What a strange year in music 2015 has been. If you cast your mind back 10 years or so ago (many of you of course may not be able) but you can get a sense that music has really changed. Changed in the way it is distributed, the way we choose to listen, the way artists record, etc etc. There are so many factors that induce the ability for us to be completel swamped with new music. Somehow we still are able to find those special albums that stick to us like a hungry leech, feed into our mainline and touch our hearts, our souls or simply make us feel good. Its that time of the year again when we ask our TWL writers to tell us those albums that did just that to them. Threre are some clear winners and some interesting albums many of you may not have thought to explore. This is our way to encourage you to delve deeper into your musical world. Trust us, you wont be disappointed.
Hot Chip Why Make Sense?
Back in 2006, Hot Chip released their sophmore album, The Warning and with that came the release of Over and Over, an insatiably addictive and very important indie-dance cross over track. 8 years on and the lads from London continue to transform and evolve just enough to make them one of the most relevant dance cross over acts. This album proves their worth and immense talent at their craft. I dont dance much, but I may just cut a little rug for this.
The Charlatans Modern Nature
With British indie pop forever pumping through my veins and the swagger of Britpop still being as relevant to my life as it was back when it happened, I continue to wave the flag for these middle aged men out of Cheshire. Despite a few shaky albums, the sad recent loss of drummer Jon Collins, Modern Nature epitomises a band who stick together and make music for them. Thankfully this album is a blinder full of groove, heart and some god old fashion brit swagger.
Lower Dens Escape From Evil
When I first embraced the unique and majestic sounds of Beach House, when I first heard Ondine earlier this year, I thought “Hey, Beachhouse are sounding better than ever!”. Mistaken I was. Lower Dens stand well in land with their buddies but flood my ears with honey sweet misery with just enough bop to make a shuffle. This is a fine album that brings together many bands Ive late that I truly love.
Courtney Barnett Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
I think whether or not I like Courtney Barnett’s music, is somewhat irrelevant, the young sweet thing from Melbourne town just wins me over with her honest music and her love for life and her city. Whats more, I love this album with some sernce of “proud uncle”, watching our “girl” on David Letterman, selling out European gigs, playing up high on the world’s best festival circuits. The album is rather fine too.
Jamie XX In Colour
How can a man at the silly age of 26 years of age create music that wraps 30 years of the best bits of dance music into one album. The XX are a band in their own right, but what Jamie XX does here is not only show his true talent as a producer but shows, like The XX, that less is more. Loud Places goes down as one of my absolutely gem singles of the year. Outstanding and wonderful.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra Multi Love
Songwriter, vocalist and guitarist Ruban Nielsen has emerged from his home studio in Portland, OR with the fantastic new release Multi Love. Combining the indie guitar sound and imaginative songwriting that we know the band for, this time they’ve incorporated new elements of soul, funk and R&B – to great results.
Thee Oh Sees Mutilator Defeated At Last
LA via San Fran garage rock royalty John Dwyer is back, post hiatus and with a new band. Don’t let this worry you, because Thee Oh Sees are back in full force on album number nine (!) and without any sign of slackening that grip upon the attention of the listener.
Speedy Ortiz Foil Deer
Taking influence from 90’s guitar sounds and riot grrl ethics, Speedy Ortiz (helmed by singer songwriter Sadie Dupuis) have put together an eclectic album of pop hooks, quirky riffs, and lyrical insight. Songs like Raising The Skate and The Graduates do a pretty fine job of demonstrating why they are the next band to watch.
Moon Duo Shadow Of The Sun
Moon Duo are always going to be the go-to band for huge, psychedelic jams with a genuine nod to Krautrock and the early years of electronic music. On Shadow Of The Sun, they continue to seduce the minds of their listeners by crafting a richer, fuller and more captivating vibe that is just plain impossible to shake.
Courtney Barnett Sometimes I Sit And Think, Sometimes I Just Sit
Northcote’s greatest export has been finding a place in the hearts of listeners all over the world with her honest, wordy storytelling of typical Australian life. From grunge leaning rock songs like Pedestrian At Best to the bittersweet melodies of Depreston, make sure to check out why C-Barn is fast becoming one of music’s biggest stars.
Kendrick Lamar To Pimp A Butterfly
What more can I say about this release that hasn’t been said already? It’s perfect from beginning to end. From the musical backing to Kendrick’s incredible range of lyricism, you have to pick this one up, trust me.
Rolo Tomassi Grievences
The most emotionally charged an mature album from the UK experimental hardcore group. Whilst the experience is a little draining, it’s so thoughtfully put together that it plays more like a soundtrack than a normal offering. I would recommend Grievences to anyone that likes thier music challenging.
Title Fight Hyperview
Leaning heavily towards the shoegaze element of their sound, Title Fight have opted for a gentler approach this time around. Not only does it suit the band, the peppering of faster moments makes the balance of influences on the album impeccable.
Earl Sweatshirt I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside
Earl has set himself apart from the rest of the Odd Future group with the release of his latest album, proving that his minimal approach to rap has nailed it. Dark and brooding with moments of joy give plenty of variety to the listening.
Miles Away Tide
Carrying on from the melodic sounds of predecessor ‘Endless Roads’, Miles Away have one-upped themselves again. More refined and a little more comfortable with the direction they’ve taken, ‘Tides’ is the soundest Australian Hardcore release this year so far.
Kendrick Lamar To Pimp A Butterfly
The Wombats Glitterbug
Jack ü -Skrillex & Diplo Presents: Jack Ü
Blur – The Magic Whip