Mental Jukebox: Best of 2015 Countdown (#30-26)

Monday (#30): Zella Day “High”

I wrote an article back in January raving about the talents of Arizona native Zella Day. Blending lush, sultry pop-driven hooks and contemporary rhythms with a 60s bohemian style and haunting vocals, Zella is definitely an artist to watch. Her track “Hypnotic” reached #25 on the Adult Alternative charts. She made her TV debut performing her newest single “High” on Conan O’Brien in June. Do yourself a favor and take three minutes to see why you should really get to know Zella Day.


Tuesday (#29): Imagine Dragons “Roots”

Imagine Dragons released their second album “Smoke and Mirrors” in 2015, but the first single they’ve put out this year that really resonated with me after just one listen is a song that doesn’t appear on the album. The fan single “Roots” clocks in at just under three minutes, but the short acapella phrasing, relentless piano riff and drum beats blend into a tribal-sounding chant that echoes in your head long after its final notes.


Wednesday (#28): Meg Myers “Lemon Eyes”

Meg Myers is my favorite American Psycho from Tennessee, and I mean that with all due love and respect. Her performance persona gives one the impression of a coherence that’s about to unravel at any moment, she often seems to be on the edge of a dark insanity with her edgy, emotional lyrics and a vocal delivery that hints of something more sinister. As the video so aptly illustrates, “Lemon Eyes” is a song about comforting a lover’s insecurities….or is it? I find her immensely entertaining on several levels. Comparisons to Fiona Apple/Alanis Morrissette aren’t too far off the mark, but Meg has a style that’s uniquely her own.


Thursday (#27): Beck “Dreams”

“Dreams” was one of the most exciting single releases of 2015, if this is a taste of what’s to come on Beck’s upcoming new album in 2016. The always uniquely creative artist has issued an “unapologetically pop” dance tune that some reviewers are referring to as “disco-funk”. Flavored with a bit of “Electric Feel” by Beck’s touring buddies, MGMT, it catches the ear quite effortlessly. I can hardly wait to hear what’s coming next!


Friday (#26): Florence and the Machine “Ship To Wreck” / “What Kind Of Man”

This year’s top songs list surely wouldn’t be complete without the English powerhouse known as Florence and the Machine. I had a very hard time deciding between these two songs from the concept album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. Both songs are filled with the lyrical and vocal angst that Florence Welch serves up so compellingly. “Ship to Wreck” seemed more ubiquitous and accessible overall, but the way that “What Kind of Man” builds from its deceptively simple beginning into a driving beat with heavy brass punctuating Florence’s own forceful delivery, makes it a song that can’t be overlooked.   Here’s a taste of both.



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