2015 has been a great year for popular music! We saw a lot of amazing artists come back and new talents making their way to the top. It’s that time of the year again where we decide what were the best pop moments in 2015. This is A Bit of Pop Music’s Top 50 of Best Singles of the Year where we go from The Weeknd to Jess Glynne and Adele to Justin Bieber!
50. Chvrches – Leave A Trace
Electro pop at its finest! Great vocals, a powerful chorus with a strong hook and a delicious production. Oh, and the lyrics are quite relatable as well! Well done!
49. Little Mix – Love Me Like You
Little Mix brought us a cute throwback to the halcyon days of Motown and girlgroups like The Supremes. This is so catchy, you just have to sing along!
48. Urban Cone – Sadness Disease
“Why not make the hook of our song out of the edited sound of a dolphin?”, the Swedish guys of Urban Cone must have thought and the result is irresistibly infectious!
47. Stig Rästa & Elina Born – Goodbye To Yesterday
Elina Born and Stig Rästa brought Estonia back in the top 10 of the Eurovision Song Contest with their precious little duet. The track written by Rästa perfectly fits Elina’s voice and their distant interaction is convincing.
46. Disclosure feat. lorde – Magnets
The icy beats of Disclosure and Lorde’s characteristic vocals turned out to be a golden combination. Quite the seducing and addictive tune!
45. Shura – 2Shy
Shura perfectly portrays the shyness of the lyrics in the vocals and this throwback to the slick R&B of the 90s is very well executed. Delicious chorus to say the least!
44. Seinabo Sey – Pretend
This firy ode to life swings! “Someone just told me that there’s no tomorrow, and if that is true, I don’t know what to do. Guess then these troubles are out of my hands, guess then I’m free to use them to clap and dance”, Seinabo soulfully sings. And that is what we all do to this song.
43. Troye Sivan – Talk Me Down
Troye Sivan touched quite some hearts with this heartbreaking ballad. You know that point in a relationship where you know breaking up might be better, but you don’t really want to? This is the soundtrack to that situation from 2015 on.
42. Zara Larsson – Lush Life
A summer hit from Sweden? Sure, why not! Zara Larsson is quickly becoming an international pop sensation and this infectious, uplifting single definitely did help.
41. Marina Kaye – Homeless
Marina Kaye had one of the biggest hits of the year in France and Europe will probably follow. ‘Homeless’ is power pop of the most convincing kind. Great vocals, relatable lyrics, needs to be an international hit.
40. Delta Goodrem – Wings
Delta Goodrem is mostly known for her piano pop ballads, but she can do uptempo dancey tunes as well and shove an awesome piano middle eight in. This is an insanely catchy ride from start to finish.
39. Kyla La Grange – So Sweet
Talk about criminally underrated. Kyla La Grange only dropped one of the best and most instant pop tunes of the year online and a lot more people should have cared.
38. Loic Nottet – Rhythm Inside
Loic Nottet shook up Eurovision with some pretty modern electronic pop and a hell of a chorus. We surely need to hear more of those gorgeous vocals so please don’t keep us waiting any longer for new material!
37. Lianne La Havas – What You Don’t Do
Lianne La Havas had a great year and this catchy little tune is one of the reasons why. She has never sounded so swinging and radiofriendly and the sound fits her!
36. Say Lou Lou – Nothing But A Heartbeat
Say Lou Lou always bring us hypnotic dream pop and the sisters outdid themselves on the atmospheric ‘Nothing But A Heartbeat’. Those sweet vocals and the humming in the chorus are to die for.
35. Major Lazer & DJ Snake – Lean On (feat. MØ)
The combination of these three artists brought us one of the biggest hits of the year. The production is sick and MØ’s delivery is effortlessly cool. This will become a classic.
34. Miguel – Coffee
If this song does not make you a little bit hot I don’t know what will. So smooth, so sensual! Miguel’s voice fits this type of progresive R&B perfectly. Bring me that coffee in the morning please.
33. Elle King – Exes & Oh’s
Don’t we all love a bit of sassy pop with a country twist? Elle King makes them boys go loco and she is not afraid to admit it. She preferably does this in a huge chorus with some raw vocals. Just how we like it!
32. Madonna – Living For Love
Madonna’s Rebel Heart will probably not be remembered as one of her best albums, but at least we got an addictive 90s dance tune from it. Alicia Keys offered some vocal help and the result is a dancefloor filler.
31. The Weeknd – The Hills
The Weeknd’s ode to being ‘f**ked up’ tells a girl how he is not being faithful to her. The lyrics are quite in your face, but it fits the moody production and the exciting progressive R&B sound. The weekend didn’t lose his character.
30. Justin Bieber – Sorry
After the mighty ‘What Do You Mean’, Justin Bieber did it one more time with the infectious pop tune ‘Sorry’. The track has a light bubbling rhythm and a chorus that can not be ignored, no matter how hard you try.
29. Halsey – New Americana
Halsey came up with an ode to the younger generation which she calls the ‘New Americana’. The result is an infectious pop tune with rolling drums. Should have been an international sensation.
28. Lianne La Havas – Unstoppable
Lianne La Havas reinvented herself with an elegant soulful sound. ‘Unstoppable’ was the first taste and quite delicious. The production is perfectly detailed and balanced and her voice is nothing less than heavenly.
27. Demi Lovato – Cool For The Summer
Demi Lovato warmed us up this summer with a cheeky song about a naughty summer night. The pop sound with a rockier edge works well with her vocals and the new image. That chorus though, pop perfection!
26. Years & Years – Shine
2015 was all about Years & Years and rightfully so, because they continued to put out one brilliant track after the other. ‘Shine’ throws a string of hooks in your face that keep playing in your mind. Synth pop as it should be.
25. Karen Harding – Say Something
Upcoming pop star Karen Harding brought us back to the 90s with her dance tune ‘Say Something’. MNEK produced the beats and Karen produced some very strong vocals. Can’t wait to hear what 2016 has in store for her.
24. Foxes – Body Talk
This throwback to the 80s by Foxes should have been a way bigger moment for her than it actually was. The track unfolds itself with every listen until the moment you realize it is one of the best choruses you heard in a while.
23. Lana Del Rey – High By The Beach
Lana Del Rey came back swinging with this laid back song about getting high by the beach. She still knows how to create irresistibly catchy hooks and on this one she almost sounds hypnotic. Glorious!
22. Tove Styrke – Ego
Tove Styrke mixed a sad story about a friend who changed (and not for the better!) with an uplifting and cheerful pop chorus. It may sound like a strange combination, but it magically works!
21. Mariette – Don’t Stop Believing
Mariette Hansson participated in Sweden’s preselection for Eurovision, Melodifestivalen, with the mighty midtempo anthem ‘Don’t Stop Believing’. It’s big, it’ atmospheric, it’s bombastic! What’s not to like?
20. Troye Sivan – Wild
This song excels at describing the feeling that you experience when you have just fallen in love with someone. The butterflies burst out of your speaker in the form of a light electronic pop chorus with a little help of a children’s choir. Amazing.
19. Rae Morris – Under The Shadows
This is a modern day ‘Running Up That Hill’ if you ask me. The rhythm is slightly similar, but especially the mystical vibe reminds me of Kate Bush. Not to say that Rae is copying, because she sounds authentic and her vocals are unique. Such a gorgeous tune!
18. Adam Lambert – Ghost Town
Adam Lambert was back on top of the charts in several parts of Europe with the release of ‘Ghost Town’. It’s incomprehensible that this dark and exciting slice of poppy house didn’t do much in America.
17. Loreen – I’m In It With You
Eurovision winner Loreen showed she still has got it with the release of the powerful ballad ‘I’m In It With You’. Her vocals are made for this type of tracks as she sounds breathtaking in the chorus. This should have been her moment!
16. Brandon Flowers – Can’t Deny My Love
The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers found a place somewhere between 80s pop and the sound of contemporary bands like Haim and this brought us the nothing short of brilliant single ‘Can’t Deny My Love’. The bridge towards the chorus, the chorus itself, the female choir, it’s perfect!
15. Ellie Goulding – Love Me Like You Do
Ellie Goulding had her biggest hit so far with the soundtrack for Fifty Shades of Grey. The Max Martin written tune has the perfect build up and is tailor made for Ellie’s sweet voice. So, so catchy!
14. Florence + the Machine – Queen of Peace
Florence returned with the record How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful and brought some trumpets with her for the single ‘Queen of Peace’. It is a typical Florence track (which is of course great) with a magical trumpet melody added. Heaven!
13. Jess Glynne – Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself
Jess Glynne came up with a self love anthem that did not drown in cliches. Actually, it sounded fresh and summery! The chorus is one of the best of the year and it wasn’t even her best yet…
12. AURORA – Running With The Wolves
Norway’s AURORA delivered us a piece of electronic pop perfection with her single ‘Running With The Wolves’. Everything, from the way the song is produced to her convincing delivery of the lyrics, screams a hit and she will be big next year.
11. Mørland & Debrah Scarlett – A Monster Like Me
Mørland and Debrah Scarlett represented Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest with the touching ballad ‘A Monster Like Me’. They ended up in the top 10 and they deserved it. Beautifully written and performed.
10. Selena Gomez – Good For You (feat. A$ap Rocky)
This marked the moment where Selena Gomez became a pop force to be reckoned with. The smooth and sultry tune perfectly fits her voice and she finally did something that gave her some personality as an artist. Sexy tune!
09. Jess Glynne – Hold My Hand
As promised, another Jess Glynne tune. This one was an even bigger hit and it was completely deserved. Jess knows how to create catchy dance pop at its finest and the chorus to ‘Hold My Hand’ is one of the most infectious things written all year! No wonder she kept collecting UK nr 1’s.
08. Justin Bieber – What Do You Mean
This tune will always be remembered as the moment in Justin Bieber’s career he grew from teen idol to full grown pop star. ‘What Do You Mean’ is an incredibly catchy tune with a light electronic arrangement and a refreshing vibe. I dare you not to hum along…
07. The Weeknd – Can’t Feel My Face
2015 was a big year for The Weeknd and not in the last place because of his mega hit ‘Can’t Feel My Face’. The collaboration with Max Martin mixed a poppy chorus with a funky rhythm which many compared to Michael Jackson’s best days. Such an addictive song and after hearing it so many times, I’m still not tired of it.
06. Sumera – I See You
This might not be one of the most obvious choices in the list, but Sumera absolutely deserves her spot. ‘I See You’ is a fantastic song. Her vocals sound brilliant on this moody electronic tune and the message is beautiful. Oh, and that drop halfway through, it gets me every single time.
05. Aminata – Love Injected
This song from Latvia was hands down the most interesting and exciting composition in Eurovision 2015. The verses with the high pitched vocals build up to a vocal explosion that knows no mercy. What’s not to love?
04. Adele – Hello
You can always count on Adele to produce the most heartfelt and vocally overwhelming ballads and so she did with ‘Hello’. No wonder the whole world was in awe of her. This song is huge in every single way and of course it is exceptionally well written. Adele deserves all of her success.
03. Years & Years – King
This song contains every reason why we love synth pop. It is catchy as hell, has a big, soaring chorus, great lyrics which are easy to sing along to and of course that light and refreshing production. This tune fits Olly’s cute vocal style perfectly and was one of the biggest hits of the year for a reason.
02. Marina & the Diamonds – I’m A Ruin
‘I’m A Ruin’ sums up everything we love about Marina and the Diamonds. The lyrics are painfully honest, the chorus settles in your mind easily and her vocals shine as always. The post chorus with the ‘yeah yeah’s’ and ‘oh’s’ is one of the catchiest hooks I have heard all year and makes brilliant use of her unconventional vocal style.
01. Florence + The Machine – What Kind Of Man
A Bit of Pop Music’s absolute number one of the year is the pop rock whirlwind ‘What Kind of Man’ by Florence + The Machine. It is not every day that you encounter a track that possesses so much passion, power and pain. It starts out almost a capella with just Florence’s voice telling a story about a dysfunctional relationship which then builds up to a rocky vocal hurricane. Absolutely stunning!
YES!! florence is heaven
What kind of man, best song of 2015.
Kerri Watt deserved a spot, but 2015 was such an awesome so I will forgive you
Yeah ‘Long Way Home’ is beautiful, she had a spot in the top 10 of best videos this year 😉
So glad someone else appreciates “I’m a Ruin”. It’s devastatingly beautiful.