A Smart Playlist to Kick Off 2015

Wait, it’s 2015?? But that’s the year Back to the Future 2 features flying skateboards! Here are the songs I’ve been enjoying since 2015 began – some overlapping 2014 just a bit. Here’s hoping this year gives us more weird mega-pop like Sia, under-the-radar folk like First Aid Kit, and irresistible fabulousity like Stromae. And maybe less blinkered tackiness pretending to be “Fancy.” (Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars are a decent start, wouldn’t you agree?)

Jam on:

Raf Rundell and Joe Goddard’s boldly bizarre second album folds time and space; you can travel from the streets of South Africa to 1970s London clubs and back again while listening. This is their most straight-up pop song and I can’t stop gyrating.

Marian Hill! I haven’t been this excited about a new artist since Ryn Weaver (still not tired of her stuff). This is a group that understands the value of silence: the pauses between each sensual vocal phrase are charged with delicious suspense. I dare you not to succumb to their electronic – and electric – flirtations.

Julia Anrather is a Brooklyn-based artist walking that fine (and I do mean FOYNE) line between Lianne La Havas and Bonnie Raitt. Casually sexy, reflective without dipping into sulky, she’s one to keep an eye on, obviously.

If you don’t like Kelly Clarkson, shut up you’re lying.

Pockets of the internet are rightly losing their minds over Madonna’s daring new music, which proves that a seasoned pro’s queendom can expand into our dubsteppy pop landscape. If she plays her cards right she could school all those screechy youngins jockeying for pop sovereignty. Her second collaboration with Nicki is amazing too, and not just cuz it’s called “Bitch I’m Madonna.”

Lastly, a rollicking, rocking anthem standing on the brink of love. Save it for the end of a long day when you need to let loose.

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