I know you don’t care, but here are
My Favorite Albums of 2015
To Pimp a Butterfly
by Kendrick LamarTo Pimp a Butterfly is the best record of the year, and a true musical masterpiece. It’s hyper-conceptual and carries with it a deeply socially conscious message about Kendrick’s upbringing and his obligations to his community (both Compton and African American). Besides having great production, catchy hooks, and a huge range of styles, the record is full of references to other black cultural icons, from Afrika Bambaataa to Tupac Shakur.King Kunta
by Jaga JazzistStarfire marks the arrival of new electronic influences to Jaga Jazzist’s previously acoustic sound. It’s a nice departure, and they manage to meld the sharp electronics with the winds that previously made up the backbone of Jaga’s improvisational jazz.Starfire
by Here We Go MagicHere We Go Magic’s quiet, meditative rock is well suited for the synthesizers that found their way onto this most recent record. It turns out that the new instruments may be a consequence of a lineup change in the band. Though the sound is different from 2012’s A Different Ship, it’s a welcome and affecting change.Dancing World
The Fun Rises, The Fun Sets
by Van HuntVan Hunt’s music is funk deconstructed and distilled down to its essential elements, then tossed in a strange echo chamber. This funk continues as the fun rises, but the record really shines after the fun sets; the last third settles down into gorgeous, soulful R&B.Vega (stripes on)
Thank Your Lucky Stars
by Beach HouseThe second of Beach House’s two albums from this year, Thank Your Lucky Stars tends towards more forward pop than the sometimes too-dreamy dream pop of Depression Cherry. It’s stripped down and less spacious than some of their other work, but that lends a nice focus to the songwriting itself.Majorette
by Unknown Mortal OrchestraUMO’s exquisitely produced music is always joyous psychedelia to the ears, but if you listen closely you’ll hear the story of the singer’s polyamorous relationship woven among the baroque melodies and reverberant guitars.The World is Crowded
Escape from Evil
by Lower DensI remember feeling transported to a different time when I first listened to this record. A time when guitars came with chorus effects. The music has moved away from the long-form, meditative song structures that first enamored me with the band, but Jana Hunter proves here that she has a good pop sensibility as well.Société Anonyme
by Ava LunaAva Luna makes strange, soul-infused pop music. Their songs are full of beautiful harmonies with a guy and girl singing, punctuated by abrupt changes and noisy interludes. This album is definitely higher up in the list in terms of inventiveness, and Ava Luna will be a great artist to track over the coming years.Roses & Cherries
That’s it. Thanks for reading.
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