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"Soundcloud and Chill" is Not What It Means: 50 Favorite Albums from the Year 2015

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01-09-2016, 08:50 AM
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GKJ
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"Soundcloud and Chill" is Not What It Means: 50 Favorite Albums from the Year 2015

Preamble
When I make my lists, I typically focus on new and emerging artists. For the most part that is still true. However, it seemed the year of 2015 seemed to go in a different direction. I didn't count, but this list probably has the least amount of new discoveries, and that is a credit to a number of the bands we already know following up with good music. Music only gets more accessible as well. People might still like what they grew up with, but if one has the desire, time, or patience, new and good music can be found. Or maybe that's not what's needed. This list is being released at the outset of 2016, and in the spirit of accessibility, and the Internet/information age - the time of the millennials where everything is needed yesterday - and thus for the first time, 48 of the 50 albums on this list are linked to a corresponding playlist-stream via YouTube, by clicking the the name of the album (in addition to the usual linking of my favorite track off an album). While in list form, one of the goals here is sharing the music. Music is as ubiquitous as ever, if you want it to be.

As for the list itself, as usual, it was a strong year, assisted by the number of returns and reformations we've had. The top 7 is on a separate level, albums that can be listened on loop, without fail. From 8 to about 19 represents merely great albums with at least 3 standout tracks that separates them from the rest. Everything here is good, even in strong years I've had some issues completing a list of 50, but I wouldn't say that is the case with this one.

Previous Lists

2014
2013
Previous lists were lost to the board purge...ugh. This actually makes me more disappointed that I can't go back to Big McLargehuge's lists.

The List




50. The Dears - Times Infinity Volume One; September 25 (Montreal, QC)
Favorite Track: I Used to Pray for the Heavens to Fall




49. Death Cab for Cutie - Kintsugi; March 31 (Seattle, WA)
Favorite Song: Black Sun




48. Will Butler - Policy; March 10 (The Woodlands, TX)
Arcade Fire member ventures out on his own, and someone who is usually part of the subtext within the band, does a credible job for himself. The first one from the band to do so (Owen Pallett doesn't count).
Favorite Song: Take My Side




47. Beach Slang - The Things We Do to Find People Who Feel Like Us; October 30 (Philadelphia, PA)
Favorite Song: Bad Art & Weido Ideas




46. Destroyer - Poison Season; August 28 (Vancouver, BC)
Favorite Song: Dream Lover




45. Wilco - Star Wars; August 21 (Chicago, IL)
Favorite Song: Random Name Generator




44. The Districts - A Flourish and a Spoil; February 10 (Lancaster, PA)
Favorite Song: Peaches




43. Natalie Prass - Eponymous; January 27 (Cleveland, OH)
Favorite Track: Bird of Prey




42. Torres - Sprinter; May 5 (Nashville, TN)
Favorite Song: Serious Things Are Stupid




41. Passion Pit - Kindred; April 21 (Cambridge, MA)
Favorite Song: Lifted Up (1985)




40. Cold Fronts - Forever Whatever; October 23 (Philadelphia, PA)
Favorite Song: Hit Me




39. Satellite Stories - Vagabonds; March 6 (Oulu, Finland)
Of course I make sure Finland gets at least one every year (last year they had two), and now the second time Satellite Stories has made the list automatically making them the premiere indie band in Finland only because I don't know what other scale I'd use, as the Suomi continues to search for their voice in the English-language, non-death metal landscape.
Favorite Song: Heroine




38. Foals - What Went Down; August 28 (Oxford, England)
Favorite Song: What Went Down




37. Shamir - Ratchet; May 19 (Las Vegas, NV)
Favorite Song: Call It Off




36. Bjork - Vulnicura; January 20 (Rekjavik, Iceland)
Favorite Song: Stonemilker




35. Silversun Pickups - Better Nature; September 25 (Los Angeles, CA)
Favorite Song: Circadian Rhythm (Last Dance)




34. The Dead Weather - Dodge and Burn; September 25 (Nashville, TN)
Favorite Track: I Feel Love (Every Million Miles)




33. Deerhunter - Fading Frontier; October 16 (Athens, GA)
Favorite Song: Snakeskin




32. The Decemberists - What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World; January 20 (Bellingham, WA)
Favorite Song: Make You Better




31. Best Coast - California Nights; September 23 (Los Angeles, CA)
Looks like Bethany Consantino decided to skip over the 80's, with her decade-themed albums to date. With the 60's, 70's and 90's covered, it'll only be a few more albums until she invents a time machine.
Favorite Song: Feeling OK

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30. Purity Ring - Another Eternity; February 27 (Edmonton, AB)
Favorite Song: Heartsigh




29. Carnival Youth - No Clouds Allowed; February 15 (Riga, Latvia)
Much congratulations to the country of Latvia, as Carnival Youth is the first band to finally represent land of the late, great Karlis Skrastins on this list.
Favorite Song: Words Like Birds




28. Blur - The Magic Whip; June 9 (London, England)
At long last, Blur reformed in his original incarnation to release a pretty weird album, in my opinion. It's an album that rightfully satisfied the hardcore day-one Blur fans, but on a wider scale, I'd say that we're talking about an album that ranges from 'fairly decent' to 'reeking of okayness'
Favorite Track: Ong Ong




27. Carly Rae Jepsen - E•MO•TION; June 24 (Vancouver, BC)
And now for something completely unexpected. Sure, the whole "Call Me Maybe" thing was fun, or stupid and then got old either way. And then she'd drop completely off the face of the Earth. Well Vancouver, your girl had something else to say. She took all the jokes, and with a dash of recognition, lucked into some credibility by turning the dance-pop realm on its ear. The first few times it was brought to my attention, of course I kind of scoffed at the notion. "Yeah, ok, someday maybe I'll check it out." And then I kind of just kept checking it out. The cheese is still there, thus it is in the middle of the list, but this is assuredly a job well done.
Favorite Song: Warm Blood




26. of Montreal - Aurelate Gloom; March 3 (Athens, GA)
Favorite Song: Apollyon of Blue Room




25. Beach House - Depression Cherry; August 28 (Baltimore, MD)
Probably not much of a secret (or spoiler if you're reading the list as a countdown), but Beach House was more than busy, fairly productive, and consistently excellent.
Favorite Song: Sparks



24. Metric - Pagans in Vegas; September 18 (Toronto, ON)
Favorite Song: For Kicks




23. Modest Mouse - Strangers to Ourselves; March 17 (Issaquah, WA)
Favorite Song: The Ground Walks, With Time in a Box




22. Brandi Carlile - The Firewatcher's Daughter; March 3 (Seattle, WA)
Favorite Song: The Eye




21. Wolf Alice - My Love Is Cool; June 23 (London, England)
Wolf Alice made it rather big in 2015. Now imagine if it was 1995.
Favorite Song: Moaning Lisa Smile




20. My Morning Jacket - The Waterfall; May 4 (Louisville, KY)
Favorite Song: Big Decisions



19. Summer Camp - Bad Love; May 25 (London, England)
Seems to consistently be the best band that I think I'm the only one who talks about them.
Favorite Song: Bad Love



18. Hot Chip - Why Make Sense?; May 18 (London, England)
Innovative without ever changing, Hot Chip consistently pumps out synthpop-tronica that typcially straddles the line between 'really good' and 'why don't people forget these guys are really good?'
Favorite Song: Huarche Lights




17. Young Galaxy - Falsework; October 30 (Vancouver, BC)
This is probably a good time to mention how diverse and excellent the Vancouver music scene is. There's something for everyone in that town.
Favorite Song: Ready to Shine




16. Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell; March 31 (Chicago, IL)
I don't think we're getting those other 48 states.
Favorite Song: Should Have Known Better




15. Holly Miranda - Eponymous; May 18 (Detroit, MI)
After dropping of the face of the earth following her "Magicians Private Library," Holly Miranda finally resurfaced after going a couple of other things, with a personal album that at times sounds like Haim remixes, and other times, simply charming.
Favorite Song: All I Want Is to Be Your Girl



14. Susanne Sundfør - Ten Love Songs; February 16 (Oslo, Norway)
Here's one of those albums that I remembered was really, really good but needed to circle back to it. Now on album #5 before the age of 30, it's unlikely and unfortunate for Susanne Sundfør will catch on in the States. Their loss. The good pop music is here. Probably would be a top top album if I made this list in another month or so.
Favorite Song: Fade Away




13. Beach House - Thank You Lucky Stars; October 16 (Baltimore, MD)
Back in the days of the record players, it was somewhat common for band to release more than on LP a year, but it is extremely rare to see it in this day, even though it's more conducive to do so in the Internet age. Beach House not only did that, but did so with two very good albums, only a few weeks apart. That's hard to get right. The band claims that the album was not done in haste, surprise, or any kind of leftover compilation, B-sides or the like, so it is to be seen apart from Depression Cherry. So it is.
Favorite Song: All Your Yeahs





12. Kurt Vile - b'lieve i'm goin down; September 25 (Philadelphia, PA)
I've said it as recently as last year, that I've never been 'the' Kurt Vile guy. I even said in my comments for Mac Demarco's album (spoiler: it did not make the list) that he's what I wished he sounded like. No more. I don't know if it's the sound, or the writing, or my graviton to local music this year, but the connection has finally been made.
Favorite Song: Pretty Pimpin'




11. Jamie xx - In Colour; May 29 (London, England)
Jamie xx is apparently going to follow up this masterpiece with a new xx album. Should be interesting to see what they come up with, given one of the producer who functions within the band is functioning perfectly fine outside of it. The album also include Jamie's other xx bandmates, giving the feel that this is the album xx-proper fans seemingly desperately desire.
Favorite Song: I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times) ft. Young Thug, Popcaan




10. Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Multi-Love; May 26 (Auckland, New Zealand)
This is one of those albums that I rate highly but can only really listen to it at night. It just has that kind of has that feeling that the songs were written at 4am which either drunk, high, or both, in a somewhat dark-lit room, maybe with or without windows, not unlike what you see in the album art. Parts "Necessary Evil" sounds like it could have been a Prince-inspired Chicago Transit Authority cover ("Beginnings," specifically). The title track/lead single is quite saucy, but nothing relates to today's society more than a song titles "Can't Keep Checking My Phone."
Favorite Song: Can't Keep Checking My Phone




9. Braids - Deep In the Iris; April 28 (Calgary, AB)
Hidden deep within the crevices of CBC Radio, Braids sort of were just there for two albums before coming through on their third release and shortlisted for the Polaris Prize. Radiohead-heavy influence with social commentary on women's equality. "Miniskirt" should have been the Feminist Anthem of the Year, given the rather forward message of it, but settles for the best song on the 9th album of this list.
Favorite Song: Miniskirt




8. Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit; March 20 (Sydney, Australia)
Courtney Barnett, with but two EP's, exploded to the top of the indie scene near the end of 2013. Now armed with a proper debut record, she's already established among the best, if not maybe the single most creative songwriter in music (extending into her music videos), and rightfully a buzz-name in the industry. Nominated for the Best New Artist at the Grammy's, if she doesn't walk out with the gold, there should be a criminal investigation. Picking one song as my favorite was almost impossible.
Favorite Song: Elevator Operator




7. Hop Along - Painted Shut; May 4 (Philadelphia, PA)
With elements of grunge and folk, among other things, Hop Along went from a promising band on the Philadelphia scene, to its crown jewel and worldwide acclaim. The album does everything it needs to connect on any kind of chord or feeling.
Favorite Song: Well-dressed





6. Tame Impala - Currents; July 17 (Perth, Australia)
Tame Impala was one of those bands who were either going to completely fall apart a la MGMT following their acclaim of their debut album [Lonerism, or explode in their step forward. Kevin Parker is likely alternative's next superstar producer apart from his expert-vocalisms.
Favorite Song: Let It Happen





5. Speedy Ortiz - Foil Deer; April 21 (Northampton, MA)
One of the more creative bands to emerge, Speedy Ortiz captures a mysterious or magical and engaging industrial sound, wrought with angst and delight, combined with master-lyricist Sadie Dupuis' writing. Like the quintessential college-rock band. There are many risks, but they are worth the reward.
Favorite Song: Puffer




4. Grimes - Art Angels; November 6 (Vancouver, BC via Montreal, QC via Vancouver, BC)
The indie world flipped their lids when Grimes teamed up with Jay-Z's Roc Nation, released a single, and then proceeded to make an album only to completely scrap the whole thing ("RealiTi" was thankfully reclaimed for this album). 2012's Visions left Claire Boucher in the preface of stardom, which quite gracefully she sort of eschews. Also in that time, she decided that she was from Vancouver and not Montreal (splitting hairs, really). But the biggest fear was whether or not Grimes was going to the "darkside." Fear not, those worries did not produce, and this was worth the wait. Janelle Monae resurfaces in "Venus Fly," which is excellent, "Kill V. Maim" is among the best uses of a voice as an instrument. "Flesh Without Blood" is not as gross as it sounds.
Favorite Song: Flesh Without Blood





3. Sleater-Kinney - No Cities to Love; January 20 (Portland, OR)
2015's crown-jewel reunion (no one really paid attention to Wild Flag, but we were paying attention to Carrie Brownstein), back where everybody really belongs. All this rekindling was exciting, starting with some reissues that were released at the end of 2014, and everything else fell in line as if they didn't take 10 years off.
Favorite Song: Fangless




2. Waxahatchee - Ivy Tripp; April 7 (Philadelphia, PA)
As the year went on, I was content with this being the #1 album, as it was easily the most played album through the summer. Katie Crutchfield has now delivered two albums placing in the top 10 of my lists (2013's Cerulean Salt being #9), but this one was, wait for it, the magic A-word: accessible, but retaining the intimacy of previous albums. A new label gave Katie more time (and with that came some longer songs that were more than 2:30) and resources to make an album that often feels like what everyone feels. "Breathless" is one of my favorite album openers I've heard, while "<" is a song that literally feels like it falls apart. "Under a Rock" was probably the most-known single, but lead single "Air" is the crown jewel with amazing interplay between vocals and percussion. Not many songwriters can put two words that start with the letter Q in the same line.
Favorite Song: Air




1. CHVRCHES - Every Open Eye; September 25 (Glasgow, Scotland)
Major surprise. The first time a band has reached #1 on my list for a second time, Chvrches saw a whirlwind campaign following the Bones of What You Believe make them the preeminent alt/synthpop band in the world, all the while Lauren Mayberry fights internet trolls. They've undoubtedly joined that Radiohead-Arcade Fire echelon of paramount and important bands, and quickly went from the influenced to becoming the influence to a number of bands veteran, active, or otherwise. And then they went and recorded their second album. If they lapped a good field in 2013, in 2015 they merely provided a precious and worthy successor. While the gap had narrowed - this was a decision that was made as opposed to a coronation - I don't see why this album can't be considered as 'as good' or close to such after the first one. The Martin Doherty-led track "High Enough to Carry You Over" is even one of the high points of the album, whereas his songs were the lower points before. I was even eager to see that performed live, but we all know the crowd wants all-Lauren all the time. "Keep You On My Side" is pulsating af, their best song they perform live off the album, but hit lead single "Leave a Trace" is the coup de grâce. Lauren Mayberry is too good at this music thing.
Favorite Song: Leave a Trace





Numbers
By Month
January: 4 (+3)
February: 3 (-1)
March: 5 (+5)
April: 4 (+1)
May: 9 (+5)
June: 3 (-5)
July: 1 (-5)
August: 4 (x)
September: 8 (-2)
October: 5 (-2)
November: 1 (-3)
December: 0 (x)

Countries: 10 (-1)
United States: 28 (+7)
Canada: 8 (-1)
England: 5 (+1)
Australia: 2 (+2)
Finland: 1 (-1)
New Zealand: 1 (+1)
Scotland: 1 (x)
Norway: 1 (x)
Iceland: 1 (+1)
Latvia: 1 (+1)
Sweden: 0 (-6) What happened?!?


States: 14 (+6)
Pennsylvania: 6 (+2)
Washington: 4 (+2)
California: 2 (-1)
Tennessee: 2 (+1)
Massachusetts: 2 (+2)
Illinois: 2 (+2)
Maryland: 2 (+2...although it's the same band)
Georgia: 2 (+2)
Ohio: 1 (x)
Texas: 1 (x)
Oregon: 1 (+1)
Nevada: 1 (+1)
Kentucky: 1 (+1)
Michigan: 1 (+1)

28 albums, 14 states, not a single one from New York (or its boroughs)

Provinces: 4 (+1)
British Columbia: 4 (+2)
Alberta: 2 (+1)
Ontario: 1 (-5)
Quebec: 1 (-1)

Awards
Song of the Year
"Leave a Trace" by Chvrches

Debut of the Year
Courtney Barnett, since her 2014 appearance was really two EP's put together

Best Song Not Represented On the List
The Colourist - When I'm Away (might finally get an album next year)

Endurance Test
"Let It Happen" by Tame Impala (7:46), not that long, but worth it

First One Out (If only the list were 51 long)
The Arcs - Yours, Dreamily

Biggest Improvement
Kurt Vile

Best Album Art
Young Galaxy - Falsework

Best EP
The Colourist - Will You Wait for Me

Beef Invictus Sponsored Double Song of the Year Hand-picked by Beef Invictus as told to me
"Been preparing for this for days and I was unable to find anything worthwhile, or that I can really even stretch. It makes me sad. The plus side is that the search allowed me to realize "Clearest Blue" off CHVRCHES album was my favorite song of the year." Good pick.

Time to Release a New Album
Chromatics...you promised something LAST Valentine's Day

And then Johnny Jewel said he was going to release a new single once a month until the album was released
Only he didn't follow throw on that either.

Best Music Video
Grimes - Flesh Without Blood/Life in the Vivid Dream

Most Disappointing Album
Panda Bear - Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper. When these guys aren't doing Animal Collective, they seem to get too goofy.

Music Scene of the Year
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, my beloved home town.

Full List of Songs of the Year #2-20
2. Waxahatchee - Air
3. Speedy Ortiz - Puffer
4. Tame Impala - Let It Happen
5. Braids - Miniskirt
6. Cold Fronts - Hit Me
7. Sleater-Kinney - Fangless
8. Hop Along - Well-dressed
9. Chvrches - Keep You On My Side
10. Kurt Vile - Pretty Pimpin'
11. Modest Mouse - The Ground Walks, with Time in a Box
12. Courtney Barnett - Elevator Operator
13. Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Can't Keep Checking My Phone
14. Grimes - Flesh Without Blood
15. The Colourist - When I'm Away
16. Summer Camp - Bad Love
17. Brandi Carlile - The Eye
18. Susanne Sundfør - Fade Away
19. Grimes - REALiTi
20. Waxahatchee - Breathless

I Was Right Last Year
Lana Del Rey's album did not make the list

Breakout in 2016
Shayne Gostisbehere

But in Music Though
I'm sure nobody expected LCD Soundsystem reform.

Nobody.
Ok, maybe everybody.

The retirement lasted 5 years
Bands don't even go on hiatus for that long and then come back to make an album.

Zooey Deschanel Award
Sasha Banks

Wrong Forum
So good I couldn't ignore.

Ryan Adams
Tried, but that album is still actually bad.

Ron Hextall
lol, he traded Vincent Lecavalier, the Untradeable!

Andrew MacDonald
D'oh!

Jordan Weal
Should marry a girl named Catherine

Catherine Wheel
Since reforming your band is all the rage these days, can someone lock those guys in a room?

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01-09-2016, 11:33 AM
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Great list!

Clearest Blue is also my favorite song off the new album. I listened to a loooooot of Chvrches, Purity Ring, Tame Impala, Courtney Barnett, Modest Mouse, Grimes and Jamie xx in 2015 so those are my favorite albums of the year. Also really loved Taylor Swifts album but I think it counts as 2014?

Waiting over here for Fleet Foxes to do anything... Which reminds me Josh Tillman's Father John Misty put out a good album.

Also really enjoyed Florence's new album. The music isn't as epic as her past albums but I feel like she did a lot more vocally. "Deliliah", "As Far As I Could Get", "Queen of Peace", "Long and Lost", "Hiding", "Various Storms and Saints" and "Which Witch" were songs I played on repeat for about 3-4 weeks. The rest of the album was weak I think.

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01-09-2016, 12:30 PM
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Because of your list, I went and listened to some samples of the Carly Rae Jepsen album and really liked what I heard. I ended up downloading it and listening to it now, and man this reminds me of when pop was great. Thanks for the recommendation. I actually liked Call Me Maybe, but it was one of those summer songs and I wasn't sure about the whole package. Glad I made this download.

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01-09-2016, 12:57 PM
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not as much lap over this year (still not done with mine), but yeah I agree the Carly Rae Jepsen album was a big surprise. I tend to dread albums that have over 12 tracks (even though 44 minutes is quite short for it's retrospect) cause all I can think of is the word filler, but it ended up having some really tracks that popped out.

Was expecting Jamie xx to be #1, from previous posts I thought you were hinting at it glad I was wrong. Agree with Courtney Barnett having the best debut.

Overall I like it, it's a totally different list than I expected compared to the usual top 50 by someone like pitchfork where almost everyone knew what their #1 was.

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01-09-2016, 02:47 PM
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I'm so happy that Jepsen made this list. Emotion was one of the most underrated albums of the year

And yes. Ryan Adams blows.

Love the list. Did you listen to Dopamine by BORNS?


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01-09-2016, 03:01 PM
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Miniskirt is such a fantastic song. Love at first listen.

Can't believe I slept on Young Galaxy, Waxahatchee and, even worse, Holly Miranda Kinda shows how music wasn't a priority this year, but those hurt.

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01-10-2016, 07:17 AM
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Miniskirt is such a fantastic song. Love at first listen.
You are not wrong.

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01-10-2016, 06:48 PM
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Surprised to see the Dead Weather album on your list. Honestly thought that was the biggest pile of garbage I've heard in a while. Some of the most hilariously bad lyrics, too.

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01-10-2016, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holocene View Post
Great list!

Clearest Blue is also my favorite song off the new album. I listened to a loooooot of Chvrches, Purity Ring, Tame Impala, Courtney Barnett, Modest Mouse, Grimes and Jamie xx in 2015 so those are my favorite albums of the year. Also really loved Taylor Swifts album but I think it counts as 2014?

Waiting over here for Fleet Foxes to do anything... Which reminds me Josh Tillman's Father John Misty put out a good album.

Also really enjoyed Florence's new album. The music isn't as epic as her past albums but I feel like she did a lot more vocally. "Deliliah", "As Far As I Could Get", "Queen of Peace", "Long and Lost", "Hiding", "Various Storms and Saints" and "Which Witch" were songs I played on repeat for about 3-4 weeks. The rest of the album was weak I think.
Flo is one of those who I sort of heard enough of, but didn't like enough to go out of my way to listen to. She has good enough singles that it doesn't induce me to change the station.

Clearest Blue is probably my 4th favorite song on that album, and probably makes a Top 30 songs list.

And you'll never see a Taylor Swift album on my list

Quote:
Originally Posted by SJSharksfan39 View Post
Because of your list, I went and listened to some samples of the Carly Rae Jepsen album and really liked what I heard. I ended up downloading it and listening to it now, and man this reminds me of when pop was great. Thanks for the recommendation. I actually liked Call Me Maybe, but it was one of those summer songs and I wasn't sure about the whole package. Glad I made this download.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kensu View Post
not as much lap over this year (still not done with mine), but yeah I agree the Carly Rae Jepsen album was a big surprise. I tend to dread albums that have over 12 tracks (even though 44 minutes is quite short for it's retrospect) cause all I can think of is the word filler, but it ended up having some really tracks that popped out.

Was expecting Jamie xx to be #1, from previous posts I thought you were hinting at it glad I was wrong. Agree with Courtney Barnett having the best debut.

Overall I like it, it's a totally different list than I expected compared to the usual top 50 by someone like pitchfork where almost everyone knew what their #1 was.
I knew others liked Jamie xx a lot more than I did. His remix work has always been top-notch. One thing that tends to happen is that a bunch of stuff gets dumped on us right before the summer, which of course around these parts means attention is on Stanley Cup playoffs, and that kind of fell into that mix, where it kind of lost it's edge for me.

Carly sort of went down the Robyn-path. It wasn't poppy enough for the Top 40 crowd, and it took a while for anyone else to catch on as a result, I feel. Making a song and making music are two different things. Countless others have tried and failed to not be defined by one song, as I mentioned, I sort of scoffed at the idea, but there was too much buzz about it to ignore. Hoping the next time around of a Body Talk-level album. For me, today, that's one that trends up, I could do this list in March and it'll be higher.

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I'm so happy that Jepsen made this list. Emotion was one of the most underrated albums of the year

And yes. Ryan Adams blows.

Love the list. Did you listen to Dopamine by BORNS?
I was sort of intrigued by Borns early in the year with the first single, but kind of got bored of it pretty quick. The Triple-A station here played the **** out of it as well.

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Miniskirt is such a fantastic song. Love at first listen.

Can't believe I slept on Young Galaxy, Waxahatchee and, even worse, Holly Miranda Kinda shows how music wasn't a priority this year, but those hurt.
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You are not wrong.
Holly Miranda tends to be really far under the radar. It's really hard to keep up with her, unless you're all over her on social media (which I'm not). I don't think I knew that album was out until August, and I've been anxious for that the follow up for a while.

Waxahatchee got big help from being from my town, and I was fortunate enough to be at her album release show. I work for a radio station that specializes in local music, so I had intel there.

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Surprised to see the Dead Weather album on your list. Honestly thought that was the biggest pile of garbage I've heard in a while. Some of the most hilariously bad lyrics, too.
That was sort of one that I came back to. I sort of enjoy it when it's out, but I don't come back to those albums that often. I'm a fan of Allison Mosshart too.


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01-12-2016, 01:34 AM
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I loved Jamie xx's album a lot during the summer... I listen to it now and I find myself longing for a new xx album.

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01-12-2016, 02:01 AM
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Great list...gives me a lot of stuff to work through.

My new musical intake just stopped somewhere around April and never picked back up for whatever reason.

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01-12-2016, 02:43 AM
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Holly Miranda tends to be really far under the radar. It's really hard to keep up with her, unless you're all over her on social media (which I'm not).
That's the thing, I am I think I spent half the year looking at her posts thinking she was going to release something soon. Oops.

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01-13-2016, 02:21 PM
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I loved Jamie xx's album a lot during the summer... I listen to it now and I find myself longing for a new xx album.
I'm interested to see what's put out, because it certainly seems like Jamie's star is brighter than the band now.

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Great list...gives me a lot of stuff to work through.

My new musical intake just stopped somewhere around April and never picked back up for whatever reason.
We'll take something in April

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That's the thing, I am I think I spent half the year looking at her posts thinking she was going to release something soon. Oops.
I was sort of in that boat. I'm assuming she went on tour, because I didn't hear about it. Would've liked to have seen her.

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01-13-2016, 07:28 PM
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Only album I have on the list is currents.

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01-14-2016, 02:43 AM
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Thanks for this.

Will listen to many of these.

I'm sad Big McLargeHuge doesn't do his list anymore. Used to discover a lot of music with it.

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01-14-2016, 09:54 PM
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Thanks for this.

Will listen to many of these.

I'm sad Big McLargeHuge doesn't do his list anymore. Used to discover a lot of music with it.
One of the reasons I added the album links was to help him catch up

He did do one for 2014 though

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02-09-2016, 03:15 AM
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Damnit, I've been waiting for this to come out for a solid month.


Caught this in time to have listening material for traveling. Excellent.



Every Open Eye was nothing special on my first listen. I first thought it lacked what made the first album special. Then a couple months later I realized I was still occasionally thinking about it, gave it another listen, and noticed I'm an idiot. Absolutely great album, more intricate and better executed than Bones, IMO. Clearest Blue is my favorite song from last year by a good margin...Nathaniel Rateliff's "S.O.B." is probably in second place, a good distance behind.

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02-09-2016, 12:41 PM
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Thanks so much for all your hard work posting this list. Sleater-Kinney is so good! These got some love from other critics (The red didn't make your list):

Grimes – ‘Art Angels’

Tame Impala - Currents

Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

Jamie xx - In Colour


Julia Holter - Have You in my Wilderness

Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly

Mbongwana Star - From Kinshasa


EDITED: GKJ recommended Savages to me and they're so good!

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02-10-2016, 05:32 AM
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Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed list.

However OP, have you had a chance to listen to any hip-hop from 2015? Kendrick Lamar definitely deserves to be up there.

Also, Leon Bridges' debut album was absolutely phenomenal.

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02-10-2016, 11:39 AM
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Was curious for your thoughts on the new ELO album...thought it'd have a chance at snagging a place on here (I also enjoyed the new Big Talk album, but that flew under the radars of most).

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02-10-2016, 02:52 PM
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Pleased to get the bump, Beef, that's why I put it in my signature

I was ****ing sick of Nathaniel Rateliff. There were other decent tracks, but I was so sick of SOB being played ad naseum (you have to think of some of the radio stations I listen to, it's the reason why I was the only one on the planet who had enough of Beck last year while others were completely unaware he released an album) that I didn't care anymore. It's the reason why I find our alt-rock station in Philly to be awful, but I was able to go see Chvrches for free. So it is.

I didn't get to listen to much hip-hop. Shamir was probably the closest I came. Not like I wasn't aware of it though, Kendrick, the Weeknd, etc. If I really desired it, I would have. Looking forward to the next RTJ though.

Leon Bridges is one of those who I regret not getting to during the year. He is really good, but his album didn't register with me until just recently, really. If I redid the list, it would make it.


Can't say I've heard Jeff Lynne's ELO outside of what I heard on the radio, which were decent enough, but sporadic only.

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02-12-2016, 04:56 PM
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I had been wondering when you would get this posted, then hunted it down and realized I'd entirely missed it. Only took me a few weeks.

Rateliff is currently on my pile of artists who have produced one great single in an otherwise average album. I still haven't found any noteworthy doubles, but I'm hoping Tame Impala can fix that. I'm about to give Currents a shot.

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02-12-2016, 07:04 PM
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One of the artists who I wished I doubled back on is Josh Ritter. Not like I was completely unaware, but I didn't warm up to it until just recently.

A lot of the first two months of my year is languishing in what I should have listened to more.

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02-17-2016, 11:41 AM
  #25
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Great list. Looking forward to checking a lot of these out, that I haven't yet.

I'm surprised Alabama Shakes and Leon Bridges didn't make your list, though.

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