I don't know why I decided to break this list into uneven chunks, but I did. So it is that after the part one, we round out the first half of the list with 30 tracks that run through genres and moods like there's no tomorrow. The 8tracks playlists for these can be found at the bottom of the entry, or you can click through and collect them all here.
Shall we move on?
21. Jamie xx ft. Young Thug & Popcaan / "I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times)" If I'm not mistaken, this was a playlist requirement at every party scene from the moment it dropped. It was the song of the summer for anyone who doesn't actually listen to the radio, if that makes sense, a bright, sunny, jangly track for kicking off a night out.
22. FKA twigs / "Glass & Patron" The video finds twigs essentially giving birth to a vogue competition, but the song itself is another halting, clicking, dizzying step in the artist's feminist exploration. Twigs is building a musical dissertation that finds her deconstructing R&B to toss around ideas of female sexuality and reclamation; worth listening to every step of the way.
24. Grimes / "Flesh without Blood" It's a big, bratty pop-punk song put through a blender, wrapped in reverb, and made into something that feels sugar coated and magic even as it talks about destruction.
26. Sjowgren / "Seventeen" I know almost nothing about Sjowgren outside of the self-introduction they posted to Medium, but "Seventeen" has a huge hook and nothing but potential.
29. Kendrick Lamar / "The Blacker the Berry" As noted, To Pimp a Butterfly is a heavy album, and one dealing directly with current conditions. This song finds Kendrick Lamar grappling with a type of self-hatred perpetuated by a type of systemic racism, with lyrics that cut to the core of key conflicts while rooting them to an individual consciousness. It's devastating,
31. The Weeknd / "Can't Feel My Face" This was the year Abel Tesfaye went full pop and broke into the mainstream. Though it's a bit overplayed at this point, "Can't Feel My Face" is one of 2015's certified jams, and - whatever your thoughts are on The Weeknd - no year end round up seems complete without a mention.
33. Miguel / "The Valley" I saw Miguel's music written about somewhere using a description that was something like free verse erotica, and that seems right. In a musical subgenre that's a little sex-obsessed, he is king. "The Valley" is a fabulously filthy jam, do you need it to be something else?
37. Beach House / "Elegy to the Void" I often think that I don't really like Beach House, a thought largely triggered by how frequently they come up in my iTunes shuffle and how similar so many of their songs kinda are (I mean...really). When I go to cut down their tracks, though, I can't actually do it. The songs are too pretty, too sorta doomed already, and they're automatic atmosphere. "Elegy to the Void" is a romantic, dark galaxy quest; as shoegazey and beautiful as anything.
39. Sufjan Stevens / "All of Me Wants All of You" Oh, right. So that thing I was saying about folksy type rock pop? Hey look! I found Sufjan Stevens! Pretty sad things! Someone throw this on the soundtrack to a downer indie movie circa 2005!
41. Hot Chip / "Need You Now" Perfectly melancholy dance music. The sort of thing that feels designed for long reflective runs or - a favorite activity for certain friends of mine - feeling all the feelings on the dance floor.
42. New Order ft. Elly Jackson / "Tutti Frutti" The veterans pull in La Roux's Elly Jackson for a shimmering, perfectly constructed disco track. I am not immune to its powers. I surrender.
43. Brandon Flowers / "I Can Change" Flowers is the frontman for The Killers, a band I stopped caring about after their first album, so when a friend sent me the link to this early last year I was like, why? Then I played it. And there was the Bronski Beat sample. And yep, I have listened to it a lot.
45. D.R.A.M. / "Cha Cha" This song is pretty dumb, I'll be the first to admit it. Between the Super Mario World sample and the Ms. Frizzle reference, though, it's so ridiculously charming and fun that it's hard not to fall for. Go with it.
46. Boogie / "Oh My" Boogie's self-produced first outing is a survivor's tale of street violence in Compton, and one deeply critical of the world he came up in. It's also pretty catchy.
48. Unknown Mortal Orchestra / "Can't Keep Checking My Phone" What is this song even? Space disco? Psych funk? Do you dance to it? Is it headphone music? I dunno, but I like it.
49. Courtney Barnett / "Kim's Caravan" Sometimes you want that pure rock song that builds and builds until it blows up everything around it. This is Courtney Barnett's neurotic, obsessive meditation on mortality and world destruction that gets bigger and bigger until it turns back into a crippling existential angst that manifests in a glorious swell of guitar.