Rewind: Favorite Songs + Singles Of 2015

Many words are used to describe the word "song" --- melody, ditty, tune, aria, earworm, anthem --- but what does the word mean beyond its definition?

At the end of every year whenever I'm in the process of compiling this particular list, I ask the same questions: What are the songs that encouraged me from within? What are the songs that felt ripped from the pages of my own journal? That cradled me in comfort when I needed it most? That had me recall good times and bad ones too? That had me thinking and re-thinking? That have me dancing on the ceiling or wiping tears away? That made me feel joyful to be a woman? What are the songs that made me essentially feel throughout the year?

In no particular order, here are the femme anthems of 2015 that answered all of those questions and then some...

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Unstoppable – Lianne La Havas

I confess that I have never been in love, but if it's ever to be, I want that moment to sound just like this.

Keeping You Up – K Stewart

A jolting pop/R&B hybrid that flutters into Mariah Carey's butterfly net.

Don't Wanna Fight - Alabama Shakes

Forget about 'The Force', Star Wars fans --- let Brittany Mutha-Fucking Howard be with you --- she's 'The Force' personified. Passionate and raw with a side of sensual heat, a wake-up call that gives rock n' blues a spine again.

2Shy – Shura

Astral, bashful beauty that pokes a little at Janet Jackson's down-tempos, especially when Shura goes up in registers. One of the sweetest declarations of love to come out this year.

I'm A Ruin - Marina & The Diamonds 

An escapee of the 1980s school of New Wave downtempos (Howard Jones' "No One Is To Blame" comes to mind) that is sophisticated as it is electric.

Something Good – Estelle

House HEAVEN. Estelle should do this more often, her voice suits it.

Here - Alessia Cara

Dorothy Parker would be quite proud of such pessimism...This has successfully become my new theme song, retiring Icona Pop's "I Love It" for awhile. Every line I'm nodding my head vigorously saying, " too?"

Ship To Wreck – Florence + The Machine

Jangling, jubilant guitars will never let you in on the fact that this little corker is all about self-doubt and the side-effects of sedatives. It's Florence's most contemporary song yet, but it's still poetically astute.

Living For Love – Madonna

When Madonna cuts the bullshit and sidesteps her ego she can still deliver sonic pop fury. A true throwback to the times when "Express Yourself" and "Vogue" were ruling the charts, this Diplo collaboration is just so divine and daring.

1234 – Samantha Urbani

Brings out the 1980s mall rat in me. Point me to where the Orange Julius is...Quick! Before the Tiffany show starts...

Sandwich & A Soda – Tamia

Destiny's Child "Cater 2 U" has got a bluesier and sexier older cousin. Just because you get married doesn't mean you have to be a corpse. Turn those stereotypes 'round, Tamia!

Night – Janet Jackson

Good grief is this song butter...melted...on a Sister Schubert yeast roll...Mrs. Al Mana needs to get well with the quickness cause I'm dying to see a music video for this. I expect to see lots of pop-lock grooves...

I Bet – Ciara

The undisputed kiss-off song for the year. Ciara made revenge look so good this year...

Hoops - JONES 

I'm gonna be corny...this is a slam dunk, a Kawhi Leonard (ha!) slam dunk of a R&B jammy. JONES isn't corny though, she's one of the cool new kids that's going to light up 2016.

I Miss You - Adele

The best thing on 25 for me. Sure, "Hello" has grown on me, after hearing it for the billionth time in every store this holiday season, but Adele moody, dark, and sensual is where I want her sound to go.

Worth It – Fifth Harmony (feat. Kid Ink)

Every time it comes on, this is the automatic reaction. I'm sorry but this song is just too much F-U-N!

Tommy - Lili K.

Deliciously soulful with a side dollop of sweetness, Lili K. pens the perfect love letter for those girls who aren't inhibited to tell their bae of choice how they really feel.

Don't Unplug My Body -Daymé Arocena

Intoxicating Latin Jazz that doesn't cut corners. Miss Arocena is someone whose peerless voice I want to hear more from in 2016.

On My Mind – Ellie Goulding

I'm probably the only one still rooting for this song. Sure it wasn't the type of  ~new attitude~ everybody wanted Ellie Goulding to have, but I like the gumption and that funky back beat.

Superego – Disclosure (feat. Nao)

A bejeweled cosmic climber from the Lawrence brothers and newcomer Nao.

In My Dreams - Purple Ferdinand

Dreamy alt-R&B for those chilled-out nights when it's just me and my thoughts.
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