BEST OF 2015: MUSIC

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Jamie XX - In Colour

What makes an album worthy of the title, "album of the year?" For me, the criteria seem to change year-to-year, but for 2015, In Colour stood out because it functioned more like a soundtrack or a DJ set; I couldn't play just a song on its own. In Colour begged to be heard (and appreciated) from beginning to end, every time. While all the songs are good in their own regard, it was the fact that as an album, In Colour functioned akin to the notion of 1+1=3. I loved the emotional journey I went on every time I played it and that makes In Colour my album of the year. 

 

RUNNER UP

Julien Baker - Sprained Ankle

What a surprise Julien Baker dropped this year. A raw, emotional journey that represents the power of songwriting as a form of expression. I've long known that Jamie XX and Julien Baker were going to be at the top of my lists but whereas I can describe what makes Jamie XX's album stand out, I am still at a loss for words with Sprained Ankle. The best way I can describe it is this: Sprained Ankle is like when you are laying on your significant other's chest and you hear their heartbeat. Without even looking at their face, you know just by their heartbeat what emotion they're feeling at that exact moment. I went back and forth on whether Sprained Ankle or In Colour should be at the top but it proved too good to be #1. I know that's a weird thing to say, but that's the best I can say. It's that good.

 

MY OTHER TOP 2015 ALBUMS

(In alphabetical order)

  Astronauts, Etc. - Mind Out Wandering    I discovered Astronauts, Etc. a couple of years ago and this album confirms their talent.

Astronauts, Etc. - Mind Out Wandering

I discovered Astronauts, Etc. a couple of years ago and this album confirms their talent.

   Disclosure - Caracal     Disclosure was never going to top their first album creatively speaking, and critics' expectations were through the roof. Nevertheless, this is a fun album.

Disclosure - Caracal

Disclosure was never going to top their first album creatively speaking, and critics' expectations were through the roof. Nevertheless, this is a fun album.

  El Vy - Return to the Moon    The Nationals' last album was in 2013 so El Vy fit my hunger for more of The National. But don't confuse the two -- this is NOT a The National record. And that's a compliment.

El Vy - Return to the Moon

The Nationals' last album was in 2013 so El Vy fit my hunger for more of The National. But don't confuse the two -- this is NOT a The National record. And that's a compliment.

 
  Florence + The Machine - How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful    Beautiful, POWERFUL   record. Play. Enjoy. R  epeat.

Florence + The Machine - How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful

Beautiful, POWERFUL record. Play. Enjoy. Repeat.

  Jose Gonzalez - Vestiges and Claws    I've been a fan for years, and Jose's music never disappoints.   Vestiges and Claws   maintains his perfect track record in my books.

Jose Gonzalez - Vestiges and Claws

I've been a fan for years, and Jose's music never disappoints. Vestiges and Claws maintains his perfect track record in my books.

  Lord Huron - Strange Trails    Strange Trails   was released earlier this year but the fact I keep coming back to listen to it was all it took to garner a place in my top albums of 2015.

Lord Huron - Strange Trails

Strange Trails was released earlier this year but the fact I keep coming back to listen to it was all it took to garner a place in my top albums of 2015.

 
 
  Of Monsters and Men - Beneath the Skin    I really enjoyed their album,   My Head is an Animal,   and while you can argue   Beneath the Skin   is not vastly different from that record, i'm of the mind, if it ain't broke...

Of Monsters and Men - Beneath the Skin

I really enjoyed their album, My Head is an Animal, and while you can argue Beneath the Skin is not vastly different from that record, i'm of the mind, if it ain't broke...

  Slow Meadow - Slow Meadow   Beautiful layered sounds - the perfect soundtrack for rainy PNW winters. Oh, and the fact that Hammock signed Slow Meadow to its label is a definite indicator of quality.

Slow Meadow - Slow Meadow

Beautiful layered sounds - the perfect soundtrack for rainy PNW winters. Oh, and the fact that Hammock signed Slow Meadow to its label is a definite indicator of quality.

  Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell    An intimate album that reminds me a lot of why I initially got into Sufjan Stevens. 

Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell

An intimate album that reminds me a lot of why I initially got into Sufjan Stevens. 

 

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