It’s that time of the year again, here’s my favorite albums and EPs of the year…
My Favorite Albums of 2015:
MuteMath – Vitals
Spoken – Breathe Again
It Prevails – Perdition
Too Close To Touch – Nerve Endings
Barry Blair – Volume II: Jazz Christmas
Death Cab For Cutie – Kintsugi
Burlap to Cashmere – Freedom Souls
10. mewithoutYou – Pale Horses
The strength of mewithoutYou is their uniqueness, and they continue to put that on display here.
9. The Frozen Ocean – Skeleton Key
Life In Your Way guitarist David Swanson gives us a peak at what it might look like if David Gilmour became influenced by Dustin Kensrue.
8. Haste The Day – Coward
This was the most surprising album of the year for me. Haste the Day bring back many older and newer band members for a HTD supergroup album, which might actually be the best thing ever made under the Haste the Day name.
7. Dustin Kensrue – Carry the Fire
Thrice frontman Dustin Kensrue is one of the finest song-writers of our time, and he puts that on clear display here, especially when he addresses our sin-nature on “There’s Something Dark”.
6. No Devotion – Permanence
Permanence is a very diverse, yet cohesive, 80’s-inspired rock album featuring former members of Thursday and Losprophets.
5. Carly Rae Jepsen – Emotion
Emotion is one of the most thoroughly excellent pop albums I’ve ever heard. Every song offers a contagious chorus and a well-crafted structure. Good luck getting these songs out of your head.
4. Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell
Sufjan writes an album about the death of his mother and the man who raised him. This somber, dialed-down version of Sufjan is the one that I find most intriguing. Sure, I want to bury myself in some blankets and cry while listening to it, but it continues to draw me in on a regular basis.
3. Attalus – Into the Sea
I’ve tried to describe this album to people several times this year and I feel like I never quite do it justice, so I’ll try once more: It’s post-hardcore, but with lots of piano. It’s heavy, but it’s beautiful. It’s the soundtrack of being called out of darkness and into the light.
2. Chvrches – Every Open Eye
I sure do love synth-pop, and this may just be the most fully satisfying album I’ve heard in that genre. Chvrches dial up the nostalgia, and Lauren Mayberry’s sweet sounding vocals add to the charm. Every Open Eye would’ve been a very worthy number one, but the problem is…
1. Falling Up – Falling Up
Falling Up may be the perfect band for my tastes and they released their grand-finale of an album in 2015. Jessy Ribordy’s God-given ability to write unusually structured ear worms is on full display here. Josh Shroy puts on the best drum performance of his career. Jeremy Miller (bass), Nick Lambert (guitar), and Daniel Elder (guitar) add heavy, haunting, and beautiful layers to these already massive songs. If you hear one album from 2015, make it this one.
My Favorite EP’s of 2015:
5. Cobalt Road – Purgatory
A nice vaporwave release with some excellent trap beats. This is great for early morning listening.
4. Canopy Climbers – Fever
This band continues to release great electro-pop songs. The most notable occurrence of that here is the infectious “Fever”.
3. Owel – Every Good Boy
The title track is a really nice surprise, as the band show they can make a great poppy song, but the other three tracks show Owel in their majestic and beautiful comfort zone.
2. Moving Mountains/Prawn – Split EP
The Prawn tracks are nice and all, but the important thing here is that Moving Mountains are back and as wonderful as ever.
1. Falling Up – House Full of Caverns
It’s not really surprising that Falling Up can make excellent post-rock, but I’m glad they decided to prove that to us before calling it quits. Hey Falling Up, if you’re reading this, I don’t think anyone will be mad if you change your mind on this whole “ending the band” thing.