Our channels for music consumption in 2015 are way, way more fragmented than ever before. Depending on the genre, the artist’s stature, their release strategy, and about a million other factors their music could be primarily residing in any one of a number digital homes: SoundCloud, Spotify, YouTube, iTunes, and, more so than you would expect, on the radio. Also consider that it seems like there is more music being released nowadays, and finding potential hits, and understanding why they will pop off, is more difficult for fans, critics, A&Rs, and everyone in between.

In this new landscape, a given year’s biggest hits might not be the most current. In fact, in 2015, and a few years before it, many of the nation’s most popular hits are many months or years old by the time they come to our dominate ear holes. You know that undeniable banger from the unheard rapper who’s been rapidly thrust into the spotlight? Yeah, that song was sitting on SoundCloud forever before it received the proper cosign, marketing push, or stroke of luck it needed to blowup. Maybe there’s been a song so dominant that despite being released last winter it’s still in contention for the song of the summer. Or perhaps an artist just released an awesome track in the wee hours of 2014, hoping to start 2015 with a hit under their belt.

Because of their release dates, and the very nature of their popularity, these songs are barred from any “Best of 2015” lists. But regardless of the date of their initial release they played a major part in shaping what this year’s popular music sounds like. So, in order to honor those contributors and to hopefully shine a light on how, why, and when songs catch our collective attention in 2015, let’s look at the 11 Songs From 2014 That Are Killing It in 2015.

Max Goldberg is a writer living in New York. Follow him @goopygold.

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