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Best Albums Of 2015

Best Albums Of 2015
Date: 
December 13, 2015

2015: the year that the world imploded whilst independent music carried on regardless. 2015 was a year that threw up a whole host of angry or optimistic or absurdest releases, some of which will surely be regarded as bona fide classics in the future, providing that the earth has not been destroyed in some sort of nuclear shit storm. You should probably buy all 25 of these records before that happens. PS - Merry Christmas!

You can see what else we liked in our Best Of The Rest 2015

1

Du Blonde - Welcome Back To Milk

What we said: "an album that's as unsubtle as it is eclectic...Welcome Back To Milk closes the book on Beth Jeans Houghton and introduces Du Blonde in spectacular, uncompromising fashion"

2

Hannah Cohen - Pleasure Boy

What we said: "Essentially, this is a claustrophobic breakup record which uses classic pop hooks to lift itself out of the gloom and into the light. All in the space of a spectacular 35 minutes."

3

Low Low Low La La La Love Love Love - Last

What we said: "This is a funeral album that feels like a real celebration. Whatever the future brings for these musicians, they've left the Low Low Low La La La Love Love Love legacy in mighty fine shape. Last is an absolute triumph."

4

Young Fathers - White Men Are Black Men Too

What we said: "This isn't traditional Rock n Roll or punk, and it's not a hip-hop record or a dance record. But it is a very danceable thing and it does make you believe that there are people in music with something to say about the world, so maybe it is a punk record after all."

5

Sleaford Mods - Key Markets

What we said: "Key Markets is simply another excellent album from a duo who, by the use of hatred and humour, are cleverly articulating what any right-minded person in 2015 is essentially thinking."

6

Gwenno - Y Dydd Olaf

What we said: "Although this is an electro-pop album on the surface, one of the things that sets it aside from others in the genre is the fact that it sounds so organic. You can hear to blemishes in the drum beats and the fingers on the bass strings, all things which can only add to the album's likeability"

7

Frog - Kind of Blah

What we said: "although the tempo and themes change frequently during the LP, there's a summery laid back, beer drinking ethos that stays with you through the full 11 tracks. This, I see as a positive, and so should you."

8

Vision Fortune - Country Music

What we said: "your enjoyment of this album may well depend on the mood you're in...the trick is to just go with it, you'll most probably be rewarded by its sheer unbridled creativity. Country Music is a bold move and one which positions the duo as a truly innovative force of nature."

9

H. Hawkline - In The Pink Of Condition

What we said: "Lines like "bedridden backstroke, bygone egos at the door" have such a dreamy, rhythmic feel you could almost imagine them standing up without any music at all. A fun lovin' cosmic trip of a record."

10

Vessels - Dilate

What we said: "It's a form of electronic music that incorporates healthy doses of prog and euphoric rock, but given those genres mentioned it sounds surprisingly grounded. This is possibly because it's an organic record at heart."

11

SLUG - Ripe

What we said: "It's not often that you'll hear heavy metal riffs alongside dreamy steel drum interludes, but for Ian Black it's all par for the course...Ripe is the quite brilliant new phase in the career of an exciting creative mind."

12

The Wave Pictures - Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon

What we said: "The overall sound sits somewhere in the early 60s, before Rock n' Roll was cleaned up, and when the sub 3 minute pop single was seen as an absolute requirement. Perhaps playing within these constraints has focused the band into producing something much more forthright"

13

Spectres - Dying

What we said: "Their band name conjures up death, their album is called Dying and their music has a gritty, pessimistic edge to it, which can be quite overwhelming when combined with the screaming wall of sound that they produce. Maybe Spectres are the perfect band to soundtrack the rather depressing start we've had to 2015"

14

Sun Kil Moon - Universal Themes

What JW says: "In a year in which Mark Kozelek found infamy as an semi-online journalist-baiting pariah, Universal Themes remains a deeply personal and insular record that succeeds in giving an insight into the minutiae of his life and times."

15

PINS - Wild Nights

What we said: "With hints of Thee Oh Sees, 80s goth, and even early Bananarama (in their Fun Boy Three collaborating phase) in their cannon, the record doesn't even contemplate the concept of a dull moment"

16

Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear

What we said: "Father John Misty returns with his latest offering that for the most part channels the spirit of Harry Nilsson, Gene Clark and even early 70s Elton John...it's a record that is at once profane and profound in its lyrical content"

17

Cloud - Zen Summer

What we said: " There's a mesmeric quality to the sequencing which feels like you're listening to one long eccentric opera. It's probably fair to say that Cloud hasn't yet had the due attention he deserves, but now that he's proved he's no one trick pony it would be unjust if that wider acclaim isn't just around the corner"

18

Slim Twig - Thank You For Stickin With Twig

What we said: "Some people, coming into the world of Twig would find his slightly brash, avant garde exterior almost impenetrable, but those who do manage to claw their way through the madness will find that these are actually ultra accessible songs, built around classic and well honed genre staples"

19

Field Music - Music For Drifters

What AM says: "Scored for a 1929 silent documentary, maybe this physical release doesn't quite live up to the experience of seeing it played live alongside the film (see our Best Of The Rest 2015 for more on this) but Music For Drifters is surely the year's most under-appreciated release, slipping out without a great deal of fanfare or press, it's well worth seeking out if you haven't already."

20

Darren Hayman - Chants For Socialists

What we said: "with traditional brass and a whole host of helpers, it has the feel of a true community spirited record. It's a pleasant surprise, given the myriad of external musical influences and the subject matter, that Chants For Socialists retains Hayman's grounded style and modern viewpoint. Most importantly though, it sounds great."

21

Benjamin Shaw - Guppy

What we said: "There's still the trademark dashes of DIY strings and atmospheric flourishes, but the abstract elements seem to have risen to the top of the pecking order. And in case you are wondering, I'm seeing all of these things as positives"

22

Jim O'Rourke - Simple Songs

What JW says: "a set of deceptively complex songs from a master musician and songwriter which successfully marries the bitter and the sweet both musically and lyrically"

23

Younghusband - Dissolver

What we said: "the most obvious genre to pin to the Younghusband of 2015 is probably Power Pop. The vocals are pitch perfect and overdubbed to find a woozy summertime vibe which is so easy to like. But this is also a laid back affair, with the band rarely breaking out of a bracing trot."

24

Warm Brains - Big Wow

What we said: "He's got a deadpan, but thoroughly engaging and likeable delivery, and a way of building up dark and light atmospheres with minimal fuss and fairly minimal instrumentation. Big Wow is a clear indication that Warm Brains has been sitting behind the controls for too long"

25

DRINKS - Hermits On Holiday

What we said: "don't come to Drinks expecting more of the same from either of these acts. It's a standalone record which will no doubt thrill some who were previously disinterested, and alienate some long-time fans. Come with an open mind and you'll be grand"