Best Music of 2015 – by M. Quinn
The last day of 2015 and the last music list (ok, there might be a few more stragglers). 2015 was another enjoyable year and had some lovely tunes to remember it by. There are some thoughts on my musical highlights of this year below.
20. Colours of the Night – Peter Broderick – The best word to describe Peter is patchy. He needs a touch of quality control, but when he gets it right you get gems like the one below…
19. Why Make Sense? – Hot Chip – This was an easy choice, and a great performance at Metropolis only added to it.
18. II – METZ – Something quite simple about this one, it just raged in all the right places!
17. To Pimp A Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar – The only touch of rap on the list, but it would be hard to miss out Kendrick. This never reached the heights of his previous work, but had more than enough to keep you coming back.
16. Goon – Tobias Jesso Jr. – Simple piano music and his lovely voice layered over it. I’m not sure how long he can keep doing it and expect the crowds to come back for more, but as a new name, it would be hard to ignore it.
15. Holding Hands With Jamie – Girl Band – The only Irish release on the list? Shame on me. It would easily stand on its own merits regardless of where in the world it arrived from.
14. White Men Are Black Men Too – Young Fathers – Grating and brilliant in equal measure, there are so many ideas and so much invention on this album, it shows what they are capable of. They are capable of making something quite wonderful…
13. Max Richter: Sleep [8 Hour Version] – Max Richter – Lie back, relax, make sure your pillows are puffed just right and let Max take you to another place… He’s also just announed a date in the NCH in May.
12. Fresh Blood – Matthew E. White – Possibly an album that caught me at the right moment, but it is quite lovely. If you haven’t heard it, definitely worth a listen.
11. Fading Frontier – Deerhunter – I’m still not quite sure what Deeerhunter were trying to do with this album. It’s definitely from another age.
10. Currents – Tame Impala – I tried to ignore this one, but it’s just so damn catchy…
9. Universal Themes – Sun Kil Moon – Did Mark Kozelek jump the shark with this one? Has his style of meandering lyrics about his life gone to an extreme? Quite possibly, but it’s still comfortably making the top ten. You just wonder where he goes from here! We will no doubt find out shortly, as the albums just keep coming.
8. Grey Tickles, Black Pressure – John Grant – A definite movement from Mr. Grant into the world of synth music, but an enjoyable one none the less. Another artist that may be helped by reducing the speed of the releases.
7. B’lieve I’m Goin’ Down – Kurt Vile – Good old boys, this is simple guitar music that has little in the way of true invention. So why is it on the list? He’s just so damn good at it!
6. Ones and Sixes – Low – A while ago I thought I was bored with what Low did, but this album really captured me and was on heavy rotation for about a month after its release. Something quite special about this one.
5. Sun Coming Down – Ought – While not having the same sense of excitement as their first major release More Than Any Other Day, this was largely over looked but still an album of great quality. I was more than slightly annoyed that Ireland was skipped off their world tour, but have tried not to hold it against them!
4. I Love You, Honeybear – Father John Misty – Hard to believe this is an album from this year, it feels so long ago. Whatever he achieved on his first album Fear Fun, was surpassed on this release. So much humour and wit in the lyrics that adds immeasurably to the musical content. Just keeps a smile on your face throughout.
3. Perpetual Motion People – Ezra Furman – An indie pop gem from one of the discoveries of the year. This is the album that really brought Ezra into the spotlight and with live performances like he delivered in the Academy a few months back, it won’t be long before he joins Indie royalty.
2. Carrie & Lowell – Sufjan Stevens – This is the album where Sufjan sat back and thought about life. An album for his mother, a woman he had a difficult relationship with but still loved. Sad and sweet in equal measure.
1. Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit – Courtney Barnett – It’s always hard to pick a number one for the list, and really any of the first five or six could have found this spot. Courtney was truly the soundtrack to my year, with its highs and lows.