This year brought us many iconic records and singles. Both newcomers and veterans redefined trends and made their names. Let’s take a look back at some of the greatest albums of 2015.
Released: February 9, 2015
Josh Tillman’s sophomore record under the name of Father John Misty is a wonderful modern folk record, using a palette of chamber pop and indie pop to create a sound that is both foreign and comforting. Its heartfelt ballads, grandiose Wall Of Sound style production and detailed lyrics make it hard to forget.
Released: October 16, 2015
Neon Indian’s third album is synthy, glossy, and groovy. It is a nocturnal record that explores with sounds of chillwave and vaporwave alongside synthpop and cumbia influences. Loaded with catchy dance number that sound like they could have been written in 1985, this is an overall luscious sounding collection of finely written pop songs.
Released: July 17, 2015
After establishing themselves as an act to follow with their records Innerspeaker and Lonerism, the latter being nominated for a Grammy, Tame Impala slightly diverts from their usual brand of psychedelia on Currents. Its more poppy sound is strengthened by its synth and disco flavor. Currents is a huge step for the band, leaving lots of room for the band to further flesh out their sound in the future.
Released: October 16, 2015
Fading Frontier is a new step for Deerhunter. Sounding nothing like their last two records, the dreamy Halcyon Digest or the lo-fi Monomania. It is the band’s cleanest and heartiest record, leaving out some of the haze that characterized their earlier sound. It is an effortlessly pleasant and short listen that satisfies without resorting to platitudes, proving why Deerhunter is one of the greatest groups of their time.
Released: March 30, 2015
Five years after the electronic Age of Adz, and ten after his iconic Illinois, Sufjan Stevens took a deep breath for Carrie and Lowell, and with good reason. His most personal album to date, it details his memories of his late mother Carrie, whom he’d occasionally visit as a child. The music is straightforward and well-paced, perfectly setting the mood for Stevens’ delicate voice to predominate. It a beautifully brave effort which acts as a window into Stevens’ childhood and deepest feelings, completely transcending its status as a record.
Released: May 4, 2015
This U.K. band has a signature sound influenced by electronica, surf-rock, and psychedelia, creating a vaguely futuristic sound that first charmed audiences when their released their self-titled LP in 2012. Born Under Saturn follows the same ideas and slightly disperses them, giving this record a spacier sound. It is not a huge step forward for the band, but it is a pleasing record that despite its strong grip to the past feels welcoming and modern.
Released: January 20, 2015
As hauntingly beautiful as ever, Björk delivers yet another distinctly ethereal record. String arrangements and electronic beats lay the groundwork for her grand voice to take over and steer listeners through the journey that is each song. This hour long record followed 2011’s Biophilia.
Released: March 15, 2015
A sinister sound collage, To Pimp a Butterfly is the grandest musical effort of the year. It flows effortlessly while incorporating sounds of funk and jazz, each song its own entity. Blunt and unapologetic, the album addresses issues of systemic racism in the US. To Pimp a Butterfly knows of its own greatness, making it the hip-hop record of 2015.
Released: March 20, 2015
Recently nominated for a Grammy, this Melbourne singer’s debut record caused a lot of buzz. Barnett is endearing, modest, and self-deprecating, her record being a transparent reflection of this. Sometimes I Sit… is a refreshing compilation of tales of everyday nuisances.
Released: May 29, 2015
This year, producer Jamie Smith or Jamie xx from English band The xx released his first solo endeavor, and it is stronger than anything heard from his band. The xx’s Romy joins Jamie on two of the records’ strongest songs, “SeeSaw” and “Loud Places”. Although In Colour is a predominantly electronic record, it has elements of dance music and hip hop.