13. Good Old War – “Part of Me”

I love Good Old War. Everything they do is solid. I missed seeing them twice this year, which is a real bummer. Their melodies are so well crafted, you can’t not appreciate what they do. The Part of Me EP from this year has a little more of an alt-country twang than they’ve had in the past, but they pull it off nicely. It’s just plain good. I really enjoy it. My biggest complaint is the length – I wish there was more – but maybe a shorter, more focused release is better.

14. Acceptance – “Fire and Rain”

I love Acceptance’s 2005 album Phantoms. It’s easily one of my favorite albums ever. So, when I heard they were reuniting, I jumped. I saw their reunion show live, which was fantastic. I loved the teasers they released, then when Colliding by Design hit earlier this year… I was underwhelmed. I can’t really put my finger on why. However, a few tracks from the album jumped off for me, and really stood out. The opener, the title track, and this mid-album gem in particular. This song feels the most like Phantoms-era Acceptance to me. Maybe I’m the one stuck in my old ways, but I was glad this album wasn’t a total dud.

15. Tiny Moving Parts – “Caution”

If Jimmy Eat World’s “Sure and Certain (acoustic)” was my 11-th hour add to the playlist, this track was my 10th-hour addition. This band is right up there with Pet Symmetry with fresh, modern takes on emo music. The bonus here is fun, interesting guitar work that makes this song in particular a joy to listen to. It’s explosive, it’s emotive, it’s exceptional. This was only a single this year, so I’m cheating by putting it on my list. I look forward to next year’s full album to see what more this band has to offer.

Honorable Mentions

Before we move into my four favorite songs from this year in our final post, I wanted to recognize a handful of songs that I really liked, but didn’t make the cut for one reason or another. Everything below was on this playlist at one time, but didn’t make the final cut.

  • Miley Cyrus – “Malibu”
    This one was actually the last song on the list to get cut in favor of the tenth- and eleventh-hour additions. I still really like it. It’s got a good beat, it’s fun, and I really like the guitar tone.
  • Rozwell Kid – “Wendy’s Trash Can”
    Now that I think about it, I don’t know why I didn’t keep this on the list. I still really dig this song. The rest of the album is solid too
  • Manchester Orchestra – “The Gold”
    I’m really bummed I didn’t love A Black Mile to the Surface. It’s good, but I don’t think it’s what I wanted from them.
  • blink-182 – “Misery”
    I wish the California deluxe edition was like the Neighborhoods deluxe edition, where they wove the new songs into the album instead of just tacking them on at the end. Still some gems in it though.
  • HAIM – “Want You Back”
  • Greyscale – “Love Yourself”
  • Portugal. The Man – “Feel It Still”
  • Story of the Year – “Bang Bang”

Dishonorable Mention

Brand New

When Science Fiction was released in October, it was easily one of the top albums of the year. The way it was released, the hype train that followed, and the incredible quality of the album. It’s everything I wanted from a new release by the band. However, in light of the news about Jesse Lacey and his reprehensible behavior, coupled with the mediocre apology that followed, I can’t put the band on my list for this year in any good conscience.