You can glance over almost any music magazine or publication this time of year and find endless “Best Of” suggestions: “The 50 Best Songs of 2015,” “The Best Albums of 2015,” “All of My Favorite Songs and a Few That I Think You Should Hear Simply Out of Moral Obligation,” etc. When I set out to create a New Year’s Eve playlist, I also thought back to all of the stellar music that has made 2015 so memorable. Still, I wanted to hear what’s next. I wanted to look ahead into 2016 instead of just listening to 2015 hits and favorites that have, by now, probably gone a little stale. So I compiled several breakout hits from this past year, songs released within the past few days that point to 2016 albums, and emerging artists who deserve some attention in the coming year all into one New Year’s Eve playlist.
The following list spotlights a few songs of the selection:
1. “Youth” - Ben Khan | Ben Khan is an up-and-coming electronic artist with two impressive EPs under his belt and more music to come. While he has been interviewed by a few music journalists, Khan never reveals much about either himself or his art, and the mystery only enhances his mystical creations. “Youth” hails from his 2014 1992 EP, but Khan also released a free track on his tumblr this year called “Blade (Tidal Wave of Love).”
2. “Can’t Feel My Face” - The Weeknd | This song, as well as pretty much any single by The Weeknd, was inescapable this year. By pairing dance club beats with dark, conflicted lyrics, The Weeknd draws you into his world and compels you to listen. Looking back on 2015, there’s a good chance that “Can’t Feel My Face” got stuck in your head at some point—but you loved it.
3. “Honeymoon” - Lana Del Rey | Lana Del Rey released her much-anticipated fourth album, Honeymoon, earlier this year. Her new work takes the melancholic, slow-paced vibes of the previous Ultraviolence and adds rich vocalization. “Honeymoon” was the first single released from the album, and the song’s ending repetition of “dreaming away your life” can easily be used to describe Lana Del Rey’s ambience.
4. “Tennessee Whiskey” - Chris Stapleton | Everyone has an opinion on country music, particularly modern country music, but whether you love the genre or look elsewhere for your favorite songs, it’s hard to deny the force that is Chris Stapleton. His music reflects and pays homage to the rich heritage of country music while seamlessly incorporating contemporary folk and alt-country riffs. Stapleton’s almost soulful cover of David Allan Coe’s “Tennessee Whiskey” sounds just like home.
5. “New Year” by Beach House | “Can you call it? See it coming?” Beach House asks about the new year in this song off their breakout album Bloom. If you’re looking for a more low-key, relaxed way to watch 2016 roll in, “New Year” is just right. Beach House’s signature airy, calm sound brings a familiar comfort even in the face of the unknown experiences of an approaching year.
I pray that 2016 is a good year for each of you, and I hope that you take the time to enjoy some good music this New Year’s Eve.
The access the full three-hour playlist Olivia created for you to share at your New Year's Eve party, click here, and make sure to check out all our other playlists on the Our Jackson Home Spotify account.