2015, the year I discovered I still liked bubblegum (Carly Rae), could find hooks in ambiance (Four-Tet), was happy to be a tourist (Banda de los Muertos) and had a campfire or two left in me (Yo La Tengo).
Below are all the discs that steadily swirled around the Top 10, trying to jump on board. It changes all the time, right?
Learned a few things, too:
- Patterson Hood swears better than most dudes.
- Soft is strong.
- Superstars are people, too.
- Drones can be pop.
- Berne + Byram were meant for each other.
- Courtney Barnett is an expert communicator.
- You need more than a stocked shelf of well-worn genre moves to be “epic.”
Here are 25 faves:
Waxahatchee – Ivy Tripp (Merge)
Grimes – Art Angels (Interscope)
Four Tet – Morning / Evening (Text)
Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly (Interscope)
Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit (Mom+Pop)
Carly Rae Jepsen – E-MO-TION (Interscope)
Drake – If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (Cash Money)
Tim Berne / Steve Byram – Spare (Screwgun)
Colleen – Captain of None (Thirsty Ear)
Banda de los Muertos (Barbes)
Bomba Estéreo – Amanecer (Sony)
Floating Points – Elaenia (Luaka Bop)
Miguel – Wildheart (RCA)
Yo La Tengo – Stuff Like That There (Matador)
Vince Staples – Summertime ’06 (Def Jam)
Drive-By Truckers – It’s Great To Be Alive! (ATO)
Laurie Anderson – Heart of a Dog (Nonesuch)
Speedy Ortiz – Foil Dear (Carpark)
Robert Earl Keene – Happy Prisoner: The Bluegrass Sessions (DualTone)
Rae Sremmurd – Sremmlife (RCA)
Mini-Mekons & Robbie Fulks – Jura (Bloodshot)
Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts – Manhattan (Rough Trade)
Beach House – Depression Cherry (Sub Pop)
Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Style (Matador)
Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color (ATO)