Jonathan Tyler Lands At No. 12.

The North Texas music scene has really come into its own the past 12 months. There hasn't been a year in recent memory when so many local artists appeared on the Billboard charts, played Saturday Night Live and other late night television programs, or otherwise appeared in the national spotlight. Here, as we've done in years past, we're highlighting what we think are the 100 best songs locally-tied of the year. The thing is, as far as this list is concerned, we're judging the quality of the songs irrespective of the popularity of the people putting them out — meaning, you're just as likely to have a song by a Grammy-winning act sandwiched between a couple of high school bands. Hey, it's just more interesting that way. Also keeping with tradition, we'll be rolling out the list in smaller, more digestible portions every weekday through the end of the month, complete with embedded streams of each. We think that gives each of these more than deserving acts a little more shine, and it also gives you a little more time to really check out each of these high quality tunes — including, presumably, a few that you may have missed upon their initial release.

The past few months have been something of a victory lap for Jonathan Tyler.

Four years after his last LP, 2010's Pardon Me, Tyler finally took to social media in the spring of 2014 to express some frustration with his deal at Atlantic Records. His label, he wrote, was “stifling his energy,” and legally restricting him from releasing music or accessing his own web page.

Then, back in April, Tyler was interviewed on KTCK 1310-AM The Ticket, where he admitted he'd workshopped dozens of songs over a number of years for an album that never materialized, none of which his label ever bit on. Ultimately, before recording this year's Holy Smokes, Tyler parted ways with Atlantic and lost the “& The Northern Lights” part of his old band's name in the process.

See Also:
The Top 100 Local Songs of 2015. // Counting Down From 100 to 81.
The Top 100 Local Songs of 2015. // Counting Down From 80 to 61.
The Top 100 Local Songs of 2015. // Counting Down From 60 to 41.
The Top 100 Local Songs of 2015. // Counting Down From 40 to 26.
The Top 100 Local Songs of 2015. // Counting Down From 25 to 16.
The Top 100 Local Songs of 2014.

And when he did finally release that first new LP in five years, Jonathan Tyler instantly appeared a more relaxed performer. The burdens and constant rejection from his old label now firmly behind him, this latest material finds him in his most self-assured stance to date. His duet with Nashville singer-songwriter Nikki Lane, “To Love is to Fly,” is a perfect example of this.

One of the softest and prettiest songs on our entire list of this year's Top 100 local songs countdown, it's also perhaps the most hardcore. Atop a bed of sighing pedal steel and reverberated acoustic guitar — and masked betwixt the pair's sweetly wistful harmonies — are lyrics recounting the mixed blessing of a hyper-destructive, drug-fueled relationship.

The two performers here never sacrifice grit for lovey-doviness — or vice-versa, for that matter. The song is as raspy as it is real, finding Lane and Tyler expertly conveying the tale of a relationship that burns white hot before it ends with a tremendous bang.

“It's the only love song on the album,” Tyler told Rolling Stone earlier this year. “It's about trying to catch beauty in a dark place.”

Mission accomplished there. And how: In a bigger sense, that statement speaks just as much to the process of riding out Tyler's dark period at Atlantic and making his best album to date as it does writing “To Love is to Fly,” specifically.

The Full List: The Top 100 Local Songs of 2015.

100. Terrence Spectacle — “King's Cup”
99. Tunk — “Scarface The Rapper”
98. Lil Ronny MothaF — “Circle”
97. Denim Wonder — “I Love My City”
96. Sin Motivo — “Sintomas”
95. Kevin Aldridge — “Winner Leaves Town”
94. Sarah Jaffe — “Vision”
93. Coach Tev — “Omens (ft. Drugs, The Model Citizen & Rei Altru)”
92. Bummer Vacation — “Silver Hands”
91. Danny Cainco — “In My Bed”
90. Dove Hunter — “Dream Catcher”
89. GHETTODSKO — “It's Like That”
88. Toadies — “In the Belly of a Whale”
87. 87. Sad Cops — “Allen Road Park”
86. Essay EyE — “Day Da Day”
85. Astronautalis — “Sike”
84. The Azealia Project — “Chameleons”
83. Rhett Miller — “Most in the Summertime”
82. Botany — “Jotu”
81. Ghoulfive — “Materialistic”
80. VIDEO — “New Immortals”
79. No Touching — “Any Minute”
78. Damaged Good$ — “FCKBOY JIHAD PT. 1”
77. Jarvis Hodges — “Ball Out”
76. Hate Your Friends — “Whooda Thunk?”
75. Blessin' — “Eileen”
74. Birds of Night — “Asleep in the Pine”
73. Parquet Courts — “No, No, No!”
72. Bobby Sessions — “Black Neighborhood”
71. Larce Blake w/ Masego & BeMyFiasco — “SwingInLove”
70. Sudie — “Van Morrissey”
69. Buffalo Black — “High Noon”
68. Zane Williams — “A Song tor the Folks That Stole Our Van and Trailer”
67. Colton Carlyle — “Stalker”
66. Smoke Paint — “Chastity Belt”
65. Pinkish Black — “Brown Rainbow”
64. KoolQuise — “Cupid's Handgun”
63. Nick Jonas — “Jealous”
62. Skagg Philips — “Problems in Japan”
61. Brave Young Lion — “Girls”
60. Plain Jane Francis and Tony Q — “Silent Sounds”
59. Valise — “Charlie Gray”
58. Siamese — “Savage High”
57. Vandoliers — “Runaway Sons”
56. Claire Morales & Jena Pyle — “Strange”
55. Rhett Miller & Madison King — “Feel Like Fallin' in Love”
54. Nervous Curtains — “Devastator”
53. The Outfit, TX – “All Bills Paid” ft. Devy Stonez
52. These Machines Are Winning — “Kuru”
51. St. Vincent — “Bad Believer”
50. Snow that Product — “AyAyAy”
49. Kacey Musgraves — “Pageant Material”
48. Neon Indian — “Slumlord”
47. War Party — “Nolo Mori”
46. Conner Youngblood – “The Badlands”
45. Radioactivity — “Silent”
44. Birds of Night — “Dark”
43. A.Dd+ — “The Rhyme and The Rhythm”
42. Color TV — “Cadillac”
41. LUWUM — “The Band”
40. The Outfit, TX — “Wild Turkey”
39. Doug Burr — “White Night — Black Light”
38. Jake Paleschic — “When it is Played”
37. Party Static — “Mr Sexypants”
36. Pearl Earl — “Karaoke Superstar”
35. Lower Dens — “To Die in L.A.”
34. Selena Gomez — “Good For You”
33. Brack Cantrell — “Corpus Christi”
32. Demi Lovato — “Confident”
31. Herrick and Hooley — “Skeletor vs He-Man”
30. Dripping Wet — “She's Not Mine”
29. Maren Morris — “My Church”
28. Andy Pickett — “Don't Bro Me”
27. Post Malone — “Tear$”
26. Leon Bridges — “Smooth Sailin'”
25. Pyramids — “In Perfect Stillness, I've Only Found Sorrow”
24. War Party — “Teenager On Drugs”
23. Vincent Neil Emerson — “East Texas Blues”
22. Shaun Martin — “One Big Party”
21. Telegraph Canyon — “Why Let it Go”
20. Felix — “Ain Afraid”
19. Neon Indian — “Annie”
18. The Warden — “Our Town”
17. St. Vincent — “Teenage Talk”
16. Erykah Badu — “Cel U Lar Device”
15. Dead to a Dying World — “The Hunt Eternal”
14. LEV — “Shadow”
13. G.U.N. — “Johnny Cage”
12. Jonathan Tyler — “To Love Is To Fly” (feat. Nikki Lane)
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