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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 Leestu » December 23rd, 2015, 5:07 am

Album #9: Wilco "Star Wars"

Wilco experiments here, mainly with noise pop, and it's great stuff! My only complaint is the album (and some of the songs) is too short. As soon as it's over I'm left wanting more, which usually resulted in multiple listens.
You Satellite
https://youtu.be/1VQlgqbNxO0
https://open.spotify.com/track/2tpQSdEnsGnZqkCDHnSyEw

Song #9: Bloc Party "The Love Within"

The first time I heard this song I was fascinated but I thought it was a car crash type fascination. I felt compelled to listen again though...and again...was it really that bad? Nope, I was hooked by then and love this song. It just gets better and better each listen.
https://youtu.be/Ta2g5AcA4aU
https://open.spotify.com/album/574PXLKmzbpQ41qlvu8DWF
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Re: Best of 2015

Postby Leestu » December 23rd, 2015, 5:30 am

JohnErle wrote:I kept adding tracks to a Best Of 2015 playlist. This link to the Spotify playlist might work as well, maybe.

https://play.spotify.com/user/johnerle/ ... iJa45ETFLU


It works...I'm shuffling it now. Great to see Blur on there!
I did the same thing throughout the year. A convenient way to keep track of and listen to your current faves.
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Re: Best of 2015

Postby numbersix » December 23rd, 2015, 8:23 am

ALBUM 8: Thee Oh Sees - Mutilator Defeated at Last



I'd call them less prolific and more workmanlike, these San Franciscans can't help but release an album pretty much every year for the last decade. And while that sometimes means albums, like last year's Drop, that don't quite work, other times they'll surprise with an almost effortless genius like this collection. I think I like them best when they're playing faster and harder, and this record delivers their unique psychedelic garage rock in spades.


TRACK 8: Panda Bear - Mr Noah



A solo act from one of the members of Animal Collective, Panda Bear, Noah Lennox has the nicest voice of the experimental indie group. And when he's at his best, like in this squelchy track, he combines odd electronic music with a wonderful, Brian Wilson-like, voice.
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Re: Best of 2015

Postby Leestu » December 23rd, 2015, 9:11 am

Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper took me by surprise earlier in the year. Not normally the type music I listen to but I gave it a chance after hearing some of it when it was feature album of the week on my local community radio station and quite enjoyed it.
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Re: Best of 2015

Postby JohnErle » December 23rd, 2015, 3:42 pm

Leestu wrote:
JohnErle wrote:I kept adding tracks to a Best Of 2015 playlist. This link to the Spotify playlist might work as well, maybe.

https://play.spotify.com/user/johnerle/ ... iJa45ETFLU


It works...I'm shuffling it now. Great to see Blur on there!
I did the same thing throughout the year. A convenient way to keep track of and listen to your current faves.


Yeah, it's very convenient. I hate to admit it, but I became a Spotify convert this year. When it became available in Canada, that was the final nail in the coffin for internet radio stations like mine.

I'm a longtime fan of Blur, and while I wouldn't say The Magic Whip is their best, but it definitely deserves to mentioned in the same breath as Parklife and Think Tank. It's always a pleasant surprise when a reunion results in such a strong effort.

I tried to sequence the playlist with the top 2-3 tracks from each album at the top, so I'd definitely recommend listening to the top 40 or so tracks straight through at least once. The rest is just a mishmash of leftover and random tracks.

One thing I just noticed is that Steve Earle's latest album recently disappeared from Spotify, so I guess I'll have to post my highlights here. It wouldn't be a year-end wrap-up without Steve Earle.
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Re: Best of 2015

Postby Leestu » December 24th, 2015, 2:45 am

Album #8: City Calm Down "In a Restless House"

This indie rock band came from nowhere a couple of months ago with a fantastic debut album that I think of as an album for album lovers. There is no obvious standout singles (what the kids these days call bangers or tunes), but also no filler or lulls in quality. The sort of album that upon first listen from beginning to end grabs you straight away, yet also grows on you with repeat listens. I caught these guys live a couple of weeks ago and his incredible rich voice was even more impressive than it is on record, and I realised how important the understated keyboards are to their sound.
Rabbit Run
https://youtu.be/sW6OiFjOnbk
https://open.spotify.com/track/1iN7UswTmClVWOw64fp5iJ

Song#8: Wand "Self Hypnosis in 3 Days"

With a pounding grunge type beat and power riffs, and Ty Segall type psych rock vocals, and a little bit of guitar weirdness this song kicks some musical ass. I saw recently in America these guys played a benefit gig with Fuzz and Thee Oh Sees. That would have been a gig I'd love to have seen. The album is pretty great too but this song is the definite highlight.
https://youtu.be/1CmOBYCNsK8
https://open.spotify.com/track/6VVniPyvdat6zQD0kE0cVv
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Re: Best of 2015

Postby silversurfer19 » December 24th, 2015, 5:40 am

ALBUM NUMBER 9: Ought, 'Sun Coming Down'.

My number 9 album of the year comes from Montreal four piece, Ought, a band who exploded onto the scene last year with their debut record, 'More Than Any Other Day' a full bodied post punk record that resonated with me greatly. And yet, I think this record perhaps even improves on what came before it. Having to come to terms with such a rapid maturation, this record inevitably is very different from their debut, and finds them taking huge strides forward as they explore their sound. Still very present is their indebtedness to The Fall, Tom Verlaine and David Byrne, as their brand of schizophrenic songwriting challenges the listener in line with their brutal sonic assaults. Yet this is coupled with fantastic hooks and a fearless use of hypnotic repetitive loops of guitar to ensure the record is abbrasive but never a turn off. Taking on a more complex nature than previously, 'Sun Coming Down' charters the band on a new horizon, closing a chapter on their sudden rise to fame and onto a new platform. It's an exciting time to see what they do next.

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Re: Best of 2015

Postby silversurfer19 » December 24th, 2015, 5:43 am

ALBUM NUMBER 8: Courtney Barnett, ''Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit'

It's been a little over a year since Courtney Barnett first exploded onto the scene with her double EP 'A Sea Of Split Peas', and to be honest, while I quite enjoyed her lyrical saviness, and her ability to craft something fresh out of the ordinary day in the life, it didn't really sustain. However, returning with her debut album and my no.8 record of the year, she has really upped the ante. Harnessing the wordplay of Stephen Malkmus with a strew of guitar lines reminiscent of Bleach era Nirvana, The Breeders and obviously Pavement, her admiration of the early 90s alt-rock scene is not something she hides. But while her musical abilities cannot be ignored, it always plays secondary to storytelling genius. There's a real wit to her finely drawn stories of mundanity, and yet somehow they leave a profound and poignant effect. This is the birth of a great lyricist for a new generation, and if she continues with such great leaps on each recording, then the sky really is the limit.

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Re: Best of 2015

Postby numbersix » December 25th, 2015, 2:40 pm

ALBUM 7: Chelsea Wolfe - Abyss

Ms Wolfe's badass heavy rock/alt metal/doomy folk style has always been quite appealing, but this is her strongest effort yet. The songs are so heavy you almost sink into the ground, transfixed. She doesn't quite write songs with tradition chorus/verse structures, but she compensates by her tunes being immensely atmospheric, if not damn cinematic at times.


TRACK 7: Marching Church - Living in Doubt

I'm a huge fan of Danish act Iceage, whose Ploughing The Fields of Love you may remember was my favourite album of last year. I like how they're not afraid to take risks, and a risk lead singer Elias Ronnenfelt certainly took with his solo album, in which he channels his inner Bowie and perhaps even Nick Cave. Not every song worked on the record, but it opened with this gem, a sort of churning gritted tune with his raw vocals being complimented by another singer's more melodic style towards the conclusion.
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Re: Best of 2015

Postby Leestu » December 25th, 2015, 8:45 pm

Album #7: Thee Oh Sees "Mutilator Defeated At Last"

Over the last couple of years these guys have become one of my favourite bands. From Carrion Crawler/The Dream onwards it's one awesome album after another, and each album kicks off with a killer track, with Web starting this one with a bang! I just got tickets for Christmas to see them live in exactly four weeks from today. A sold out show in a cool dingey pub that probably only holds a few hundred people at max. Looking forward to that!!!
Sticky Hulks
https://youtu.be/Dua9gPlfzG0

Song#7: METZ "Acetate"
So much brutal power!!!
https://youtu.be/RrYH-TQCn9U
https://open.spotify.com/track/0n7xkbifTiXsfIAZDhH3To
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Re: Best of 2015

Postby numbersix » December 26th, 2015, 10:03 am

ALBUM 6: Oneohtrix Point Never - Garden of Delete



I tend to enjoy the more experimental side of electronic music. It often verges on becoming dinner-party half-music because it never quite demands attention, though. But there are a few who suck you into their worlds rather than compliment your own. OPN's latest album feel like a fascinating, unique, and sometimes scary world, a collection of sounds that come from our reality (including auto-tuned samples and distinctly modern sounds of technology, the internet, etc). Its techniques feel so now that it's actually futuristic.

TRACK 6: David Bowie - Blackstar



Bowie's back. Well, he already was back with the 2013 album The Next Day, which didn't really register with me. But man, this tune is probably the best track he's done within my lifetime. This epic tune at times reminds me of Radiohead (who are surely Bowie enthusiasts themselves) with more jazzy leanings, but ultimately this is something only the Chameleon of Rock could have concocted. The video is superb too.
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Re: Best of 2015

Postby Leestu » December 26th, 2015, 10:23 pm

Album #6 Wavves "V"

One of the best noise pop albums of the year. Interesting enjoyable guitar noise, with insanely catchy melodies, Whiny lyrics with an upbeat tempo. It's a fun, easy listen first and every time. Here is the album opener, they're all like this.
Heavy Metal Detox
https://youtu.be/n1ATz2ocOsk
https://open.spotify.com/track/1tuVCR9R6nJ1t4xWetOQ8y

Song#6 Courtney Barnett "Kim's Caravan"

My wife's favourite album of the year and for the majority of 2015 would have been in my top 10 but in the end I loved too many albums this year. And on an album full of radio friendly songs (well alt-radio anyway) Kim's Caravan stood out. It definitely isn't, but it's a powerhouse of a song. My words won't do it justice, so I'm not gonna try but this is the highlight of the album and one of the best songs of the year! Oh...and she rocks live too...a humble rock goddess on stage that puts on a show worth seeing and hearing.
https://youtu.be/z-TDyc83g3o
https://open.spotify.com/track/7xXqyFw5bFIwW54dm7g93k
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Re: Best of 2015

Postby silversurfer19 » December 27th, 2015, 3:03 am

ALBUM NUMBER 7: Sleater Kinney, 'No Cities To Love'

There have been a number of occasions over the last few years where bands I cherish return and try to recapture the magic of past glories (here's looking at you Pixies and Smashing Pumpkins) to damaging effect. Thankfully, Sleater Kinney are here to buck the trend, and not just satisfied with trying to reclaim the spark that made them fantastic in the first place, but indeed make a statement that the best may yet be to come! Straight back with opener 'Price Tag' it's an immedate and sharp record that packs punch after punch, with no room for just satisfactory, every track is essential. Gifted with fantastic guitar skills and a knack for knocking a catchy pop melody out of the park, there's an urgency about 'No Cities To Love', much more so than on the band's previous record of ten years ago 'The Woods'. This is the sound of Sleater Kinney not looking back on nostalgia but moving forward, and in doing so it's become my no.7 record of the year.

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Re: Best of 2015

Postby silversurfer19 » December 27th, 2015, 3:05 am

ALBUM NUMBER 6: Chelsea Wolfe, 'Abyss'

Chelsea Wolfe is an extremely interesting artist, and one who continues to develop on each release despite how prolific she is. Her previous record, 'Pain Is Beauty', hinted at a change in artistry with lush electronic moods, and on 'Abyss' she has harnessed another shift in style, this time embracing the world of metal more than ever before. It's a darker, and more vulnerable place than she has inhabited before, but that doesn't interfere with her trademark sounds and melodies. Taking references from Metallica, NIN and early PJ Harvey, 'Abyss' uses scraping guitars, moaning synths and pounding drums and crosses them with the nightingale-like vocals of Wolfe, creating an atmospheric record that is eerie, aggressive and unique. It seems that synthesising her prolific back catalogue has resulted in the production of her strongest, and most ambitious record yet, and beautiful yet horrific piece of art.

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Re: Best of 2015

Postby numbersix » December 27th, 2015, 5:17 pm

ALBUM 5: Girl Band - Holding Hands with Jamie



My Top5 seems to consist of a lot of music that is deeply personal to the musicians and/or singers. But all in very different ways. In the case of Girl Band, the demented sound of the lead singer's yelping is actually attributed to his mental breakdown last year. He spent time living in his mother's back garden in a tent. She encouraged him to write, even if it's nonsense, to somehow ease his condition. And it seemed to work. So what we get is an album of screams and rants that veer between making no sense and actually being a rather humorous portrayal of the breakdown (one of my favourite lines being "I look crap with my top off" from the song above), combined with intense, percussion heavy noise rock.

TRACK 5: Bjork - Black Lake



And to follow on from my above note, here's another surprisingly personal song. I've always respected, and sometimes loved, Bjork. She's is entirely unique, although her music is something I'd rarely consider personal. But on her new record Vulnicura delves deeper than most would on dealing with a break-up (in this case her husband of many years). This track is the most intense display of hurt I've seen in ages, and while it's very focused on the flaws of her significant other, it's also incredibly honest and in some ways, relatable. Combine that with the beautiful violins that start the song, and the booming electronics later on, and you've got something special.
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