31 December 2015

My top13 of 2015 countdown

I have in quite many occasions mentioned that in the end of 2015, I will be making a toplist of my favourite songs from the year. Well, the time has come to the last hours of 2015 and it is finally time to make that list (though I am not still at this point sure if I manage to write this entire post before 2016, but we will see!). First though I need to talk about few points considering this list, like how it was constructed. Then we will do the countdown.

First of all and most importantly: How was this list made? Last year I could not do a list, since I had no memory of what I had loved at the beginning of the year, or the middle on that matter. So, like I said in this post, I decided to start making a list of my favourite songs throughout the year. Which I did; I wrote down some songs I had listened to a lot in the previous month or two. Today, I had around 30 songs from which to choose from in the making of this list! That brings us to the second issue: how to choose which songs to use and how to put them in an order?

Making a list of how I currently feel about these songs would of course not reflect my thoughts over the year, since I can be at this point a bit tired of some song I listened on repeat in January, for example. So, I tried to reflect how I felt about these songs during the year when I was obsessed about them (next year, I will be writing down some notes and thoughts too to make the job easier!). Putting them in order was an interesting job, since I of course feel more strongly about songs I am currently loving the most. Though usually when I fell this madly in love with some song, I keep listening to them months afterwards. Which of course makes me feel somewhat nostalgic about this song and also raises the question of how I will be feeling about this autumn's and winter's picks in 6 months? Or in 12 months? Will my love for them fade or do they stay on my main playlist almost a year later, like the songs from early 2015? There is of course no certain way of doing this list, but I am satisfied with the result.

One question I have been wondering is that why is it always top10? What makes the 10 the magical number? What is that huge difference between place number 10 and place number 11? I have probably mentioned I will be making a top10 list, but then again why? It is of course a nice small number, but if we are talking about a whole year, it is very little of songs. 12 would seem like a natural alternative, since 12 months, but then again my list is not tied to months. So, I have decided that this is a top13 list, for two reasons: 1. 13 is my number, since M is my letter and the 13th alphabet. 2. There was 13 songs that stood out the most out of the songs I had listed.

I must also mention that these are not my ultimate favourite songs or something like that: they are merely the songs I listened the most to in 2015 (obviously I did not count, but it is enough easy to make some approximations). Most of these were not released in 2015 nor did I necessarily come across them this year; I just for whatever reasons listened to these songs a lot; there are couple of cases where I was liking the song already way before 2015, but this year it just happened to hit me differently.

But now enough of the explanations and let's get on with the list! We will be starting with number 13 and count down to the number 1. I will not write much of text today, because it will make this post HUGE and besides many of these songs have already been featured in the blog (I will provide a link) or will be in near future.


13. TWiiNS - Sagapo

I featured TWiiNS in this blog back in February: Slovakia #1: Twin Power. TWiiNS is a group made of, surprisingly, twins, Daniela and Veronika. You can read more about the group in the post I linked. Given that I dedicated that entire post to them, you can guess I am a huge fan of them. However the song Sagapo was not in that post for the simple reason that I only heard it for the first time shortly after writing that post! Had I written that post a bit later, Sagapo would be in it too.

So, to give a short impression of the song: I find it fun and positive summer song. It might not be the the most creative song, but I find the music brilliant and lots of fun. I have got this song stuck in my song too many times to count. Even though TWiiNS are Slovakian and sing in English (mostly), the title of the song is in Greek: S'Agapo is Greek for 'I Love You'. I must admit that Sagapo does sound more interesting as a title than the common I Love You, haha. (Though "I Love You, HaHa" would be a very interesting piece, I bet.) But yes, a summer song that I have been enjoying, mostly on winter though, as usual.

12. Yemi Alade feat. Phyno - Taking Over Me

Yemi Alade was featured in one of my most recent post (so, not that recent, because the hiatus), aka. this post from August: Nigeria #1: Where's Johnny?. And of course the featuring artist Phyno was featured too, since I featured the song Taking Over Me. Since it was so recently, I am not going into more details about this song; that is what for I provide to links.

11. AAA - ダイジナコト (Daiji Na Koto)

AAA is the only artist (in this case a band), that made into this list twice. It is not that surprising considering that it is my favourite group, at least of those that are currently established. The post I linked at the beginning, was the last post of 2014; as I said, I was not able to do a toplist for the year, but instead I made a top10 for my favourite band. That being AAA. AAA is a Japanese mixed pop group, that this year celebrated their 10th anniversary. I am not going to go in detail about the band itself, since there is a whole long post dedicated to them, but neither of the songs in this list was featured, so I will quickly comment on them.

Daiji Na Koto was released in 2011 and the title means "Important Things" (wow, I totally remembered that incorrectly). This was actually the very first song I heard from AAA and sadly I must admit I did not like it originally (could be the short version that was the only one available on YouTube back then. The song actually gets better as it goes on). It took me some time before I heard AAA again and then I fell in love with them, though I half-purposely avoided this song. Then, late last year, I listened to it again and this time I loved it! Better late than never, I suppose. Daiji Na Koto ended up being one of my most listened songs at the very beginning of the year and it is the first one I wrote down on my notebook for the purposes of this list.

This post is starting to look like a long one already, so let's speed up a bit.

10. Monika Kuszyńska - In The Name Of Love

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a huge fan of Eurovision Song Contest. Lots of music from tens of different countries in one go? I am in! A big part of my interest on spring goes to Eurovision, because of the national finals and so on. Usually I have a quite few of Eurovision songs on repeat around Spring. Some songs remain on my playlist far beyond Eurovision too. Of this year's songs, two made this list. Please, refer to my Eurovision posts.

Surprisingly it was not the two songs I placed on the top of my final Eurovision 2015 list; Monika's In The Name Of Love was actually number 6 on the final list. This song grew heavily on me with time and I actually ended up voting for it during the semi-final. After Eurovision, this song has remained on my playlist and I have gotten into more of Monika Kuszyńska's music too. I could talk about her here too, but like I said, I need to speed up a bit and I am thinking of featuring Monika in a Poland post sometime during 2016.

09. Jeremías - La Cita

This is one of those songs that keep coming back to me. I have been fan of it for years, but in January I wrote a Venezuelan blog post featuring Jeremías along with this song, and I once again became obsessed with it. You can read more about it in the Venezuela post from January: Venezuela #1: Songs from a telenovela and beyond. Funny enough, my friend is currently watching the show from which I got this song from and I will start watching it sometime soon.

08. Alexandra Stan - Dance

This song was featured on a post I posted just yesterday, so I find it hard to find anything proper to say so soon again about this song. So, I will just point you towards the post from yesterday: Romania #1: My summer jams.

07. Sia - Elastic Heart

Well, this one is a quite famous one. If you have managed to avoid hearing about this song, then congratulations; it is an amazing achievement. As a The Hunger Games fan I, like many, heard this song when it was originally released in 2013, but I, unlike many, did not like it then. In January 2015, Sia re-released the song as a solo version, and this time around I fell in love with it: this version is so much better than the other one (sorry for the other vocalist on that one).

Perhaps it related to the fact that I was going through a one plot from my upcoming book (coming soon, in 2027...) and it fit very well together with this song. To be honest, this certain plot has been on my mind a lot this year and certainly some other songs on this list have been used to deal with the plot. My personal life is not that interesting, but I quite often relate to songs through my characters and songs can affect me deeply that way. This is perhaps one of those cases, though I can relate somewhat on a personal level too. It is an interesting song and not the kind you usually hear on the top of charts. Nice for a change.

06. Voltaj - De La Capăt

Here is the other Eurovision song that made it into this list. Actually I could quote lots of what I said about In The Name Of Love AND Elastic Heart into this paragraph. This is actually a very rare kind of song that moves me very deeply and makes me feel emotional. And I am NOT an emotional person; I never cry because of songs (or books or movies or whatever), but this has managed to make me teary-eyed. I voted for this song in the Eurovision semi-final and it is still on my playlist after all this time. This is what I wrote along with my final Eurovision list: "Romania could be my most listened Eurovision song this year". It not only could be, but it actually most definitely is!

Here is a quick introduction for Voltaj, since they are not on my plans of what I plan to feature in the blog anytime soon. Voltaj, means Voltage in Romanian, is a Romanian pop rock band. The band was formed back in 1982 in Bucharest, and from what I gather they are rather successful in Romania. They have had quite few line-ups during the 23 year long excistence. Currently the vocalist is Călin Goia (I seriously adore his voice) and the other members of the band are Gabi Constantin, Adrian M. Cristescu, Valeriu Ionescu and Oliver Sterian.

The tension rises as we are getting close to the top highest spots (yes, this is that exciting, darn it).

05. Polina Gagarina - Нет (Njet)

Well, since I have been going on about Eurovision Song Contest a quite bit already, let's keep on going. Polina Gagarina represented Russia in this year's contest and placed second in the final. I did not like her Eurovision song that much, it was number 19 in my final list. And it was not actually through Eurovision that I came across the song Njet. I have quite many times mentioned in my Twitter and also in blog (I think) that my YouTube 'Watch Later' playlist is HUGE. The number of the songs in it usually hangs around somewhere near 1000. I actually added Polina there quite long time before she was even connected to Eurovision anyway, but it took me months and months until she was up next. I was very skeptical about her music after the Eurovision song, but I instantly fell in love with Njet.

I do not know how much I should say about Polina Gagarina or Njet here, I was actually planning on featuring both of them sometime later on along with some other Polina song(s). Polina actually almost became other artist to have two songs on this list. I think Russia post is going to come up sometime early 2016, so let's leave Polina for that. I am not sure if this song will be on it, since it is in this post already, so let's at least note here that even after about half a year, I have this song still on repeat. I obsessed over this during the summer (perhaps the song I listened most during the summer months) and I am still obsessed with it.

04. AAA -愛してるのに、愛せない (Aishiteru No Ni, Aisenai)

Like I said before, AAA is the only artist that made it into this list twice. Here is the other song. The title translates into "I Love You, But I Cannot Love You" and it is a sad love song. Not really a ballad though (I notoriously do not like much of ballads). This is actually a new song, released this year from AAA's 10th anniversary collection album, so it was not featured in the post I linked before.

As it is the case with most of AAA's songs, I immediately fall in love with them and so I did with this one too. Though more than usually; If I was to redo that top10 list, this would definitely be high up on there. It was my most played song in September/October area and it will certainly remain as one of my ultimate favourites from AAA. And that is saying a lot, considering how many songs they have and how much I love them.

And on the bronze, we have:

03. Sonata Arctica - Flag In The Ground

Sonata Arctica too received its own top10 list in this blog; it was released in May (judging by that I am starting to mix how I mention single/album release dates and my posting dates, I think I am getting exhausted from the length of this post) and can be read here: Favourite artists: Sonata Arctica, top10. Finland #2. I am sure I made it clear in it, how much I love Sonata Arctica so I will not repeat it here. Back then I place Flag In The Ground, but now seven months later, and after Summer and Autumn of listening A LOT to it, I would place this way higher up. Number three or four, perhaps. The thing I love about Sonata Arctica (and many other heavy rock bands) is that their lyrics have meanings. Like in this song, there is a meaningful story in it and not some random 'I love you' -gibberish. But I talked about that too already in that previous post, so no reason for repeating.

The silver metal goes to:

02. Carpark North - Everything Starts Again

Well, I somehow feel that I should say something more interesting here, since it is the second place after all, but I wrote about Carpark North and this song only few days ago in this post: Denmark #1: Welcome to Aarhus. So I really do not yet have anything proper to add to that.

And finally, my favourite song of 2015, perhaps the one I listened the most to in 2015:

01. Myriam Fares - إية اللى بيحصل (Eih Elly Byehsal)

Lebanese singer Myriam Fares takes the crown. In all honestly, even though I was already loving this back when I first posted about this (here is the link: Lebanon #1: It's all fun and games... ), I would have not guessed that now over 10 months later, I would be naming it as my favourite song of 2015! Funny how that ended up so! This is what I wrote back then:

"I do not think I have ever used this term before, but now I will: This song has recently been my jam. I can't even imagine how many times I have listened this song in the past few weeks. I sometimes get really, I mean REALLY, into some songs and this has been that kind of song. I can not even exaggerate how much I have been loving this song lately!"

I do not know what it is about this song, but I just seriously love it. Myriam's vocals, the music, everything. I usually can pinpoint at least some sort of reason why I love something, but this is leaving me wordless on that matter. I have had this song on repeat ever since early Spring and there is no end in sight. That is all I have to say this time.

But, wait there is more! I made a YouTube playlist to celebrate the year 2015. It features 100 carefully picked songs, that I have featured in this blog during 2015 and the end of 2014, since I started blogging late 2014 and there was no point making one for 2014. But here is the playlist:

I wish everyone Happy New Year!

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