Favourite Songs of 2015… The First Two Months.

by deej on February 22, 2015

I spent a couple of days in Mississauga last week, which meant I had a few hours to pass on the plane. I’ve been promising a few friends and colleagues some new music to start 2015, so I figured there was no better time to take inventory of what I’ve been listening to this year.

Here’s 25 of my favourite tunes so far.

4th And Roebling – The Districts
They released my favourite song last year, and were half the bill of my favourite show. The new album has a number of standouts beginning with this opening track.

A Beginning Song – The Decemberists
The Oregonian folk rockers return with a decent follow-up to 2012′s excellent The King Is Dead. The final song on the album really shines.

Addicted – Jesse Malin
A lively up-tempo tune from the former punk/glam rocker. Singer/songwriter seems to to suit his sensibilities quite well. The new album is out in March, his first in five years.

All This Wandering Around – Ivan & Alyosha
The Seattle folk-popsters just announced their sophomore album a couple of weeks ago, and released its first single. Really great melody; I think it’s better than anything on their debut.

American Beauty – Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors
A simple country/folk-tinged melody from the Nashville singer/songwriter.
Listen to the full album here.

America’s Sweetheart – Elle King
Her lead single, Ex’s & Oh’s, from the just-released Love Stuff, was my second favourite song last year. This foot-stomper from the AC/DC-loving King is the early odds-on favourite to be my number one this year. Turn it all the way up to 11.

Anne Marie – Wood & Wire
Hard-driving, traditional bluegrass from the Austin quartet whose singer, Tony Kamel, bears an uncanny resemblance to Ricky Skaggs on this tune.

Annihilation Affair – Torche
The ferocious first song from the Miami sludge rock quartet’s new LP. Brutish, pounding guitar riffs contrast with melodic vocals to produce the perfect noise.

Blood Song – Divers
A noteworthy debut from the Portland band, they lean heavily on classic Americana punk/roots rock. Think early Springsteen-Gaslight Anthem with a British accent.
Also check out: Getaway.

Breathless – Waxahatchee
Indie singer Katie Crutchfield returns with a top-notch follow-up to Cerulean Salt. I’ve hit repeat a few times on this synth-laden fuzz pop track.

Gunsight – Sturgeon City
Strong picking and fiddlework coupled with a great harmony on this rousing number from the traditional bluegrass stringband out of Virginia.

Handsome – The Vaccines
The Brit-popsters are back and picking up right where they left off from Come Of Age with their catchy new single. Huge expectations for this album from one of the best live acts today.

Heaven’s High – Wrinkle Neck Mules
They’ve been around for 15 years, but I had never heard of these Virginia roots rockers until last month. Boy, I’ve been missing a lot. This is the first song off their latest (sixth) album, and it’s fantastic.
Also check out: a free download sampler of tunes from earlier albums.

Hypnotized – The Lad Mags
By no means a token entry on this list, the newest tune from the local garage pop act has this groovy retro psychedelic feel going on that I’m really loving.

I Need A Friend – Davie & The Untamed
Soulful guitar hooks and a voice reminiscent of early Mick Jagger from the Virginia-born, Nashville-based Davie Smith.

Incidental – Two Gallants
A driving ‘Mats-like number with a ragged guitar hook and crashing drum line. The newest album release from the San Francisco garage folk duo is first-rate.
Listen to the full album here.

Let The Good Times Roll – JD McPherson
The Oklahoma native is back with his signature rockabilly sound. There’s no worries about having a good time listening to the rollicking lead single here.

Meet You In The Middle – Parker McCollum
The first tune off the Galveston native’s debut album – a mixed-tempo, radio-friendly number – is very promising. Hopefully he stays off the bro-country path.

Mona Lisa – Dead Sara
As much as I loathe Vevo for their video pre-rolls, they get the credit for serving up this rocking track that grabbed my attention last month.

Not A Song – Jim White
The upbeat melody overshadows the darker lyrics, but the catchy la-da-da chorus will have you happily singing along regardless.

Sedona – Houndmouth
The lead single off the Indiana quartet’s forthcoming LP. It’s a little more folk-poppy than their previous alt-country sound, but their exceptional harmony and catchy choruses are still present. Very excited to hear this next month.

Time Will Wait – Kristin Diable
A bluesy, southern Americana melody with a voice reminding me of a young Stevie Nicks. Produced by Dave Cobb, who oversaw Isbell’s Southeastern and Sturgill’s Metamodern Sounds, the entire album is a delight.
Listen to the full album streaming on NPR this week.

Top Shelf Drug – Ryan Bingham
It’s been hard to pick a favourite off Bingham’s latest release; the album is outstanding from start to finish. I’m hoping the gravel-voiced roots rocker finally tours Canada with this one.

Wolves – American Aquarium
The “most active band” in America last year with over 200 gigs are back with a new album and show no signs of slowing down. An honest follow-up to their Isbell-produced 2012 album Burn.Flicker.Die.

So it looks like we’re off to a grand start to the year. (Well, except for that Drake mixtape, but we’ll put that behind us and move right along.)

Hopefully there’s a track or two that you enjoyed, and as alvvays, feel free to leave a comment or tweet at me to let me know what I’ve been missing.

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