“Ride or Die” – The Knocks Ft. Foster the People A collab we did not know we needed. The Knocks have a natural talent of making every song they create sound so positive, so with Mark Foster’s amazing voice range, “Ride of Die” was on repeat for most of this year. Their music video for this was really great too, recreating scenes from movies like Pulp Fiction and Rocky. “Hunnybee” – Unknown Mortal Orchestra Singer/songwriter Ruban Nielson wrote this song for his daughter. His lyrics are sweet but serve as sort of cautionary tale to its listeners. The overall vibe is hazy and mellow and his voice just slides around in a perfectly imperfect lo-fi style. “Drop the Guillotine” – Peach Pit The rhythm guitar in this track is the perfect foundation for all the components that flawlessly come together for this dark, beachy tune. It’s a smooth listen but will definitely have you looking up the rest of their music. Peach Pit is the band to watch in the upcoming year. “Wrong Side of Town” – Vista Kicks Put on your leather jacket boys and girls; Vista Kicks created a song that is packed with fun lyrics and have created a sort of swing-rock-n-roll. Really just an eclectic mix of all things too cool. “Underneath the Moon” – Gardens & Villa Step into the dreamlike Gardens & Villa party that takes place underneath the sweet, sweet moonlight. The synths create an upbeat yet drowsy mood. And there’s some flute action going on that tie the entire song together perfectly. “Living in Hell” – Cobra Man This duo got its start from creating a song for The Worble’s skateboarding video titled “Manramp” (that isn’t a sexual innuendo, it is quite a literally a guy who made himself a ramp). This track is a kind of dark disco and respectfully very Bowie-esque. I was them twice this year while opening for Foster the People and they put on such an energetic show. “Lay With Me” – Phantoms Ft. Vanessa Hudgens She’s breaking free…Vanessa teamed up with her two former disney co-stars for an electric-pop song. They recreated a memorable scene for their video from Disney channel’s original movie High School Musical in which Hudgens starred in. Phantoms are masters at dance tracks with a memorable drum beat and keyboard, and this proves no different. “Worst Nites” – Foster the People An ode to Los Angeles; “High life filtered through the lo-fi”. It’s a dancey track that brings back that fun-loving Foster the People. It almost perfectly piggybacks off their 2014 track “Best Friend”, only this time a little more glossy. El Mambo – Mon Laferte I’ll be honest, I unfortunately don’t speak spanish so I cannot understand what Mon Laferte is singing about (Google translate only goes so far!) but it is such a vibrant yet chill song, it needed to be on this list. She works in a luxurious R&B feel into a traditional mambo anthem and her vocals are mesmerizing. She’s even caught the attention of Gwen Stefani; Mon Laferte is an artist you need to add to your playlist. Dunno – Mac Miller Spotify posthumously released an acoustic version of his song “Dunno” from his newly released album Swimming. It’s soft and sweet and really showcases Miller’s beautiful voice. Nothing but a piano and his voice, this intimate version of “Dunno” brings comfort in the hopes that his legacy will live on. “Until, until there is no longer/ Let’s get lost inside the clouds”.