Diving into 2015 brought forth some incredible albums. To be honest, narrowing it down to just ﬁve was harrowing in on such a limit run. So many albums this year had such a wide range of talent, and overall sentimental value that it seems just wrong to pick only ﬁve. *le sigh* Too much good stuff. Thank you 2015 !
1. Sufjan Stevens - Carrie and Lowell - Should Have Known Better
As early as my middle school days, I’ve been a big fan of this genius artist. From the sentiment in lyric writing, existentialist questions, incredible compositions and Sufjan’s angelic and powerful pipes, I would argue that this is some of his best work. It takes a big turn from his experimental Age of Adz, and there’s not a single Christmas song, but I’m grateful. This album breaks your heart, but humbles you in a way that reminds you that Sufjan, like all artists, have a story, a family, and an upbringing. Sufjan spills his guts and reveals his tragic childhood through the eyes of his Schizophrenic and abusive mother and what it was like growing up with Carrie. He has a deep love for her despite the pain he experienced, and this album is really powerful in that way. From start to ﬁnish, Sufjan provides a solid album that’ll be a personal favorite for a long time. The next rainy day in Seattle (probably right now) you should give the album a listen. Warning, there might be some bleary eyes. Thanks Sufjan ♥
2. Made in Heights - Without my Enemy - Murakami
This album was long anticipated for me personally. Made in Heights began posting their singles on soundcloud years back and every composition was a fast-paced, innovative, gem. When it was announced that they were finally signed and about to produce an album, I personally couldn’t wait to see what the outcome would be and I wasn’t disappointed when it was released. Hearing Murakami, Panther, and Ghosts, months before the initial release reassured the albums strength and the progression Sabzi and Kelsey Bulkin had made. From start to ﬁnish, incredible lyrics, well-developed and surprising beats melded with
Bulkin’s melodious voice, were strong proponents for an incredible ﬁrst album. From start to ﬁnish, each listen brings new discoveries and I could play though this album again and again. Experimental, surprising, and an overall beautiful album. Best listened to late at night on a road trip, preferably to Santa Cruz. Also, Bulkin’s laugh?? Too cute. ∆
3. Turnover - Peripheral Vision - Dizzy on the Comedown
Perhaps, the most solid album of this year. From start to ﬁnish, Turnover gives you a warm buzz that never seems to ﬁzzle. Smooth guitar and easy to listen to vocals reverberate and evoke a sense of a love-struck daydream. Turnover could be labeled as a post-pop punk revival band, and there’s always a soft spot in my heart for some good ‘ole punk. Think Yellowcard, or punk by the beach. This albums brings me to a warmer climate. Contemplative and catchy, relatable and easy; I could listen to Peripheral Vision all day. Austin Getz, the guitarist / vocalist is obviously missing his lady and his lyrics are raw and honest about his past. “I always remember things better than they were and miss people more than I should.” He says in an interview with The Fader. Getz’s big heart is transparent in Peripheral Vision and combined with the musical compositions, cultivates an amazing album. The perfect road trip album as you drive further away from the North, and closer to that California coast. ✌
4. Azizi Gibson - preHISTORIC Till Death - Feels Like a Sunday
Sometimes it’s good not to take yourself too seriously, and Gibson’s preHISTORIC till Death reminds us that. “How do I keep it gangster till I die?” I may never know, and maybe neither will Azizi, but he gives it a good shot. This album has incredible beats, witty lyrics, but probably won’t be the profound album you’re looking for this year, but for a full-length listen, it’s a really good time and I couldn’t stop coming back to it. Aziz is experimental in the sense that his work on preHITORIC till Death builds a narrative that weaves throughout the album. his Alias, the grim reaper, seems to be a persona that Azizi is comfortable with. Azizi also seems to be ﬁguring everything out, just like most of us are. He doesn’t pack that cocky-punch that so many R&B albums like to provide today, he’s honest
with himself. Keep an ear out for Waka Flaka too. There’s 18 tracks so you know it’ll last you a good run, and I promise it won’t disappoint. Azizi is deﬁnitely not dead, and I’m excited to see what’s next for this unique artist. It’s best listened to late at night when you’re on your homework cram jam or just bumpin in the car.
It’ll keep you up and locked in.
5. Braids - Deep in the Iris - Sore Eyes, Bunny Rose
Deep in the Iris gives the brokenhearted a place to rest. The album is a long-winded diary entry that reﬂects on a past relationship and the loss that the breakup developed. Not an album you would put on at a lively party, but the entire album shows how Braids has progressed both musically and vocally. Taylor Smith, the guitarist, is an incredible musician who has an attuned ear for a wide spectrum of sounds. Rhythmic notes, surprising sounds, and a noodling of beats put together, creates the unique and astounding compositions that make up Deep in the Iris. Front woman, Raphaelle Standell-Preston’s Björk-sounding voice with such a wide range and beautiful sound, is the perfect compliment to Smith’s experimental music and together Braids is a stand-out. This album is best listened to on a misty day when you’re missing your dog back home. Turn the bass up too, it won’t disappoint.
Written by Heather Dunmoyer
Grimes - Art Angels
- Pin... Grimes, pop, angels, aliens, princesses, waterfalls, absolutely perfect.
Open Mike Eagle - A Special Episode EP Ziggy Starship Anxiety Raps
- Super hot ﬁre all the way through.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Multi-Love
- Stage or Screen... Just your incredible, new-wave, psychedelic rock, chasm you chase. SO good!
Tame Impala - Currents
- Yes I’m Changing... Goodbye girl. Hello ghost. Hello an incredible album that could only take a
mastermind of a musician to create. Holy hell, this is a good one. Barely slid off that top-5 list.
Jamie xx - In Colour
- Jamie XX creates sounds that have never been known to man and makes them ooze through your speakers like a sweet, euphoric, music-cloud. It slaps.
Other Lives - Rituals
- 2 Pyramids... Soft and sweet, Other Lives captures such a nice melody that keeps you wanting more and another cup of tea with your rainy day. Also some of their best work to date.