Class of 2015: The Soundtrack


Albums continue to be my format of choice. I think they always will be. Lucky for me, the artists I follow seem to prefer albums as well. That’s not to say there isn’t a place in my life for singles though. Most years are packed with individual tracks that catch my attention — whether because they are really good, extremely awful, or just inescapable. These single-serving doses of pop culture are my way of breaking out of my music-snob persona to allow myself the enjoyment of a sing-along song from an artist I might not normally listen to. These tracks usually come from artists I can appreciate, but can’t handle a whole album from. That’s why putting together a yearly soundtrack is so much fun, even in a somewhat lackluster year in the singles department. Not only do I get to hunt for stand-out tracks as I dissect the albums I’ve enjoyed all year, I also get to dive into the more popular/mainstream music I’ve all but ignored over the past 12 months. It’s a time of reflection, discovery, and documentation. Of all my year-end lists, it’s The Soundtrack that I come back to most often.

The Soundtrack isn’t necessarily comprised of the “best” songs of the year, it is made up of the songs that fit into a compilation outside of the full album format. It a true representation of what the year sounded like. The only exception is metal. I just can’t extract a single track from a metal album. For that particular genre, the album format will always be sacred.

The Class of 2015 Soundtrack consists of 101 tracks. Each one is embedded below, but I also put together a Spotify playlist for easy access.

24 Frames

“24 Frames” by Jason Isbell
(from Something More Than Free)

this is how you make yourself vanish into nothing

Jason Isbell – 24 Frames

Age of Transparency

“Age of Transparency” by Autre Ne Veut
(from Age of Transparency)

it’s never enough

Autre Ne Veut – Age of Transparency

All I Want is to Be Your Girl

“All I Want is to be Your Girl” by Holly Miranda
(from Holly Miranda)

days are shorter but the nights are long

Holly Miranda – All I Want is to be Your Girl

All Your Favorite Bands

“All Your Favorite Bands” by Dawes
(from All Your Favorite Bands)

hope that life without a chaperone is what you thought it’d be

Dawes – All Your Favorite Bands


“Alright” by Kendrick Lamar
(from To Pimp a Butterfly)

knees gettin’ weak, and my gun might blow, but we gon’ be alright

Kendrick Lamar – Alright

Am I a Good Man

“Am I a Good Man?” by Iron & Wine and Ben Bridwell
(from Sing Into My Mouth)

best of her love she gives to someone else

Iron & Wine and Ben Bridwell – Am I a Good Man?

Bad Ideas

“Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas” by Beach Slang
(from The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us)

too fucked up to love, too soft to hate

Beach Slang – Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas

Bad Blood

“Bad Blood” by Ryan Adams
(from 1989)

band-aids don’t fix bullet holes

Ryan Adams – Bad Blood

Bitch Better Have My Money

“Bitch Better Have My Money” by Rihanna

pay me what you owe me, don’t act like you forgot

Rihanna  – Bitch Better Have My Money

But She Was Not Flying

“But She Was Not Flying” by Algiers
(from Algiers)

they bound and gagged her with the lies of the land

Algiers – But She Was Not Flying

Can't Feel My Face

“Can’t Feel My Face” by The Weeknd
(from Beauty Behind The Madness)

she’ll be the death of me, at least we’ll both be numb

The Weeknd – Can’t Feel My Face

Change of the Guard

“Change of the Guard” by Kamasi Washington
(from The Epic)

Kamasi Washington – Change of the Guard

Chateau Lobby

“Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)” by Father John Misty
(from I Love You, Honeybear)

dating for twenty years just feels pretty civilian

Father John Misty – Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)

John Moreland

“Cherokee” by John Moreland
(from High on Tulsa Heat)

guess I got a taste for poison, I’ve given up on ever being well

John Moreland – Cherokee


“City on the Hill” by Desaparecidos
(from Payola)

the price of an anthem paid in blood

Desaparecidos – City on the Hill


“Coffee” by Miguel
(from Wildheart)

as we laugh over shotguns and tongue kisses

Miguel – Coffee

Coming Home

“Coming Home” by Leon Bridges
(from Coming Home)

the world leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, girl

Leon Bridges – Coming Home

Continental Shelf

“Continental Shelf” by Viet Cong
(from Viet Cong)

edges falling off of themselves, and the water is draining

Viet Cong – Continental Shelf

Copper Canteen

“Copper Canteen” by James McMurtry
(from Complicated Game)

‘tween the grandparent’s graves and the grandchildren’s toys

James McMurtry – Copper Canteen

Deeper Than Love

“Deeper Than Love” by Colleen Green
(from I Want to Grow Up)

once you get to know me you won’t love me anymore

Colleen Green – Deeper Than Love


“Depreston” by Courtney Barnett
(from Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit)

if you’ve got a spare half a million

Courtney Barnett – Depreston


“Desire” by Dilly Dally
(from Sore)

comin’ at you from against the world

Dilly Dally – Desire


“Dime Store Cowgirl” by Kacey Musgraves
(from Pageant Material)

still call my hometown home

Kacey Musgraves – Dime Store Cowgirl

Dimed Out

“Dimed Out” by Titus Andronicus
(from The Most Lamentable Tragedy)

don’t chase after clocks or calendars

Titus Andronicus – Dimed Out

Don't Wanna Fight

“Don’t Wanna Fight” by Alabama Shakes
(from Sound & Color)

until there’s nothing left worth winning

Alabama Shakes – Don’t Wanna Fight


“Energy” by Drake
(from If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late)

run up when you see me then and we gon’ see

Drake – Energy

Ex's and Oh's

“Ex’s & Oh’s” by Elle King
(from Love Stuff)

always wanna come, but they never wanna leave

Elle King – Ex’s & Oh’s


“Excuse Me” by A$AP Rocky

gave this shit my all, ain’t got nothing left to lose

A$AP Rocky – Excuse Me

Feel the Lightning

“Feel the Lightning” by Dan Deacon
(from Gliss Riffer)

sky was the limit and then it came crashing down

Dan Deacon – Feel the Lightning

Flesh without Blood

“Flesh without Blood” by Grimes
(from Art Angels)

you destroy everything you know

Grimes – Flesh without Blood


“FourFiveSeconds” by Rihanna

I swear I wish somebody would dare me

Rihanna – FourFiveSeconds

Friends with Benefits

“Friends with Benefits” by Jim O’Rourke
(from Simple Songs)

I am friends with so many of the dead who already

Jim O’Rourke – Friends with Benefits

Fuckin Up the Count

“Fuckin’ Up the Count” by Freddie Gibbs
(from Shadow of a Doubt)

tryna make a million before they take me out

Freddie Gibbs – Fuckin’ Up the Count

Get Out

“Get Out” by Autre Ne Veut
(from Age of Transparency)

‘you really people to tell you what it’s all about

Autre Ne Veut – Get Out

Girl in a Country Song

“Girl in a Country Song” by Maddie & Tae
(from Start Here)

Conway and George Strait never did it this way

Maddie & Tae – Girl in a Country Song


“Gold” by Dorthia Cottrell
(from Dorthia Cottrell)

you never leave me here, but I know where you been

Dorthia Cottrell – Gold


“Gosh” by Jamie xx
(from In Colour)

easy, easy! hold it down

Jamie xx – Gosh


“Hello” by Adele
(from 25)

it clearly doesn’t tear you apart anymore

Adele – Hello


“Here” by Alessia Cara
(from Know-It-All)

can’t wait ’til we can break up out of here

Alessia Cara – Here

High by the Beach

“High by the Beach” by Lana Del Rey
(from Honeymoon)

we won’t survive, we’re sinking into the sand

Lana Del Rey – High by the Beach

Hotline Bling

“Hotline Bling” by Drake

you used to call me on my cell phone

Drake – Hotline Bling

How Could You Babe

“How Could You Babe” by Tobias Jesso Jr.
(from Goon)

nothing’s as hard to do as just saying goodbye

Tobias Jesso Jr. – How Could You Babe

Death Grips – Jenny Death

“I Break Mirrors With My Face in the United States” by Death Grips
(from The Powers That B)

I don’t care about real life

Death Grips – I Break Mirrors With My Face in the United States

I Love You All The Time

“I Love You All The Time” by Eagles of Death Metal
(from Zipper Down)

ah dis-moi pourquoi

Eagles of Death Metal – I Love You All The Time

I Remember

“I Remember” by Bully
(from Feels Like)

I know what makes you cry

Bully – I Remember

I Woke Up in New Orleans

“I Woke Up in New Orleans” by Lucero
(from All a Man Should Do)

drank with scoundrels, tramps and god damn fools

Lucero – I Woke Up in New Orleans

in time

“In Time” by FKA twigs
(from M3LL155X)

you’ve got a goddamn nerve

FKA twigs – In Time

Iron Moon

“Iron Moon” by Chelsea Wolfe
(from Abyss)

death will no longer silence us

Chelsea Wolfe – Iron Moon

Just Like We Never

(from PRODUCT)

we were young and outta control


Just Like You

“Just Like You” by Chromatics

he even loves like we used to

Chromatics – Just Like You

Karen Don't Be Sad

“Karen Don’t Be Sad” by Miley Cyrus
(from Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz)

don’t let them make the rules

Miley Cyrus – Karen Don’t Be Sad

Kill V. Maim

“Kill V. Maim” by Grimes
(from Art Angels)

got in a fight but they don’t know me

Grimes – Kill V. Maim


“King Kunta” by Kendrick Lamar
(from To Pimp a Butterfly)

now I run the game, got the whole world talkin’

Kendrick Lamar – King Kunta


“The Knock” by Hop Along
(from To Painted Shut)

the witness just wants to talk to you’

Hop Along – The Knock


“Lampshades on Fire” by Modest Mouse
(from Strangers to Ourselves)

packed up our cars, moved to the next town’

Modest Mouse – Lampshades on Fire

Leather Jacket

“Leather Jacket” by Thunderbitch
(from Thunderbitch)

looking totally fucking awesome

Thunderbitch – Leather Jacket

Leave a Trace

“Leave a Trace” by CHVRCHES
(from Every Open Eye)

take care to bury all that you can

CHVRCHES – Leave a Trace

Leaving the City

“Leaving the City” by Joanna Newsom
(from Divers)

the longer you live, the higher the rent

Joanna Newsom – Leaving the City

Let It Happen

“Let It Happen” by Tame Impala
(from Currents)

maybe I was ready all along

Tame Impala – Let It Happen

Let the Good Times Roll

“Let The Good Times Roll” by J.D. McPherson
(from Let The Good Times Roll)

I miss you so every time I fall away

J.D. McPherson – Let The Good Times Roll

Lift Me Up

“Lift Me Up” by Vince Staples
(from Summertime ’06)

just want to live it up, can a motherfucker breathe?

Vince Staples – Lift Me Up


“Lionsong” by Björk
(from Vulnicura)

I demand clarity, either way

Björk – Lionsong

Living My Life

“Living My Life” by Deerhunter
(from Fading Frontier)

will you tell me when you find out how to recover the lost years

Deerhunter – Living My Life

Lousy Connection

“Lousy Connection” by Ezra Furman
(from Perpetual Motion People)

wait, can you hear me now?

Ezra Furman – Lousy Connection


“Maggie I’ve Been Searching for Our Son” by Craig Finn
(from Faith in the Future)

doubt that there’s a rapture yet to come

Craig Finn – Maggie I’ve Been Searching for Our Son

Man I'm Supposed to Be

“Man I’m Supposed to Be” by American Aquarium
(from Wolves)

nobody’s ever called me a good man

American Aquarium – Man I’m Supposed to Be

Mr. Misunderstood

“Mr. Misunderstood” by Eric Church
(from Mr. Misunderstood)

you love your daddy’s vinyl, old-time rock and roll

Eric Church – Mr. Misunderstood

My Baby Don't Understand Me

“My Baby Doesn’t Understand Me” by Natalie Prass
(from Natalie Prass)

our love is a long goodbye

Natalie Prass – My Baby Doesn’t Understand Me

A New Wave

“A New Wave” by Sleater-Kinney
(from No Cities to Love)

invent our own kind of obscurity

Sleater-Kinney – A New Wave

The night

“The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apt.” by Father John Misty
(from I Love You, Honeybear)

she blames her excess on my influence

Father John Misty – The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apt.

Open Your Eyes

“Open Your Eyes” by School of Seven Bells

waiting here silently for too long

School of Seven Bells – Open Your Eyes


“Pedestrian At Best” by Courtney Barnett
(from Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit)

put me on a pedestal and I’ll only disappoint

Courtney Barnett – Pedestrian At Best

Poacher's Pride

“Poacher’s Pride” by Nicole Dollanganger
(from Natural Born Losers)

I know one day hell will catch up with me

Nicole Dollanganger – Poacher’s Pride

Break Mirrors

“The Powers That B” by Death Grips
(from The Powers That B)

my favorite color is oh my god bitch

Death Grips – The Powers That B

Pretty Pimpin

“Pretty Pimpin” by Kurt Vile
(from b’lieve i’m goin down…)

oh silly me, that’s just me

Kurt Vile – Pretty Pimpin


“REALiTi” by Natalie Prass
(from Side By Side)

every morning there are mountains to climb

Natalie Prass – REALiTi

Return to the Moon

“Return to the Moon” by EL VY
(from Return to the Moon)

I imagine myself being cool in the backseat of your car

EL VY – Return to the Moon

Run Away with Me

“Run Away With Me” by Carly Rae Jepsen
(from E•MO•TION)

stuck in my head, stuck on my heart, stuck on my body, body

Carly Rae Jepsen – Run Away With Me


“Ryderz” by Hudson Mohawke
(from Lantern)

keep an eye out

Hudson Mohawke – Ryderz


“S.O.B.” by Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
(from Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats)

heart was breaking, hands are shaking, bugs are crawling all over me

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats – S.O.B.


“Sagres” by The Tallest Man on Earth
(from Dark Bird Is Home)

it’s just all this fucking doubt

The Tallest Man on Earth – Sagres

Second Hand Heart

“Second Hand Heart” by Dwight Yoakam
(from Second Hand Heart)

you could count up memories but only keep the best

Dwight Yoakam – Second Hand Heart

Should Have Known Better

“Should Have Known Better” by Sufjan Stevens
(from Should Have Known Better)

be my rest, be my fantasy

Sufjan Stevens – Should Have Known Better

Speed Trap

“Speed Trap Town” by Jason Isbell
(from Something More Than Free)

it never did occur to me to leave ’til tonight

Jason Isbell – Speed Trap Town


“Steer” by Scarface
(from Deeply Rooted)

put the peddle to the metal, take my hands of the wheel

Scarface – Steer

Sticky Drama

“Sticky Drama” by Oneohtrix Point Never
(from Garden of Delete)

they’re here to seem famous

Oneohtrix Point Never- Sticky Drama

Strange Faces

“Strange Faces” by Daniel Romano
(from If I’ve Only One Time Askin’)

if I had a drink of water, clean enough to cleanse the years

Daniel Romano – Strange Faces

Strange Hellos

“Strange Hellos” by Torres
(from Sprinter)

hope you find what you’re looking for

Torres – Strange Hellos


“Street Lights” by Ruby Amanfu
(from Standing Still)

see I know my destination, but I’m just not there

Ruby Amanfu – Street Lights

Talking to my Diary

“Talking to My Diary” by Dr. Dre
(from Compton)

used to be a starving artist, so I would never starve an artist

Dr. Dre – Talking to My Diary


“Tennessee Whiskey” by Chris Stapleton
(from Traveller)

found the bottom of a bottle always dry

Chris Stapleton – Tennessee Whiskey

To The Top

“To the Top” by Twin Shadow
(from Eclipse)

I know it’s not the right time tonight

Twin Shadow – To the Top

Trap Queen

“Trap Queen” by Fetty Wap
(from Fetty Wap)

be in the kitchen cookin’ pies with my baby

Fetty Wap – Trap Queen


“Trying” by Bully
(from Feels Like)

no flawless education just a stupid degree

Bully – Trying

wo u

“w/o u” by GEMS
(from Kill the One You Love)

haunted by each day that passes by

GEMS – w/o u

What Kind of Man

“What Kind of Man” by Florence + the Machine
(from How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful)

you inspired a fire of devotion

Florence + the Machine – What Kind of Man

Whiskey and You

“Whiskey and You” by Chris Stapleton
(from Traveller)

drink because I’m lonesome and I’m lonesome ‘cause I drink

Chris Stapleton – Whiskey and You

Wishing Well

“Wishing Well” by Screaming Females
(from Rose Mountain)

it’s a matter of fact, all my change goes to hell

Screaming Females – Wishing Well

Written in the Water

“Written in the Water” by Gin Wigmore
(from Blood to Bone)

held up for ransom under cold summer skies

Gin Wigmore – Written in the Water

John Moreland

“You Don’t Care for Me Enough to Cry” by John Moreland
(from High on Tulsa Heat)

I beg steal and borrow, I’m so damn good at sorrow

John Moreland – You Don’t Care for Me Enough to Cry

Your Love Whore

“Your Loves Whore” by Wolf Alice
(from My Love Is Cool)

got tricks I really want to show you

Wolf Alice – Your Loves Whore

The Soundtrack to 2015:
24 Frames by Jason Isbell
Age of Transparency by Autre Ne Veut
All I Want is to be Your Girl by Holly Miranda
All Your Favorite Bands by Dawes
Alright by Kendrick Lamar
Am I a Good Man? by Iron & Wine and Ben Bridwell
Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas by Beach Slang
Bad Blood by Ryan Adams
Bitch Better Have My Money by Rihanna
But She Was Not Flying by Algiers
Can’t Feel My Face by The Weeknd
Change of the Guard by Kamasi Washington
Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins) by Father John Misty
Cherokee by John Moreland
City on the Hill by Desaparecidos
Coffee by Miguel
Coming Home by Leon Bridges
Continental Shelf by Viet Cong
Copper Canteen by James McMurtry
Deeper Than Love by Colleen Green
Depreston by Courtney Barnett
Desire by Dilly Dally
Dime Store Cowgirl by Kacey Musgraves
Dimed Out by Titus Andronicus
Don’t Wanna Fight by Alabama Shakes
Energy by Drake
Ex’s & Oh’s by Elle King
Excuse Me by A$AP Rocky
Feel the Lightning by Dan Deacon
Flesh without Blood by Grimes
FourFiveSeconds by Rihanna
Friends with Benefits by Jim O’Rourke
Fuckin’ Up the Count by Freddie Gibbs
Get Out by Autre Ne Veut
Girl in a Country Song by Maddie & Tae
Gold by Dorthia Cottrell
Gosh by Jamie xx
Hello by Adele
Here by Alessia Cara
High by the Beach by Lana Del Rey
Hotline Bling by Drake
How Could You Babe by Tobias Jesso Jr.
I Break Mirrors With My Face in the United States by Death Grips
I Love You All The Time by Eagles of Death Metal
I Remember by Bully
I Woke Up in New Orleans by Lucero
In Time by FKA twigs
Iron Moon by Chelsea Wolfe
Just Like You by Chromatics
Karen Don’t Be Sad by Miley Cyrus
Kill V. Maim by Grimes
King Kunta by Kendrick Lamar
The Knock by Hop Along
Lampshades on Fire by Modest Mouse
Leather Jacket by Thunderbitch
Leave a Trace by CHVRCHES
Leaving the City by Joanna Newsom
Let It Happen by Tame Impala
Let The Good Times Roll by J.D. McPherson
Lift Me Up by Vince Staples
Lionsong by Björk
Living My Life by Deerhunter
Lousy Connection by Ezra Furman
Maggie I’ve Been Searching for Our Son by Craig Finn
Man I’m Supposed to Be by American Aquarium
Mr. Misunderstood by Eric Church
My Baby Doesn’t Understand Me by Natalie Prass
A New Wave by Sleater-Kinney
The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apt. by Father John Misty
Open Your Eyes by School of Seven Bells
Pedestrian At Best by Courtney Barnett
Poacher’s Pride by Nicole Dollanganger
The Powers That B by Death Grips
Pretty Pimpin by Kurt Vile
REALiTi by Natalie Prass
Return to the Moon by EL VY
Run Away With Me by Carly Rae Jepsen
Ryderz by Hudson Mohawke
S.O.B. by Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Sagres by The Tallest Man on Earth
Second Hand Heart by Dwight Yoakam
Should Have Known Better by Sufjan Stevens
Speed Trap Town by Jason Isbell
Steer by Scarface
Sticky Drama by Oneohtrix Point Never
Strange Faces by Daniel Romano
Strange Hellos by Torres
Street Lights by Ruby Amanfu
Talking to My Diary by Dr. Dre
Tennessee Whiskey by Chris Stapleton
To the Top by Twin Shadow
Trap Queen by Fetty Wap
Trying by Ana Bully
w/o u by GEMS
What Kind of Man by Florence + the Machine
Whiskey and You by Chris Stapleton
Wishing Well by Screaming Females
Written in the Water by Gin Wigmore
You Don’t Care for Me Enough to Cry by John Moreland
Your Loves Whore by Wolf Alice

Class of 2015: The Overachievers
Class of 2015: The Performers


Songs of 2015