Top ROCK & ALTERNATIVE Hits of 2015

milky chance

Compiled by Rick Hiduk

While groups like Milky Chance (above) and Modest Mouse may have held the top spot on the Alternative Rock charts for more weeks with individual tracks, no alternative or rock act had as many successful entries in 2015 than Twenty One Pilots (top).

If there was any particular trend that I could ascertain in the world of alternative and hard rock this year, it was that alternative music was fun and more dance-oriented than the past few years when the folk influence was much stronger. Rock simply continues to rock.

Twenty One Pilots may have been formed in 2009, but 2015 was their year to take over the charts with no less than seven entries – half of their “Blurry Face” album. They demonstrated an ability to go in many directions at once with their music, including some of the best white hip-hop that I’ve heard to date.

Having been a fan of Mumford & Sons’ previous two or three albums, I felt that “Wilder Mind” was somewhat depressing. Tracks like “Believe” that were rushed to #1 quickly faded. It was refreshing, however, to have new stuff by rock and alternative veterans Beck, The Foo Fighters, and Kid Rock in the mix this year. I wish that I could play more alternative music in the Endless Mountains, but the fans are too few and far between. It’s still my favorite genre. This chart could have been much longer.

Numerous alternative hits – most notably Walk The Moon’s “Shut Up & Dance” and X Ambassadors “Renegades” – crossed over to the top of the pop charts this year. In the interest of giving the nod to more of the songs that better summed up the essence and direction of the alternative rock scene in 2015, those that are already listed on my Top Pop & Dance Hits of 2015 ( are omitted here.

  1. Modest Mouse – Lampshades on Fire 
  2. Milky Chance – Stolen Dance 
  3. Twenty One Pilots – Stressed Out 
  4. Coleman Hell – 2 Heads
  5. Alabama Shakes – Don’t Wanna Fight
  6. American Authors – Go Big or Go Home 
  7. Twenty One Pilots – Tear in My Heart 
  8. The Struts – Could Have Been Me 
  9. Saint Motel – My Type 
  10. Robert DeLong – Long Way Down 
  11. Twenty One Pilots – Ride
  12. Cage the Elephant – Cigarette Daydreams 
  13. Foo Fighters – Congregation
  14. Houndmouth – Sedona 
  15. Twenty One Pilots – Fairly Local 
  16. Florence & the Machine – Ship to Wreck
  17. James Bay – Hold Back the River
  18. Mumford & Sons – The Wolf 
  19. Beck – Dreams 
  20. Florence & the Machine – What Kind of Man 
  21. Of Monsters & Men – Crystals 
  22. Awolnation – Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf) 
  23. Vance Joy – Mess is Mine 
  24. Borns – Electric Love
  25. Walk the Moon – Different Colors 
  26. Panic! At the Disco – Victorious 
  27. Atlas Genius – Molecules
  28. Panic! At the Disco – Emperor’s New Clothes 
  29. Imagine Dragons – Shots
  30. Lord Huron – Fool For Love 
  31. Decembrists – Make You Better 
  32. I Prevail – Blank Space 
  33. Death Cab for Cutie – Black Sunday 
  34. Hozier – Someone New 
  35. Fall Out Boy – Immortals
  36. Lorde – Yellow Flicker Beat 
  37. Needtobreathe f Gavin DeGraw – Brother
  38. Panic! At the Disco – Hallelujah 
  39. Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats – S.O.B. 
  40. Muse – Dead Inside
  41. Kid Rock – First Kiss 
  42. MisterWives – Reflections
  43. Bring Me The Horizon – Throne 
  44. Twenty One Pilots – Lane Boy 
  45. Theory of a Deadman – Angel 
  46. Twenty One Pilots – Polarize 
  47. Joywave – Somebody New 
  48. Leon Bridges – Coming Home
  49. Hozier – From Eden 
  50. Shinedown – Cut the Cord 

1 Comment

  1. Seeing Bring Me the Horizon on this list makes me ridiculously happy. They are the one band I will forever openly fangirl over and I was so happy to finally see them getting serious recognition and airtime on the rock radio stations. I thought I would hate the ‘That’s the Spirit’ because they went from metalcore to straight rock but instead I fell in love. “Throne” isn’t even the best song on the album (“Avalanche” is) so I’m hoping to see more of their singles take off in 2016.

    Also yay Twenty One Pilots! I get excited when bands I’ve loved for years finally get the attention they deserve. “Ride” was my jam all summer!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *