My Top 10 Albums of 2015

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The key word here is “my”. I’ve always found music to be a deeply personal thing. I usually have some tastes that line up with friends but when you search deep into someone’s music library you find everyone has individual tastes when it comes to music and that’s wonderful because there’s SO MUCH MUSIC OUT THERE. If a particularly brilliant album didn’t make my list, I either didn’t listen to it (there’s SO MUCH OUT THERE) or I did listen to it and recognized it’s brilliance without it lining up with my particular tastes and fancies. Without further ado, here are my favorite albums of 2015.

10. The Firewatcher’s Daughter – Brandi Carlile

“I think it’s time we found a way back home
You lose so many things you love as you grow…”

Genre: Alt-Country-Folk-Rock
What themes tie the record together: A wave of nostalgia every time I hear Brandi’s beautiful voice, love songs about sticking with someone through thick and thin, fantastic folk roots
Biggest Hit for a damn good reason: Wherever is Your Heart
The gift that keeps on giving: Mainstream Kid
Beauty beyond belief: Wilder (We’re Chained)

9. Surf – Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment

“Sit with the beat
The chair isn’t fair with you sitting right there…”

Genre: Hip-hop-jazz-fusion
What themes tie the record together: Songs melding together in strange and beautiful ways, rhythm and poetry that’s completely uplifting, experimental beats, grooves, and jams that totally work.
Biggest Hit for a damn good reason: Sunday Candy
The gift that keeps on giving: Wanna Be Cool
Beauty beyond belief: Warm Enough

8. Survival Sounds – Rubblebucket

“Leave me on the ground
On the ground, lord, on the ground…”

Genre: Psychedelic-indie-rock
What themes tie the record together: Traver’s bursting and spitting voice, lyrics that keep you guessing, dance arrangements featuring blaring trumpets and saxophones.
Biggest hit for a damn good reason: Carousel Ride
The gift that keeps on giving: Major Roxy
Beauty beyond belief: On the Ground

7. Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit – Courtney Barnett

“Oliver Paul, twenty years old
Thick head of hair, worries he’s going bald…”

Genre: Indie-Rock
What themes tie the record together: Courtney Barnett being a modern Australian female Kurt Cobain, lyrics that make you say “what?” and “yes!” at the same time, not knowing whether Courtney even cares which somehow makes the music even better.
Biggest Hit for a damn good reason: Pedestrian at Best
The gift that keeps on giving: Dead Fox
Beauty beyond belief: Depreston

6. Christine and the Queens – Christine and the Queens

“With iT I become the death Dickinson feared
With iT I’m the red amiral on his ship…”

Genre: Indie-Synth-Pop
What themes tie the record together: Alternating French and English Lyrics, Understanding everything and nothing, Feelings of bliss as you nod your head along.
Biggest Hit for a damn good reason: St. Claude
The gift that keeps on giving: Tilted
Beauty beyond belief: Paradis Perdus

5. Dopamine – BØRNS

“I’ll dive in deeper, deeper for you
Down to the bottom, 10,000 emerald pools”

Genre: Indie-Synth-Pop
What themes tie the record together: Chemical Induced Soaring Love Songs, Can’t breathe can’t sleep LOVE, a giant injection of Dopamine
Biggest Hit for a damn good reason: Electric Love
The gift that keeps on giving: Holy Ghost
Beauty beyond belief: Past Lives

4. Jackrabbit – San Fermin

“We went, the two of us into
The woods behind the little school…

Genre: Baroque-Pop
What themes tie the record together: Weird, eclectic song-writing and orchestrations, the alternating vocals of breezy Charlene Kaye and deep Allen Tate, a blaring saxophone that delightfully makes its way into many songs.
Biggest Hit for a damn good reason: Jackrabbit
The gift that keeps on giving: The Woods
Beauty beyond belief: Emily

3. Sound and Color – Alabama Shakes

“A new world hangs outside the window
Beautiful and strange It must be I’ve fallen awake…”

Genre: Soul-Blues-Southern-Rock
What themes tie the record together: Groovy Guitar Licks, Songs that both keep true to the sound of the band but all sound uniquely different, and Brittany Howard rocking the best vocals of the DECADE.
Biggest Hit for a damn good reason: Don’t Wanna Fight
The gift that keeps on giving: Gimme All Your Love
Beauty beyond belief: Miss You

2. How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful – Florence + The Machine

“Don’t touch the sleeping pills, they mess with my head
Dredging the Great White Sharks, swimming in the bed…”

Genre: Indie-Blues-Rock
What themes tie the record together: Giant booming orchestrations, sweet poetic lyrics, Florence’s lilting, tilting, uplifting voice.
Biggest Hit for a damn good reason: What Kind of Man
The gift that keeps on giving: Third Eye
Beauty beyond belief: Delilah

1. Hamilton – Original Broadway Cast

“How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in the Caribbean by providence impoverished, in squalor grow up to be a hero and a scholar?”

Genre: Hip-Hop-R&B-Musical
What themes tie the record together: The life of founding father Alexander Hamilton, lyrics that get better with each listen, and the freaking genius of Lin-Manuel Miranda
Biggest Hit for a damn good reason: Alexander Hamilton
The gift that keeps on giving: Washington on Your Side
Beauty beyond belief: History has it’s Eyes on You

Again, these are PERSONAL FAVORITES.

You should absolutely check out the following records as well, some of my favorites that were recommended to me by the best of the best tastes in musics (my facebook friends):

To Pimp a Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar
Blood – Lianne La Havas
Art Angels – Grimes
Then Came the Morning – The Lone Bellow
Painted Shut – Hop Along
Carrie and Lowell – Sufjan Stevens
Chaos and the Calm – James Bay

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