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Adele. (Photo: Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images)

30. Björk – “stonemilker”

It took a disintegrating romance with artist Matthew Barney to inspire the Icelandic genius’ most resonant work since Vespertine. Nay, Homogenic! And this opening track, written nine months prior to the couple’s split, depicts the swirling emotions before a breakup with amazing clarity. – Kevin Wicks


29. Stereophonics – “C’est La Vie”

Imagine if Sleaford Mods dropped the street preacher punk act and got really into classic rock ‘n’ roll, while keeping up that ranting and raving energy. That’s the sound of this unexpected treat, easily the best thing Stereophonics have done in years. – Fraser McAlpine


28. Rihanna and Kanye West and Paul McCartney – “FourFiveSeconds”

Never mind the various pedigrees of the people involved in this song (and Paul McCartney’s relentless pout in the video), this is an understated and soulfully summery song, and a credit to everyone involved. – Fraser McAlpine


27. Everything Everything – “Spring / Sun / Winter / Dread”

Everything Everything’s best songs will always sound like Coldplay hits that have been stuck back together after a nasty accident with a shredder, and this is no exception. A rumination on aging and mortality that wears its anger and outrage as lightly as that skybound chorus. – Fraser McAlpine


26. Justin Bieber – “What Do You Mean?”

Bieber went from teenaged tabloid punchline to a real contender this year. How did he pull it off? Easy. By writing magnificent songs like this, a Caribbean-tinged exploration of romantic confusion. – Kevin Wicks


25. Lethal Bizzle ft. Diztortion – “Fester Skank”

The British grime scene continued to enthrall and delight in 2015, with above-par contributions from relative newcomers like Stormzy and Bugzy Malone, and the return to hilarious glory of Lethal Bizzle, a man with no discernible sense of self-depreciation whatsoever. – Fraser McAlpine


24. Beach House – “Sparks”

Depending on your temperament, this track will be either unnerving or soothing, in that dissonant My Bloody Valentine way. This is dream pop at its most elegant. – Kevin Wicks


23. C. Duncan – “For”

Glasgow’s C Duncan writes moonstruck songs with choral vocal arrangements and records them alone, one part at a time. His baroque creations form a bridge between the stately wonder of classical music and the ornate folk of Fleet Foxes. – Fraser McAlpine


22. Marina and the Diamonds – “I’m a Ruin”

Marina’s video below may conjure up memories of Madonna‘s “Frozen,” but rest assured, this Welsh pop star has created something truly weirder and more idiosyncratic. More and more, she’s asserting herself as the true heiress to Kate Bush‘s lofty throne. – Kevin Wicks


21. Jamie xx ft. Young Thug, Popcaan – I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)

Producer albums are always a risky proposition, often relying on the guest singers to do the heavy lifting in selling the songs. Jamie’s In Colour—from which this is taken—is a rare exception, and a musical ride down a helter-skelter into a kaleidoscope. (Warning: language is very NSFW.) – Fraser McAlpine

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Filed Under: Greatest Songs
By staff