The Best Instrumental Music of 2015

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,

It’s that time of year again! Time to look back at the past twelve months and reflect on the best instrumental music that was released. From post-rock to classical, there was something for everyone this year.

Best Pop Songs

There were some amazing songs released in 2015, but there were also some fantastic instrumental pieces that were released as well. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best instrumental pieces of 2015.

“Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars

This spiffy, horn-driven track was inspired by the Minneapolis sound of the 1980s, and it has all the ingredients of a Bruno Mars hit: catchy lyrics, danceable groove, positive message. It’s no wonder that “Uptown Funk” spent 14 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

“Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran

If you’re a sucker for a good love song, then this is the one for you. “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran was released in 2014, but it quickly became one of the best pop songs of 2015. The lyrics are beautiful and the tune is catchy and romantic. This song is perfect for a first dance or even just listening to when you’re feeling loved up.

“All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor

“All About That Bass” is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Meghan Trainor for her 2014 debut EP and her 2014 studio album, Title. The song was written by Trainor and Kevin Kadish, and produced by Kadish. “All About That Bass” is an uptempo doo-wop-influenced soul and rhythm and blues song with elements of country music, which lyrically subverts conventional body image expectations by celebrating the beauty of a fuller figure.

The song topped the US Billboard Hot 100 chart for eight weeks, becoming Trainor’s breakthrough hit and one of the longest-leading number one singles of 2014. Outside North America, “All About That Bass” peaked at number one in Australia, Denmark, New Zealand, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom. The song has sold over 4 million copies in the United States according to Billboard as of February 2015. In October 2014, it was announced that “All About That Bass” was certified Double Platinum in Australia for selling over 140,000 copies there; this istrainor’s first single to be certified in any territory. In January 2015, “All About That Bass” was certified Triple Platinum in Canada by Music Canada after selling 320,000 copies there; this is also trainor’s first single to be certified in any territory.

Best Hip-Hop/Rap Songs

The best hip-hop and rap songs of 2015 include Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright,” Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen,” and Big Sean’s “Blessings.” These songs are some of the most popular songs of the year and have topped the charts.

“Trap Queen” by Fetty Wap

“Trap Queen” is a song by American rapper Fetty Wap from his self-titled debut album (2015). The song peaked at number two on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in May 2015. This was Fetty Wap’s first single to chart on the Billboard Hot 100. The song’s success helped Fetty Wap secure a record deal with 300 Entertainment.

“All I Need” by Logic

All I Need by Logic is one of the best hip-hop/rap songs of 2015. The song has a great beat and lyrics that flow together perfectly. The music video is also very well done and features Logic rapping in various locations around Los Angeles.

“Blessings” by Big Sean ft. Drake

“Blessings” is a song by American rapper Big Sean. It was released on March 17, 2015 by GOOD Music and Def Jam Recordings as the third single from Big Sean’s second studio album, Dark Sky Paradise (2015). The song features Canadian rapper Drake and American singer Kanye West. The production was handled by Boi-1da, Vinylz and Allen Ritter. “Blessings” peaked at number six on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number five on the Canadian Hot 100.

Best Country Songs

It’s hard to argue that 2015 wasn’t a great year for music. We saw debuts from some amazing artists, comebacks from some of our favorites, and a whole lot of great music in between. But what were the best country songs of 2015? Here are our picks.

“Die a Happy Man” by Thomas Rhett

“Die a Happy Man” is a song co-written and recorded by American country music singer Thomas Rhett. It was released on September 28, 2015, by Valory Music Group as the lead single from his second studio album, Tangled Up. On December 2, 2015, the song received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Country Song. The song’s narrator talks about how content he is in his relationship with his significant other, and despite whatever happens in his life he will “die a happy man”.

“I See You” by Luke Bryan

“I See You” is a song co-written and recorded by American country music artist Luke Bryan. It was released in November 2015 as the fourth single from his fifth studio album, Kill the Lights. The song was written by Bryan and Amy Guess.

“Take Your Time” by Sam Hunt

Hunt’s patient, easy-striding voice is the perfect instrument to carry a plaintive message of lovers getting to know each other. The production behind him is as unobtrusive as his delivery, allowing his performance to shine.

Best Rock Songs

There were a lot of great instrumental songs that came out in 2015. Here are some of the best ones.

“Something from Nothing” by Foo Fighters

Foo Fighters won their first-ever Grammy for Best Rock Song with this track, which is the lead single off of their album Sonic Highways. The song is an anthemic rocker that features some impressive guitar work from Dave Grohl and Pat Smear.

“Congregation” by Foo Fighters

“Congregation” is a song by American rock band Foo Fighters. It was released as the fourth single from their eighth studio album, Sonic Highways, on November 3, 2014. The song was written by band members Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel and Chris Shiflett. It features Grohl’s 12-year-old daughter Violet on backing vocals.

“What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?” by R.E.M.

R.E.M.’s “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?” is one of the best rock songs of 2015. The track, which is from the band’s album In Time: The Best of R.E.M., features lead singer Michael Stipe singing about paranoia and mass media over a catchy, distorted guitar riff. The song’s lyrics are cryptic and open to interpretation, but they add to the song’s overall sense of unease and paranoia. “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?” is a perfect example of how R.E.M. could take seemingly disparate elements and turn them into something greater than the sum of their parts.

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