ReelSociety Forums


Your home for all Reel and Real discussions.

Best of 2015

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

Moderators: Buscemi, BarcaRulz, Geezer, W

Re: Best of 2015

Postby Leestu » December 27th, 2015, 10:08 pm

Album #5: The Districts "A Flourish and a Spoil"

I had already sorted my list and when I checked spotify my top 5 most played albums of 2015 match my top 5, in order, except for my number 2, an album I have to be in the right mood for, and in it's place was Sunbathing Animal, my number 1 album of last year still my second most played album of 2015.
So I listened to this under rated album a lot. I will always love quality alt rock and this truly is an excellent album.
This is the album version of Chlorine...
https://youtu.be/0hwk6GO8Ko8
https://open.spotify.com/track/6x8TOBZMiKAkTHGLptO0gr
...but seriously, after, do check out this beautiful solo accoustic version by the lead singer. Amazing!!
https://youtu.be/TPOGqZkRUDk

Song#5: Alabama Shakes "Don't Wanna Fight"

This is, in my opinion, the best vocal performance of 2015, and probably of the last fee years. So powerful and passionate I honestly believe that she really doesn't want to fight anymore and she means that with all her heart and soul!
https://youtu.be/nin-fiNz50M
https://open.spotify.com/track/51LcPhaclbiR8EAyC76M2L
Most recently watched: The Handmaiden 8/10
User avatar
Leestu
Clark Griswald
 
Posts: 1167
Joined: October 21st, 2009, 11:46 pm
Location: Western Australia

Advertisement

 

Re: Best of 2015

Postby silversurfer19 » December 28th, 2015, 3:42 am

ALBUM NUMBER 5: Bill Ryder-Jones, 'West Kirby County Primary''

And so, I enter my top 5 albums of the year, the records I have held dearest to my heart over the past 12 months, and begin with the new album from ex-The Coral guitarist Bill Ryder-Jones. I was a huge fan of The Coral's debut record over a decade ago now, with their self titled record fizzing with imagination and ambition, and though I never quite saw them match it with following releases, I was still intrigued to see what Ryder-Jones could do when he went solo, firstly on his orchestral debut 'If...', and then 'A Bad Wind Blows In My Heart'. His most recent release, 'West Kirby County Primary', has again found him embracing a new sound, moving away from the more traditional style of his previous record in favour of a slightly heavier alternative-folk sound, while still harnessing the tender themes of his childhood. His lyrics remain inventive yet deeply personal and honest, emphasised by the whispered vocals which invite the listener in on the like of 'Daniel' and 'Wild Roses'. However, as he has sought to expand his palette, the Pavement-like fuzz of 'Two For Birkenhead' and Dinosaur Jr.-lite 'Catherine and Huskisson' and 'Satellites' make the record a more varied and intriguing affair. Combining the fragility of his vocals with the broader sound has made for a fresh new record that proves Ryder-Jones is one of the most vital songwriters around, let's hope it continues.

User avatar
silversurfer19
Norman Bates
 
Posts: 7303
Joined: October 21st, 2009, 3:34 pm
Location: pretty much the ass end of the universe

Re: Best of 2015

Postby numbersix » December 28th, 2015, 9:09 am

ALBUM 4: Sufjan Stevens - Carrie and Lowell



Another personal album, Sufjan's return to the limelight is in the form of an album dealing with the death of his mother, who abandoned him due to mental illness, and his relationship with her ex-husband (Lowell, who went on to manage Sufjan's record label with him). But the focus is on death, loss, missing out on having a parent, and the ways in which we tend to recreate the mistakes of those we look up to. One of my favourite songs from Sufjan's Illinoise record is Casmir Pulaski Day, dealing with a young boy watching his crush die of cancer. It's beautiful and deeply saddening, and Sufjan has recreated this feeling throughout the entire album. It's tender, concerning, but so rewarding.

TRACK 4: FKA Twigs - In Time



Following up from a very impressive debut album, this track comes from her latest EP releases. Once again, it's impressive trip-hop electro infused with RnB style singing, but miles away from the chart music we can't escape from. Here, the song fights between lust and loss as a relationship is on the brink of collapse, and the song's narrator seems to imagine both the pain and the passion of reconciliation, though it's hard to tell which one will win over.
User avatar
numbersix
The Dude
 
Posts: 9667
Joined: October 21st, 2009, 2:34 pm

Re: Best of 2015

Postby Leestu » December 29th, 2015, 6:11 am

Album #4: Wolf Alice "My Love Is Cool"

This album starts with a couple of nice enough indie pop songs of the sort that seem to be prevalent these days, but then halfway through the third song when you're not expecting it the rock kicks in and from then on this album is indie pop being given the rock treatment. Firmly based in the here and now but with a range of influences from the last 25 years, punk, riot grrrl, shoegaze, lush, just to name a few. Her vocals range from sweet to raucous, sometimes in the same song. It's an interesting album with heaps of variety but at the same time a cohesive feel that allows the album to flow from one song to the next without any jarring clashes.Throughout the second half of this year I kept returning to this album as it is always an entertaining listen. Try and hear the version of the album with their tribute to Lisa Simpson "Moaning Lisa Smile" on it.
Giant Peach
https://youtu.be/g6vEE3Plk48
https://open.spotify.com/track/6ubSpevM3YExR5DJqCtoUY

Song #4: FIDLAR "40 Oz. On Repeat"

My go to feel good hit of the summer! Instant great mood every listen.
https://youtu.be/iJy8VgB83OQ
https://open.spotify.com/track/2ZhahFwQgBbURbkY3T8veH
Most recently watched: The Handmaiden 8/10
User avatar
Leestu
Clark Griswald
 
Posts: 1167
Joined: October 21st, 2009, 11:46 pm
Location: Western Australia

Re: Best of 2015

Postby numbersix » December 29th, 2015, 12:12 pm

Will listen to all your tracks very soon, I promise. Once I return to my apartment I'll have the bandwidth to do so

ALBUM 3: Protomartyr - The Agent Intellect



Poor Protomartyr. Once again they've delivered a superb album and once again failed to make my #1 of the year. I'm sure they'll be devastated. But they can find compensation in that their latest record is their most popular yet. And probably their best. Lead singer Joe Casey (who I recently discovered is much older than his band mates, and basically set up a band to fulfil his ambitions even though he's in his 30s. There's hope for us all) delivers exceptional lyrics about his life, his memories, etc. And that's matched by Greg Ahee's awesome guitar playing, with each song featuring not one but several exceptional riffs, making it one of the best guitar albums in years.

TRACK 3: Blanck Mass - No Lite



For the Fuck Buttons offshoot band's second album, they changed from ambient space-music to more club-friendly material, while still retaining their particular edge. This song is the highlight, one which slowly bubbles up, the cool, subdued beat (a little like the track at the start of Drive, which was by the Chromatics, I believe), and very gradually builds into an explosion of colour and light.
User avatar
numbersix
The Dude
 
Posts: 9667
Joined: October 21st, 2009, 2:34 pm

Re: Best of 2015

Postby Leestu » December 30th, 2015, 6:14 am

Album #3: Modest Mouse "Strangers to Ourselves"

This being one of my favourite three albums of the year shouldn't surprise anyone that knows me well. Five excellent songs (Strangers to Ourselves; Lampshades on Fire; The Ground Walks, With Time in a Box; Coyotes; and The Best Room) will keep me returning to an album time and time again, even if I was a bit underwhelmed on first listen, But sometimes it takes multiple listens to fully appreciate greatness.
The Best Room
https://youtu.be/Bmw8lVXHIms
https://open.spotify.com/track/2zc8bzU9Eg498tbPRdobCl

Song #3: Death Grips "On GP"

A rap or hip hop song as one of my favourite three songs of the year should surprise anyone that knows me well. I never would have thought it! But this song about suicide is just so intense I love it.
https://youtu.be/cinJDxLUsNY
https://open.spotify.com/track/1SAszXJUG4TV5tPvZ814Nc
Most recently watched: The Handmaiden 8/10
User avatar
Leestu
Clark Griswald
 
Posts: 1167
Joined: October 21st, 2009, 11:46 pm
Location: Western Australia

Re: Best of 2015

Postby numbersix » December 30th, 2015, 9:03 am

ALBUM 2: Joanna Newsom - Divers



Whenever this lady releases a record it's a major event. Divers isn't the kind of album that runs up and smacks you in the mouth, even if it still contains Newsom's quirky singing and odd musical arrangements. But like most of her music, give it time and you'll unlock not just amazing, distinct "folk" music, but also a superbly profound record with lyrics that rank amongst the greatest of poets. In this record, the central premise (another very personal one) seems to be that Joanna has found love, which gives a greater sense of time, particularly in terms of time passing too quickly. And as the album progresses she comes to realise that the greatest moments of her life will last forever. You'd never hear Drake singing about the relationship between love and humanity's perception of time.

TRACK 2: DIIV - Dopamine



This song breaks my heart. It's incredibly honest. Some songwriters can be so honest it becomes mundane, but in this track there's a Smiths-like trick of combining the sad with the happy. The sunny, shimmering guitars, gentle rhythm, and dreamy vocals hide the lyrics about the love of drugs and addition that the narrator is still experiencing. DIIV's lead singer is a heroin addict and this is his ode to addiction ("got so high I finally found myself") in all its pain and beautiful sadness.
User avatar
numbersix
The Dude
 
Posts: 9667
Joined: October 21st, 2009, 2:34 pm

Re: Best of 2015

Postby silversurfer19 » December 30th, 2015, 4:07 pm

ALBUM NUMBER 4: Foals, 'What Went Down'

And so, with my no.4 album of the year, Foals return with the album they've always promised since their debut back in 2008. This is a band who have always had the egos and ambition of a festival headlining act, and finally, following a succession of very, very good records, they have finally released their magnum opus. Opening with the brutal assault of the title track, Yannis Philippakis lays out the gauntlet and thrills the listener with a highly charged sonic attack. It's a very different side to Foals that we have come to know, but perhaps that's what this record needed, a song that would shake the shackles off and embrace something new and exciting as an introduction to their new album. It works and more. From then on we find Foals treading familiar territory, yet there's a maturation to their sound, with the band more willing to embrace an anthemic chorus or melody than ever before. Listen to 'What Went Down' side by side with debut 'Antidotes', and while it doesn't sound like a completely different band, there is an obvious transition over the last decade, something that they first introduced on 'Total Life Forever', consolidated on 'Holy Fire', and it seems have reached their zenith with this year. Soundscapes are bigger, songs more epic, and the overall record is just more powerful than ever before. 'What Went Down' is a brilliantly cohesive yet varied record, the culmination of the career one of the best British bands of our generation, a record that has expanded their sound, enabling Foals to explore and refine what has made them so fantastic over the years. Philippakis says “It feels like we can do anything,”and on this evidence there’s little to argue with.

User avatar
silversurfer19
Norman Bates
 
Posts: 7303
Joined: October 21st, 2009, 3:34 pm
Location: pretty much the ass end of the universe

Re: Best of 2015

Postby silversurfer19 » December 30th, 2015, 4:09 pm

ALBUM NUMBER 3: Wavves x Cloud Nothings, 'No Life For Me'

Given their similar penchants for fuzzy, lo-fi punk rock, it's hardly surprising that Nathan Williams and Dylan Baldi have joined hands and decided to create a joint record, but what is astonishing is how they have managed to marry their styles and egos into something that works. In adopting Baldi’s discontent angst with Williams' more considered, though no less dejected, quiet-loud dynamics, 'No Life For Me' harnesses the familiar while embracing something new as the two feed off of each other's talents and create something the seamlessly balances their individual talents. Oscillating from one to another, it feels like the work of two masters of pop-punk operating on full cylinders, with pop hooks aplenty and their melodic craftmanship creating something that is immediate and unforgettable. It's just a shame that the record is just 22 minutes long, as it will leave you breathless and euphoric, and desperate for me. Hopefully there is more in the can. But until that moment arrives, enjoy the ride of one of the most exhilarating partnerships in recent memory.

User avatar
silversurfer19
Norman Bates
 
Posts: 7303
Joined: October 21st, 2009, 3:34 pm
Location: pretty much the ass end of the universe

Re: Best of 2015

Postby silversurfer19 » December 30th, 2015, 4:13 pm

ALBUM NUMBER 2: Protomartyr, 'The Agent Intellect'

And so, we reach the penultimate day of my countdown, and my no.2 record of the year. On any other year, this could quite easily have been my favourite record, but this was an exceptional year, and so it has to settle for runner up. Protomartyr are one of the most exciting bands on the planet right now, with a sound that seemingly hangs on the edge of violence at every turn and a singer in Joe Casey who is determined to expose the ugliness of humanity that hides in the shadows. Drawing on the emotional heartache of losing his parents during the production of the record, 'The Agent Intellect' is a brutal look at the panic caused by mortality, with each decaying year leaving us with less time to do something of any substance. Yet while such weighty subject matter may leave the rest of the band in his wake, unable to keep up with such emotional strength, instead they rise to the challenge, with a razor wire post-punk sound that gathers in tension until it explodes. There seems to have been a deliberate effort on this record to create an album with more texture and space than on their previous record, 'Under Color Of Official Right', and it benefits the overall soundscape. It's a record constantly on the edge, taking influence from the likes of The Fall, Joy Division and even a little of The Strokes, giving it a bleak but melodic effect that is both haunting and tender. As I mentioned, if not for another, quite spectacular record, this would have been my album of the year. I'm sure the band will get over it...

User avatar
silversurfer19
Norman Bates
 
Posts: 7303
Joined: October 21st, 2009, 3:34 pm
Location: pretty much the ass end of the universe

Re: Best of 2015

Postby silversurfer19 » December 30th, 2015, 4:15 pm

btw, I have full intentions to comment on all these songs and albums, but for the meantime I will say it's nice to see so many crossovers between myself and you guys, most of my favourites seem to have been captured on here. Although I will say I truly tried with Joanna Newsom considering the high acclaim. I can appreciate her art, but I just can't get past that voice. Even though the song you posted is the most accessible on the album, it stil feels like I'm being sung to by a pixie or Tinkerbell.
User avatar
silversurfer19
Norman Bates
 
Posts: 7303
Joined: October 21st, 2009, 3:34 pm
Location: pretty much the ass end of the universe

Re: Best of 2015

Postby Leestu » December 31st, 2015, 4:48 am

Album #2: Viet Cong "Viet Cong"

The band formerly known as Viet Cong delivered on the promise and potential shown on their ep Cassette with this stunning impressive debut album. I am a sucker for epic album closers so here is Death.
https://youtu.be/ZFIxAzf2B1M
https://open.spotify.com/track/69izLOjRU2txMIcNghWd0I

Song #2: Foals "What Went Down"

And here is one of the best opening tracks to an album this year.

https://youtu.be/iuQQIawCqBA
https://open.spotify.com/track/5h27GYpKZWWhFov8fOunF6
Most recently watched: The Handmaiden 8/10
User avatar
Leestu
Clark Griswald
 
Posts: 1167
Joined: October 21st, 2009, 11:46 pm
Location: Western Australia

Re: Best of 2015

Postby numbersix » December 31st, 2015, 3:44 pm

ALBUM, TRACK, PERSON OF THE YEAR: Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A Butterfly

Who would have thought that I would have chosen a hip-hop record as my album of the year, beating out the likes of favourites like Sufjan Stevens or Joanna Newsom? I own only a handful of rap albums in total, yet I was drawn to Kendrick when The Blacker the Berry was released late last year. It was a powerful, angry song that avoided the usual cliches of rap. When To Pimp A Butterfly was released, I took a risk, not expecting much. Initially I was drawn to the funkier moments, such as King Kunta and I. But the more I listened the more I discovered.

I mentioned that a lot of my favourite albums and tracks of the year were deeply personal ones. So too is this, but what Kendrick does is match the personal with the political, making it not just a good collection of music, but also something relevant and inspiring. No wonder the Black Lives Matter movement had people chanting Alright, probably my favourite song from the album. The album has a sort of narrative, on one level being about a rapper's rise to fame, which turns into a sense of getting lost (U), an epiphany, and a realisation about responsibility towards one's past and community. On a greater level this is a timely album about African-Americans, and ultimately states that in order to avoid falling into the same cycles of violence and anger, that they need to find self-love and pride in order to stop the senseless killings and prejudice that's inflicted on them. With these great ideas holding the album together, you also get so much diversity of style and even delivery, with Kendrick manipulating his voice to represent various states and even ages he's playing to tell this ambitious tale.

It's something like this that proves that the album will never die, not when you get great stories been told and inspiring not just a small amount of critics, but the general public as well. And not only that, the response to this record proves that music isn't just about entertaining, but it can also help change the world.

Unfortunately Youtube's recent policy means there's very few tracks from this album available, so here are the singles, which don't give a full sense of the record's scale and ambition, but it's a start.

Alright


King Kunta
User avatar
numbersix
The Dude
 
Posts: 9667
Joined: October 21st, 2009, 2:34 pm

Re: Best of 2015

Postby transformers2 » December 31st, 2015, 5:40 pm

Very pleasantly surprised to see To Pimp a Butterfly at the top of your list six. It's a brilliant, varied and incredibly timely album that is undoubtedly one of the most important albums released in the past decade or so.
BRING BRENDAN FRASER BACK TO THE BIG SCREEN DAMN IT
Check out my blog http://maitlandsmadness.blogspot.com/
Movies,Music,Sports and More!
User avatar
transformers2
The Bride
 
Posts: 4347
Joined: October 23rd, 2009, 5:15 pm

Re: Best of 2015

Postby Leestu » December 31st, 2015, 9:19 pm

Wow! That is a surprise! I thought King Kunta was a great song, and due to the critical acclaim this album was getting I gave it a listen. In fact I listened to most of the albums that got a lot of critical acclaim this year. The fact that none of them rate high with me probably says more about me than the music. I get it, and I respect the guy immensely and see this as an important, timely album, but for me it was an interesting listen as a one off. I think I can stand back and say objectively yes this was a great album but subjectively I doubt I'll listen to it again and whereas what makes my favourites my favourites are the albums I want to, and do, listen to over and over again.
Most recently watched: The Handmaiden 8/10
User avatar
Leestu
Clark Griswald
 
Posts: 1167
Joined: October 21st, 2009, 11:46 pm
Location: Western Australia

PreviousNext

Return to Music

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest