2015 has been one hell of a year in music! Taylor Swift continues to amaze us all with her transition into pop music; we’ve seen the return of some of the biggest acts in music including Collective Soul, The Corrs and Janet Jackson while some of our favourite artists have released some of their finest material of their careers – we’re looking at you Newton Faulkner and Ellie Goulding. As the year draws to a close, the time is right to reflect a little and look back at some of the biggest and brightest single releases of the past 12 months.
Join us as Renowned For Sound’s editor takes a look back over the year that was 2015, looking back at the Top 20 singles that have formed the soundtrack to his year….
20. Aston Merrygold – Get Stupid
After his hugely successful stint as one quarter, and the most prominent member, of pop/RnB four-piece JLS, Aston Merrygold took his fist stab at a solo career with this catchy hit. Showing he can whip up an electric dance move or two as well as an infectious hit single, Get Stupid put the musicians vocal dexterity under the spotlight for the world to admire.
19. Will Young – Thank You
Flying the flag as one of the most successful acts to ever come out of a singing reality show, Will Youngs career has been dotted with a plethora of achievements and his 2015 studio album, 85% Proof delivered some of the finest singles of his career to date including Thank You with its unique vocal structure, a gospel-sung and orchestral backdrop and a cool synth providing the track with its eerie, sentiment-rich backbone.
18. Hurts – Some Kind of Heaven
Manchester synth-pop heavyweights Hurts returned with their 3rd studio album in 2015 and from the long player came this punchy gem. More uptempo than most offerings from Theo and Adam’s career to date, Some Kind of Heaven signified a stylistic shift from the bands previously and predominantly haunting output and pushed them into more mainstream, up-tempo territory.
17. The Veronicas – You Ruin Me
Australian sister duo The Veronicas released their long awaited third album in 2015; their first since 2007. The first single to be lifted from the release was this gorgeously eerie ballad. The songs orchestral foundation provides a grand backdrop for the piano-led hit and the twins’ delicate yet powerful vocals and the singles vulnerable lyrics.
16. Shane Filan feat Nadine Coyle – I Could Be
The pairing of former Westlife front man Shane Filan and former Girls Aloud starlet Nadine Coyle made for a perfect duet in the form of I Could Be which served Filan as the second single to be released from his sophomore solo effort, Right Here.
15. Conchita Wurst – You Are Unstoppable
She was a hot topic in 2014 after being crowned the winner of Eurovision and she kept the wheels turning throughout 2015 with the release of her self-titled debut album and this firecracker of a single which provided listeners with further evidence of Conchita’s powerhouse vocal abilities.
14. Caro Emerald – Quicksand
While we are still waiting very patiently for a follow up LP to Caro’s last – 2013’s UK No. 1 effort, The Shocking Miss Emerald, Quicksand provided a nice teaser of what to expect from the Dutch songbirds next release. The tracks head-bopping beat is encouraging while the singer retains a style reminiscent of singles from within her stunning Deleted Scenes From the Cutting Room Floor debut giving us fans reason to be very excited about that highly-anticipated 3rd release.
13. Jarryd James – Do You Remember
Jarryd James proved to be one of the biggest breakthrough acts of 2015. This track came out of nowhere and quickly solidified Jarryd’s position as a skilled songwriter and gifted vocalist. Combining a pulsating RnB rhythm, a Justin-Timberlake-esque vocal and a glazing of pop and you have yourself an engaging and unique hit like this beauty!
12. Collective Soul – AYTA
There aren’t too many bands in music who have survived 20-something years. There are even less bands who, after this many years together, are still producing studio albums of such high caliber as Collective Soul’s 2015 collection, See What You started By Continuing. Just take a listen to AYTA, the centerpiece of the collection, and you will see just why Collective Soul are still going strong after several decades.
11. Little Mix – Love Me Like You
Mixing 50’s girl group melodies and adding a dash of Motown to the second single from new album, Get Weird, Little Mix delivered something special with the follow up single to Black Magic with Love Me Like You. The girls don’t mess around here; the track’s crisp production, punchy rhythm and the foursome’s effortlessly delivered vocal finesse make Love Me Like You one of the finest releases from the pop quartet.
10. Lana Del Rey – High By The Beach
Known for her smokey tones and haunting Americana musical style, Lana returned with her fourth studio record, Honeymoon, in 2015. The collection was fronted by this beauty of a lead single which was reminescent of her impeccable Born To Die debut and contained more of an upbeat rhythm when compared to many of her previous single releases; synths and electronic beats building a foundation for the singers chilling, laid-back vocal.
9. Janet Jackson – No Sleeep
The hype over her return to music after seven years away from the recording studio climaxed earlier this year with the announcement of a world tour, a brand new studio album, Unbreakable, and an epic lead single, No Sleeep for Ms Janet Jackson. With stylistic nods to her eighties and nineties hey day with a modern twist, No Sleeep proved to be a stunning return to form from one of our favourite divas.
8. Adele – Hello
She’s broken almost every record there is in music with her third studio album and the figures keep clocking up. 25 saw the light of day in November and is riding high as one of the biggest releases in music history. Credit is of course given to its lead single, Hello; a soaring power ballad delivered in true Adele style and drenched in heartache as the singer begs for forgiveness.
7. Beth Hart – Mechanical Heart
Beth stole our hearts in 2015 with the release of Better Than Home; the blues musicians eighth studio record. From the album came the stunning Mechanical Heart; a raspy ballad that oozes with emotion and a raw, vulnerable quality to a level that is heard on tracks from only the most grounded and skilled musicians in the industry. The exposure of her feelings and the delivery of each note on Mechanical Heart is goose-bump inducing and brings the Californian singer and multi-instrumentalists vocal and lyrical talents right to the forefront of this stunning hit.
6. Taylor Swift – Style
Rather than continue to blur the line between country and pop music, Taylor Swift decided to shed the twang and go all-out pop with her 2014 studio release, 1989. It was a wise move for the musician as singles like Shake It Off, Blank Space, Bad Blood and Wildest Dreams proved to the world that she was no one-trick pony. Style was one of the singers 2015 releases and contains all the infectious and sparkly ingredients that make for a punchy, well-crafted pop tune.
5. Madonna – Ghost Town
Her releases over the past decade may have been a series of hit and misses but the Queen of Pop showed them all how to master a post-apocalyptic power ballad when she released Ghosttown earlier in 2015. She may have dropped the ball a few times with releases over the past few years but with Ghosttown, Madonna proves she is still the reigning Queen of the diva’s and one that can still turn out a solid ballad.
4. Ellie Goulding – Love Me Like You Do
Ellie proved that her hits aren’t just limited to her studio albums when she went and released Love Me Like You Do in 2015; generously offering the power ballad to the raunchy romantic-drama, Fifty Shades of Grey. The tracks powerful vocal and sweeping melody hail Love Me Like You Do as one of the finest releases of Goulding’s career and easily one of the most grand and impeccable ballads of the last decade.
3. Newton Faulkner – Get Free
His approach to covers is as exquisitely executed as you can get and this year Mr Newton Faulkner delivered a stellar performance of the Major Lazer penning, Get Free as the lead track from his recently released fifth studio record, Human Love. The structurally eccentric hit put the musicians diverse vocal range and skill in the front seat and prepared us for one of the years finest studio albums.
2. V V Brown – Shift
Not content with featuring in our Best Songs lists in 2013 and 2014, pop princess turned goth pop icon VV Brown offered us a track to get the blood pumping and the feet moving when she released Shift, the first track from her third studio collection, Glitch. Dabbling heavily in techno and dance music throughout her latest record, VV showed off her well excercised songwriting skills as well as her ability to turn out one hell of a dancefloor hit with Shift which continues to transform and push her musical skill and style to greater heights.
1. The Corrs – Bring On the Night
Back with us after a decade, our favourite Irish siblings returned to the pop fold in the later half of 2015 with news of a tour, a new studio collection and the records first single, Bring On the Night. The Corrs were one of the biggest acts throughout the nineties and they made a very welcomed and highly anticipated comeback with this cinematic, Irish scented pop masterpiece which is the first track to represent one of bands finest studio records of their career. Allowing each member to showcase their individual attributes to the collective and the bands timeless sound, Bring On The Night contains elements of The Corrs’ early Irish-drenched nineties material while incorporating a slight EDM edge. A penning of pure pop perfection.