightfully ask "what good has it ever done?" Burn Masculinity is the best song of the band's 2nd album, Try To Be Hopeful, and it just reaffirms my belief that Spook School are some of the coolest and best people in the game.


that's it for this year - we'll have other lists fairly soon, but for now give these fuckin' bangers a listen

(written by calum cashin)