— O.M.

Top 10 records of 2015

DJ Tom Lodge in the tiny Caroline studio on board the Mi Amigo in 1966.It’s been a great year for music. Selecting a collection of the best albums, in an objective manner, would probably be too much of a task for a single person, although music magazines call them out every year – While Rolling Stone and Pitchfork selected Kendrick Lamar’s  “To Pimp A Butterfly”, NME and Stereogum called out Grimes’s “Art Angels” as the record of the year. But at least a very subjective list is called for. Just or the sake of sorting this year out – here is my top 10 albums of 2015:

10. Twenty One Pilots – Blurryface
The fourth studio album (second under Fueled by Ramen) of this wicked duo has broke through and created proper excitement all over the scene. The energy, the lyrics and real invention make “Blurryface” a definite point of interest.
Top tracks: Stressed Out / Lane Boy / Tear In My Heart

⇨Twenty One Pilots – Stressed Out

 

9. Brandon Flowers – The Desired Effect
There’s two big reasons for this album to be here: “I Still Want You” and “Lonely Town”. These two phenomenal retro-themed singles have taken many by surprise and reminded the world that Brandon Flowers is still great. With or without the Killers.
Top tracks: I Still Want You / Lonely Town

⇨ Brandon Flowers – Lonely Town

 

8. Tor Miller – Headlights EP
Tor Miller has also taken a classy trendy retro approach on his anticipated EP and managed to get some big ears curious about a potential upcoming album. Let’s hope there’s one coming, because this NYC youngster is definitely one to watch! (Also check-out his newest super-catchy single Carter & Cash)
Top tracks: Midnight / Now And Again

⇨ Tor Miller – Midnight

 

 

7. Glen Hansard – Didn’t He Ramble
By critical reception, Glen Hansard is considered one of the best songwriters of his time. The Frames (his origin band) were also celebrated throughout their active years, as well as his co-op with Markéta Irglová for the oscar-winning “Once” soundtrack. Seems that everything he touches turns gold.
Most importantly, though, it’s the experience, the emotions, the endless depths of his soulful voice and the genius songwriting talent, that continues to accompany him even with his second solo album.
Top Tracks: Her Mercy / Winning Streak

⇨ Glen  Hansard – Her Mercy

 

6. Troye Sivan – Blue Neighbourhood
He is probably one of the biggest surprises of 2015 – he has rocketed out of his bedroom, from doing youtube videos, through the offices of EMI, signing a record deal and eventually even landing a slot with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show. Billboard magazine called him one of the hottest artists in the world under 21, and it seems that Troye Sivan is on a steady climb to stardom. Years to come will show.
Top tracks: Fools / Talk Me Down / Youth

⇨ Troye Sivan – Talke Me Down

 

5. Adele – 25
Adele is back. If you haven’t heard that yet, then you must have been hiding in an atomic bunker for the last 3 months. The coverage was huge, the hype was huge, the anticipation was nerve-racking. Not single day could we get away without hearing about her.
“25” is a huge record, and is the proper definition of what a real comeback album should look like. No more words needed.
Top tracks: When We Were Young / Hello / Water Under The Bridge

⇨ Adele – When We Were Young (Live at The Church)

 

4. Florence + The Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
It’s always a mesmerising experience listening to Florence Welch. The new album carries the undeniable uniqueness that Florence holds throughout her career. The atmosphere, the very-60s instrumental lineup and fierce vocal performances  are ever-present and Florence seems to be better by the year.
Top tracks: Caught / What Kind Of Man / Queen Of Peace

⇨ Florence + The Machine – Queen of Peace & Long And Lost

 

3. Editors – In Dream
The British indie demigods, Editors, have returned with a synth-fuelled, rough and dark record, and are showing a tempting opposition to their previous melancholic epos “The Weight Of Your Love”. Editors made a sudden move by embracing a dark 80s new-wave approach, and even though leaving many surprised, they have managed to create a healthy amount of excitement. They still have it, and even after guitarist Chris Urbanowicz’s departure they remain at the very top of their genre. “In Dream” is a great record, and also – oddly – very underrated.
Top tracks: Salvation / Forgiveness / No Harm / Life Is A Fear / Marching Orders

⇨ Editors – Life Is A Fear

 

2. James Bay – Chaos and the Calm
James Bay could quite possibly be on the most exciting things to happen to the global music industry in 2015. His super-hit “Hold Back The River” celebrated overwhelming success since it’s release in November 2014, hitting top chart positions worldwide. “Chaos and the Calm” debuted in March, 2015, and immediately shot to No.1 in the UK and Irish charts.
Produced by Jaquire King (Kings Of Leon, Editors, Tom Waits…), the record showcases the incredible songwriting and vocal talent that Bay possesses – an incredible amount of energy and raw emotion surrounds this record – it seems almost unreal. If you can write and sing songs like this, then you are nothing short to a superstar. It is beyond any doubt, that “Chaos and the Calm” is an absolutely outstanding album, that represents the very best of the British songwriting legacy.
Top tracks: If You Ever Want To Be In Love / Hold Back The River / Need The Sun To Break / Move Together

⇨ James Bay – If You Ever Want To Be In Love

 

1. Father John Misty – I love you Honeybear
Josh Tillman may have made his name as the drummer of the Fleet Foxes, but truly introduced himself with the the appearance of Father John Misty. “I Love You Honeybear” comes as a second instalment of Tillman’s alter-ego, and has proven to be an extremely delicate piece of music. This delicacy, though, was brilliantly crafted and requires one to listen very closely and to discover the witty sense of humour and poetism that lies somewhere amongst the thousand layers of every single song on this record. This record hasn’t seized to surprise since it’s February release, and is still one of the most unique and surprisingly brilliant albums of 2015.
Top tracks: Bored in the USA / Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins) / Strange Encounter / Holy Shit

⇨ Father John Misty – Bored In The USA

 

 

 

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