“My Love is Cool” alternates between manic energy and quiet reflection, not to mention it’s a purely strong debut album with few, if any, faults: a difficult feat on its own. Easily THE album of 2015 for me.
Jon Foreman takes us through each hour of the day with this collection of four EPs. While listening to these songs, I’ve smiled, cried, been broken, and put back together over and over again. “The Wonderlands” is a brilliantly executed concept with a joyful conclusion. If I can get my thoughts together, I’d like to write a full review of this project.
I was introduced to Songs of Water this spring when they opened for Seryn on tour. Their live show blew me away with the sheer skill of each member. “Stars & Dust” is a pleasurable listening experience that goes on a journey from start to finish. I’d highly recommend seeing Songs of Water live if you’re able. Their energy, skill, and sound are unparalleled.
This was the first album I purchased in 2015 and it did not disappoint. The three awesome ladies of Sleater-Kinney prove that they’re back and just as good as ever, if not better, in ten energetic songs.
Noah Gundersen departs from his softer acoustic arrangements and embraces a more electric guitar-driven sound on his newest release. Gundersen uses vivid imagery and vocal dynamics to take the listener through faith, heartbreak, doubt, and love.
Chris Cornell fronted the reunited Mad Season (originally fronted by the late Layne Staley) for this one-time performance live at Benaroya Hall on January 30, 2015. I was on a week-long break from school during this performance and I’m still upset that I didn’t have enough money to fly out to Seattle for this performance. Though probably best experienced in person, this album is still a powerful sonic and emotional experience.
I discovered this album completely by accident. I’m familiar with McCaughan’s work with Superchunk and Portastatic, but was unaware of “Non-Believers” until a month or so after its release. When I listened, I was instantly captivated. After all, how many musicians can write songs about box batteries and wet leaves?
Lullwater’s sophomore effort amps the volume and energy to build on an already strong body of work. Full review forthcoming.
In addition to having an amazing name, Kurt Vile has a way with words. With “That’s Life, tho (almost hate to say),” I think it’s safe to say he created the defining song of my 2015.
Here’s an album that caught me by surprise. Julien Baker’s lyrics and performances on this album broke my heart in the best of ways. Full review forthcoming.
I believe Chris Cornell is one of the greatest musicians of our generation. On “Higher Truth” he combines masterful vocals, confessional lyrics, and stripped-down musical arrangements to create an album that encourages an appreciation for life’s simplest pleasures.
Few artists can take us through as many emotional highs and lows in one album like Josh Garrels. “Home” explores joy, sorrow, love, redemption, doubt, and more, and it does so effortlessly.
In her first solo effort since the disbandment of The Civil Wars, Joy Williams radiates confidence in this album. The songs range from melancholy to hopeful to empowering, capturing the many facets of womanhood.
Carbon Leaf utilized Pledge Music to crowdfund this reimagined version of “Love, Loss, Hope, Repeat” (2006). After nearly ten years, it was a welcome treat to hear new life breathed into the songs.
Here are my favorite albums of 2015 in no particular order. You can click the album covers to enlarge them and read my thoughts in the caption. Full reviews are forthcoming for some albums. Do we have any favorites in common, just one, or none at all? Leave a comment and let me know!