The Best Records of 2015 (IMHO) – Part 3

Going through other end of year lists and also reading reviews from other publications, I can’t help but feel that there is a tendency to celebrate the technically proficient, the groundbreaking or the daring, with little emphasis on how music actually makes you feel, which is surely the most important thing, no? I mean there are things in life that you fall in love with totally illogically, it’s not important how technically good it is, sometimes it’s simply how that thing, person or piece of music makes you feel. Anyway, my so called best records of the year are not necessarily the most technically brilliant, but each and every one of them moved me one way or another. Here’s the third and final part.

Girl Band – Holding Hands With Jamie
Luckily, Girl Band manage to combine daring with emotion; their music spoke to me in ways I can barely begin to express. Sublime.

Wolf Alice – My Love is Cool
A constant on my headphones since July, this is an album of great songs about friends and lovers with a very cool indie/pop/rock vibe. Its highly listenable, easily relatable and even the filler is killer.

British IBM – Psychopaths Dream in Black and White
A fairly simplistic easy going record with beautiful swathes of cello that turn it into a soothing feast of aural delight. Lovely.

Sam Duckworth – Amazing Grace
A deceptively deep album underpinned by subtle atmospheric touches beneath the folky acoustics; it’s a bit like running into an old friend and being greeted with the warmest of hugs.

Haybaby – Sleepy Kids
Haybaby have a hard edged indie sound described as sludge pop and slop rock, whatever they may be, and they make a mighty fine racket. I absolutely adore their album – buy it!

The Libertines – Anthems for Doomed Youth
Contains song of the year in ‘Gunga Din’ plus a host of other top moments like ‘Barbarians’ and ‘Iceman’. It’s lyrically sharp, musically vibrant and has just the slightest hint of music hall charm. Comeback of the year.

Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly
Obvious choice I know, but it’s really good; you don’t get eleven Grammy nominations by chance you know. This is the kind of direction hip-hop has been begging for, a little less bling and a lot more substance and with killer tunes like ‘i’, ‘King Kunta’ and ‘Alright’ Kendrick is the Negus right now.

Sleater-Kinney – No Cities to Love
Quite simply a great album. The veteran Riot Grrls came back with slice after slice of hook filled punk fuelled badass tunes. Every track a winner.

What’s that? Put them in order! Really? You´re sure?
Ok, go on then; counting down from twenty to one here are the top twenty records of the year in my humble opinion.

20 Luna Sol – Blood Moon
19 Blind Wives – Recovery positions
18 The British IBM – Psychopaths Dream in Black and White
17 Romans – – = +
16 Sam Duckworth – Amazing Grace
15 Girl Band – Holding Hands With Jamie
14 Of Allies – Fragments
13 The Libertines – Anthems for Doomed Youth
12 Iron Maiden – Book of Souls
11 Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly
10 Sleater-Kinney – No Cities to Love
9 Halestorm – Into the Wild Life
8 Haybaby – Sleepy kids
7 Blur – The Magic Whip
6 Placebo – Unplugged
5 Public Enemy – Live from Metropolis
4 D’Angelo – Black Messiah
3 The Echo and the Always – And After That The Dark
2 Dave Gahan & Soulsavers – Angels and Ghosts
1 Wolf Alice – My Love is Cool

So there you have it! Part one of the list is here:
https://hardpresseded.wordpress.com/2015/12/07/the-best-records-of-2015-imho/
and part 2 here:
https://hardpresseded.wordpress.com/2015/12/09/the-best-records-of-2015-imho-part-2/

Roll on 2016!

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