photo by Chelsea Laine Francis
Every year, I like to celebrate something that brings me a ton of enjoyment through the months: pop music. I'm a big advocate for getting down to Top 40 anthems all year long, so it only makes sense that I would share my 10 favorite pop songs at the end of each year. From the music I danced to alone in my car to the songs I couldn't seem to get out of my head (and didn't want to!), it's so much fun for me to look back on the music that defined my year.
A few qualifiers for this list: every song came out in 2015, meaning that songs that were technically released in 2014 (like Bad Blood, Thinking Out Loud, and Uptown Funk) didn't make the cut. Also, all songs must be of the pop genre to be considered, rather than just being popular songs from the year. Sorry, Fetty Wap, CHVRCHES, Kenrick Lamar, and Kacey Musgraves! P.S. If you listen to my podcast (what? you didn't know I had a podcast??), then this list has already been spoiled for you!
This was definitely one of the hardest years to narrow down, especially with some of my favorite artists dropping albums with several singles (I'm looking at you, Demi and Selena!) and making me choose a favorite. Alright, without further adieu, my top pop songs of 2015!
1. First of all, who knew it would take the better part of his career for me to become a Belieber! Justin Bieber's latest album, Purpose, is surprisingly full of bangers. Though, none made me dance in restaurants and grocery store aisles quite like Sorry, making it my number one song of the year.
2. As far as pro-lady anthems go, Hailee Steinfeld's Love Myself is one of the best. A not-so-subtle ode to solo sexytime, Hailee belted out lyrics perfect for anyone needing a little extra self-care (of any kind!) in 2015. I foresee myself including this song on playlists for years to come.
3. After a year of killer memes based around him, Drake's Hotline Bling basically broke the Internet in late 2015. Any man who borrows my dance moves and wears cozy sweaters at the same time gets an A+ in my book.
4. While I'm known to fangirl mostly over female pop stars, Shawn Mendes is one of my favorite artists to come out of 2015 and I'm so excited to hear more of his pretty voice. Stitches was the earworm I loved to have stuck in my head for the majority of the year. Also, just so you know, every time I listen to this song, I dance like a boy band member in an early 2000s music video.
5 & 6. Oh, Demi and Selena. I've been a huge fan of both ladies since they were rocking it out on the Disney Channel. I was so pleased that both of their new albums, Confident and Revival, respectively, came complete with fierce lyrics and fabulous jams. While I had a tough time choosing between Cool for the Summer and Confident, as well as Good For You and Same Old Love, I ultimately went with the first single off each album. Now, some might come at me with controversy as neither song aligns with my feminism (Cool for the Summer seems to suggest that girl-on-girl intimacy is just a phase, while Good For You is one of the more male-gazey songs of the year), but sometimes we love and consume media that we don't 100% agree with. I recognize (and acknowledge at length on our podcast) the problematic issues with both songs, and I think that's what's most important as a pop culture loving feminist.
7. Alessia Cara was 2015's singer to watch after the release of Here, an introvert's guide to house parties. Like Steinfeld's Love Myself, Here is a message I can get behind with a melody I can't stop singing.
8. After deciding to follow my heart instead of the Twitter poll I put out, Tove Lo's Talking Body made the number 8 spot on my list (narrowly beating out Ellie Goulding's On My Mind as the sexiest song of 2015). I think one of the reasons this song won is because Dago actually loves it as much as I do, which might be the biggest surprise of the whole year.
9. I am, as they say, a Day One fan of Fifth Harmony. I watched them become a group on the second season of X Factor U.S., and vehemently voted for the ensemble throughout the competition. They ended up placing 3rd, but I can pretty much guarantee that you've never heard of the top two placeholders. Worth It is so quintessentially Fifth Harmony: pro-female, dance-worthy, and a brilliant balance between stellar vocals and hip hop-infused lyrics.
10. If you haven't listened to Carly Rae Jepsen's new album, Emotion, you need to get on that as soon as you finish this playlist. It's without a doubt my favorite pop album of the year*, which is why I had to include Run Away With Me on this list. It may not have gotten as much radio play as the other songs, but Spotify tells me it was my most-played song of the year.
*In an unexpected turn of events, my favorite album of the year is actually a country album: Pageant Material by Kacey Musgraves.
So there you have it, my favorite pop songs of 2015! I'm always curious to know: what songs top your pop (and music in general) list for the year?