Almanac Music (and lists): Top 15 songs of 2015


In anticipation of Trucker Slim’s list, here is my own. If you’re looking for something new – or some roughed-up Blues – these are my picks.

Would like to hear what had your foot stomping in 2015. Cheers.


15. I Feel Love Every Million Miles – The Dead Weather

Good song from the Nashville group, with dominant vocals from Alison Mosshart. If it feels a little ‘White Stripes’ it’s because Jack White is in the group, as is Dean Fertita from ‘Queens of the Stone Age’.


14. Lock All The Doors – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

I’m an old Oasis fan and since they split have followed Noel and his High Flying Birds. His 2011 self-titled album was impressive and this year’s follow-up, “Chasing Yesterday” another strong showing. “Lock all the Doors” is the most Oasis sounding number on the album, but I am enjoying the mature sound to songs such as, “The Girl With X-Ray eyes”, “The Dying Of The Light”, “While The Song Remains The Same” and “The Ballad Of The Mighty I”.


13. You Want A Battle, Here’s A War – Bullet For My Valentine

Guitars and shouty defiance. Recalls Twisted Sister, “We’re not gonna take this”.


12. Black Cat Blues – Ken Nicol

Brit Ken Nicol’s song, about a guy with an allergy and aversion to cats, strikes a personal chord. Atmospheric guitar runs through it. “You can’t take it for a walk, it thinks it owns the house you bought, it loves you when it wants to eat”.


11. Holdin’ The Bag – Supersuckers

Great lyrics. Whatever happened before is not unremembered as much as buffed with pragmatism. The start evokes a Western film, true grittiness. “It ain’t about what happened here, no it ain’t about what just went down. The only thing, let me make this clear, is that we pick ourselves up off the ground. And it might not work for everyone, might just be a drag, but I need to make sure I’m not the one left holding the bag.”


10. Sugar – Robin Schulz

While not my usual thing, can appreciate it. His hair got it over the line.


9. Remember To Breathe – Owen Campbell

This year, the Australian blues singer/guitarist released ‘In the shadow of the greats’, a six track EP of mainly covers. This song is his, guitar work, smooth lyrics and the occasional growl. Just as good as his previous releases, ‘The Pilgrim’ (2013) and ‘Sunshine Road’ (2011).


8. Kids In America – Foo Fighters

The Foos released an EP ‘Songs from the Laundry Room’ exclusively for ‘Record Store Day[1]’ 2015. 4,000 copies were made on vinyl, before it went into the mainstream, last September. Of the four songs on the EP, one is unreleased, two are demos and there is this cover of Kim Wilde. I first heard it in the credits of one of the ‘Sonic Highways’ docos last year. They are having some fun in a straight-up rock take on Wilde’s version. If you’re a fan, add it to your playlist.


7. Long, Lean, Lanky Mama – Charlie Musselwhite

The legendary Blues man and harmonica player reemerged in 2015 with his release, ‘I ain’t lying’. Charlie’s mid-tempo, high quality blues are bingeworthy. Included on this one are, ‘Blues, why do you worry me?’, ‘Always been your friend’ and ‘300 miles to go’- a blues master who gets better with age.


6. You can’t Beat The Devil – Sir Oliver Malley

There’s something about ‘Sir Oliver’s’ uncommon sound and unpretentious storytelling. ‘I only know two directions one is down, the other is nowhere… Hey, hey, you can’t beat the devil but you can try to kick his ass sometimes’.


5. Lie, Lie, Lie – Metric

On bullshit. Great hook.


4. It Is What It Is – Bluescorp

Simmering blues number from a Gold Coast based outfit. The narrated bad patch is met with stoicism and negated by picking up a blues harp and playing like this. ‘We are where we are and it is what it is’. Other notables include ‘Barefoot Blues’. There seems rather a long history of Blues Singers who ‘woke up this morning and felt around for their shoes’ (without success), only to walk on with the walking blues. I’m always left wondering, why they had to leave in such a hurry?


3. I’d Go With You Anywhere – Birds Of Tokyo

Something from the West Australians. B.O.T have been around for a while and, of their earlier work, “Black Sheets” was strikingly good. I also liked “White Witch”, “Like Rain” and “Eduardo”. Only a few weeks ago, they released a ‘best of’ album ‘Playlist’. “I’d go with you anywhere” was the new release. It’s a shade more ‘popular’, but infectious with a longing to escape. The violins are a stand out. Deserves its spot.


2. Winning Streak – Glen Hansard

Laid back, familiar and winning streaks are great, aren’t they?   “May you always have someone good to hold, may good fortune be your constant and loyal friend and may your winning streak, may it never end.”


1. Special Made – Lance Canales and the Flood

The Blues band from Fresno, California released ‘The Blessing and the Curse’ in 2015. Canales’s guttural vocals and edgy blues swell around the story telling. Plenty of good stuff here, ‘California or Bust’, ‘Cold Dark Hole’, ‘Hich-Wyah Man’, ‘Sing No More’, ‘Stomp it Out’ and others. But my favorite is ‘Special Made’ with its opening burst, ‘The pace you set, the dust you leave behind… gonna show ya, show ya what we can do” – evokes the Hawks for me (that’s ruined it for most of you).


Over to you, Rick.




[1] Record Store Day is an annual event, held in April each year to celebrate the culture of the independently owned record store. The day brings together fans, artists, and thousands of independent record stores across the world. A number of records are pressed specifically for Record Store Day, and are only distributed to shops participating in the event.

About Paul Campbell

Lawyer, left footer. Loves the Hawks and follows a few U.S sports.


  1. I was pleased to see “The RumJacks” back this year.
    If you have fond memories of Punk circa 1978 have a listen to “Sober and Goddless”,
    They are a Celtic-Punk band worth a listen to.
    I really love “If I had my time again” from “The Gangs of New Holland” … although it is a out of the 2015 range.

  2. Wow PC, there’s some good calls in there (and about half that I either haven’t heard or heard of – who the hell is Sir Oliver Malley?). Oh well, that means more new music to go looking for. God, I hate my life!

    I won’t have my list out until mid Dec as a couple of friends and me get together for a night sharing our Top 10 (it’s actually Top 12 and another 5 that didn’t make the cut – don’t ask, even the guys involved can’t recall how we ended up with such mangled rules for a Top 10). Once we have had our night I’ll post them here. I can assure you that there will be country in there. Oh, there will be country.

  3. Paul Campbell says

    Look forward to your list, Rick – and some country. I’m a fan of Zac Brown. Working with friends sounds like team selection. My first 8 or 9 picked themselves, after that were many honorable mentions;

    – Roots – by Imagine Dragons,
    – Pretty Pimpin’ – by Kurt Vile
    – What Went Down –by Foals
    – Average Apple – by Laci Wright
    – Get Stupid – by Aston Merrygold
    – (And a nod to positive psychology or pulling the shutters down) ‘F*ck The World, Be Happy’ – by I’ll Be Damned.

    Just when I thought there would be only Christmas songs from here, could hardly contain my glee today at the Foo Fighters releasing a new EP, “St. Cecilia”, 5 songs recorded at the St. Cecilia Hotel (Austin, Texas). All 5 can be downloaded for ‘free’ from the Foo Fighters website. Originally this was to mark the end of their world tour, as Dave Grohl wrote on their website:

    “…To record some songs on our days off to give to the world as a “thank you” for the last 2 years… The perfect unity of life, and love, and music is something that only comes around so often and in certain circumstances. When you feel it coming on, you have to take hold of it. That place and those people made it possible for our band to take one, big final breath before the curtain closes.”

    And then the project took on an entirely different tone. As Dave wrote:

    “…Now, there is a new, hopeful intention that, even in the smallest way, perhaps these songs can bring a little light into this sometimes dark world. To remind us that music is life, and that hope and healing go hand in hand with song… To all who were affected by the atrocities in Paris, loved ones and friends, our hearts go out to you and your families. We will return and celebrate life and love with you once again someday with our music. As it should be done.
    Dave Grohl.”

    I’ve sent Sir Oliver down to Box Hill.

  4. Great list Paul and some things for me to check out too. I would like to add ‘Lights of Taormina’ by Mark Knopfler. Beautiful. ‘Silver Eagle’ is also very good.

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