Time for the dreaded end of the year lists. I’m gonna kick off with my favourite songs of the year. First the international edition and the Finnish one a few days later. Remember that the lists aren’t in any way objective. These are just the songs I fell in love with during the year. If I fell in love with a simple little tune that lasted two minutes, for me it’s one of the songs of the year. The first 3-5 were very obvious and the songs that meant the most to me. After that the order could be very different on another day. They are all very dear to me. They are the glue that holds me together. These songs are my friends from now on and ranking one’s friends is pretty fucked up business, if I may say so. It was a really good music year. I made this a top 20 instead of 10, because there was so much great ones. I should have stuck with 10 I guess, because I still couldn’t fit in even half of the ones I wanted to. I need to make that album list a top 50, if I want to avoid heartbreak. Nobody wants to read that, so perhaps I’ll do my best and cut it down a bit. Anyway, time to begin.
Top 20 Songs of the Year 2015 (International Edition)
20. Daniel Martin Moore – Sign Of Life
Kicking of the list with my latest favourite Sign of Life by Daniel Martin Moore. Simple words, but when they are wrapped into that beautiful melody they go directly into my heart. Such a beautiful song.
19. Joey Kneiser – To My Younger Self
More fairly new stuff. My favourite song from the new Joey Kneiser album The Wildness might still be changing on a daily basis (this is why one shouldn’t make these list before February), but right now it’s this one where Joey tells life lessons to his younger self.
18. Joan Shelley – Jenny Come In
Joan Shelley’s album Over and Even is full of beautiful folk songs. This is my biggest favourite Jenny Come In. Mr. Will Oldham in harmony vocals. This is a live version of the song.
17. Michael Feuerstack – I Wanted More
The latest Michael Feuerstack album has been a big favourite throughout the year and is filled with wonderful songs. This one called I Wanted More is instantly catchy and rather simple, but still moves me deeply.
16. Jason Isbell – Speed Trap Town
Something More Than Free is no Southeastern, but let’s not get stuck into that. If you win the MLB one year and next year you end up on the losing side of the world series, the latter result is still pretty damn good. Something More Than Free contains some amazing songs like Children Of Children and Speed Trap Town for example.
15. Daniel Romano – Old Fires Die
Daniel Romano delivered another great album with bunch of gorgeous songs like Old Fires Die and The One That Got Away (came back today). I’ll go with Old Fires Die, because it’s a song that I fell in love with during Daniel’s Finland tour that was a big highlight of the year for me. Actually it’s was a damn great year for Finnish country/folk fan, because we got to see Daniel Romano, Austin Lucas, Ryan Boldt, Shuyler Jansen, Michael Feuerstack and Small Houses live in Finland.
14. The Decemberists – Cavalry Captain
What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World by The Decemberists is maybe a little too long and cutting a song or two would make it better. Not a big deal, because it’s a really good record as it is and also has a couple of songs that are among the very best of the year. These songs are Cavalry Captain and Make You Better. I love them both wholeheartedly. I flipped a coin and chose Cavalry Captain to this list.
13. Small Houses – Seventeen In Roselore
A long time favourite Small Houses dropped a new album early in the year and also visited Finland twice during the year. Still Talk; Second City is a magnificent album and contains plenty of songs that could make this little list. In the end it was a choice between the catchier single Staggers and Rise and this beautiful song called Seventeen In Roselore that also features the great Samantha Crain.
12. Andy Shauf – Wendell Walker
Sad song beautifully told. I fell in love with this one a couple of years ago, but Andy Shauf’s Bearer of Bad News album got a re-release this year and therefore it’s probably still ok to list it. And well it’s my blog so I can make the rules. This is a live version of Wendell Walker by Andy Shauf.
11. Darren Hanlon – Letter From an Australian Mining Town
Where Did You Come From? probably isn’t my favourite album by Australian pop troubadour Darren Hanlon as a whole (still great of course), but this song. Everything about this song. Classic Darren Hanlon storytelling.
10. Kacy & Clayton – If You Ask How I’m Keeping
New Kacy & Clayton album is only out in Canada at the moment, so we shall continue praising Kacy & Clayton when the album hits US/Europe during 2016. I’ll make a bit of a head start, because I’ve been watching the youtube video of this song If You Ask Me How I’m Keeping so many times that I can’t even count that far.
9. Two Cow Garage – Let The Boys Be Girls
Old favourite band Two Cow Garage was in top form and kickstarted the year in perfect fashion, with this glorious anthem Let The Boys Be Girls. I was slightly disappointed with the previous full-length, but this is just fantastic.
8. Barna Howard – Then and There
We are not good at holding secrets here at onechord.net headquarters, so I can already say that Quite a Feelin’ by Barna Howard will win the album of the year award later in December. It’s pretty hard to pick a favourite song for this list, because they are all so dear and that’s why nothing really stands above the rest. In the end, I thought I go with There and Then on this list. It might be a bit weird favourite, but there are lines there that I really love.
7. John Moreland – You Don’t Care For Me Enough To Cry
John Moreland is a huge favourite of mine and his new album High On Tulsa Heat was full of amazing songs. The album will rank in my top 3, when it’s time to make that album list. I love the whole thing and could pick any song from it to this list, but I go with this sad song called You Don’t Care For Me Enough To Cry. I’m very excited to see John Moreland perform in Stockholm, Sweden in early January 2016.
6. Hezekiah Jones – Borrowed Heart
It might be questionable to select this as one of the songs of the year 2015, if I have been in love with it since 2011. But it’s now out and available on the brand new and brilliant Hezekiah Jones album. Raph and co created a stunning album that you will find from my top 10 albums later and you could pretty much drop any song from it on this list and it wouldn’t feel out of place.
5. Andrew Bryant – My Own Saving Grace
Andrew Bryant might be better known as a member of Water Liars, but he also releases stunning solo albums. His album This is The Life has been a real grower for me during the year. I didn’t even have it on my top 10 on my mid-year list and now it looks like it will end up on my top 3 on the album list. There’s several songs that I really adore (well basicly everything), but my biggest favourite has been My Own Saving Grace. I think it works even better in the context of the album, because for me My Own Saving Grace and Do Your Work wrap the album together beautifully. Still it works wonderfully on it’s own as well. That last minute of the song is a bliss. A hopeful bliss.
4. Steven Lambke – Memory Forever
This might be a bit weird choice. Just two and half minutes and on that exact moment when I fell in love with the song, it starts to drift away. At first I found that a little annoying, but now I think it’s just perfect as it is. The moment is when Tamara joins Steven and they sing the words “strong enough to love / strong enough to be loved / to listen close to love / and hear love” together.
3. Simon Joyner – Nostalgia Blues
Simon Joyner’s Grass, Branch & Bone contains some of the greatest songwriting of the year and several songs worthy of a song of the year title. Two sneaked ahead of him mostly because I just haven’t listened to Simon 7-minute long songs as many times. These days I probably love a few other songs of this amazing album just as much as Nostalgia Blues, but I still have to select this, because It’s the one that I first fell in love with. One of the best songs of the year from one of the best albums of the year.
2. Christopher Paul Stelling – Dear Beast
C.P. Stelling might have to settle for a spot just outside the top 10 on the album list, because I don’t love those energetic songs as much as these beautiful ones. Those are really good as well, but Scarecrow, Burial Shroud, Too Far North and Dear Beast. These are the key songs of the album for me and there’s no limit to my love for these songs. Especially this song Dear Beast is out of this world.
1. Ariel Sharratt & Mathias Kom – Fuck the Government, I Love You
And the Song Of The Year Award goes to Fuck the Government, I Love You by Ariel Sharratt & Mathias Kom. There was never any doubt after I heard this for the first time. This is by far the song I loved the most during the year. It’s a lovely story of a couple meeting at a new year’s party and it has the finest singalong chorus I can think of. I just love every second of that song. Perhaps I prefer The Burning Hell version, but if my addiction doesn’t fade away I can make a cunning plan and select that as the best song of 2016.
And here’s the Burning Hell version aka Song of the Year 2016.