14 Great Musical Discoveries From 2015
Written by C.I. DeMann on November 1, 2017
Every couple months, my KPSU radio show “Six Degrees of Rockination” has a theme. On January 2, 2016, that theme was my favorite musical discoveries from the last year. To be clear, not all of these bands and songs were new in 2015, but they were new to me. I discovered them in 2015, so I celebrated them in this show. What songs did I play?
All Time Low – “To Live and Let Go”
This one’s a pop punk rocker by an always-reliable band. I think my favorite part of this is how they keep switching from a single guitar playing the acoustic riff, back to the full band rocking out.
The Bohicas – “Where You At?”
This song is so insanely catchy, I can’t understand how it wasn’t a worldwide smash hit. The band’s cool-looking, too, with their leather jackets and all. I feel like these dudes should be the Next Big Thing.
The Stone Foxes – “I Killed Robert Johnson”
Incredibly moody and dynamic, this song travels between the loud and the quiet, between the low and the high, between the clean and the dirty. There’s a super-distorted guitar solo late in the song that gives me goosebumps every time I hear it.
Postmodern Jukebox – “I Believe In a Thing Called Love”
Do you know Postmodern Jukebox? They’re a band that lives on YouTube, taking pop songs and playing them in different styles. If you love all genres of music, you should get into these guys. I think this Darkness cover is my favorite of their songs, especially the last part where they go double-time.
The Old 97s – “Longer Than You’ve Been Alive”
I’ve been into this band for almost 20 years now and am so pleased to see them still producing quality rock ‘n’ roll. This one starts slow and quiet, then finishes in a roar. Also worth noting: Rhett Miller is my favorite lyricist.
The Datsuns – “MF From Hell”
Nothing subtle or refined about this one, just straight-up, balls-to-the-wall rock. Or maybe it should be spelled rawk. RAWWWWWWWWWK!
Best Coast – “Heaven Sent”
I didn’t think Best Coast was my kind of band, but then they put out a few new songs that really impressed me. This one’s a total rocker. Maybe they are my kind of band.
BC Camplight – “You Should Have Gone to School”
Again, this is not my usual kind of band. Not rocking at all. Instead, they give us long stretches of dreamy, synthesized, effects-laden pop with a female voice, then get to the chorus and really explode. This was a lovely, surprising discovery.
Tigers Jaw – “I Was Never Your Boyfriend”
This is a very simple song, but I love the way it switches up the tempo and vibe. It starts with the choppy, syncopated part, then switches to the driving, full-band sound. They’re not quite changing time-signatures, but it almost feels like it.
Morningwood – “How You Know It’s Love”
And here’s another song that does interesting stuff with tempo and vibe. Slow, quiet, and stripped-down at times, then they speed it up, bring the rest of the band in, and the whole thing explodes. Clearly, dynamic songs are my thing. One of my many things.
Ezra Furman – “Lousy Connection”
Tons going on in this song. A horn section, doo-wop vocals, incredible lyrics, changes in tempo. This song really brings a lot to the table.
Rival Sons – “Pressure and Time”
I’m not joking, this may be the best rock song I’ve come across in the last 10 years. The vocals are soaring, the drums have a huge sound, and the guitar is rippin’. An absolutely Hall of Fame rock song.
Jimmy Ray – “Goin’ to Vegas”
Shake a shake a shake shake shake a shake. I said a shake a shake a shake shake shake a shake. If you ever find a person who doesn’t like this song, congratulations, you’ve found a person who hates fun.
Elijah and the Ebonies – “Hot Grits!!!”
This song came out in 1974, but somehow I’m only discovering it now. How did I miss this? It’s so ridiculous and fun and ridiculously fun.