What turned out to be a quiet month in music – well, quiet relative to the frenetic opening to the year – February 2015 was not without some wonderful new tracks and albums. But the month really belonged to live events such as the Super Bowl, SNL 40th Anniversary Special, the Grammys, and Oscars. And from Missy Elliott’s much deserved return to the spotlight, to the Grammy snoozefest, John Legend & Common’s stirring Oscar performance of “Glory,” to Kanye West’s blistering unveiling of “All Day” at the BRIT Awards, there was certainly a lot to talk about.
But even in a slow month of recorded material, we were blessed with new singles from Chromatics, Kendrick Lamar, and Sufjan Stevens, along with some unexpected jams from Kotomi, Meek Mill, and Róisín Murphy.
And, oh, yeah. Some dude named Drake dropped a new record on iTunes and Spotify out of nowhere.
Here’s the best of February 2015.
On their debut single “Hold On,” all Brittany Howard could do was fight. Fight for relevancy. Fight to be heard. Now, after the critical and commercial success of their debut LP, Alabama Shakes are back, and aren’t interested in fighting for the respect they deserve.
2. Chromatics, “Just Like You”
3. Drake, “Energy”
4. Father John Misty, “True Affection”
5. Florence & The Machine, “What Kind of Man” (Nicolas Jaar Remix)
6. Fred Thomas, “Cops Don’t Care Pt. II”
7. Harriet Brown & Astronauts Etc., “Fiction”
Alexis Taylor and the rest of Hot Chip are back, reminding us of the singular sound of the band, and how powerful that sound is. “Huarache Lights” serves as the lead single from Why Make Sense? (out 19 May), and will only shine brighter as thermometer rises.
9. Kendrick Lamar, “The Blacker the Berry”
10. Kotomi, “The Last Time”
11. Lower Dens, “To Die In L.A.”
12. Meek Mill ft. Big Sean & A$AP Ferg, “B Boy”
13. Modest Mouse, “The Ground Walks, with Time in a Box”
14. Passion Pit, “Where the Sky Hangs”
On Purity Ring’s great new single off the forthcoming Another Eternity, the duo make the devastating pain of a break-up a cathartic, life-affirming moment.
16. Róisín Murphy, “Gone Fishing”
17. Shirt, “Used To Go By T-Shirt”
18. Sufjan Stevens, “No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross”
“Multi-Love” stretches UMO’s sound significantly, while still working with the same lo-fi ethos of their previous home-runs “Ffunny Ffriends” and “So Good At Being In Trouble.”
1. Drake, If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late
2. Father John Misty, I Love You, Honeybear