Saturday, January 2, 2016

Hot Mix 2015: #130 - 101

New Years Day. Also known as Clean Slate Day. A chance to start fresh. Tabula Rasa.

But not for us. Instead, New Years Day is the time to begin the world's shittiest year-end list, an annual tradition that has generated feedback such as "Hey, nice list," "Hey, I saw your list," and "I saw you did a list. Nice." We will now begin our reflection on the jams of 2015, offering our biggest, hottest mix of the year. We're gonna call it "Hot Mix 2015." Updates to the list will be posted on our official Spotify Playlist:

The double-digit section of Hot Mix is not ready, so instead here are the "almost good enough" / "bubbling under" jams. Bear in mind, even though they are in the 3-digit section, they are all still extremely hot or else we wouldn't have bothered embedding all of them. (We also usually have placements with tied songs, and we tried our best to avoid that this year.) Enjoy Page one.

| Hot Mix 2015 on Spotify |

| #200 - 166 | #165 - 131 | #130 - 101 | #100 -71 | #70 - 41 | #40 - 21 | #20 - 1 |

| All 200 Songs |

130. Tricot "E"
J-math-pop-prog. Mathematical precision intact. Not an imperfection in sight.

129. Dumblonde “Eyes on Horizon”
Apparently a Danity Kane side project. Weren't they one of Diddy's creations? Driving around late at night hallucinating some 16-bit looking street signs and trees. Cruising World. Grand Theft Auto. Rad Racer.

128. KEN Mode “Blessed”
Recommended if you were really into Shellac's summer 2014 LP Dude Incredible but were bummed that it was their shortest record.

127. Miguel “DEAL”
There was a lot more JB-style funkiness in 2015 R&B than in previous years.

126. Cultes des Ghouls “The Rise of Lucifer”
One of our favorite blackmetal bands put out a brutal EP a few months back. Here's the title track.

125. Babysitter “Silky Cloud”
Stumbling into the karaoke bar.

124. Tenement “Roads of Home”
We haven't completed our "albums/EPs" list yet, but it's possible we liked Tenement's 5-song cassette from March 2015 just a tiny bit more than their 2-LP opus from 3 months later. “Roads of Home” closes out the mini-set with a late-afternoon summertime driving song.

123. Courtney Barnett “An Illustration of Loneliness (Sleepless In New York)”
Ted Leo's "The Ballad Of The Sin Eater" is possibly our favorite "super-verbose with attitude" rock song of all time; we wonder how fans of "Pedestrian At Best" would react to it. Most of her album kinda sounds like Ted Leo fronting Bob Dylan at that festival where he "goes electric" and folk fans started booing while he was playing "Maggie's Farm." We like it, but the true highlight of this record is the catchy garage-pop nugget "An Illustration of Loneliness." We hope she does more like this in the future.

122. Kamasi Washington “Miss Understanding”
We needed this:

121. Future “I Serve The Base”
Can't believe Lil B has no song called "I Serve The BasedGod."

120. Ameriie "Out Loud"
She loves cupcakes.

119. Gnarwhal “Have Fun Tomorrow from Ozzy / Stella”
Remember back in high school after that first time you accidentally ordered a large coffee and got way too overcaffeinated?

118. Earl Sweatshirt "Solace"
Earl's "Revolution 9."

117. The Weeknd “Can't Feel My Face”
Back in the early 2000s while names like The Neptunes, The Matrix and Timbaland were the most highly recognized hit-making teams, Max Martin continued quietly building his resume of Top 10s waiting for the moment when he would be the only remaining giant from this era. Who knew the 2010s would become his golden years? As Martin's 3rd place score of 21 chart toppers approaches Paul McCartney's all-time record of 32, we couldn't help noticing the high-octave response "but I love it..." suspiciously resembling the "bay-bayyy..." from Paul's most recent #1. (That would be "Say Say Say" from way back in 1983. We think Girl Talk should mash these up if he hasn't already.)

116. Stove "Lowt-Ide Fins"
The "Sugar Ray" one.

115. One Direction “Perfect”
Nick Jonas's "Jealous" with different words.

114. Puff Daddy and the Family featuring Lil Kim, Styles P & King Los “Auction”
Not gonna lie. Nostalgia played a pretty huge part in why we got so excited over "Auction," one of the only decent tracks from Diddy's MMM mixtape (strangely labelled on certain websites as "Puff Daddy and the Family" in preparation for No Way Out 2.) We're just really excited that Puff, Lil Kim and members of The Lox are rapping together again, even though Lil Kim is a huge douche, and we've heard songs that sound like "Auction" on every Wu-Tang solo album since Fishscale. We hugely miss the days when Biggie was ghostwriting for all these guys. Good song tho.

113. Young Thug featuring Birdman "Constantly Hating"
Does it count as wake and bake if it happens while watching the sun rise after staying up all night? Some of the cartoon animals from Fantasia are resting nearby. Birdman looks a lot like Birdperson from Rick and Morty.

112. Sufjan Stevens “Should Have Known Better”
We're pumped that the mid-2000s "over-instrumentation posing as indie-folk" fad has faded. Elliott never played around with that shit in the '90s. He never needed tubas or glockenspiels to get his point across. Neither did Nick Drake. And while Sufjan is probably the only remaining musician from the 2000s with enough magnetism to resurrect this fad with a single LP, Carrie and Lowell opts to rest in more intimate territory. It's essentially the Plastic Ono Band he was destined to release at some point - a journey inward, an unexpected departure from his densely arranged earlier discography, and quietly reflecting pensive, emotionally naked and autobiographical subject matter.

111. Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats “Inside”
Other tracks from Uncle Acid's 4th LP - like the single "Melody Lane" - maintain the Sabbath/McCartney hybrid from their first 3 albums. But its last two songs stuck out as highlights for deviating from this sound. "Inside" is one of the most "current" sounding songs they've ever recorded, borrowing cues from track 4 and track 5 on QOTSA's Lullabies To Paralyze, but still Uncle Acid enough to evoke Charles Manson's prophetic delusions.
Live version:

110. Philadelphia Collins "Ted Rock"
Initially inspired by Ovlov, "Ted Rock" was ultimately included on the Derp Swervin' cassette as a tribute to their post-split legacy. We're psyched that Philly Collins managed to pull together a live set twice over the past month despite existing with such a widely distant cast of musicians. Fingers are crossed for more in 2016.

109. YG “Twist My Fingaz”
Dr. Dre, take note: THIS is how you do an early-'90s west coast throwback. George Clinton is the key that will set you free.

108. Faith No More “Sunny Side Up”
FNM's weirdness got more subtle as their discography progressed. Album Of The Year had almost nothing as bizarre as "RV." "Sunny Side Up" maintains AOTY's hooks and precision without sacrificing the quirks and warpiness.

107. PC Worship “Social Fiction”
When Beavis was inside of the tire and rolled down the hill screaming for like 5 minutes.

106. Rae Sremmurd featuring Nicki Minaj "Throw Some Mo"
Sremmlife turned out surprisingly solid - slightly better than Totally Krossed Out. Who knew they had it in them? They've advanced from one-hit-wonder to an unlikely and coveted one-album-wonder position. And yet, we still can't picture their career moving any farther into the future without another unlikely "event" hit like "No Flex Zone" or "No Type." We're sure the big business suits have dollar signs in their eyes and will milk the cash cow as dry as possible before tossing them to the birds. Count on them having at least one more charting single on Sremmlife 2. It might even go platinum. But so did Kris Kross's unremembered 2nd album. And then in 7-8 years, they can play 2010s nostalgia concerts at colleges with bands like Foster The People and those dudes who sang "I can ride my bike with no handlebars." It'll be great.

105. Surface To Air Missive “Everyone's Nobody”
This song arrived on Bandcamp over the summer and was originally labelled as a non-album track. We were happy to find it included as track 1 when the record eventually leaked to Spotify early on Christmas morning.

104. Carly Rae Jepsen "Let's Get Lost”
This isn't like when someone says "get lost." It means Carly Rae likes you.

103. Failure “Mulholland Drive”
About half of the new songs on The Heart Is A Monster seem like a courageous effort to re-create the sound of Fantastic Planet. It's not so easy to dial-in that level of mastery. Had they not imploded in 1998, Failure definitely could have sealed their legacy with a proper follow-up somewhere around 2000-2001. Our fan-fiction-obsessed "what if" nerdiness imagines something that may or may not have included Failure-style arrangements of Year Of The Rabbit's "Hunted," Autolux's "Sugarless," or composites with ideas that were inserted into the oddly arranged songs from On's Shifting Skin like "If I Get To Feel You" or "C'Mon Collapse." As for their long-awaited 2015 output, "Mulholland Drive" stands tall as a highlight initially because of a mysterious vocalist. Many fans were quick to identify the voice as Greg Edwards even though it's his singing debut on a Failure album. We were unaware that he had been contributing vocals to Autolux since as early as 2001 (assuming he was the only member of the band who DIDN'T sing). The track might be the only instance throughout their history of adventurous rock projects when the sonic distance between Failure and Autolux gels for one perfect moment. Diehards rejoice.

102. American Wrestlers “I Can Do No Wrong”
Over-compressed bedroom-recording stuff. Somewhere between Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Happy Birthday's self-titled and Phoenix's It's Never Been Like That.

101. Tenement “I'm Your Super Glue”
Pretty sure this is the first song on Side 4. We love Green Day's 39 Smooth and The Replacements' Tim, so this was an easy pick for one of our album highlights.

| Hot Mix 2015 on Spotify |

| #200 - 166 | #165 - 131 | #130 - 101 | #100 -71 | #70 - 41 | #40 - 21 | #20 - 1 |

| All 200 Songs |

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