EOTY 2015

My Favorite Albums of 2015

Below is a list of my favorite albums of the year, plus some honorable mentions  (i.e. albums that I greatly enjoyed but didn’t return to as often as I may have hoped or expected). I’m a big fan of good cover art, which almost all of the below albums have (the exception being that baffling Jason Isbell cover), so the list itself is after the cut, in order to not overload your feed/browser. Most people – maybe you, reader – will look at this list and think, “How?” or maybe, “Why?” To answer the former: I listen to music whenever I have the chance, and I’m constantly on the lookout for great music writing, which means constantly reading material from websites like, yes, Pitchfork but also Stereogum, Cokemachineglow, The Quietus, etc.  In my experience, great music produces great writing, and I’ve discovered numerous albums and bands by reading the aforementioned sites on a daily basis and following particular writers on Twitter – an invaluable resource, if you use it well. (I’ll use this parenthetical to particularly suggest you read Tom Breihan’s great column at Stereogum, Album of the Week, and the astounding 2015 year-end staff coverage at the sadly now-defunct CMG. Both sites are/were places of consistent discovery for me, with their staff’s writing being a standard I, sometimes foolishly, compare myself to in my own writing.) To answer the latter question, “Why?”, I’ll simply direct you to the music. The albums listed below all speak for themselves, and they’ve all in their own way been thought-provoking; enjoyable; and, particularly in the case of my top 5, comforting.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Nadia Reid – Listen to Formation, Look for the Signs
  • Marika Hackman – We Slept at Last
  • The Districts – A Flourish and a Spoil
  • Susanne Sundfor – Ten Love Songs
  • Wolf Alice – My Love is Cool
  • The Necks – Vertigo
  • Eskimeaux – O.K.
  • Advance Base – Nephew in the Wild
  • Beach House – Thank Your Lucky Stars
  • Natalie Prass – Natalie Prass
  • Oneohtrix Point Never – Garden of Delete*
  • Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress
  • Andy Shauf – The Bearer of Bad News*
  • Julia Holter – Have You in My Wilderness*

*These are three albums that, had I simply listened to them more, would be in my top 50 or so, I know. Alas, time.

 

Everything's Alright and Forever . . .

60. 100 Watt Horse – Everything’s Alright Forever and Forever and Forever and Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou Amen

ivywild

59. Night Beds – IVYWILD

faith in the future

58. Craig Finn – Faith in the Future

age of transparency

57. Autre Ne Veut – Age of Transparency

 

The Most Lamentable Tragedy

56. Titus Andronicus – The Most Lamentable Tragedy

Fading Frontier

55. Deerhunter – Fading Frontier

 

Dark Bird is Home

54. The Tallest Man on Earth – Dark Bird is Home

let the good times roll

53. JD McPherson – Let the Good Times Roll

Deep in the Iris

52. Braids – Deep in the Iris

What a Terrible World

51. The Decemberists – What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World!

poison season

50. Destroyer – Poison Season

sprained ankle

49. Julien Baker – Sprained Ankle

short movie

48. Laura Marling – Short Movie

imple songs

47. Jim O’Rourke – Simple Songs

untethered moon

46. Built to Spill – Untethered Moon

new bermuda

45. Deafheaven – New Bermuda

in colour

44. Jamie xx – In Colour

universal themes

43. Sun Kil Moon – Universal Themes

return to the moon

42. EL VY – Return to the Moon

vulnicura

41. Bjork – Vulnicura

Elaenia

40. Floating Points – Elaenia

Amor Supremo

39. Carla Morrison – Amor Supremo

Wildheart

38. Miguel – Wildheart

Sermon on the Rocks

37. Josh Ritter – Sermon on the Rocks

Something More Than Free

36. Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free

Harmlessness

35. The World is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die – Harmlessness

Foil Deer

34. Speedy Ortiz – Foil Deer

Sometimes I Sit and Think . . .

33. Courtney Barnett – Sometimes  I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

Primrose Gree

32. Ryley Walker – Primrose Green

Cradle for the Wanting

31. Ian William Craig – Cradle for the Wanting

Sound & Color

30. Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color

Kicking Every Day

29. All Dogs – Kicking Every Day

Morning - Evening

28. Four Tet – Morning/Evening

Barter 6

27. Young Thug – Barter 6

Summertime '06

26. Vince Staples – Summertime ’06

Sprinter

25. Torres – Sprinter

Runners in the Nerved World

24. The Sidekicks – Runners in the Nerved World

Cocksure

23. Laura Stevenson – Cocksure

Depression Cherry

22. Beach House – Depression Cherry

Loyalty

21. The Weather Station – Loyalty

Grind

20. DJ Richard – Grind

Currents

19. Tame Impala – Currents

 

Viet cong

18. Viet Cong – Viet Cong

Strangers to Ourselves

17. Modest Mouse – Strangers to Ourselves

The Epic

16. Kamasi Washington – The Epic

After

15. Lady Lamb – After

b'lieve

14. Kurt Vile – b’lieve I’m goin’ down

Never Were The Way She Was

13. Colin Stetson & Sarah Neufield – Never Were The Way She Was

Art Angels

12. Grimes – Art Angels

Carry The Ghost

11. Noah Gundersen – Carry The Ghost

Emotion

10. Carly Rae Jepsen – Emotion

 

Such Things

9. Saintseneca – Such Things

Pale Horses

8. mewithoutYou – Pale Horses

No Cities to Love

7. Sleater-Kinney – No Cities to Love

Divers

6. Joanna Newsom – Divers

Painted Shut

5. Hop Along – Painted Shut

Carrie & Lowell

4. Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell

Are You Alone

3. Majical Cloudz – Are You Alone?

I Love You Honeybear

2. Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear

To Pimp a Butterfly

1. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly

 

 

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