Zach’s 20 Favorite Songs from 2015

As we near the end of the year, I’d like to take a step back and reflect on some of my favorite things from this year. So let’s do it!

My 20 favorite songs released this year, in no particular order. Couldn’t have more than one song from the same artist, otherwise there’d be multiple Tori Kelly, Dave Barnes and, of course, Bieber.

I Was Made For Loving You – Tori Kelly feat. Ed Sheeran

What Do You Mean? – Justin Bieber

White – Tim Halperin (co-Favorite Music Video of the Year)

Can’t Feel My Face – The Weeknd

This Is Living – Hillsong Young & Free feat. Lecrae

More Like Love – Ben Rector

Where Are U Now – Jack U feat. Justin Bieber

Stitches – Shawn Mendes

Wrapped Up – Olly Murs feat. Travie McCoy

Growing Up (Sloane’s Song) – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ed Sheeran

Drag Me Down – One Direction

Here We Go – Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors (co-Favorite Music Video of the Year)

Headlights – Dave Barnes

Everything Must Go – Brandon Heath

Centuries – Fall Out Boy

Who You Say I Am – Among the Thirsty

anniversary – Abandon Kansas

All He Says I Am – Aaron Gillespie

How Can It Be – Lauren Daigle

Fly – Derek Minor feat. Colton Dixon

There’s a Spotify playlist to this that you can listen to (minus “Growing Up (Sloane’s Song),”which is available for free right here). Enjoy!


Some Music For Ya’ll to Chew On

It’s been a while since I’ve written a music-related post, so I figured I’d put together a playlist for you to check out if you get bored. The Spotify version of this playlist is at the bottom of the post.

1. All of Me | John Legend | Love in the Future | 2014

John Legend’s new popular track has made its way near the top of my “Future Wedding Dance Song” playlist. It’s a wonderful piano-driven melody that proclaims a man’s love for his woman. “Cause all of me loves all of you, love your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections.” I love the lyricism that Legend brings to the table, more than your standard pop love song. It’s a song of sacrifice and giving everything to a relationship. It echoes the love that Jesus has for us; after all, we sing, “Jesus paid it all.”

2. Beautiful Times | Owl City feat. Lindsey Stirling | Beautiful Times | 2014

Adam Young’s new track is his first in a while and is a fun-infused song, something we’re used to seeing from Owl City. It’s got a catchy chorus, something required for anything to be played on radio these days. Young acknowledges the tough times (“This fight of my life is so hard, so hard”) but proclaims that he’s going to make it through (“But I’m gonna survive, oh, oh, these are beautiful times”).

3. Against All Odds (feat. Phil Collins) | Straight No Chaser | Under the Influence: Ultimate Edition | 2013

I love Phil Collins’ “Against All Odds.” Great 80s ballad. Straight No Chaser, an a cappella group that originated out of Indiana University, provides a cover with Collins singing lead vocals, while SNC provides back-up vocals and all the instruments with their voices. I’ve got a brother who’s in an a cappella group, so I greatly respect the skill and ability it takes to do what they do. Plus, they got Phil Collins. ‘Nuff said.

4. On a Night Like This | Dave Barnes | Me and You and the World | 2008

Dave Barnes has added himself to the list of singer-songwriters I love (Matt Wertz, Ben Rector, Mat Kearney) with songs like this, another piano-driven love song. If you can’t tell, I love these things. He sings of a night in which his love for his girl is crystal clear. “The way you move is a lullaby, and I could fall in love with you.” It’s so refreshing to hear songs like this, often lacking on radio, and fall in love with them. Also, speaking of that “Future Wedding Dance Song” playlist…man, competition abounds.

5. Rather Be | Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne | Rather Be (feat. Jess Gylnne) – Single | 2013

“Rather Be” is an up-beat love song crafted by British electronic artists Clean Bandit with vocals from Jess Glynne. The song debuted at No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see it get popular here in the States pretty soon. Another fun track with strings mingling with some electronic beats laid down in the background, while Glynne sings that there’s “no place I’d rather be” when she’s with her significant other.

6. Happy | Pharrell Williams | Despicable Me 2 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) | 2013

I loved the movie, but I didn’t catch how great the song was until a couple months ago. Then I couldn’t get it out of my head. It’s all over the radio now, and refreshingly so. Once again, it’s a love song that’s pure, a man singing about how his love simply makes him happy. I’m down with that. Can’t nothin’ bring me down.

7. Santa Barbara Skies | James Roday and Dule Hill | Psych: The Musical (Original Songs and Score) | 2013

I’m a huge fan of the show Psych, which just recently had its final episode (slight tear falls to the ground). The lovable characters and witty writing have made it a favorite of me and my family for the last few years. This is the opening number from their musical episode. It’s a good overview of the theme of the series if you haven’t seen any of the show, but it’s also just a fun tune. It’s better in the context of the musical because the track misses some of the dialogue, but it’s still a fun song.

8. Paisano’s Wylin’ | Andy Mineo feat. Marty of Social Club | Never Land | 2014

I wouldn’t write a music playlist without a Christian rap track. Can’t do it. This is the one I’m listening to most right now. If you’re looking for something super serious, though, don’t come here. Andy and Marty get a little crazy and go for a humor-infused song, both playing off their Italian heritage. Stick around to the end for a faux-Godfather moment involving marinara and toilet paper. You’ve been forewarned.

9. Stolen | Boyce Avenue | Acoustic Sessions, Vol. 4 | 2009

This is a cover of the Dashboard Confessional song of the same name, a beautiful song (I know I’ve said that about several songs in this post, but I can’t help it). Boyce Avenue, perhaps the most famous cover band of recent memory thanks to YouTube, does a nice cover.

10. House of Their Dreams | Casting Crowns | Thrive | 2014

Casting Crowns is adept at writing songs that tell stories. “House of Their Dreams” is about a family struggling to connect with each other. “Now they’re trapped in the wrong worlds and the wrong wars, with their cellphones and the closed doors. It’s funny how quiet and peaceful that it seems. But they’re all alone together in the house of their dreams.” And then there’s a beautiful moment of reconciliation. Just listen to it. So beautiful (there’s that word again).