Top albums and songs of 2015

Another year, another whack of newly discovered tunes and new music from old favourites. As usual, this is not a definitive list but just what I really liked out of the few hundred bits and pieces I came across over the year.

I’ll start with the albums (see top 10 tracks via youtube at the bottom of the post). This year was an easy Top 20 and a fine mixture of folk, retro-indie, electronica, noise, classical and distortion.

Best Coast was my #1, but here are all 20 in no particular order:

Tamaryn – Cranekiss

Cocteau Twins meets Curve and swirling guitars

Cocteau Twins meets Curve and swirling guitars

Listen on Deezer or buy on iTunes

 

Soley – Ask the Deep and out-takes EP Don’t ever listen

Icelandic lo-fi indie electronica.

Icelandic lo-fi indie electronica.

Listen on Deezer or buy on iTunes

 

Julien Baker – Sprained ankle

Raw and cathartic collection from 19 year old singer-songrwiter

Raw and cathartic collection from 19 year old singer-songwriter

Listen on Deezer or buy on iTunes

 

Sexwitch – Sexwitch

Sexwitch is Toy and Natasha Khan from Bat for Lashes

Sexwitch is Toy and Natasha Khan from Bat for Lashes

Listen on Deezer or buy on iTunes

 

Zefur Wolves – Zefur Wolves

From Wales with a Super Furry Animals connection

From Wales with a Super Furry Animals connection

Listen on Deezer or buy on iTunes

 

The Go! Team – The scene between

An outreach program for bedroom-core DIY artists

An outreach program for bedroom-core DIY artists

Listen on Deezer or buy in iTunes

 

Tess Parks & Anton Newcombe – I declare nothing

40 minutes of scorching vocals and sweltering refrains, ambling rhythms and elated rhapsody.

40 minutes of scorching vocals and sweltering refrains, ambling rhythms and elated rhapsody.

Listen on Deezer or buy on iTunes

 

Remembering Mountains: Unheard songs by Karen Dalton

Sharon Van Etten, Lucinda Williams, Isobel Campell, Juila Holter...

Sharon Van Etten, Lucinda Williams, Isobel Campell, Juila Holter…

Listen on Deezer or buy on iTunes

 

Susanne Sundfor – Ten love songs

Sometimes dark theatrical, sometimes pure pop

Sometimes dark theatrical, sometimes pure pop

Listen on Deezer or buy on iTunes

 

Sharon Van Etten – I don’t want to let you down EP

Heartbreak accompaniment

Heartbreak accompaniment

Listen on Deezer or buy on iTunes

 

Rachel Grimes – The clearing

Founding member of seminal neoclassical chamber trio Rachel's

Founding member of seminal neoclassical chamber trio Rachel’s

Listen on Deezer or buy on iTunes

 

A place to bury strangers – Transfixiation

Channeling JAMC & BRMC

Channeling JAMC & BRMC

Listen on Deezer or buy on iTunes

 

Nite Fields – Depersonalisation

Early 4AD nod and a welcome bit of gloom

Early 4AD nod and a welcome bit of gloom

Listen on Deezer or buy on iTunes

 

Lower Dens – Escape from evil

Uncomfortable situations, both lyrical and musical

Uncomfortable situations, both lyrical and musical

Listen on Deezer or buy on iTunes

 

Django Django – Born under Saturn

...lineage of late-'60s, early-'70s pop weirdos, but they listen like modernist samplers and crate diggers

…lineage of late ’60s, early ’70s pop weirdos, but they listen like modernist samplers and crate diggers

Listen on Deezer or buy on iTunes

 

Chelsea Wolfe- Abyss

“human frailty, intimacy, quiet passion, anxiety, and deep longing.”

“human frailty, intimacy, quiet passion, anxiety, and deep longing.”

Listen on Deezer or buy on iTunes

 

Best Coast – California nights

heavy-ish, filled with hooks, somewhere between "fast enough to dance" and "slow enough to sigh to while looking out of a window."

heavy-ish, filled with hooks, somewhere between “fast enough to dance” and “slow enough to sigh to while looking out of a window.”

Listen on Deezer or buy on iTunes

 

True Detective 2 – Soundtrack

Lera Lynn songs make this all worthwhile

Lera Lynn, Handsome Family, Nick Cave, Father John Misty, Leonard Cohen

Listen on Deezer or buy on iTunes

 

Godspeed you! black emperor – Asunder, sweet and other distress

Listen to it on headphones, while staring out a window and losing yourself in your thoughts, and you will feel things.

Listen to it on headphones, while staring out a window and losing yourself in your thoughts, and you will feel things.

Listen on Deezer or buy on iTunes

 

Emika – Klavirini

simple classical piano heightened by delayed keys and long attacks

simple classical piano heightened by delayed keys and long attacks

Listen on Deezer or buy on iTunes

 

Re-issues and Compilations worthy of a mention:

Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee & Friends: Next Cut! Dub Plates, Rare Singles

Johnny Clarke, Linval Thompson, Prince Jammy, Barrington Spence

Vintage dub. Deep and reverb heavy

Listen on Deezer or buy on iTunes

 

Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock ‘n’ Roll

Johnny Cash, Elvis, etc

Johnny Cash, Elvis, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Jackie Breston, Howlin Wolf

Bought the 2CD collection off eMusic. Not on Deezer or iTunes

Ork Records: New York, New York

Alex Chilton, Richard Hell, Television, Erasers, Chris Stamey

Alex Chilton, Richard Hell, Television, Erasers, Chris Stamey

Listen on Deezer or buy on iTunes

 

Disappointments of 2015 (or albums that should have been top but weren’t):

Wolf Alice – My love is cool (excluding Giant Peach which is great)

Sleater-Kinney – No cities to love

Foals – What went down (excluding the title track which is amazing)

New Order – Music complete

 

These are my top 15 tracks outside of the top albums:

Star Horse – Wherever you

 

Branko – Let me go (Feat. Nonku Phiri)

 

The Weeknd – The Hills

 

Viet Cong – Silhouettes

 

Ultimate Painting – Ocean

 

Jamie XX – Gosh

 

Panda Bear – Mr Noah

 

Iron & Wine and Ben Bridwell – Bulletproof soul

 

Horsebeach – Let you down

 

Big Grams – Fell in the sun

 

Alex G – Salt

 

Dilly Dally – Desire

 

Pumarosa – Priestess

 

Hudson Mohawke – Ryderz

 

Khruangbin – White gloves

 

 

Advertisements