My Favorite Albums And Songs Of 2015 (So Far)

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This isn’t so much a list of the few albums and songs that I loved more than anything else in 2015 as it is a list of the music that I’ve listened to the most and have the strongest associations to this year. When I think of 2015, I think of these albums and songs.

Also, to say that the following albums and songs are “the best” is dumb, so I’m going to say that these are my favorites of 2015 so far aka some music from 2015 that you should check out if you haven’t already.

Here are my 10 favorite albums, in alphabetical order:

Alabama Shakes – ‘Sound & Color’

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Belle & Sebastian – “Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance’

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Courtney Barnett – ‘Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit’

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Jamie xx – ‘In Colour’

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Jeff Rosenstock – ‘We Cool?’

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Juan Wauters – “Who Me?”

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Kendrick Lamar – ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’

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Natalie Prass – ‘Natalie Prass’

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Tobias Jesso Jr. – ‘Goon’

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Will Butler – ‘Policy’

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Honorable Mentions: Algiers (‘Algiers’), Blur (‘The Magic Whip’), Father John Misty (‘I Love You, Honeybear’), Hop Along (‘Painted Shut’), Josh Rouse (‘The Embers Of Time’), and State Champion (‘Fantasy Error’).

And here are my 20 favorite songs, in alphabetical order. To make things more interesting, I didn’t include any songs that came from any of my favorite albums (because most of those songs would be on this list).

Beach Slang – “Too Late to Die Young”


 

Best Coast – “Feeling Ok”


 

Carly Rae Jepsen – “I Really Like You”


 

Chromatics – “I Can Never Be Myself When You’re Around”


 

Colleen Green – “TV”


 

Craig Finn – “Newmyer’s Roof”


 

Dawes – “Don’t Send Me Away”


 

Desaparecidos – “MariKKKopa”


 

Diet Cig – “Scene Sick”


 

Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment – “Sunday Candy”


 

Downtown Boys – “Dancing In The Dark”


 

Hop Along – tie between “The Knock” and “Happy to See Me”


 

Hot Chip – “Huarache Lights”


 

Kacey Musgraves – “Dime Store Cowgirl”


 

Leon Bridges – “Smooth Sailin'”


 

Panda Bear – “Mr. Noah”

(The single came out last October, but I heard it for the first time when I listened to this year’s ‘Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper’, so I’m including it on this list.)


 

Sam Outlaw – “Jesus Take the Wheel (And Drive Me to a Bar)”


 

Sufjan Stevens – “Death with Dignity”


 

Titus Andronicus – “Dimed Out”


 

Tobias Jesso Jr. – “True Love”

(note: this song technically wasn’t on ‘Goon’, so I don’t feel bad about including TJJ on here)


 

And in case you missed it, here’s a Spotify playlist that I update throughout the year of all the songs that I like this year.

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Week In Review (1/30/15)

With guitarist and founding member Chris Walla gone, Death Cab For Cutie (almost) sounds like a new band

New album Kintsugi comes out March 31st via Atlantic Records. They’re also going on tour soon.

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Mikal Cronin announced his follow up to MCII with, wait for it, MCIII

God bless consistency, both in album names and great songs. MCIII comes out May 5th via Merge.

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Electronic music doesn’t get more compelling than Novellus’s “Twenty Eight”

Seriously, when was the last time you hear good, honest lyrics in such a moody, cryptic electronic song?

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Nick Leng – “Inside Your Mind (ft. Carmody)”

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The Twilight Sad – “The Airport”

Scottish Indie Rock sounds mighty fine.

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 Aly Spaltro aka Lady Lamb the Beekeeper continues to be awesome with another taste of her upcoming album

After might already be a candidate for one of my favorite albums of 2015 if it just gets released already.

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Make sure to play this Diet Cig song when you eventually breakup with your Ivy League, sweater-wearing partner

Thank you Alex Luciano and Noah Bowman for getting me through this imaginary breakup that I’m going through.

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I will share anything that features BADBADNOTGOOD, but this Marvel Alexander track is especially great

https://soundcloud.com/marvelalexander/untitled

Keep your eyes on this guy, as he’ll probably make some big waves soon.

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The new Natalie Prass album is finally out

Do yourself a favor and check it out.

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Calexico is back with a new single and a new album coming out later this year

Check out their new single from this groovy Latin Americana band.

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Colleen Green – “TV”

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Make sure to check out Coed Pageant’s latest EP Drag

Indie pop goodness that you can buy on bandcamp for whatever price you want!

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Fucked Up’s Ben Cook aka Young Guv released the music video for his tasty lo-fi power pop single “Crushing Sensation”

A little softer than his other band’s music.

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This new Only You song needs to be in a Quentin Tarantino movie ASAP

https://soundcloud.com/hit-city-usa/only-you-let-me-burn

Looks good on ya Rachel Fannan.

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……uh…….

…I like the song…but…uh…

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 Rye Pines – “Pessimist”

https://soundcloud.com/bobrecords-1/pessimist-by-rye-pines

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The best part about this new Open Mike Eagle song is that it samples Broken Social Scene’s “Anthems For A Seventeen Year Old Girl”, even if it does sound like Voldemort.

Listen here via Stereogum.

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Hear Glen Hansard cover the late Jason Molina

From his upcoming tribute EP, which will be released this March.

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Courtney Barnett announced that she’ll release her proper debut album this year, and now 2015 is already better than 2014

She made one of my favorite albums and songs of this decade so far, so there’s high hopes.

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The upcoming Will Butler album sounds better and better with each new song we hear.

First there was the Kinks, and now we hear the Talking Heads influence. I’m excited to hear what’s next.

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Beach Slang’s “Too Late To Die Young” reminds me of a Paul Westerberg/Replacements ballad in the best way possible.

Listen here via Stereogum.

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Headphone Nation’s 100 Favorite Songs Of The Decade (So Far): 2010-2014

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Am I an idiot for thinking that I can only pick 100 songs to share with y’all and not feel guilty about all the other music that I’m leaving out? Is this list completely bias? Am I brain-dead from trying to write about why I love every single song on this list?

The answer is yes.

Reminder: this is a list of MY FAVORITE songs of the decade, not THE GREATEST songs of the decade. There is a key difference. Same rules apply to this list as they did for my favorite albums of the decade so far.

Also make sure to check out the spotify playlist with all these songs at the end of this list.

Alright, let’s begin.

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One Sentence Reviews Of Headphone Nation’s 40 Favorite Albums Of The Decade (So Far): 2010 – 2014

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Congratulations – you made it halfway through the decade. How does it feel? Did you come up with a good nickname for this decade yet? Is it as catchy as “The Noughties”? What were the highlights?

It’s easy to get caught up looking back at a particular year (or years) and try to pick out the few highlights that defined the year out of all the countless events. For any pop culture publication, it’s a cheap, bias way to get more hits, and it usually doesn’t do the year justice to what it was actually like.

But hey, we all love to make these lists, and we all love to read these lists.

One of the ways to define a decade is by the most popular (i.e. the easiest to define) musical trends of the time: the 60s were the age of Psychedelia, the 70s saw the height of Big Hair Music (heavy rock and disco), the 80s were the dawn of Indie and MTV, the 90s the mass takeover of Pop music (Grunge-Pop, Britpop, Rap-Pop, Noise-Pop, Trip-Pop, Boy Band-Pop, Riot Grrrl-Pop, it goes on), and the last decade saw the boom of the streaming revolution that we’re still in the middle of. Obviously there were more to these decades than those broad themes, but it gets the job done.

So what is the trend that will define this decade? Is this the age of Doomsday Disco (EDM, Reflektor), Mumblecore (what much of “Indie Rock” has become), or Black Stadium Rock (Kanye West and the realization of his Thriller-sized ego)? Or will we just clump together all this music, much of it angry and noisy, and call it “Great Recession Music”?

It’s too early to tell – we’re only halfway through this decade. There’s no telling to what we’ll be listening to within the next five years and what albums will come to define this decade. So to try and find any sort of pattern in the beginning of 2015 is challenging and probably not necessary.

But like I said, we all love these lists – so let’s have a little fun.

Below is a list of my 40 favorite albums released between 2010 and 2014 and the albums that have defined this decade for me so far. I tried to make things more interesting by describing each album using only one sentence. Of course you cannot properly sum up an entire album in one sentence – but it’s fun to try to anyways!

Please note – this is NOT a list of the GREATEST albums of the decade. This is just a list of my personal favorites, and I hope I introduce you to some great albums that you might have missed in this decade. If this were a GREATEST list, then there would be some albums that I wouldn’t have omitted and some that I would have taken off. For example, Kendrick Lamar’s 2012 good kid, m.A.A.d city is without a doubt one of the best quality albums of the decade, but I have no personal attachment to it – I just like it because it’s good.

There are also lots of albums that I’ve heard are great but I’ve never sat down with and listened to all the way through (Frank Ocean, Grimes, Tame Impala, etc). When I do my inevitable End-Of-Decade list at the end of 2019, some of those albums might appear after I listen to them more.

Also, some of these albums on this list aren’t necessarily “good”, but there’s something about them that I absolutely love or can relate to. Maybe it’s because it’s from a favorite artist, or maybe I have a strong association with that album and where I first heard it or who/what it reminds me of. No matter the reason, these are the albums that I loved the most in this decade so far.

And yes, there’s a good chance that I left out one of your favorite albums. Please forgive me.

This list is in alphabetical order, and click on each album cover for a link to a song from the album.

 

Alright, let’s begin.

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