Incredibly, 2015 is almost up. And that means one thing — the return of our annual Top Tracks countdown! As usual, the team from wiwibloggs voted for their favourite 2015 releases and recordings by and featuring Eurovision stars. Songs which competed at Eurovision or national finals were excluded (they’ve been analysed to death in our jury reviews), as were artists who’ve yet to compete on the Eurovision stage (sorry Iveta, Sergey and friends). After considering well over 100 songs, we finally settled on our top 50. And now we’re ready to share it with y’all. We’re publishing five tracks daily over the course of ten days. Then on Christmas Eve we’ll announce our number one, giving you just enough time to send any last requests to Santa.
Our top tracks (25-21)
25. Maraaya “Living Again”
What we said: Maraaya have released “Living again”. But you know what? They never stopped living. This continues the good thing of “Here For You”. They have such a distinctive sound — Marjetka’s vocal, the production, the way it feels. You hear this and you instantly know it’s Maraaya. This is even better than their Eurovision entry. (William)
24. Marco Mengoni “Ti ho voluto bene veramente”
What we said: Marco Mengoni sings what he feels, and it’s clear he feels what he sings. His subtlety, sincere emotion and ability to give every note texture took him to the top ten at Eurovision. He does it again on “Ti ho voluto bene veramente” — “I Really Loved You” — an atmospheric ballad with R&B undertones. The video begins with wide-angle shots of nature — they’re both inspiring and intimidating. It sets the scene for Marco’s journey away from a lover and a relationship that went wrong. The chorus hits us hard, like a long-forgotten memory that comes welling up. This is classy and touching. (William C)
23. Leonor Andrade “Strong For Too Long”
What we said: If you need proof of life after Eurovision, then turn to Leonor Andrade. She kicked off her post-Vienna career nicely with the innovative “Já Conheci”. She followed that up with “Strong For Too Long” and the audio astonished us: she makes pain beautiful and makes torment feel so good. The theme of perseverance comes through loud and clear: “Keep your head up, keep you heart strong,” she sings. But there’s more to it, especially if you take a look at the official music video. Leonor battles the multiple personalities inside her head. As they push and pull and drag her into an abyss of insecurity and fear, she’s living a nightmare in which she’s both villain and victim. (Diego)
22. Emmelie De Forest “Hopscotch”
What we said: If pop music is about reinvention, then Emmelie de Forest is certainly ahead of the curve. “Hopscotch” is an upbeat dance number that eschews the folksy feel of her previous efforts. The banging, clanging and hand-clapping gives way to a new Emmelie. She’s some sort of Danish harajuku girl — sexy, sassy, cavalier and hellbent on stomping out Emmelie’s Mother Earth persona. It’s partly about risk-taking: “Had enough of the comfort zone, I breathe in and I touch the stone, Don’t know where this whole thing goes, I jump to find out.” For musicians as those playing hopscotch, taking a risk is often the best way to get ahead. (William)
21. Tamar Kaprelian “Yours To Keep”
What we said: The track is gentle, beautiful, and poignant. It’s all about accepting life’s day-to-day hiccups and realizing they’re just a small part of your journey: “The days that seem impossible don’t last, it’s nothing that you haven’t haven’t seen before….every day you wake up there are a lot of things you can be.” (Sopon)
How’s the list shaping up? Do these rank among your best songs of 2015? Let us know below.