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Best of 2015

Anything music related. Latest songs, good new bands, and blasts from the past.

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Re: Best of 2015

Postby JohnErle » January 3rd, 2016, 11:27 pm

#1 - Jason Isbell - Something More Than Free

With his previous album, Southeastern, and his latest, Something More Than Free, Jason Isbell has quickly established himself as one of my favourite artists, and one of the greatest songwriters working today. Whether it's the catchy and accessible 24 Frames, the working man anthem If It Takes A Lifetime, or the haunting Speed Trap Town, Isbell shows a remarkable ability to paint vivid images and bring his characters to life with a few, well-chosen words. And musically, his band manages to put their own stamp on Americana while evoking favorable comparisons to the best of Springsteen, or even The Grateful Dead on If It Takes A Lifetime, all while making sure their recordings contain a clean, dynamic sound that puts most of today's albums to shame.

24 Frames


If It Takes A Lifetime
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIC4KY4Ak6s

Speed Trap Town
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ghXad3cWnY
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Re: Best of 2015

Postby silversurfer19 » January 4th, 2016, 6:55 pm

ALBUM NUMBER 1: Sufjan Stevens, 'Carrie And Lowell''

And so we finally reach my favourite record of the year, and I'm sure not soon enough for a few less than avid readers! But what a record to bow out on. Back when it was released at the end of March, I can remember being dumbstruck by how startlingly beautiful 'Carrie And Lowell' was. Indeed, I recall commenting that if there was a better album released this year I would be blown away. And while there have been some very fine records that have come in the months since, nothing came even close. This was over as a contest way back then. This is a record that will rank as one of my very, very favourites ever, such is the stark tenderness of it all.

I've long been a fan of Sufjan Stevens, dating back to his early 2000s releases of Michigan, Seven Swans and Illinoise, and though in the past decade his sporadic output has sought to expand his stylistic tendencies, it's been the return to his roots that has helped him produce, in my opinion, his magnum opus. Inspired by the death of his mother (this seems to be a pattern with my top two records of the year being greatly drawn from the death of parents!) and his rather tense relationship with her due to her chronic substance abuse, schizophrenia and depression, it's a very restrained record, with Stevens' vocals almost whispered. It's also his most autobiographical record, and is all the more powerful for it. However, despite the loneliness, suffering and neglect he felt from his upbringing, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Throughout the record Stevens holds out hope for intimacy and the breaking of the destructive cycle, and it's this hope for a resolution that lingers upon listening, and makes the record all the more beautiful.

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Re: Best of 2015

Postby numbersix » January 5th, 2016, 8:19 am

Last batch...

Leetsu... you're right, I never heard of Pond. They reminded me of how the Flaming Lips transitioned from weirdo alt-rock to weirdo pop experimenters. Also a more accessible version of Animal Collective. Not bad. The dreamy aspect doesn't grab me, but like you say I could see how this would work well as background music. I'm not a big fan of Tame Impala. I caught them live a few years back and now call them Lame Impala (aha). Having said that, this song is better than anything they've done before. Very much sticks with you.

Surf... well no surprises that Sufjan topped your albums. And what a great record it is. So personal, so devastatingly honest. But amazing music as well. How on earth he can perform these songs I'll never know. Bjork had to cancel her tour as the personal interfered with the professional. Anyway, I love every track. I do think you should give Joanna Newsom another try. While her voice may be ... eh... quirky, like many voices (I used to despise Billy Corgan's for example) you get used to it and hear the nuances and great notes in there.

John.... Patty Griffin has a nice voice but nothing about her or the tracks sounded particularly distinct. Likewise, The Decemberists tracks sounded okay (more Philomena than Make You Better) but far from what they were doing a decade ago, in albums like Picaresque or The Crane Wife. I was going to say this seems to be a strand running through your top 10 (average albums from bands who peaked long ago) but the My Morning Jacket songs were damn fine, and up there with some of their best material. Not a big fan of Steve Earle in general. Heartless Bastards, Great Lake Swimmers, and Jason Isbell didn't leave much of an impression. Guess that kind of country doesn't do a huge amount for me.
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Re: Best of 2015

Postby Geezer » February 4th, 2016, 5:02 pm

Been posting on Facebook, but did promise I'd get in on this here, so here you go:

10. Sorority Noise "Joy, Departed"

First up, at number ten is a band I only recently discovered as a replacement opening act for Modern Baseball back in December. Pretty cool band, glad to see them play. The band is Sorority Noise and the Album is "Joy, Departed." Check out this song, in particular:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JPecqm1VZQ

9. Lucero "All a Man Should Do"

At number 9, an album that is pretty disappointing actually, as it should be much higher on the list, because I love this band so damn much. Hopefully they will recapture the magic of their earlier work someday, and at least it is definitely better than their last effort. The band is Lucero, with the album "All a Man Should Do." This song is pretty fantastic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4j8d9ZKySPs

8. Teenage Bottlerocket "Tales From Wisconsin"

At number 8, a band that I definitely need to spend more time listening to, as this latest album is really solid. It's Teenage Bottlerocket with "Tales From Wyoming." Love this song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqLAkjRyiJU

7. Matt and Kim "New Glow"

At Number 7 on my countdown is the latest from Matt and Kim, "New Glow." I love their older work so much and they have gotten off track a little over the years, but this album has them back on the right path to restoring their greatness. It's songs like this that made me fall in love with them in the first place:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdCdfY0L8BY

6. Frank Turner "Positive Songs For Negative People"

And rounding out the bottom half of the countdown, its Frank Turner with "Positive Songs for Negative People," in at number 6. Not Frank's BEST work, but still pretty darn good. Enjoy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tB4Avdlz3lk

Top 5 coming soon!
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Re: Best of 2015

Postby Geezer » February 4th, 2016, 11:49 pm

And here we go with the top five:

5. Franz Nicolay "To Us, The Beautiful"

Okay, kicking off the top 5! Here's a brilliant musician and story-teller who put out a beautiful, wonderful folk album. The story behind the title track is marvelous. It's Franz Nicolay with "To Us, The Beautiful." Here are links to the first two tracks:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAGS6CL83-w
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZrdAWtDJTk

4. Spraynard "Mable"

Now I preface the next album on the countdown by saying that these top FOUR albums from 2015 were, in my humble opinion, a cut above the rest. They are the ones that have gotten the most play in my rotation, and there's not a ton of separation between them. So here is a band that broke up and got back together, and I couldn't be happier that they did. This album, and band in general, are phenomenal. This is Spraynard, with their album "Mable." This is the whole album, it's well worth your 28 minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WllZceTNDpg

3. Jeff Rosenstock "We Cool?"

The closest decision between any two albums in my top 10 is between the next two albums. Coming in at number three is an album I've been raving about for months now, by an artist that is going to blow up the punk scene. It's truly unique and utterly fantastic, and even better live. This is Jeff Rosenstock with "We Cool?" Here's the full album... once the opening track "Get Old Forever" kicks, you'll be so hooked:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IYHitTVdx0

2. Western Settings "This Is It"

Alright, almost there guys and girls. It seems that every year, when I set out to compile this list, while I'm perusing the lists of others to see what I may have missed, I come up with at least one band I've never heard before and fall in love with, and they end up ranking highly on my own list. This year, that band is Western Settings, with their album "Yes It Is," which comes in at number 2. This has been on repeat for me pretty much since the moment I first heard it. Start with "Revhead" and just let it keep playing, you won't regret it. It's amazing throughout:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9Kbk-CZs6c&list=PLP_uMSmDAMbk_Kz6MfEN6EWdggiPA3JYV

1. Red City Radio "Red City Radio"

Ahhh so we've arrived. Number one. The best album of 2015. It's easily the album I've listened to most over the last year since it was released, and it wasn't too difficult a decision to place it at the top of the list. A band that is firmly entrenched as one of the handful of best bands working today, Red City Radio is at the top of their game with their self-titled release, "Red City Radio." And here it is, starting with the first track, "Whatcha Got?"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3Cn2P8Mihw&list=PLzvRqcpi36wVIMQcKGuaeEyzdPpfsfKeX
Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man. - The Dude
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Re: Best of 2015

Postby JohnErle » March 8th, 2016, 5:21 pm

I missed this album last year, but it definitely would have cracked my top 10 if I had heard it before the end of the year. Sorry Iron Maiden, no room for guilty pleasures in my top 10 for 2015 after all.

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Re: Best of 2015

Postby Leestu » December 15th, 2016, 1:11 am

Are we doing this again for 2016?

Slowly throughout the year I listened to most of these albums that I hadn't already heard and from this I found a few I liked enough to add to my collection and listened to multiple times.

Chelsea Wolfe
Bill Ryder-Jones
Jeff Rosenstock
Girl Band - especially Pears For Lunch - that song got high rotation on my spotify account
Sorority Noise - what a great record! This would have been in my top 10 if I had of heard it in 2015. Loved every song!!!
Most recently watched: The Handmaiden 8/10
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Re: Best of 2015

Postby numbersix » December 15th, 2016, 5:41 am

Glad you dig Girl Band. I'm finally going to see them play live in January.

And yeah, think I'll start the top 10 countdown over the weekend, if you're up for it. And Surfer too.
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Re: Best of 2015

Postby Leestu » December 15th, 2016, 7:22 am

Cool, I would see them if they came here.
Yeah, I'm ready anytime.
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