It’s half way through the year so I suppose it’s mandatory to make a best of the year so far list, lists are always fun anyway. This is just gonna be a list of 10 albums (no order, well alphabetically ordered) that I’ve loved this year, obviously I’ve not heard every release of 2015 and yeah it’s likely many of these will feature on other review sites’ lists but they’re all great, nonetheless. Before the list a few deserved honourable mentions; Sufjan Stevens for making me feel emotions, Hop Along for being unfairly underrated and Sleater-Kinney for returning like 90s bands do these days and still being awesome.
Algiers – Algiers
Post-Punk fused with gospel and blues to make one of the year’s freshest sounds. Algiers put out a passionate debut with conscious lyrics sung with frustration and honesty, paired with instrumentation so dark and captivating, this is the punk album 2015 needed.
Bjork – Vulnicura
Production perfectly executed by Arca & The Haxan Cloak, this is an album filled with eery and intense moments which will stick with you. Lyrically abstract as always, more experimental than previous work, Bjork has somehow made a simultaneously beautiful, fragile and uncomfortable record.
Ceschi – Broken Bone Ballads
Folk and rap may not always fit together well, Raury is doing it and making a buzz but this album from Ceschi is the one that has to be heard. At times it’s hard to label this as hip-hop since the production is indie folk-esque with some catchy pop hooks, but the opening track and Forever 33 prove he can spit on the mic as well make softer ballads like Say Something
Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit And Think, Sometimes I Just Sit
At a glance, Courtney’s song topic are fairly mundane, but it’s the sort of mundane that isn’t boring and the personality and charm make the songs more interesting and Courtney more likeable than other singer-songwriters. 90s alternative rock style music adds flair to the songs, and I can’t help but want to just sit with Courtney and hear about her uneventful day because I know there’ll be something worth hearing.
Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear
Sarcastic, witty poetry makes this easily the best singer-songwriter album so far this year. Dedicated to his wife and things that piss him off, this is expertly crafted baroque pop with delicate moments that are reminiscent of his former band Fleet Foxes, but with much more humour.
Jamie xx – In Colour
An intimate electronic album with some near bangers like Gosh and familiar sounding xx songs featuring Romy which could seem like Jamie hasn’t strayed too far away from his comfort zone but he’s made an album that feels warm, lush excellently produced all the same.
Jeff Rosenstock – We Cool?
Anthemic pop punk songs about the crises that Rosenstock faces regularly. Weezer style power pop that we’re all familiar with by now,it still makes for a fun, catchy pop punk record that can sometimes be rare to find in 2015.
Joey Bada$$ – B4DA$$
1999 caught a lot of people’s attention in 2012 with good reason, but this is the album that shows a massive improvement in all areas. Incorporating more elements of his Caribbean heritage, Joey has released a fantastic album recalling 90s era Boom Bap.
Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly
Can this one even be argued with at this point? Possibly the best hip hop album of this decade due to Kendrick’s introspection, innovation and boundary pushing album concept that makes this album an almost instant classic.
Pinkshinyultrablast – Everything Else Matters
Noisy, psychedelic shoegaze combined to create a surprisingly bright and fun debut from the Russian band with what might be the goofiest band name ever. Hard to take in at first, however but with each listen the hooks grow on you and it become an extremely loveable album.