What kind of musical year has it been?

As you get older, you move further and further away from the young people's music. But at the same time, you develop a terror that you'll soon be one of those people, moaning that there's no good bands anymore. This is, of course, no less true than it was when you were young. So here are my ten favourite tunes of 2015 -- which you can listen to here, along with fifteen others that nearly made the cut...

Why not listen to my top 2015 tunes while you read about them...

1. Go! - Public Service Broadcasting

The Race for Space is without question the best album of 2015, and the endearingly geeky Public Service Broadcasting used it as the basis of the best gig of the year too, at Brixton Academy. This is just one of the standout tracks from an album that makes the story of human space exploration more exhilarating than any dry Discovery Channel documentary.

2. Enter Sylvia Plath - Belle & Sebastian

My second favourite album of the year is equally full of extraordinary moments. Belle & Sebastian have mastered the fusion of lyrical intellectualism with simple great tunes. 

3. Better in the Morning - Little Boots

You also need to listen to Little Boots' fantastic Working Girl album. She's been producing irresistably brilliant pop music for years now, and this relentlessly cheerful track deserved to be a much bigger hit than it was.

4. Realiti - Grimes

I suppose most people imagine their favourite songs should be huge hits, and gaze mystified at the kind of nonsense lurking near the top of the charts. Grimes - aka Claire Boucher - makes consistently excellent music, and deserves way more exposure. Bizarrely, I prefer this demo version to the more polished take on the album.

5. Disappointing - John Grant

If you haven't heard John Grant's GMF, you must stop reading this and listen to it immediately. Then come back -- we'll wait for you.

This, the first track to surface from new album Grey Tickles, Black Pressure, is a typically arch love song, a duet with Tracey Thorn, endlessly sing-a-long-able. Grant is also phenomenal live.

6. Piss Off - FFS

Clearly a collaboration between Franz Ferdinand and Sparks is going to be, well, a little precious. But this, gifted by Sparks' Ron Mael, is glorious. The video is quite ridiculous.

7. Mr Noah - Panda Bear

Noah Lennox has gone by this pseudonym for the best part of 20 years, and while this track first surfaced towards the end of 2014, the album - Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper, was the first release of 2015 to be stuck on repeat.

8. Tutti Fruiti - New Order

It's a decade -- A DECADE -- since New Order's last album. This makes me feel very, very old. But the joy of this new album makes that wait almost worthwhile. Iggy Pop, La Roux and Brandon Flowers all show up, but New Order could just stand silently and press play, and that would be enough for me.

9. Fake ID - Rat Boy

Chelmsford's Jordan Cardy was quickly snapped up by Parlophone, and this demonstrates why. Energetic and funny, the influence of acts like The Streets is obvious, but with an intriguing twist. More like this, please..

10. Earthizen - Public Enemy

Spontaneous discovery of the year was hearing this track for the first time on 6 Music, half-way up the M1. It's 33 years since Public Enemy started out (we've already established just how old I currently feel), and they're still producing tracks like this, sparking with fury.


Honourable mentions for Beach House, whose wonderful Depression Cherry album arrived in the summer, with stand-out track Sparks.

Avec Sans continue to produce great electronic music -- hopefully tracks like Resonate will get the exposure they deserve in 2016.

Ben Folds put on a remarkable show at the Royal Opera House, and an equally remarkable album in So There.

Jarvis Cocker and Nancy Kerr guest on Richard Hawley's Hollow Meadows, well worth a listen.

And if you haven't heard Public Image Ltd's Double Trouble you really, really should.