Ryan LaCroix, host of KOSU's All Things Considered and co-host of The Oklahoma Rock Show, shares his 20 favorite songs of 2015:
20. Thundercat ft. Flying Lotus & Kamasi Washington - "Them Changes"
The master bassist steps out on his own, with help from two stellar musicians whose albums he played on. Also, the best music video involving samurais released this year.
19. Waxahatchee - "Air"
I love everything about this song: Katie Crutchfield's tedious phrasing, the pulsing drumbeat, and even the line: 'I left you out like a carton of milk.' "Air" stays in its understated lane, never trying to be something it's not.
18. Belle & Sebastian - "The Party Line"
I've never been even a mild Belle & Sebastian fan, so it really struck me as bizarre when I was jamming on this song. Here's to more songs like this from them.
17. Silversun Pickups - "Nightlight"
It's been several years since Silversun Pickups put out a song that I listened to more than once. So, this was a happy return to my ears.
16. Best Coast - "Feeling Ok"
I have a soft spot for simple pop songs.
15. EL VY - "Return to the Moon"
I don't even know the words to this song and it doesn't really matter. It's all about the guitar lick here.
14. Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats - "S.O.B."
What a perfect blend of soul, blues, and rock music. A longshot that came out of nowhere.
13. Sleater-Kinney - "Bury Our Friends"
No Cities to Love was a fantastic comeback album. "Price Tag" and "Surface Envy" were killer songs too, but "Bury Our Friends" was the best of the bunch.
12. Hot Chip - "Huarache Lights"
Just a heckuva great dance song.
11. Courtney Barnett - "Pedestrian at Best"
Courtney has landed on a bunch of "Best of 2015" lists, despite this song being chock full of anxiety and disbelief that any of this is happening. And, paired with her clever songwriting, that's part of her charm.
10. Sufjan Stevens - "Should Have Known Better"
Emotionally charged lyrics paired with a delicate song that relies on a bedrock of acoustic guitar. Sounds like another Sufjan classic.
9. Action Bronson ft. Chance The Rapper - "Baby Blue"
A flawless kiss-off song by an oversized, tattooed, red-bearded white rapper. The best feature of the year is here with Chance The Rapper, hoping for minor inconveniences for a lost love, including shaken-up sodas, driveways full of snow, and always working on Fridays at a Fridays that's always busy on Fridays. Did I mention the music video is an homage to "Coming to America"?
8. Wavves - "Way Too Much"
An incredibly fun song about being stuck in a cycle of excess.
7. Florence + the Machine - "Ship To Wreck"
Stunning vocals (who would expect less?) and a R.E.M. musical vibe on one of the biggest songs of 2015.
6. Hop Along - "Powerful Man"
A powerful song, complemented by Frances Quinlan's strained, screechy vocals.
5. Tame Impala - "Let It Happen"
Kevin Parker sounds almost ethereal on the first half of this song, before seemingly disappearing underwater and leaving the psych world altogether in favor of electronica. A masterpiece in shifting tempo and vibes.
4. CHVRCHES - "Leave A Trace"
A simple, synth-laden song where Lauren Mayberry's vocals are the driving force.
3. The Internet ft. KAYTRANADA - "Girl"
Big kudos to NPR for tipping me off on The Internet. Ego Death is one of my top albums of 2015, and "Girl" is the laid-back star of the show.
2. Elle King - "Ex's & Oh's"
I was blown away when I saw her perform in Philadelphia back in May. A killer voice with an absolute smash of a hit.
1. Kurt Vile - "Pretty Pimpin"
I absolutely love the subtle lyric changes throughout this song, as we go on some sort of existential journey with Kurt.