The Soundshark’s Top 20 Songs of 2015

Something somebody said recently struck me as it made an awful lot of sense. Exactly when do you stop saying, ‘Happy New Year,’ to one another? Or at least when does it become acceptable at the least. I honestly don’t know, but for now, I’m still considering it an appropriate time to talk about my favourite songs of last year. Seeming I’ve made a habit of it, and I finally have time to sit down and write about them.

2015 was a challenging year as it more or less marked my transition from degree student to having to fend for myself. Sometimes it sucked, sometimes it didn’t. But something that I didn’t previously have was a companion, somebody that I hold very dear to me and somebody I look forward to what the future holds for the both of us. As such, she has had an impact on deciding this list, just as much as the rollercoaster of emotions I’ve gone through in the past year has. Like I’ve said before, I do these lists for biographical reasons, to show where I’ve been and what’s happened in years gone by. Music and memory are powerful things.

So my rules for the list are as follows: I don’t always pick songs from this year to put on the list, it involves literally anything I’ve listened to in the past year that I’ve enjoyed frequently enough (that said, there are a lot of 2015 entries on this list which makes a change), but I try to avoid putting more than one song by the same artist in. Some of my past lists had more than one or two. You can find them on Spotify if you want to.

I would like to make an honourable mentions list, but there were far too many to include on this year’s list, so I’ll skip that formality this time. Just so many good moments or songs to include the entire list. And if you would like to listen to this list uninterrupted, commentary-free, then head on over to the Spotify playlist instead.

Righty then, on with the show…

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American Wrestlers

Chances are that you’ll probably have never heard of Manchester’s Working For A Nuclear Free City. So the name Gary McClure will mean even less to you if you haven’t. The gentleman in question is half responsible for the former name, and entirely responsible for the latter. What was successful in WFANFC was its air of nostalgia, invoked in its many distinct song styles, leaving behind an eclectic catalogue of killer songwriting, atmosphere and endearing little oddities that sounded like they could’ve been from many different time periods of history. American Wrestlers has a spirit which is very similar. Recorded on an eight-track and on his wife’s guitar and keyboard, Gary McClure has distilled the essence of WFANFC into a stripped back indie-pop masterpiece, that sounds like its been around since the 60’s, rather than April of this year. The soulful, heartfelt There’s No One Crying Over Me Either, with its catchy keyboard hook, dated but fitting drum machine beat and soaring guitar solo is a sure fire contender to be one of my favourite songs released this year and the hype surrounding the self-titled album is rightful to propel its status as one of the best releases likely to be out this year. One of the best examples of timelessness currently going.

American Wrestlers’ debut album can be purchased through Fat Possum Records’ website, or via most respectable music retailers.

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