Albums of the Year 2015

1. Jessica Pratt – On Your Own Love Again

Jessica Pratt On Your Own Love Again

Inhabiting a hazy other-world, this shape-shifting retro folk has the ability to transport you in the same way that Astral Weeks did decades earlier.


 

2. Port St. Willow – Syncope

Syncope Port St Willow

This brooding epic may well reveal itself to be a masterpiece. Haunting falsetto vocals soar above gentle drones and static-flecked soundscapes as shifting textures flow together to form a cohesive and utterly compelling whole.


 

3. Frog – Kind of Blah

frog kind of blah album

Sitting somewhere between Dylan’s amphetamine-fuelled metaphorical dissections of America and a hoedown where someone’s spiked the moonshine, the Brooklyn duo created a rare beast with Kind of Blah. Read my full review here.


 

4. Destroyer – Poison Season

destroyer poison season

The horn stabs, the lush orchestration, the soft rock posturing and the delicious precision with which Bejar delivers each and every perfectly-pitched word makes Poison Season a worthy succesor to Kaputt.


 

5. Deerhunter – Fading Frontier

deerhunter fading frontier

After the discontented snarl of Monomania, Bradford Cox seems happier here as he harnesses disco rhythms and his Atlas Sound atmospherics to paint the world in all its ugly-beautifulness.


 

6. Benjamin Shaw – Guppy

Guppy Benjamin Shaw album of year

On Guppy, Shaw expertly assembles a diverse range of drones, found-sound and samples to create compositions that range from the eerie to emotive whilst always managing to be engrossing.
 

 

7. Joanna Newsom – Divers

Joanna Newsom Divers

Dense, literary and lush beyond compare, Divers arrived like an elaborately wrapped gift – endless layers needed to be unravelled, but inside there was something very, very special waiting.


 

8. Ought – Sun Coming Down

ought sun coming down best albums 2015

It may be easy to mimic Talking Heads and Television, but to consistently construct taught and intelligent songs that are as good for dancing as intellectually satisfying is a much rarer achievement altogether.


 

9. The Bad Plus & Joshua Redman – 

The Bad Plus Joshua Redman 

Bad Plus Josh Redman

The piano hooks of The Bad Plus are elevated exponentially by Joshua Redman’s triumphant saxophone – this collection of contemporary jazz plays to everyone’s strengths and comes out something close to remarkable.


 

10. Joey Fourr – To the Floorr

Joey Fourr To the Floorr Album cover

Brilliant blue-eyed indie-funk where an abundance of bouncey basslines and leftfield pop hooks make for an addictive package.

 

11. Trust Fund – No One’s Coming For Us

trust fund

Big hooks, big grins, wittily observed details of the everyday, this is what Indie is meant to be. Ellis Jones seems so self-assured on this debut that it’s hard to not get caught up in its charm.  
 

 

12. Sunns & Jerusalem In My Heart-

Suuns & Jerusalem In My Heart

Suuns Jerusalem In My Heart

Radwan Moumneh adds some spice to the beat-heavy psyche of Suuns in a collaboration that reaps rewards and pushes both artists into new sonic territory.
 

 

13. Olaf Arnalds & Alice Sarah Ott – Chopin Project

Chopin Project

For someone as talented and adventurous as Olafur Arnalds, Chopin seemed too safe and well-trod an option. Yet with the help of Ott these rich and sensitive takes on the Polish master reveal new subtleties.
 

 

14. Majical Cloudz – Are You Alone?

Majical Cloudz Are You Alone

Majical Cloudz are a musical trojan horse – you are all too happy to let their sparse arrangements and direct lyrics wash over you but soon the melodies delve deeper, a phrase lingers and before you know it you find yourself deeply shook and very vulnerable.
 

 

15. Advance Base – Nephew In The Wild

Advance Base best albums 2015

Owen Ashworth aka Casio Tone for The Painfully aka Advance Base has created an album of superlative storytelling where sharply observed details find a sensitive musical world in which to shine.
 

 

16. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress

Godspeed asunder album


 

17. Doldrums – The Air Conditioned Nightmare

Doldrums air conditioned nightmare album of year

 

18. Matthew E. White – Fresh Blood

matthew e white fresh blood

 

19. Bob Dylan – Strangers in the Night

Bob Dylan Shadows in the night


 

20. Battles – La Di Da Di

Battles album of the year


 

21. Max Richter – Sleep

Max Richter Sleep

 

22. Byron Westbrook – Precipice

Precipice Westbrook

 

23. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly

kendrick lamar

 

24. William Basinki – Cascade


 

25. Miley Cyrus – 

Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz 

Miley Cyrus best albums 2015