Elke’s Top Ten Albums of 2015
Throughout 2015, I’ve been listening to hundreds of album releases and those I particularly liked, I blogged about. My list here is a personal one, and it can only be personal when created by one person only. How could I ever be “objective”?
One of my own personal rules for putting an album in my Top 10 list however is to having truly liked the album for “a while” and having listened to it for more than ~10 times. I also only list full length albums here and that’s why for example Darlia’s Petals didn’t make the cut with being a “mini album”, and some other EPs and mini albums I also dearly liked.
2015 was a fantastic year for indie rock (and all its sub-genres) and I am excited for 2016. Until then, for now, my Top 10 full length albums of 2015.
10. Fairground Saints – Fairground Saints
LABEL: Verve Records/Universal Music Group
GENRE: Alt Folk Pop
I was sold on this album after having listened to its hit single You Can’t Control The Weather and wrote the following for my album review: “Fairground Saint’s self titled debut album is the perfect record to catch the last bits of Summer, guiding you beautifully through Fall, until the last warming sun rays have long gone yet the charming voices and melodies still linger on and comfort you through the challenging Winter days…”. Still true.
9. Future Thieves – Horizon Line
GENRE: Southern Alt Rock
Horizon Line, the debut album of the Nashville quartet Future Thieves pulls on my (Southern) Alt Rock loving hear heart. As it goes with guitar driven rock, one can easily find comparisons with other bands, most effortlessly probably with fellow Nashville juggernauts Kings Of Leon, yet Future Thieves’ vocals are different and yet pretty awesome thanks to Elliot Collet. The songwriting is stellar and every song on this 12 tracks album is its own little gem. Horizon Line is the album you pull out of its sleeve, put it on to your record player and start playing during these grey and cold Winter days and just dream yourself away…
8. Georgia – Georgia
LABEL: Domino Records
GENRE: Alt hip hop & indie rock
Georgia is an impressive force of a young musician. Genre bending, she borrows from what makes sense for the sound she envisions. And so we find hip hop elements on her self-titled debut album next to ska and rap elements and whatever else makes sense to her. This is an album that never gets boring and might be only fully appreciated a few years from now.
7. On An On – And The Wave Has Two Sides
LABEL: Roll Call Records (North America)
GENRE: Indie Synth Rock
When And The Wave Has Two Sides, the second album of the Chicago three piece ON An On came out in July 2015, I listened to it almost nonstop and I absolutely love it still. It’s a beautiful, harmonious album with airy guitars, unobtrusive percussion, lots of electronic elements, charming vocals and the occasional edginess here and there.
6. Methyl Ethel – Oh Human Spectacle
LABEL: Dot Dash Recordings
GENRE: Experimental Indie Rock
Methyl Ethel, by some being hailed as the NEW “Tame Impala” create interesting indie rock with guitar, drums and bass and whatever synths have to offer. Maybe it’s because they’re at home in Perth, Australia or maybe it’s because of their knack for experimental song structures, for me they don’t really sound like the famous Perth musician and not at least thanks to Jake Webb’s unique vocals. In any case, Oh Human Spectacle, is one fantastic album and Methyl Ethel an Australian three piece to watch out for!
5. Aero Flynn – Aero Flynn
LABEL: Ooh La La Records // Memphis Industries // P-VINE
GENRE: Synth Pop Rock
I bought this album, after having seen Aero Flynn opening for TORRES at Baby’s All Right earlier this year. While I liked the music I heard during Josh Scott’s (aka Aero Flynn) live performance, I was not prepared to like his album this much. Scratch that. I love this album, and it’s been one of my “go-to-records” when I wanted a break from listening to new stuff and needed some “comfort” aka nine alluring synth & indie rock pearls.
(Live Photos | Review | iTunes)
4. Swervedriver – I wasn’t born to lose you
In a year with a plethora of fantastic debut albums, it can get difficult to stand out as a “music veteran”, to still add something interesting and fresh. I wasn’t born to lose you does just that though. Aside winning a price for one of the coolest album titles ever, the 10 tracks on I wasn’t born to lose you just continue where 99th Dream in 1998 left of. Shoegaze is alive and gorgeously so.
3. Empress Of – Me
LABEL: Terrible / XL
GENRE: Synth Pop
Highly anticipated by myself and the other half of glamglare, we could have easily dismissed ME, Empress Of’s debut full length album as “what took her so long”. But that’s exactly why… it is simply amazing! 10 tracks, each telling their own little personal story, hence the album’s title, embedded in catchy synths sounds, groovy rhythms and on top Loreley Rogriguez’ pure and crisp voice.
2. Waterstrider – Nowhere Now
Hands down the album I listened to the most in 2015. I loved it from the spot and even after having played it several dozen times already, I still love it. Nowhere Now has a beautiful flow to it, it manages to balance out any moods, without being boring. I’d recommend this album to anyone who digs falsetto vocals, African rhythms and an overall joyful feel.
1. TORRES – Sprinter
LABEL: Partisan Records
GENRE: Indie Rock / Singer/Songwriter
Granted, before I even listened to Sprinter, with a release date in May 2015, I saw TORRES live and that sealed the deal. In reviews about Sprinter, Mackenzie Scott’s (aka TORRES) second album, a lot is being written about her famous co-producer and collaborators, in essence though, these are her songs, her lyrics, her vocals and simply her music. While the album holds quite a few killer songs with hit potential like the album’s title Sprinter or the opener Strange Hellos, it’s the quieter songs, those with a change of perspective, I can especially relate to like Son, You Are No Island or the heartbreakingly, beautifully sad Ferris Wheel. I’m looking forward to TORRES’ third album but will be happily playing Sprinter for now, my number one album of the year.
Listen to tracks from my favorite albums – those that are available on SoundCloud. Enjoy!