What Means the World to You: 2015 in Musical Memories


Hello, it’s me, your music editor for the past two months (!) ready to look back on 2015. We’ve run quite a substantial collection of year-end lists, separate by genre for greater scope–folk, country, rap, experimental, EPs, pop, rock, and overrated albums all got their due.

But the truth is, no one really listens to music with the idea of ranking an album or a song against others. And even when we try, personal bias always spill into our efforts to be objective. Really, we listen to music because it moves us, because it makes us feel something, because it makes our life better and reminds us of deeper forces that exist in the universe. We listen because it helps us divide our life into meaningful units, memories we can hold onto even as they’re already slipping away. Truthfully, the impetus for this list came from a beloved, long-time staff member at Brooklyn Magazine, Lauren Beck, who was moved years ago by an approximation of it that Pitchfork did to celebrate their 15-year anniversary. Each of the 15 songs on that list were selected by writers for a personal reason, that had nothing to do with qualitative ranking.

So, for the final list of 2015, we’re going month-by-month through what Brooklyn Magazine staff were listening to during the year. These are the songs and albums we chose because they were important to our lives, because they impacted our most significant events and feelings, and because the music shared here became part of our memory about what 2015 was like.


  1. This is one of the best pieces I’ve read all year (second only to a certain review of a Beach House album by someone who has an Irish sounding name on some gum-related website) mainly because it was so personal and brilliantly written. In particular Natalie Rinn’s piece on Reflecktor…brilliant stuff!

    Also got to hear two great songs I hadn’t heard before, “24 Frames” and “Settle Down Zelda”.

    Brooklyn Mag hadn’t been on my radar before a couple months ago but I keep coming back…Caitlin White, you are running a tight ship. Can’t wait for more in 2016!

    PS My musical memory of 2015 is Maxence Cyrin’s cover of “Where is my mind”. Heard it on The Leftovers. A serene take on a song about being kinda anxious and lost. Lovely.


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