40. Omarion feat. Chris Brown & Jhene Aiko, “Post to Be”
“This song is tight like hosiery / Like the Cure’s remix to ‘Close to Me’ / It appeals to more than a coterie / So I’ll see you in the club — rotary.” — D.W.
39. Jaga Jazzist, “Oban (Todd Terje Remix)”
Norwegian nü-disco maestro Todd Terje has proven himself more than adept at remixing, whether it’s an even more acoustic breakdown of Jose Gonzales’ “Killing for Love” or a four-on-the-floor sprint through Hot Chip’s “How Do You Do.” His latest, of countrymen Jaga Jazzist’s cinematic “Oban,” fuses both of those worlds into a gloriously universe-encompassing odyssey, a breakbeat-driven rampage through swirling piano stabs and orchestral strings. — H.B.
38. Bosse-de-Nage, “Washerwoman””
More than a few bands have sought to join shoegaze and black metal in unholy sonic matrimony, but precious few do so with as much style and menace as the Bay Area’s Bosse-De-Nage. “Washerwoman” is a fleeting moment of calm amidst the disquiet of latest album All Fours, but that collapses soon enough into amélange of distorted noise, hammering riffs, and precise drums. Caustic vocals gasp out the poetic, Dadaistic lyrics that set the band so far apart from its peers, and at the end, for a few desperate seconds, all you hear is pain. — K.K.
37. Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, “Billions of Eyes”
In which the stakes are high and omnipresent (“I’m confused about how I’m supposed to connect to anything now”), the backstory runs deep (the narrator mentions a great-great aunt who was actually deemed a saint), and the victories are small (catching a train at the last minute, sharing a sincere smile with a stranger), but all the more rewarding for it. Bright, dizzying, and ecstatic, “Billions of Eyes” is the sound of a young adult connecting through the fear of being unable to connect. — K.M.
36. Dan Deacon, “When I Was Done Dying”
Many of the lyrics of this Gliss Riffer standout don’t appear to make much sense, but they just might not be fully comprehensible on this plane of existence. Dan Deacon’s surreal tale of what happens after one shuffles off their mortal coil imagines ever-changing psychedelic states of being, atop strange, almost didgeridoo-like sounds and a cascade of rippling xylophone notes. It’s immensely inviting and a little off-putting, as is fitting for a song about that great, unknown next step. — J.G.
35. Titus Andronicus, “Dimed Out”
Few bands go off the rails as compellingly as the Brooklyn-based punks in Titus Andronicus. Though “Dimed Out” is a little shorter than some of singer/guitarist Patrick Stickles’ more totemic epics, its guitar screeches and floor-tom cherry bombs still burst out of the gate with the untamable energy of a lightning strike. (This is, after all, a man who was once electrocuted during band practice.) — C.J.
34. Drake, “No Tellin'”
A broody, nostril-flaring two-parter on an
album mixtape full of ‘em, “No Tellin’” might not stand out on name recognition alone. In that case: It’s the one that Drizzy opens by putting his label on blast (“Hopin’ for a check again / Ain’t no tellin’”); where he rhymes “D’Usse” with “oops-ay”; where he says he had to switch his flow up because “the shit was gettin’ too predictable”; where he brags about eating fettuccine Alfredo in the kitchen of a strip club, like he’s a made man. It’s the track from Drake’s Nothing Was the Same follow-up — if you’re just hearing it now, you’re late. — K.M.
33. Diet Cig, “Harvard”
Over a four-chord guitar line familiar enough to be the indie-pop “More Than a Feeling,” Diet Cig singer Alex Lucianno excoriates an ex for ditching her for someone preppier (“Is she boring too in the way I couldn’t stand?”). All well and good, but “Harvard” grows transcendent as the song unexpectedly grinds to a near-halt, gearing back up just in time for Lucianno to offer the year’s most cathartic kiss-off: “F**k your I-vy League… SWEEAAAAAT-EERRRRR!!!” — A.U.
32. Adam Lambert, “Ghost Town”
Like a Cabin in the Woods-style nightmare explosion, “Ghost Town” takes every eerily familiar element of pop music in 2015 — Max Martin songwriting, an acoustic intro, gorgeously understated falsetto, arsenic-laced synth and whistles — and lets the finished product loose on an unsuspecting, undeserving audience. Without question, the only “Ghost Town” that matters this year. — B.C.
31. Prurient, “Dragonflies to Sew You Up”
Peerlessly brutal from its opening seconds, with Dominick Fernow spewing incomprehensible bile over a battering-ram drum pound that occasionally descends into outright static, “Dragonflies” ultimately stuns with unlikely prettiness: Tenderly plucked classical guitar and warm, Johnny Jewel-toned synth washes embed and envelop the song, gently embracing it as it thrashes. The total product is like a cinematic fever dream you wake up from sweaty and emotionally spent, but disappointed you didn’t get to see to its end. — A.U.