The music world certainly had its share of weird moments in 2015. There was everything from Kanye West announcing his bid for the US presidency and that Madonna incident at the Brit Awards; to the Zayn Malik/1D saga and most of the world’s population becoming Beliebers overnight (seriously, who saw that one coming?).

With every weird moment, however, came plenty of great ones. Adele made her hugely-anticipated comeback to the music world; Lionel Richie entertained the masses at Glastonbury with one of the best sets the Pyramid Stage has ever seen; and Taylor Swift took the show-stopping 1989 tour around the world, to name just a few! Most importantly, 2015 was a fantastic year for music releases in every single musical genre that you could imagine.

With this in mind, I asked members of Queen’s Radio to share with me their favourite music of 2015. This was their response:

 

Hannah McVeigh – QR Residency (Wednesday 7-9pm)

Album: MALIKA

Artist: Tala

Released: October 2015

My album for 2015 is Tala’s 2nd EP, MALIKA, released this year after her 2014 album The Duchess introduced her amazing producing skills. She’s a 26 year old London singer-songwriter and producer who blends Iranian influences (from her father’s family) into sick London grime and garage beats. Collaborations with Banks in Wolfpack have already put her on Radio 1 playlists. With such a highly eclectic and multi-cultural electronic album, she’s definitely going to blow up in 2016’s festival season.

 

Song: Figure 8

Artist: FKA Twigs

Released: August 2015

My favourite track that I listened to on repeat from this year was the opening track Figure 8 from FKA Twigs’ highly anticipated new album M3ll155X. What I love about her music is that it is evocative, borderline disturbing but catchy. Not a stereotypical pop artist in the slightest, she isn’t afraid to show people the darkest side of themselves when they listen to her music.  It’s a powerful mesmerizing track and her other stuff on the album is definitely worth a listen too.

 

 Ellie Lawlor – Head of Events/Hipster Von Cliché (Tuesday 8-9pm)

Album: What Went Down

Artist: Foals

Released: August 2015

This is the fourth studio album released by the Oxford band, and as of this Christmas, one of the first vinyl records in my collection! With highly energetic guitar riffs coming down all over the place and lyrics that have been dubbed “a feeling person’s alternative”, the boys have produced tracks like What Went Down and Snake Oil to grip their listeners with intensive and electric melodies. On the flip side, a few slower songs like Mountain At My Gates and Night Swimmers offer some meditative opportunities over the course of the album. It’s a careful balance they’ve managed quite well, and while admittedly not as raw as some of their previous works, it’s still one of the best things to come out of 2015.

 

Song: Love Me

Artist: The 1975

Released: October 2015

The first single dropped from The 1975’s highly anticipated new album is all about them pop 80’s vibes. This song does nothing but POP – literally. It’s David Bowie’s Fame for the modern generation. Featuring the catchiest electro motif in existence and a bass line that just gets stuck in your head all day, you’ll find yourself humming it 24/7. I can’t wait to see what they’ve done with the rest of the album come February!

 

Eilis Lee – Wednesdazed and Confused (Wednesday 5-6pm)

Album: Currents

Artist: Tame Impala

Released: July 2015

Opening with a 7-minute-long single, ‘Let It Happen’, Tame Impala’s third album was immediately different from its heavier psych-rock predecessors, with warped synths replacing scuzzy guitar. Standout tracks The Less I Know The Better, Disciples, Cause I’m A Man and Reality In Motion take the band’s dreamlike sound and amplify it through thick basslines, hazy synths, and wry lyrics about heartbreak.

 

Song: Downtown

Artist: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Released: August 2015

It may be cheesy. It may be odd. But Downtown is the one song guaranteed to get me dancing in Limelight – a glorious mash-up of weirdly catchy old-school hip-hop and a ridiculous 80s glam chorus that stands out in a sea of repetitive Calvin Harris or Justin Bieber bangers.

 

Alex Thompson – RELAX (Sunday 8-9pm)

Album: A Flourish And A Spoil

Artist: The Districts

Released: February 2015

The album of the year for me was a 3 way split between Kendrick Lamar, The Districts and Slaves. But I’m going with The Districts’ A Flourish and A Spoil. It is one of the best indie rock records to come out in years for me – pumped full of attitude, anger and sadness all confined within the parameters of apathetic white suburbia. Highlights of the album include 4th And Roebling, Suburban Smell and the 9 minute prog-epic Young Blood. I’d recommend it to anyone who’s a fan of angsty American indie/punk rock.

 

Song: Do Something

Artist: Slaves

Released: May 2015

Picking a song of the year is incredibly difficult, but I’m going to give that honour to Slaves with their track Do Something. The album itself blew me away, but the guitar hooks and attitude in this song positively reek of swagger, rage and dissatisfaction at the current state of life in Britain. It gets me every time!

 

Corey McKinney – Head of Music/QR Residency (Wednesday 7-9pm)

Album: My Love Is Cool

Artist: Wolf Alice

Released: June 2015

This wonderful debut LP from the North London rock band really put Wolf Alice on the map. The album features some of their popular singles from past EP’s, such as Fluffy and Bros, all perfectly remastered. The album also includes some new tracks equally brilliant, such as You’re a Germ, Lisbon and Your Loves Whore. The energetic prowess of their instrumentals joined with the hauntingly beautiful vocals of front woman Ellie Rowsell truly makes Wolf Alice a rock force to be reckoned with in years to come.

 

Song: How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful

Artist: Florence And The Machine

Released: May 2015

Picking a song of the year is pretty impossible for me, I could probably list around 10 others that sit on the same pedestal as HBHBHB. I think my hype for this song and album of the same name is what makes this my number 1. Plus, the brass accompaniment to this song is absolutely kick ass!

 

Rachel Young – Deputy Head of Music

Album: Future Hearts

Artist: All Time Low

Released: April 2015

All Time Low made their triumphant return this year with their sixth and most successful record to date, Future Hearts. It shot straight to the top of the UK charts, scoring the Baltimore quartet’s first number one album and leading a brand new wave of mainstream success for pop-punk music. The album has plenty of highlights, including singles Runaways and Something’s Gotta Give, but a special mention must be given the most poignant moment on the record – the ballad Tidal Waves sees All Time Low come full circle in their career, with guest vocals from the band’s biggest musical influence, Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus. I’ve been lucky enough to watch this band go from strength to strength over the last decade, but Future Hearts will certainly be remembered as their career defining moment. I look forward to what they have in store for 2016!

 

Song: Hostage

Artist: Nothing But Thieves

Released: October 2015

If I had to pick my favourite band of 2015, it was Nothing But Thieves. Their self-titled debut record was definitely the one to beat in alternative music this year! To pick just one song of theirs was hard but in the end I went for Hostage, which I feel is the album’s hidden gem. For me, the track is a breath of fresh air in British rock music. I’ve never heard anything quite like it. Corey and I also got the chance to interview them earlier this year for QR – you can take a listen here!

 

Robbie McKinney – Deputy Head of Events

Album: The Incredible True Story

Artist: Logic

Released: November 2015

The Incredible True Story, the sophomore album released by Maryland rapper Logic, has to be one of the best records I’ve listened to this year. It’s clear that Logic is still continuing to evolve and tinker with his own style, culminating in an album that glimmers with potential which gets me excited for what the young rapper can rise to achieve in the future.  The instrumentation and lyrics on this record are fresh, engaging and diverse, making it a must listen to any fan of hip-hop. The album also has a kick-ass narrative!

 

Song: All Time Low

Artist: Jon Bellion

Released: April 2015

Jon Bellion can’t make bad music. That’s about all I can say. If you haven’t checked him out yet, then go do it. Right now. All Time Low, a song he released for free earlier this year, lays total claim to that. Comprised of astounding drum pockets, snares and catchy hooks, the beat to this song is amazing. Top that with the honest lyrics and Bellion’s smooth vocals and you’ve got my favourite song of 2015.

 

Ciaran McManus – Deputy Head of Sound/The Rambling Man Show (Tuesday 4-5pm)

Album: Loose Friends

Artist: The Academic

Released: October 2015

This 4 track EP is the first release from Mullingar 4 piece The Academic. It has really shot them onto the Irish music scene with their refreshing take on Indie pop music. Special mention must go to their 2 singles from this EP, Northern Boy and Different. No doubt they will continue to grow and hopefully we will see more of them in 2016.

Song: The Long Way

Artist: The Coronas

Released: November 2015

The Long Way is the title track of the double platinum album by the Coronas, released in 2014. It really shows a maturation of The Coronas’ song writing, and although simple, it connects with the listener emotionally on a whole different level. Combined with this, it is also a pure anthem, allowing careless minds and hoarse voices to scream the lyrics and immerse themselves in the music.

 

Matthew Kirk – Head of Advertising & Promotion/Maximum RPM (Sunday 9-11pm)

Album: Meliora

Artist: Ghost

Released: August 2015

I cannot say enough good things about this album – it is damn good! But if you insist on seeing me try, click here to check out my album review of Meliora from earlier this year.

Very honourable mentions: Muse – Drones; Stray From The Path – Subliminal Criminals; While She Sleeps – Brainwashed

 

Song: Multiple Truths

Artist: Melechesh

Released: February 2015

You’ve perhaps never heard of Melechesh before, but after hearing this track, you won’t soon forget them! Taken from their album Enki (released on Nuclear Blast Records), Multiple Truths explodes into life with a fantastic opening guitar riff that sets the tone for 5+ minutes of head banging, high-octane, heavy metal intensity. Simply incredible.

Very honourable mentions: Anthrax – Evil Twin; August Burns Red feat. Jeremy McKinnon – Ghosts; Bring Me The Horizon – Throne; Slayer – Repentless

 

Laura Sproule – Deputy Station Manager (Off-Air)

Album: Badlands

Artist: Halsey

Released: August 2015

Badlands is American singer Halsey’s debut album.  Despite being released in August of this year, it has only started garnering the recognition it deserves on the British music scene within the last few months. Although predominantly electropop, the record is also heavily influenced by indie and synth pop styles. Special credit is reserved for New Americana for being a song that perfectly captures our generation, whilst other hits including Hold Me Down and Colours deal with issues prevalent to every twenty-something out there right now.