There's so much music out there, it’s hard to keep up! November was jam-packed with new tunes. Several major stars put out chart-topping albums, and a bunch of smaller names produced totally uncelebrated greatness. It’s really not safe to head into December without catching up. Here are the 40 songs you should have heard last month:
1) Adele, "When We Were Young"
Nothing says November 2015 quite like Adele's hugely popular third studio album. "When We Were Young" is one of her best songs—it's sad, sweet and addictive all at the same time.
2) Alessia Cara, "Scars To Your Beautiful"
Her Top 40 hit "Here" is a little catchier, but Alessia Cara's "Scars to Your Beautiful" is the kind of body-positive anthem we'll never get enough of.
3) Missy Elliott, "WTF (Where They From)"
We love Missy!
4) Freddie Gibbs, "Extradite"
"Body lyin' dead, in the streets yet, then eat breakfast?/ Swallow forced beliefs, like police justice." Damn.
5) Punch Brothers, "Clementine"
With a trickling guitar and a melody that reeks of sadness, "Clementine" is exactly what you need to start the dark, gloomy days of winter.
6) Grimes, "California"
Grimes is the only mastermind behind her newest album Flesh Without Blood, and nowhere do her haunting vocals, trance rhythms, and catchy choruses work better than on "California."
7)Lil Durk and Dej Loaf, "My Beyoncé"
Usually, I assume every song with Beyoncé's name in the title is a gimmick for publicity. But you know what? This song deserves that attention.
8) Shovels and Rope, "Patience"
If you want rock-n-roll guitar solos and the heart of bluegrass, Shovels and Rope might be your new favorite band. "Patience" is a romantic, melodic trip down memory lane.
9) Allie X, "Never Enough"
Allie X is going to have a hard time getting out of Charli XCX's glimmering '80s pop shadow, but "Never Enough" is a song that could help her find the spotlight.
10) One Direction, "End Of The Day"
One Direction put out an album in November, but most of it lacks the charismatic vocals and shifting key changes that made One D such an unstoppable force. "End of the Day" is the exception.
11) Troye Sivan, "Youth"
Teens love Troye Sivan because he is literally a teen.
12) Billy Gibbons and the BFG, "Q-Vo"
R&B vocals paired with a groovy bassline and a couple of sneaky synths, "Q-Vo" is as interesting as it is fun.
13) Alan The Chemist feat. Migos and Mac Miller, "Jabroni"
This song loves M&Ms. Who doesn't?
14) Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Leon Bridges, "Kevin"
This is a trifecta I never would have chosen to put together, but as they proved in their performance at the American Music Awards, it really works. Bridges' honey-sweet soul voice provides a welcome contrast to Macklemore's rapping.
15) Sia, "One Million Bullets"
Sia hasn't mentioned who this song was originally written for, but it sounds like it might be an Adele reject.
16) Pusha T, "Untouchable"
I'm not sure what you could want more than Pusha T rapping on top of a Biggie sample.
17) Foo Fighters, "Saint Cecilia"
Whether you love or hate your dad's favorite band frontman Dave Grohl has an ear for a hook like few other rock musicians alive today.
18) G-Eazy's "Sad Boy"
G-Eazy values story over rhyme, but on "Sad Boy," he strikes the perfect balance.
19) Major Lazer & Moti, "Boom"
I wish I could ignore Major Lazer, but their hit song "Lean On" has been in the Top 100 for almost the entire year. That means that even though this song has THREE featured artists (Ty Dolla $ign, Wizkid, and Kranium), it's probably worth knowing.
20) Justin Bieber, "Company"
With Adele hogging the headlines, it's easy to forget that Bieber put out a full album in November. He did, and "Company" is the best deep cut.
21) Mothers, "Too Small For Eyes"
Sad indie female vocalists continue their winter reign in this melodic, suffering song.
22) Frankie Cosmos, "Young"
This song is barely more than 2 minutes long, and I have listened to it 10 times this morning.
23) Sara Bareilles, "Everything Changes"
They are turning Waitress the movie into a musical, and Sara Bareilles is writing the music.
24) Eugene Quell, "London Pollen"
Nothing like a good British indie rock jam to kick off any winter playlist you need to make.
25) Givers, "Sleeper Hold"
Do you like spoken word and guitars? You'll love this.
26) Classixx feat. T-Pain, "Whatever I Want"
Do you miss autotune? Here you go!
27) Eric Church, "Mistress Named Music"
This is fine!
28) Lana Del Rey, "Some Things Last A Long Time"
Even covering Daniel Johnson, Lana Del Rey is enchanting.
29) Little Mix, "The End"
The most underrated girl-group of the 2010s is Little Mix. They have insane vocal power and do really interesting stage work.
30) Ellie Goulding, "Holding On For Life"
With a gospel choir and lines like "If you wanted love like this/ Blowing up with every kiss/Should've known better," Ellie Goulding marries the confessionals of Taylor Swift and the banging electronica of Grimes.
31) Le1f, "Umami/Water"
The entirety of Le1f's Riot Boi release is laden with expensive and complicated sounds, but none of them are as memorable as the ones on "Umami/Water."
32) Floating Points, "Peroration Six"
This is study/sleeping music. It is instrumental, and it is beautiful.
33) Bibi Bourelly, "Ego"
Bourelly wrote Rihanna's "Bitch Better Have My Money." On her own song, "Ego" she proves she's more than a one-hit wonder. This song technically came out in October, but I totally missed it—maybe you did, too.
34) Young Thug, "Raw (Might Just)"
Rap music often sits in a tempo range between groovy and fast, but on this track, Young Thug slows it down and creates a vibe that's both beautiful and powerful.
35) Chris Young, "Sober Saturday Night"
This is a country ballad for people who like those!
36) Matmos, "Ultimate Care II Excerpt Eight"
This entire album by electronic duo Matmos was made using a washing machine, so that's something.
37) DJDS, "Stand Up And Speak"
With a pulse like a beating heart on cocaine, "Stand Up and Speak" will wake up your brain.
38) Kississippi, "Greyhound"
We can all use a story about feeling alone and alienated from time to time.
39) Boots, "Only"
This intoxicating electro-pop song proves synthesizers can have as much pain and emotion as '90s alt-rock did.
40) Carly Rae Jepsen's "Last Christmas"
It's December, a.k.a. Christmas music time. This is one of the best pop covers of the year. Merry Christmas, Carly Rae Jepsen.
Oh: 32 out of 40 of these songs are available on Spotify, so here’s a playlist for you:
Kelsey McKinney is a culture staff writer for Fusion.