KSPU Top 5 Albums, 2015: Judith Feenstra

2015 was an amazing year for music, film, journalism, and women. These are some of my favorites from the music category-- lets get breakfast if you want to discuss the others! 

Tame Impala / Currents

“They say people never change, but that’s bullshit, they do.” This very telling lyric pulled from my personal favorite track off this record Love/Paranoia, paints a fairly obvious picture as to how the band wanted people to view this record—like one made by growing, changing, and vulnerable humans in this big bad world. Being the third full-length studio album released from the ever kickass Australian psychedelic rock band, the record was much anticipated and did not disappoint. With massive success from the single Cause I’m A Man, the album made its debut earlier in the year and tagged on a super funky video to the single featuring the Muppets. Kevin Parker, the lead singer and head producer, is a creative genius and has created an album that will be cherished and loved for years to come far after 2015 has ended, and Eventually (see what I did there, hehe) the album will be remembered as an emotional staple for all funk-lovin’ millennials and their soft, mistake-making hearts. “I know that I’ll be happier, and I know you will too”… if you listen to this record!

 

The Vaccines / English Graffiti

If you’re looking for a sign that tells you to listen to an amazing new record that you haven’t heard yet, Give Me A Sign off this incredibly fun album should be a great place to start—plus there is a totally rippin’ guitar solo at the end of the song that demands MAX volume on your at-home stereo. This being the third studio album that this English indie rock band has released, fans were curious to see what the band would be curating. After two amazing records (Come Of Age/2012, and What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?/2011) fans were chomping at the bit for a new album. This record, although very different, plays into the perfectly clever and yet entirely provocative style that The Vaccines are known for providing in their music. Tracks like I Want You So Bad and Maybe I Could Hold You are great for your trying-to-make-a-move playlists and bangers like Handsome and 20/20 are there for you when you just want to dance. If English Graffiti doesn’t win you over within the first two listens, I think you might be playing the wrong album.

 

Gardens And Villa / Music For Dogs

This is the 3rd studio album, following a self-titled album and the popular Dunes, that Gardens and Villa have put out in their short time on the radar—and it kicks all kinds of ass. Tracks like Maximize Results and Everybody will make you want to dance and fight and dance-fight (like a Michael Jackson Beat It type thing). This album sounds very different from the previous two on a production front; Music For Dogs is a more raw sounding, lo-fi album that has adapted to the band’s new 4-piece set up, downsized from the previous 5. The album takes you on a journey from entering new territory, indulging, observing, and longing for home—but in a totally rippin’ guitar and flute solos kind of way, doesn’t that sound amazing?!

 

Ben Folds / So There

 “Seems like what’s been good for the music, hasn’t always been so good for the life.” A forever favorite of mine, and an inspiration to cynical musicians everywhere, Ben Folds never ceases to amaze. So There is a collaborative album made with Folds and the yMusic Ensemble; the album consists of eight rockin’ chamber pop songs and a magnificent piano concerto performed by Folds alongside the Nashville Symphony. My favorites include Yes Man, a gorgeous ballad describing the frustration of loving someone too passive to confront you and ignoring your own flaws, and the title track So There that plays into Folds’ classic critical outlook of society and the people that have loved and lost him. Overall this album is everything a true Ben Folds fan could ever want—jam packed with all the melodious piano breakdowns and symphonic breaks needed to tickle the ears. Enjoy, I certainly have!

 

Vince Staples / Summertime ‘06

There is young blood in the rap scene and it comes from the NORF SIDE LONG BEACH. This incredible, two-disc masterpiece debut has put Vince Staples on the map and advanced him far from his days featuring on Earl’s album many moons prior. With saucy features like Jhené Aiko and Daley, Summertime ’06 sure looks promising just by glancing at the back cover—just wait until you press play. The singles: Norf Norf, Señorita, and Get Paid, kick ass on their own but within the flow of the album they make great statements about the life of American rap and the west coast culture that runs thick through Staples’ veins. The first time I listened to this album I kept asking myself why I loved these beats so much… so smooth, what could it have been? I soon found out that much of the production done on the album was by my main man Clams Casino and suddenly it all came together. Def Jam had found gold and struck it rich—indulge!