This was absolutely a profound year of music. I was incredibly invested emotionally to these albums. They weaved in and out of my mind during the year and provided an landscape of sound stimulus that inspired me greatly. The personal development that transpired over this year is unfathomable.
These sounds provided answers and the stability I needed in order to face the challenges and triumphs I have endured. A majority of my lifetime has been spent appreciating music. It is one of my most beloved experiences everyday. I’m honored and grateful to have heard such incredible sound progression in my life so far.
This year has been a tsunami of life experiences that truly humbled me. I was provoked to take actions that I wasn’t aware I was capable of. I still have so much to learn. I’m elated to continue to pursue many endeavors that wouldn’t be possible without the inspiration of the people I love and care about deeply but also the music that provides the soundtrack to this lifetime. I love music and many people unconditionally.
I’m delighted and overjoyed to share this collection of songs that shaped the year 2015. I hope that this music also provides the joy and excitement that I have experienced since I first had the pleasure of discovering this astonishing music. From my heart to yours. May the music create excitement and possibilities that you wouldn’t have explored otherwise.
Top Ten Albums Of 2015 .ZIP
10. Beach House – Thank Your Lucky Stars
This was definitely a pleasant surprise hearing two astonishing releases this year. The latter release just hit my senses much stronger than their previous release. Just when I thought they had released a masterpiece with “Depression Cherry” they take it to another level and completely floor me with the very first song on this album. It’s a perfect progression they are known for. It’s got such a lo-fi quality to it I couldn’t believe my ears how blissful and dreamy they continue to sound. I can’t say enough good things about this album It’s damn near perfect.
I chose “Majorette” as a lead off song due to the fact that it just sets the mood for this list but also sounds like a different range of vocals from Victoria Legrand. Just slightly though. They didn’t stray too far away from the sound they are known for but this song as well as “All Your Yeahs” just sound from another time. I’m really not sure if it’s from the past, present or future. It just sounds so unique to me.
9. Gardens & Villa – Music For Dogs
I love how fun and weird his band sounds. It’s not like the music you can play for your friends. It’s the music you play for yourself and really, really enjoy. These guys have been on my lists consecutively for the past couple of years. They’re definitely chameleon like with their sound. It’s got such a retro vibe to it but it’s also modern. It changes moods and pace throughout. It definitely kept me excited and guessing where they would transition to next.
I definitely appreciate the dance moves they inspired when I listen to “Fixations“. This song has an immediate hook and vibe that I really enjoy in their songwriting. The percussion, piano, synth, vocals and lyrics of “Everybody” create this amazing narrative song that has all these quirky and brilliant transitions that showcase the diverse musicianship of this band and the exploration of sound they are participating in.
8. Metric – Pagans In Vegas
Emily Haines is such a powerhouse and diverse vocalist. I really appreciate the band returning to this electronic dance sound that is so fun to listen to. It’s also intelligently layered with musical flourishes, filled with blissful synths and song progression. I didn’t really enjoy their last album as much. I was very happy to hear the elements they explored this time around. The lyrical content has matured so much. Emily’s conviction in her singing is so beautiful to me.
I related so much to the lyrical content and message conveyed in “For Kicks“. Emily’s range really astonishes me and I absolutely love the vocal layering and synths in this song. The band have continued to progress their musicianship in all the right ways. I’m pretty sure that “The Face, Pt.1” is one of my all time favorite instrumentals. I could listen to it on repeat for a very long time. The beats and synths in this song are truly inspiring and compliment each other so well. The song progression is so upbeat and catchy.
7. Deerhunter – Fading Frontier
These guys just keep producing some insanely awesome sounds. This album is so lighthearted and beautiful to listen to. I wasn’t expecting their style to shift so much since the last release. This album has so many things going for it. It’s a wonderful listening experience and to have floating in the background. Bradford’s voice is so soothing throughout. I love his range and his songwriting abilities just keep improving.
The song “Breaker” just opened up a whole new world of sound for me. I keep hearing new things in the mix that I haven’t picked up from previous listens. Such a textured and tranquil guitar sound throughout. I always enjoy a good a rock out moment. The song “Snakeskin” provided just enough aggression to satiate my longing for a good rock song with gritty vocals and guitar that this band is known for.
6. Young Rival – Interior Light
Aron D’Alesio has been one of my most beloved young songwriters and guitarists for several years now. When I first got into Young Rival his songwriting, guitar and singing really made that band shine in my opinion. They also have some of the best drum sounds in rock n roll today courtesy Noah Fralick. I could play their catalog on repeat for a long time and not ever get tired of hearing their songs. This is another high quality addition to their sound. It’s incredibly well produced and sounds like it’s a different era but also very modern. I was very anxious and elated to hear this album. I listened to it on repeat for several days and really immersed myself into the soundscape.
The song “That’s Chemistry” just wouldn’t let me go. I had this particular song on repeat while working through projects and keeping my emotional transitions in check. I related to the lyrical content quite a bit and it reaffirmed ideas and feelings I had about past experiences. This song is kinda adorable to me, it has this quirky guitar and drum sound that just hit all the right notes for me personally. I really enjoy this bands rock n roll sensibility and ability to transition into a blistering guitar and drum sound that I’ve grown fond of. “Let’s Get Together” is a perfect example of their upbeat and energetic performances.They write and perform fun, emotion provoking and endearing songs. The lyrics in this song really inspired me and I related to the songwriting more than I have ever in the past. It’s been a heartwarming and blissful listening experience getting lost in the sound of this album. It gave me so much hope.
5. Failure – The Heart Is A Monster
I wasn’t sure if I outgrew this band or if I was going to enjoy this album since Failure hasn’t released any recorded material in some time. I really didn’t want to spoil it for myself so I stayed disciplined and really didn’t listen to this album until I felt I could appreciate it. I’m super glad I did. This album is pure bliss to me. It’s dark. Emotional and rocks pretty fucking hard. I resumed my admiration for this band and my dream came true of seeing them live in their original line up for the very first time. It’s so cool and inspiring to see musicians you admire dearly and have incredible amounts of respect for return to their love of creating beautiful things and to enjoy it in the way they did. I couldn’t be happier for them. The live show changed my life. This album blew my mind. They matured in the greatest of ways and the sounds they are capable of producing are astronomical. The years have been kind to them. I hope they continue this evolution.
The song “Counterfeit Sky” is a quintessential redemption song from this band in my opinion. It’s just the right amount of the signature Failure sound but with some surprising additions. Mainly the backup vocals coming from Greg Edwards. His vocals were surprisingly good and a welcome addition to the growth of this band. I love the harmonizing on this song as well as the guitar sounds that only Failure can provide. Ken Andrews vocals and lyrical styling were fully showcased so well on this song. “Fair Light Era” was more of a throwback song on this album. It reminded me of their earlier albums and Ken’s solo albums in all the best ways. Again they provide some really dope space rock esque sounds that provide an eerie musical landscape that resonates and made me keep this album on repeat.
4. Toro Y Moi – What For?
I recently started to gravitate towards Toro Y Moi’s musical offerings. I bought this album on a whim and I felt it was very serendipitous that I explored this musical craving. This album is sounds so fucking beautiful. The composition and musicianship makes me feel like crying its so damn good. It also sounds like it’s from another era. The production is top notch. I would say this album is his masterpiece in my opinion.
When the chorus of “Lilly” hits. I can’t help but feel emotional. It’s such a blissful experience sonically for me. I love, love, love his voice in this song. The piano outro crushes me. It’s a perfect closure to the sound journey he so effortly carries you along. I get lost in the musicianship of “Half Dome” it has so many elements that just floor me. I can’t really sit still when this song is playing. The drums, acoustic guitar, bass and vocal harmonies shine in this song. I listened to this album relentlessly and these two songs made it a much more ethereal listening pleasure.
3. Mini Mansions – The Great Pretenders
I thoroughly enjoy my friend Michael Eades mixes on his website. He was on point with the Mini Mansions releases early on. He surprised me by posting an impromptu mix with this new track of theirs I hadn’t heard yet called “Fantasy“. Like previous explorations. This listening adventure took me to some really profound musical listening pleasures. I became obsessed with the song and listened to it on repeat. I got distracted by other music and lost track of the album for a while until one day I decided to pick it up on vinyl mainly to hear that track again. The entire album is a magical, unprecedented escapade into a pop rock extravaganza. This album transcended dimensions for me. It’s pretty amaze balls.
The song “Death Is A Girl” is a journey into another world. It’s dark mood with some insightful lyrics and super poppy keyboards really shattered my perception of a upbeat rock song. I kept trying to gently sneak it into my friends subconscious while gingerly playing it on repeat in the background. Like I declared earlier, the song “Fantasy” was a refreshing and exciting exploration of new music. It’s very upbeat and dreamlike. The vocals transcend and the song progresses into a joyful crescendo.
2. B.C. Camplight – How To Die In The North
I once thought Brian Christinzio was never going to release another album. He took a hiatus and moved to another country. He persevered. Matured and developed his song writing skills in the 8 years between releases. It really showed he is a master of his craft with this album. It was a triumphant return to the music he was born to create. It was like a dream come true to hear this album. It was the first vinyl I purchased listened to this year and it barely left my turntable. It kept returning to it over and over again. He’s become one of my most beloved musicians that used to be my secret listening indulgence. I’m glad he’s back performing the music he’s capable of and that more people are aware of his brilliance.
The bass line in “Love Isn’t Anybody’s Fault” builds the foundation to a trippy, keyboard flourished, vocal harmonized and lavish orchestral song that just blew me away. I’ve always loved his inclusion of a female narrative vocals to accentuate the dynamic range of the story he’s telling in the song lyrics. This song is a oustanding example of his brilliant arrangements. I keep returning to it and finding more elements I love about it. It sounds like a new song to me everytime I listen to it. The subtle acoustic build up of “Grim Cinema” before it completely rocks out is another fine example of how dynamic BC Camplight’s songs are. I really love how fun and humorous the songs are. They’re always so eccentric and explore a variety of sounds and concepts.
1. Tame Impala – Currents
It’s pretty incredible to me that Kevin Parker is completely independent in his musical creative process. That he imagines this absolutely profound music spectrum and performs it. I’ve grown more fond of his abilities after each of Tame Impala’s albums are released. I eagerly anticipated this album and was flabbergasted on how magnificent it sounds. It hit so many high notes for me. I love it so much. I relate to the lyrical content and experience many emotions listening to this collection of songs. This album transcended my belief of creativity. This album not only changed my life it inspired me in so many ways. It’s been the soundtrack to redemption, developing closure, humilty and learning how to love and be loved.
Every moment of this album has a life experience of mine attached to it. It was playing in the background as I developed over this year. Almost coaxing me to think and feel things like never before. I love the sound of synthesizers and this album delivered the perfect atmosphere to live the music. It was pretty difficult to pick just two songs to include in this review. I went with “The Moment” mainly because of it’s incredible synthesizer progression throughout. It lyrics also resonated and encouraged me to believe I was in a good place in my life when I really felt I wasn’t. I keep telling my peers how the bass line in “The Less I Know The Better” is phenomenal. It really is. I heard that song for the first time and the bass line still haunts me. That song is my jam and really made this album stand out above the rest this year. Everything about it transported me to all of these moments in my life where I felt happy, thankful and content. This album is a magical experience for me every time I listen to it. I can’t help but feel overjoyed and thankful to have been so impacted by music. I hope one day others experience it in their own way as well.