So we’ve decided upon our tracks of the year, but what about 2015’s finest dancefloor fillers – we’re talking about the tunes that have made us drop our £4.50 JD & mixer to the ground in a rush to pull shapes on the dancefloor and the numbers that have had festival tents shaking to their foundations.
Here, then, is a selection of the tracks that have filled dancefloors of all shapes and sizes over the past 12 months. In the words of Mike Skinner: “Let’s put on our classics and we’ll have a little dance, shall we?”
20. Black Honey – ‘Spinning Wheel’
Let’s start with a bit of a curveball. Your dancing shoes will need to bear with the first minute or so of ‘Spinning Wheel’ – the slow build, consisting of just frontwoman Izzy B Phillips’ vocal and occasional guitar strums, sees the Brighton quartet deliver their best ‘Bang Bang’ impression. But then there’s a definite, groundshaking shift: three guitar notes are the segue into a shrieking second section that’ll have you grooving like you’re an extra in Pulp Fiction.
19. Glass Animals & Joey Bada$$ – ‘Lose Control’
Possibly the winner of the ‘Most Unexpected Collaboration of 2015’, quirky Oxford four-piece Glass Animals and Brooklyn boom-bap enthusiast Joey Bada$$ joined forces in the best possible way. The song’s title was a very apt instruction to the dancing masses.
18. Craig David – ‘When The Bassline Drops’ (feat. Big Narstie)
Now officially back in the game after a much-too-long absence, the clamour for Craig David is only going to intensify in 2016 off the back of this comeback single. Featuring a filthy verse from Big Narstie, the garage flow on ‘When The Bassline Drops’ will propel any dancefloor into pandemonium wherever its dropped.
17. Blur – ‘Go Out’
Damon and co.’s return to action this year was spearheaded by the juddering ‘Go Out’; a perfect soundtrack for a Fred Perry-wearing night out, thanks to the hook alone – “go outttt… to the loo-o-o–o-ocal”.
16. Fetty Wap – ‘Trap Queen’
One of the greatest success stories of 2015, Fetty’s rise to stardom from pretty much nowhere was co-ordinated by the massive affection that greeted ‘Trap Queen’ – a love song about, er, drug dealing with your bae. This was trap music crossing into the mainstream, and our dancefloors were all the better for it.
15. Foals – ‘Mountain At My Gates’
After the ferocious ‘What Went Down’ came the mildly-gentler ‘Mountain At My Gates’, which attempted to dislodge ‘My Number’ as Foals’ poppiest number to date. Whilst it fell short of that particular goal, Jack Bevan’s funky rhythms still made it a mighty fine track to jig to at your local discotheque.
14. Grimes – ‘Kill V. Maim’
NME’s album of the year was full of dancefloor-slaying tracks, but ‘Kill V. Maim’ was the most insistent: the cranking up of the drums in the bridge is particularly memorable in terms of how it forecasts the absolute bedlam that the subsequent chorus causes.
13. WSTRN – ‘In2’
Tipped in the BBC’s recent Sound Of 2016 list, the west London three-piece have earned plaudits from the likes of Drake for their sultry debut single. With 2.2 million plays on SoundCloud under its belt already, it’s clear that people have been feeling this simple yet joyful track – its longevity will ensure it continues to be listenable in 2016.
12. Nicki Minaj, Drake, Lil Wayne – Truffle Butter
This heavyweight trio dropped a whole lot of fire on this one-off track, which has strolled into the hearts of hip-hop lovers and clubgoers in equal measure in 2015. Just don’t believe what you read on Urban Dictionary about the meaning of the song title, though.
11. Jack Ü – ‘Where Are Ü Now’
This song was bloody everywhere this year, including this list. Infiltrator! Anyway, the world’s 2015 Bieber-liking epiphany was aided by his feature on this track from Jack Ü, the moniker for the superstar partnership between dubstep-bothering Canadian Skrillex and Major Lazer figurehead Diplo. Guaranteed to be playing in whichever Vodka Revolutions bar you find yourself in next.
10. Mark Ronson – ‘Daffodils’ (feat. Kevin Parker)
Ronson’s decision to collaborate with Tame Impala’s creative force Kevin Parker was a masterstroke, making for a way better song than last year’s all-conquering ‘Uptown Funk’. “Put antoher record on…” sings Kevin – is he mad? We’ll happily have this playing forever, thank you.
9. Kendrick Lamar – ‘King Kunta’
Not especially over-complicated instrumentally – an interpolation of fellow Compton rapper Mausberg’s 2000 track ‘Get Nekkid’ – Kendrick’s fiery “I got a bone to pick” line is enough of an invite to the party. Try listening to this without at least tapping your foot, I dare you.
8. Drake – ‘Hotline Bling’
While its accompanying video may have taken us to peak meme, it’s worth remembering amidst the hype over the Canadian’s uncle-like dancing that ‘Hotline Bling’ is actually a fine, fine tune that’s had everyone at your house parties this year “doing the Drake.”
7. Tourist – ‘Holding On’ (feat. Josef Salvat & Niia)
London-based artist Will Phillips may be able to get a drink in your local club without many people batting an eyelid, but put him on the decks in said club or festival tent and he’s capable of putting hundreds, if not thousands, of dance-inclined music lovers under his spell. ‘Holding On’ was testament to that, but not in an obvious, Guetta-like way: this is dance music with nuances, intelligently-made and unflinching in its execution of euphoria.
6. Skepta – ‘Shutdown’
Guaranteed to turn any dancefloor into a sweaty, gunfinger-toting mess, Skepta’s ‘Shutdown’ actually did what it said on the tin – it slayed at a Kanye West gig, whilst headlining The Great Escape Festival, and, most brilliantly of all, a car park in Shoreditch.
5. Tame Impala – ‘The Less I Know The Better’
Thought ‘Elephant’ was Tame Impala’s most accessible moment? Nope – the latest single from their exceptional third album, ‘Currents’, has blown that track’s trunk well and truly out of the water that it was sipping. The bassline alone is worthy of 10 Grammys.
4. OMI – ‘Cheerleader’ (Felix Jaehn remix)
Ah, slow piano chords and an uplifting horn section – ‘Cheerleader’ starts off like a cheesy piece of Eurovision pop, doesn’t it? But then in comes OMI, chirping on about how “when I need motivation, my one solution is my Queen because she stays strong”, and then you’re sucked in – you know that, in a minute’s time, you’ll be shouting “I THINK I FOUND MYSELF A CHEERLEADER” at the bouncer. Another exercise in simple-yet-effective songwriting (or remixing, in Felix Jaehn’s case), it truly succeeded in creating a global smash.
3. The Weeknd – ‘Can’t Feel My Face’
Nor could we feel our face whenever and wherever this came on in 2015 – Abel Tesfaye’s finest pop moment unsurprisingly found universal acclaim, with many lauding the Weeknd man as Michael Jackson 2.0.
2. Justin Bieber – ‘Sorry’
Face it – you’re a Bieleber now. ‘Sorry’ was the moment that you decided, probably whilst in a club, to dance to a Justin Bieber song for the first time, because it’s just so unshakably good that your body just had to react to it. Look, you’re dancing to Justin Bieber, and it’s OK to do so: just accept it.
1. Jamie xx – ‘I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)’ (featuring Young Thug and Popcaan)
Floor-filler of the year, no question. No matter where you were in 2015, once that vocal sample from The Persuasions kicked in, everyone in the room was put under the spell of Jamie Smith’s sublime hook-up with Atalanta trap rapper Young Thug and Jamaican dancehall artist Popcaan. “Good times” indeed.