Favorite Music of 2015

I don’t expect this to change, so here we go…


Favorite albums

Grimes – Art Angels

I am obsessively listening to this album. It’s poppy, it’s dark, and it’s unmistakably Grimes. The sequence from “California” to “SCREAM” to “Flesh Without Blood” is the highlight.

Quiet Company – Transgressor

I purchased this at Waterloo Records with Matt, having done so three years ago with their previous album. It took longer to get into, but was well worth taking the time to reconnect with Taylor Muse’s amazing voice and vision.

Jazmine Sullivan – Reality Show

I especially like how this album opens and ends, and “If You Dare” is simply the best call to action I’ve heard in a while.

Shamir – Ratchet

From a twenty-year old in Las Vegas who likes to sit at home and knit while listening to records comes this album, fully developed as a potential successor to the great pop albums of the 1980s.

Wilco – Star Wars

My opinion will always be tied to their playing the album in full at Pitchfork the day after releasing it for free. But mostly, I’m glad to not only get a new Wilco album, but one that is interested in being its own weird self rather than try to out-do Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (looking at you, A Ghost Is Born).

Colleen Green – I Want To Grow Up

It’d be easy to lump this album into a larger group of “women with electric guitars.” Her melodies are great in their own right, but her lyrics about getting past adolescence set her apart.

Tenement – Predatory Headlights

Sprawling and ambitious, a spiritual successor to Hüsker Dü’s Zen Arcade and the Minutemen’s Double Nickels on the Dime. Not every song is brilliant, but taken as a whole, it all hangs together somehow.

HOLYCHILD – The Shape of Brat Pop to Come

Stay with me here. Yes, this is brat pop. But it’s great brat pop that mocks itself even as it hits all the right guilty pleasure notes.

Waxahatchee – Ivy Tripp

I really liked Cerulean Salt, but this takes things a step farther. While I hear Katie Crutchfield’s voice and long for the rockers her twin sister Allison’s band Swearin’ trades in, I like that she goes someplace different and equally compelling.

Favorite concerts

  • Pitchfork Festival (despite the near rain-out on Saturday that shortened Ex Hex’s set)
  • Bob Mould with Split Single at City Winery
  • Quiet Company at Martyr’s
  • Split Single at Lincoln Hall

Other notable albums

  • American Wrestlers – s/t
  • Beach House – Thank Your Lucky Stars
  • Best Coast – California Nights
  • Broken Water – Wrought
  • Bully – Feels Like
  • Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Style
  • Chastity Belt – Time to Go Home
  • Chvrches – Every Open Eye
  • Cold Beat – Into the Air
  • Dodos – Individ
  • Dog Party – Vol. 4
  • EL VY – Return to the Moon
  • Eternal Summers – Gold and Stone
  • Expert Alterations – s/t
  • Expert Alterations – You Can’t Always Be Liked
  • Faith Healer – Cosmic Troubles
  • Fake Palms – Fake Palms
  • Fine Points – Hover EP
  • Florence + The Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
  • Froth – Bleak
  • Girlpool – Before the World Was Big
  • Girls Names – Arms Around a Vision
  • Guster – Evermotion
  • Hop Along – Painted Shut
  • Hot Chip – Why Make Sense?
  • Idjut Boys – Versions
  • Jaill – Brain Cream
  • Jamie xx – In Colour
  • Joanna Gruesome – Peanut Butter
  • La Luz – Weirdo Shrine
  • Laura Stevenson – Cocksure
  • Lower Dens – Escape From Evil
  • Mac McCaughan – Non-Believers
  • Mikal Cronin – MCIII
  • Nap Eyes – Whine of the Mystic
  • Nick Diamonds – City of Quartz
  • Ought – Sun Coming Down
  • Pale Blue – The Past We Leave Behind
  • Paul Weller – Saturn’s Pattern
  • Pinact – Stand Still and Rot
  • Radiator Hospital – Radiator Hospital/Martha
  • Richard Thompson – Still
  • Royal Headache – High
  • Shopping – Consumer Complaints
  • Shopping – Why Choose
  • Speedy Ortiz – Foil Deer
  • Spook School – Try to Be Helpful
  • Summer Twins – Limbo
  • Sweater-Kinney – No Cities to Love
  • Tamaryn – Cranekiss
  • Tame Impala – Currents
  • Twerps – Range Anxiety
  • Wavves – V
  • Wavves x Cloud Nothings – No Life for Me
  • Wax Idols – American Tragic
  • Wire – Wire

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