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Mixtape: Favorite Songs of 2015

As I get older, it feels harder and harder to stay in the loop when it comes to keeping up with new music — and that’s coming from someone who really tries to pay attention. Maybe that’s why I find myself appreciating when an artist releases something more along the lines of a conventional pop tune, because it just feels less daunting on my fragile adult psyche. The Weeknd, for example, has devolved and matured simultaneously by going from ominously singing about drugs and weird sex to joyously singing about drugs and weird sex and, frankly, I can get on-board with that. “Can’t Feel My Face” grooves like Michael Jackson with the underlying lyrical punch of a watered down William S. Burroughs. That is balance, my friends. I guess, as I continue to grapple with the seriousness of adulthood, it’s nice when serious things feel a little less serious. Even Jamie xx seems to have embraced this train of thought, framing lyrics as heavy as “I go to loud places to search for someone to be quiet with” with euphoric choirs and handclaps. He even teams up with Young Thug (of all people) to go and encourage everyone to just have a good time on “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times),” almost like he’s reassuring himself. Now, I don’t necessarily need any reassuring, but it is nice to tune out and enjoy a track without finding myself contemplating the futility of existence once and awhile. And, thankfully, there are bands like Bully around for when I’m feeling particularly cathartic.

Listen below.

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