PeteHatesMusic’s Top Albums of 2015
“I can’t believe (this artist) is not in the top 5!”
“What were you thinking putting (this artist) at #2 on your list!”
These are some of the “compliments” passed along to those who compile year end lists. I do it to serve as some kind of reminder to myself when I am doing the next year’s list to see if I am still listening to what I thought was awesome in the previous December. I have a few regrets, but generally, I’m happy with my lists.
Random thoughts aside, welcome to the PeteHatesMusic Top Albums of 2015. This year’s list doesn’t contain many other list toppers, like Kendrick Lamar, Drake, or Sufjan Stevens. Sometimes critically acclaimed stuff just doesn’t do it, you know? What does do it for me? See my 10 Honourable Mentions and my Top 5, and then you’ll have an idea.
PeteHatesMusic – Honourable Mentions
In no particular order (seriously, no order at all):
Hot Chip – Why Make Sense: These English electro dance wizards can do no wrong. While not as strong as their previous album, the dance floor will be filled by a large portion of their songs.
City and Colour – If I Should Go Before You: A return to form from singer Dallas Green, who is best when he doesn’t try for too many radio-friendly hits, and lets his guitar and incredible vocals take him to new and interesting places.
Grimes – Art Angels: A difficult album to digest due to its seeming lack of coherence, its the variety and depth of songs, and pure pop angle that Grimes tries her hand out at that should warrant repeated listens.
Django Django – Reflections: A former PeteHatesMusic Top Albums list topper back in 2012, this eclectic British band have cobbled together another solid album full of oddly catchy and interesting tunes.
Florence + the Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful: A more upbeat album than her previous, Florence Welch continues to play to her strengths (Hello, insane vocals!) and has crafted another great album.
Purity Ring – Another Eternity: After a great debut album, the Canadian duo have exceeded expectations and avoided the sophomore slump with a slightly more accessible album.
Tame Impala – Currents: These Australians sure know how to make catchy psychedelic music, and have equaled their quality with their previous album, Lonerism.
Wolf Alice – Your Love is Cool: Perhaps the only pure rock band on this Honourable Mentions list, the band might not necessarily be pushing any boundaries, but the cohesiveness of their debut album is very impressive.
Lana Del Rey – Honeymoon: Lana Del Rey goes for the dramatic and cinematic route in her follow up to her near masterpiece, Ultraviolence. While not as engaging as Ultraviolence in my eyes, the music matches the image she has crafted for herself perfectly.
Julia Holter – Have You in My Wildness: Delicate vocals and interesting songs make for a coherent effort on Holter’s latest album.
Top 5 Albums of 2014
5 – Jamie xx – In Colour: The man behind the beats of The xx steps out on his own (again) and has made a stunning album. The producer has blended a series of upbeat and sunny songs to create one great album. With help from his bandmates on a few tracks, we have a series of party-ready tracks.
I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)
4 – Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress: The post-rock, anti-heroes from Montreal have returned once again from their extended hiatus and continued their Career 2.0 renaissance. Following up their Polaris Prize winning album, the band have four new tracks of varying sounds. The opener is a little heavier than we are used to from the band, while the album closer is an epic track nearly unparalleled in a career full of epic tracks.
Piss Crowns are Trebled
Peasantry or Light! Inside of Light!
3 – Tobias Jesso Jr. – Goon: Tobias Jesso Jr.’s rise from relative unknown to co-writer on Adele’s latest album has been unpredictable to say the least. From famous fans and late night TV appearances, the Vancouver native’s excellent debut album, Goon, has propelled him into the stratosphere. Jesso Jr.’s brand of heartbreaking piano songs, mixed with extraordinary vocals, has made him a new voice for the piano pop genre and beyond.
How Could You Babe
2 – Foals – What Went Down: The “other” band from Oxford, England, the former math rock band have graduated to festival headliners, and rightly so. The band’s mix of heavy rock songs, indie poppers, and tracks in between have finally resulted in one complete, nearly flawless album. From slower rock songs with urgent vocals, to hard rock songs that pound the room, Foals have found their groove.
Mountain at my Gates
A Knife in the Ocean
What Went Down
Give It All
1 – Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear: After showing promise on his debut album, Josh Tillman (aka Father John Misty) exceeds all expectations and has crafted the stand out album of 2015. His use of wit and sarcasm in his storytelling, as well as playing to his vocal strengths, has helped contribute to an album full of gems. While there is the odd misstep, the album is full of hilarious observations and one liners, self depreciation, and original commentary. To top it off, the songs are really, really good. The whole album is streaming on YouTube, but if you want a small taste, listen to the playlist below.
Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)
The Ideal Husband
The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apartment
Bored in the USA
So that’s 2015! How is 2016 looking? Radiohead should be dropping some album into our lives in yet another unique way. Tool might finally release their long awaited album. U2 are supposedly releasing something, hopefully not forced through iTunes. Kanye West and his writing partner Paul McCartney might also unleash something into the world. It promises to be another good year.
As always, let us know your thoughts on Twitter or in the comments.