As we noted earlier this week, there are a ton of new albums to look forward to in 2015. Singles, however, are unveiled less predictably, keeping us on the lookout for everything from new tracks from big names to gems that could turn an unknown artist into a household name by year’s end. Nothing on this list yielded the excitement Kanye West did with “Only One” (which, full disclosure, is too old for this week’s countdown), but it’s still filled with artists of varying popularity staking their claim, sparking conversation, and (better yet) demanding intent listening in the process.
10. Sun Hotel – “After Peggy Tells Her Parents They Never Had Any Trouble in Their Relationship”
While Sun Hotel’s newest song, “After Peggy Tells Her Parents They Never Had Any Trouble in Their Relationship”, boasts an ungainly title, it’s surprisingly direct. Backed by swirling, semi-emo guitars, frontman Tyler Scurlock brings it all together with a refreshingly earnest vocal performance that details a relationship’s heartbreaking trials and tribulations. It’s the second single off their new album, Rational Expectations, which is due out on February 3rd via Community Records. –Josh Terry
9. Kastle – “Strange Days”
Now based in Los Angeles, Kastle has long been a connoisseur of international bass music. Following his Balearic bass exploits, the producer born Barrett Richards is back with another melodic thumper in the form of “Strange Days”. While so much of bass music is often associated with testosterone-fueled excess and blistering, if not totally expected, builds and drops, Kastle is all about the character within the beats. An introverted low-end anthem, “Strange Days” borrows the soul of electronica from the likes of Underworld and then processes that vibe through a dense UK garage filter. Whether it’s 1 a.m. on a crowded dancefloor or 7 p.m. amid a frenzied study session, “Strange Days” will hit you with those feelz. Find it on the forthcoming Hyperreality EP. –Derek Staples
8. Rome Fortune and OG Maco – “Yep”
Rome Fortune and OG Maco are Atlanta rappers with countless eccentricities between them (including, most notably, Rome’s blue beard and Maco’s more-than-occasional full-throated scream), but they’re on the same wavelength for “Yep”, from their new EP of the same name. Whereas Rome usually favors atmospheric beats that take some time to build ahead of his first words, TM88’s track aligns with Maco’s penchant for immediacy and hard-hitting bass. The hook might sound rudimentary (and would only be half as effective without the sense of humor), but the verses are anything but: “Hypothermic might describe my flow/ Hypodermic how my word hit hoes,” Maco raps, early on in a slippery post-Gucci Mane/Future/Migos pattern. –Michael Madden