Archy Marshall (King Krule) – A Place 2 Drown

This is smoothest trip-hop sounding stuff. I love his voice. I haven’t seen the book or the documentary that goes along with this, but I bet it is just as dope as this album. – Jon

 

 

Joe Goodkin – Record of Life

Brutally personal, naked, and honest songwriting can blow up in your face if you aren’t careful. Thankfully, in this six song, self contained cycle on life, death, love, loss, dogs and cats, and fragmented childhood memories, Chicago based singer and songwriter Joe Goodkin tackles his divorce and subsequent second marriage, the death of loved ones, and a brief reunion with an estranged family member. While it all sounds almost too personal to share outside the confines of a journal or a late night conversation with a trusted friend, Goodkin handles the subject matter with an unrivaled eloquence, shaping evocative narratives with skeletal, spectral arrangements. – Kevin Krein

Full review here.

 

 

Coheed and Cambria – The Color Before The Sun

They got kinda poppy on this one, but any Coheed is good Coheed. – Jon

 

 

Joey Bada$$ – B4DA$$

Joey Bada$$ is all kinds of old school / throwback / 90s / whatever hip hop and it makes my head bob. This album was seriously underrated in 2015. – Jon

Full review here.

 

 

Third Eye Blind – Dopamine

Dopamine was 6 years in the making, but boy oh boy was it worth it. Stephan Jenkins’ poignant storytelling transcends new emotional heights on piano-driven epics “Shipboard Cook” and “Something In You” and the bouncy title track has a chorus that you can lap right up. The band has threatened the notion that Dopamine will be the band’s final effort. I for one sincerely hope this isn’t true, but it if was then it’d be a damn fine send off. – David Dring

 

 

Drake – If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late

Future had a hell of a 2015, but Drake was no slouch this year either. This record’s alternately mopey and boastful, but it’s best moment comes on “Energy” when Drake snarls about how he’s got a lot of enemies, how everyone’s using him, and he’s got no real friends. It reminds me of those all those old bootlegged tracks where Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis get drunk in the studio and snarl, snipe, and complain while the tape’s rolling. It’s even more compelling over trap beats and minimal keyboards. And “Energy” is just two tracks in, too. – M. Milner

Full review here.

 

 

Mikal Cronin – MCIII

One of these days, Mikal Cronin just might make the best rock-pop record of all time. Though that day remains in the future, MCIII kept the march of war on-schedule. Upbeat, uptempo, and here to make you smile, Cronin’s music gets smoother and smoother with each successive record. He even set up an album-ending suite of songs in an experiment that only sort of works but garners much respect in the attempt. Keep up the good work, buddy, we’re pulling for you. – JP Gorman

 

 

Wolf Alice – My Love Is Cool

When Alice Wolf released “Giant Peach” a few weeks before My Love Is Cool  dropped I think I replayed it on Soundcloud at least a dozen times. When I got the album I think I listened to track three, “Your Loves Whore” 20 times. This album is solid. – Jon

Full review here.

 

 

The Internet – Ego Death

The Internet’s Ego Death was crucial to my summertime soundtrack. So sultry, groovy, and smooth. Whatever you do, don’t ask me about the amount of time I spent drunk in my kiddie pool listening to this album  . Thanks. – Jon

 

 

Florence and The Machine – How Big How Blue How Beautiful

Like Father John Misty’s invocation of late 70s California rock: brash guitars, this record drips with Fleetwood Mac echoes: haunting songwriting, a drugged out vibe, and lots and lots of pomp and excess. The title track dissolves into a brass section, “Ship to Wreck” reads like a suicide note, and “What Kind of Man” is basically ‘The Chain,” except Stevie Nicks hooked up with a punk band from the downtown strip and Lindsey Buckingham is picking his teeth up off the floor. – M. Milner

Full review here.

 

 

Speedy Ortiz – Foil Deer

This reminds of me of early Helium, like kind of around the time of their Pirate Prude EP. – Jon

 

 

Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment – Surf

The happiest and most positive rap stuff of all time. Can’t wait for Chance the Rapper’s next release. – Jon

 

 

Years & Years – Communion

Years And Years were kind of a surprise package. While on paper their debut album Communion is in essence a synthpop release, it sounds so much more expansive than that. It’s both poppy enough to be played on mainstream radio but also cool enough so even the most cynical of indie purveyors can enjoy it. The band won a ton of awards this year including ‘BBC Sound of 2015’, ‘MTV Best New Artist Video’ and O2’s ‘Artist Recognition’ award. 2015 was truly Years And Years’.. um, year. – David Dring

 

 

Dilly Dally – Score

Score is awnry, angry, noisey and I love it. Katie Monk’s voice is so raw and powerful – Jon

 

 

Chvrches – Every Opeen Eye

Chvrches’ debut album The Bones Of What You Believe was hands down my favourite of 2013 and so it was interesting to see if the Glaswegian synthpoppers could produce a follow up album of equal brilliance. Luckily, Every Open Eye smashes the whole ‘second album syndrome’ troubles out the park. It’s a lot slicker than its predecessor and Lauren Mayberry’s brutally honest lyrical approach and piercing vocal style are in fine form. – David Dring  

Full review here.

 

 

For the site wide Best Albums of 2015 go here.