Well kids, it’s about that time of year where we start pulling out the Christmas Tree and all trounce into the backyard for a big game of cricket on Boxing Day. But before all that happens, there is a little business of choosing what the best albums of the year for 2015 are. I know that this may seem like a silly thing to do given that it is only October and there are quite a few more album releases to follow in the next two months, however it’s probably extremely beneficial to get in early and pen them down so at Christmas time it isn’t a hard choice for when it really matters.
In no particular order… here are my top albums of 2015.
James Bay – Chaos and the Calm
If I’m completely honest with you, it’s a bit strange to see that James Bay has gone from selling out the Northcote Social Club to returning to Australia to play at Festival Hall in January. However, the success of his main single ‘Hold Back The River’ is no surprise, given earlier on in the year it was getting quite a thrashing on commercial radio. Recorded in Nashville with Jacquire King (Kings of Leon and Dan Sultan), Chaos and the Calm is brimming with instant pop classics. There is a lot of crossover from his past three EPs to the album and rerecording these tracks allows for a groovier and funkier kind of feel. It’s the complete package as an album from start to finish.
Jamie XX – In Colour
As the majority of you will be well aware, Jamie XX, one third of American indie pop superstars The XX, released his debut record In Colour in May 2015. Throughout the 45 minute electro journey, this album weaves its way through many different soundscapes and is just stunning. Featuring collaborations from Romy (lead vocalist of the XX), Oliver Sim and Young Thug, just to name a few, this album is just blissful electronica of the finest order. In a time where listeners are more and more often cherry picking singles off iTunes, it seems to be the journey of an album is lost in the digital world, however In Colour proves the opposite. The production is slick and the transitions between each track is flawless.
Little May – For the Company
Released last Friday was the debut album for Sydney pop folk trio Little May. Having warmed hearts throughout Australia and the world over the past two years, the band has gone from playing small pubs to big festival bills. With over three million Spotify streams in the last 12 months, the band is building to become one of the most talked about bands of 2015. Having produced the For The Company with Aaron Dessner from The National in a converted nineteenth century church in New York, the album follows on with their signature sound and can be likened to the Seeker Lover Keeper album from a few years ago. Playing at the Falls Festival over New Years, we are sure to hear the new album in the live set sometime in 2016. Definitely check out this blissful and relaxing album.
Leon Bridges – Coming Home
Having heard the lead single ‘Smooth Sailin’ off Coming Home, this is one of the most inventive and impressive debut albums I have seen in years. Taking influence from some of the greatest soul singers around, such as Otis Redding and Sam and Dave, Leon Bridges gives us some hope to the music scene in the days of Taylor Swift and 1D. If smooth silky vocals and nice little bluesy pop arrangements are your thing, then check this out.
Foals – What Went Down
Probably taking the cake for my album of 2015 is none other than What Went Down by British rockers Foals. From the first time I played the title track on iTunes, I knew I was in for something special. There are plenty of luscious rock guitar lines at play here and moments to be able to rock out and groove away to. What’s more, it’ll be amazing to see the band live over the New Years period playing all your favourites. Such an electrifying live act and a great fourth record that showcases them as one of the biggest bands around at the moment.