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 (3/13/15)

Album Of The Week: Will Butler – Policy

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All throughout Will Butler’s solo debut is that sense of looseness and fun that reminds me of Funeral, but take away any association with Arcade Fire and Policy still stands strong as an engaging and lean listening experience that combines Chuck Berry, gospel, and Talking Heads in all the right ways. My favorite song might be “Son Of God”.

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Leapling – “Crooked”

Don’t mind the creepy puppets.

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Shura – “2Shy”

Someone has been listening to No Jacket Required.

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Tom Misch – “Oh Baby”

Oh yeah

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Downtown Boys – “Monstro”

Why aren’t there more saxophones in punk songs? Why don’t more political punk songs sound this good? These are the important questions.

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I’m kinda late to the Tobias Jesso Jr. party, but I’m glad I’m here now.

Reminds me of John Lennon with his direct writing and simple arrangements. Well done.

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Christine and the Queens – “Tilted”

Tilted as in the new social app? Probably not, but I still dig the song.

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The Amazing – “Circles”

Dreamy guitars make me happy.

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Wait, I thought it was Snoop Lion now? Meh who cares, this song is groovy

And that’s Charlie Wilson on the track aka the guy from “Bound 2”. Pharrell is also the producer here, so that explains why it sounds like Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” Marvin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up”.

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Madeon – “Home”

Is that you Sigur Rós? Actually no, but it’s a worthy comparison.

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Well I never thought I’d ever say this, but I really like the new Wiz Khalifa song off the Furious 7 soundtrack.

Probably has more to do with Charlie Puth’s great vocal accompaniment. Song starts at 16 second mark.

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New Sufjan Stevens song yes yes yes yes yes yes yes

Though I prefer the more ambitious Illinois, Stevens’s return to his purist folk roots sounds fantastic.

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A Grave With No Name – “I Will Ride A Horse”

https://soundcloud.com/lefse-records/i-will-ride-a-horse/s-2cwMB

The perfect name for someone who writes beautiful and sad country rock songs via Gram Parsons and Ryan Adams.

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Bakermat – “Another Man”

These are the kind of remixes that I can dig.

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G.L.O.S.S. – “G.L.O.S.S. (We’re From The Future)”

For fans of Pussy Riot (which honestly should be everyone, since no one is making this good of political punk on this side of the world). This album is so good, and you can download it for whatever price you want via bandcamp!

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Ellie Goulding’s cover of Hozier’s “Take Me To Church” is surprisingly understated, but still good

When are we going to hear any new original music from her? Hopefully soon.

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Kisses to the Sky, the new album by Raleigh, NC band Oulipo, is worth your time

If you’re patient with the album, it grows on you in unexpected ways.

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It’s nice to see a metal band with a sense of humor

Bad Guys’ new album Bad Guynaecology (yep, seriously) is a fun metal album that doesn’t take itself seriously while also sounding good. Make sure to check it out.

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Young Fathers – “Shame”

https://soundcloud.com/youngfathers/shame-yf

Uh, what genre is this? Whatever it is, I need more of it in my life.

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HONNE – “Coastal Love”

Spring Break here I come. I’ll be away for my break, so no posting all next week. See y’all later!

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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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