Once again here are my top releases of 2015. I’m putting these in the order that they were released (mostly). There is always so much new music to check out so this list is based solely on what I heard in the past twelve months.
Sleater-Kinney – No Cities to Love
I wouldn’t even call this a reunion album but I guess it is. Such a great album. Still feels like Sleater-Kinney yet pushes their music forward. My favourite track is A New Wave. Great chorus.
Andrew Bird – Echolocations: Canyon
I got a lot of plays out of this release. It was produced for a sound installation for the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston. The album itself is a great soundscape which I like to put on when I’m working. You can read more about the piece here.
Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color
This is a band that never caught me with their first album so I was surprised to find out Future People was from their new album. Brittany Howard has a unique voice and I really like the guitar in this song. The title track is really great too.
And so I watch you from afar – Heirs
The only reason I checked out this album was because of the cool cover art done by Sonny Kay. I was pleased to find out the music held within was right up my alley. Rory Friers is a fantastic guitarist and great performer. I was lucky enough to catch them come through town in early October.
Faith No More – Sol Invictus
Without a doubt the most anticipated release of the last decade for me. I love Faith No More. In the lead up to the release, my pregnant wife and I traveled from Vancouver to Seattle and then Portland to catch three consecutive live shows. The opening three dates of their long awaited first North American tour in ages. They did not disappoint and neither did this album. I think my favourite track is Matador but the track that I first fell in love with, after hearing it three nights in a row, was Sunny Side Up.
Foals – What Went Down
The name of this blog comes from a Foals song (Black Gold, 2009). I was really looking forward to this release from the Oxford, England based band and I’m happy to say that it didn’t disappoint. This is a band that consistently gets better while evolving their sound. I keep waiting for these guys to explode and become huge. I think they are doing pretty good in the UK while in North America they remain a bit under the radar. So many great tracks on the album but A Knife in the Ocean is my favourite (for now).
Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats – Night Creeper
First off, these guys have a crazy website. Second, this isn’t my favourite album by the band but it still kicks ass. DOOM METAL! I didn’t even realize I liked doom metal until I was reading about the band and saw them classified under that genre label. Think of early seventies Black Sabbath and that is what you have with Uncle Acid. Nothing new here but I still enjoy this album.
SEXWITCH – selftitled
This was a surprise album for me. Natasha Khan and Bat for Lashes are not my radar. It’s a cool ambient album composed of covers of 70’s psych-rock songs from the middle east. Cool shit.
Jennylee – Never
Jenny Lee Lindberg, the bass player from Warpaint, releases a solo album. How cool is that? And it’s good! An eighties gothic throwback.
Beirut – No No No
Another great release from Zach Condon and Beirut. His music and this album are just a pleasure to listen to. Their sound has evolved over the years, exploring things other than Balkan Brass (which I love) and they keep me coming back to check out every new release.
The Other top albums of the year
Ought – Sun coming down
Die Goldenen Zitronen – Flogging a dead frog
These German dudes have been around for years. The new album features some of their older songs rearranged in English. If I Were A Sneaker is a reworking of the bands song Wenn Ich ein Turnschuh wär, which appeared on the 2009 album Lenin. Even more topical than it was six years ago. See below and check out their 1994 album Das bißchen Totschlag. It’s so good.
Warpaint – No Way Out / I’ll Start Believing
Great couple of songs from one of my favourite bands. Especially I’ll Start Believing. I love this song and the video is cool! Can’t wait for a new album.
Savages – The Answer
This song kicks ass! I can’t wait for this album to come out in January.
Pity Sex – What might soothe you?
I like the sound these kids are rocking. Kind nineties in a way. Like SuperChunk or something. Album comes out in 2016.
Ginger Johnson and His African Messengers – African Party
Ginger Johnson, a popular bandleader from Nigeria, played with a lot of different folks back in his heyday, including the Rolling Stones. I really like a lot of the music that came out of Africa in the seventies, specifically Nigeria and Ghana. I’m always on the lookout for re-releases and new compilations and was happy to find this album. African Party is a great listen.