We’ve had Best Albums, now it’s the individual tracks’ time to shine.
Compiling the year’s best tracks is always harder - and honestly, less satisfying - than albums: it’s infinitely tougher to compare and contrast three-minute moments than 10+ track stories, but it’s notable that 2015’s list features more self-released efforts than any previous year. The role of the traditional label is far from obsolete, but there are more people becoming stars on their own terms than ever, and that, at least, is a positive we can take from 2015.
How can we pick just one Future song in 2015? The year's most important and influential rapper (sit down, Drake) fed the streets all year long, but it's this 56 Nights standout that's head-and-shoulders above the rest: Future paints pictures with codeine, touching on everything from police brutality to drug-fueled affairs to living lavish over a beat that swirls like the DS2 cover. "Future Hendrix, Dirty Sprite, legendary" - we agree.
People fawned over that video of Four Tet's Eric Prydz remix at DC10, but the year's true Ibiza anthem came from West Wales - even if the White Isle hasn't quite caught on yet. 'Just a Lil' took a Chaka Khan sample, a simple drum loop and bassline and stretched it all out for five minutes – with a fade-in intro, because why not? In both sound and spirit, it's this decade's 'Together'.