Chris Janson, "Buy Me A Boat"
Chris Janson finally got a break and hit his lottery... quite literally. He was signed to a major label and awarded iHeartRadio's On The Verge selection in one fail swoop. "But Me A Boat" tells the tale of what many of us think; what would we buy if we won the lottery? For Chris, it was buying a boat with some truck to pull it and some beer in a cooler. Considering how Chris stumbled upon his major label deal with Warner Music Nashville, I can't think of a more appropriate song to score your first big hit with. - sabre14
Carrie Underwood, "Little Toy Guns"
I've admitted before that I'm not a particularly big fan of Carrie Underwood, but there is no doubt that "Little Toy Guns" is one of the year's most compelling singles. With a dark yet relatable lyric about a child caught in the middle of a domestic dispute, along with an intense production and killer vocal, it is one of Underwood's finest pieces of work to-date. - Markus Meyer
Mo Pitney, "Country"
This song was our first introduction to Mo Pitney -- a straight up traditional country artist with a killer voice. This song is the essence of what's great about country and country music fans. Country isn't what you own. It isn't where you live. It isn't how you talk. It's what you feel inside, and that love for "country" helps connect all of us country music fans. - sabre14
Rainey Qualley, "Me and Johnny Cash"
This honest to God sounds like a song that was released in 2005, not 2015. What really impressed me was the great uniqueness of Rainey's vocals -- which were more noticeable in this song. Perfect production and witty songwriting made this song an absolute winner for me and it's a shame that Rainey was on a start-up label as this should have had hit written all over it. - sabre14
Chris Stapleton, "Nobody To Blame"
TICM was way into Chris long before he was cool, and you'd know why after hearing his debut album. This song in particular was a highlight for me. Sure, on paper it's not a knockout, revolving around a tired theme of a woman leaving her man, but the details put into it elevate it to a top-notch song. It's refreshing to hear a guy admit that HE'S the one responsible for everything going wrong and not blaming on something else. Plus the song is Country as heck - Louis Knoebel
Florida Georgia Line, "Confession"
Taking a break from their usual brand of bro-country, Florida Georgia Line are back with what is absolutely their best single yet. An atmospheric production surrounds a serious, reflective lyric, a major shift for the duo, while still retaining signature elements such as Tyler Hubbard's confident performance and the hooky melody. This is what we should expect of our duo of the year. - MM
Maddie and Tae, "Shut Up and Fish"
Is that fiddle and steel guitar that I hear? Be still my beating heart! "Shut Up and Fish" is the perfect definition of the evolution of Country. We have a hilarious storyline involving a woman who stands up for herself, and the twist at the end never gets old. The TICM Single Of The Year alumni have returned with another strong Country song - LK
Chris Stapleton, "Traveller"
Before Chris Stapleton was cool, he released the title-track to his award winning album, Traveller. Despite not even scratching the top-60, "Traveller" is a slice of pure country gold, with an organic arrangement, a soulful performance and a simple yet elegant lyric. Absolute gem from arguably the best voice and hottest act in country music. - MM
Brothers Osborne, "Stay A Little Longer"
"Stay A Little Longer" proved to be 'third time's the charm' as it became John and T.J.'s first top 10 single at country radio. This single was a prime example of everything these two do well; utilize T.J.'s deep, strong vocals; great melody and instrumentation which showed their songwriting chops, and was an opportunity for John to give us that awesome guitar solo - sabre14
Eric Church, "Mr. Misunderstood"
Eric Church desired to be bold and rebellious in 2014, and he was, he just went a tad overboard with it. "Mr. Misunderstood" finds Eric Church back to being well, Eric Church. He's a guy who deviates from the mainstream path. I find myself relating to this song a lot, and I'm glad someone else in the mainstream understands that it's time to put the music first. Hopefully Eric continues down this path - LK
Jon Pardi, "Head Over Boots"
Every time I hear a Jon Pardi song, I get thrown back into the late 90's to early 2000's. This song felt right at home for Jon and featured a melody that was similar to Dwight Yoakam in his prime. Jon just might have outdone his stellar 2014 single, "What I Can't Put Down" - sabre14
Mickey Guyton, "Better Than You Left Me"
Capitol recording artist, Mickey Guyton's long awaited debut single did not disappoint. The eloquent production and throwback country instrumentation was soothing to the ears of listeners and was coupled by one of the best vocalist in the genre. Great introduction into Mickey's talents - sabre14
Kip Moore, "Running For You"
My personal favorite single of 2015 comes courtesy of Kip Moore. The second single of his excellent sophomore project Wild Ones, "Running For You" is a masterpiece on all fronts. From his impassioned rasp, to the enticing melody, to the superb songwriting, "Running For You" is what modern country music should sound like. Absolutely brilliant single. - MM
Love and Theft, "Whiskey On My Breath"
Who thought we'd see the day Love and Theft placed in a top-10 singles list. From a duo whose entire career has relied on pleasant-but-fluffy pop-country records, "Whiskey On My Breath" comes as a massive shock. With the heart wrenching lyric and the subdued production, it packs a punch rarely seen from any mainstream act. Hopefully a sign of things to come for Love and Theft. - MM
Ashley Campbell, "Remembering"
The best kinds of Country songs are the ones that are the most personal, as they add a value that cannot be replicated. That is what "Remembering" is, a touching ode to Ashley's father, Glen Campbell. Words cannot do a song such as this one justice, as this is truly something you need to hear for yourself - LK
Lee Ann Womack, "Send It On Down"
Perhaps the most forgotten song on the list, mainly because it was released very early this year and didn't make a dent on the charts. But if there's one thing you can learn from Country music in 2015, it's that chart success doesn't equate to quality, as Lee Ann Womack delivers a knockout of a song about a woman who is down on her luck...to say the least. The somber tone of this song really punches you in the gut, and proves that Lee Ann Womack is still making some damn fine Country music - LK
Kacey Musgraves, "Dime Store Cowgirl"
While Pageant Material was a step down from her debut project, Kacey Musgraves still proves why she is so highly regarded among critics with many tracks on the album, most notably, "Dime Store Cowgirl". A wonderfully-written piece of accessible country music, Musgraves absolutely blows many of her peers out of the water with this brilliant and poignant track. - MM
Cam, "Burning House"
Hey country radio! Play some more females! No, no, no... not Kelsea Ballerini! Play some Cam! Humor aside, "Burning House" is a masterpiece with its haunting, acousticy production and even more haunting and alluring storyline of holding onto a lost love. This song is probably the deepest lyrical song you'll hear this year in mainstream Country music and it goes to show that females are still making some of the best Country music out there - LK
Dierks Bentley, "Riser"
A criminally underrated song, "Riser" by Dierks Bentley shows a man who actually cares about the music. The anthemic lyrics combined with the passion and emotion behind Bentley's vocals mold together to form one of the best singles in the mainstream this year. "Riser" has everything you could want in a Country song and more, and it's a shame that there seemed to be only a few who didn't like it (*cough cough country radio cough*) - LK
Tim McGraw feat. Catherine Dunn, "Diamond Rings and Old Barstools"
Tim McGraw is back ladies and gentlemen. "Diamond Rings and Old Barstools", one of the finest tracks off his masterful Sundown Heaven Town album, is a pure-country, beautifully written, poignant, well performed record that absolutely blows many of his mainstream peers into oblivion. With it's excellent metaphorical hook and raw vocal, this is one to remember and is certainly worthy of being TICM's #1 single of 2015. - MM