I’m keeping this list brief this year. Not too many bells and whistles, or whatever. It’s the end of January, so I really need to just post it. 2015 was a weird fucking year, and I didn’t keep up with this stuff the way I should have. 2016 should be better. Anyway, on with the list.
Top Records of 2015. LPs, EPs, and splits. In alphabetical order:
- Adult Mom – “Momentary Lapse Of Happily”
- Annabel – “Having It All”
- Beach House – “Depression Cherry”
- Big Awesome – “Party On”
- Blind Mice – “Sunday Songs”
- Bong Mountain – “You’re Doin’ Great”
- Drowse – “Soon Asleep”
- Football, etc. – “Disappear”
- Haybaby – “Sleepy Kids”
- Island Of Misfit Toys – “I Made You Something”
- Jennylee – “Right On!”
- Kindling – “Galaxies”
- King Woman – “Doubt”
- Kind Of Like Spitting / Warren Franklin & The Founding Fathers – “It’s Always Nice To See You”
- Long Knives – “This Is Your Life”
- mewithoutYou – “Pale Horses”
- Pet Symmetry – “Pet Hounds”
- Sheer – “Uneasy”
- The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die – “Harmlessness”
- The Unlovables / Dirt Bike Annie – “Reunion Show”
- Waxahatchee – “Ivy Tripp”
Here are the best records of the year. Not much label diversity here, but that is just how it goes sometimes.
1) Joie De Vivre – We’re All Better Than This (Count Your Lucky Stars)
2) Dowsing – It’s Still Pretty Terrible (Count Your Lucky Stars)
3) Dikembe – Broad Shoulders (Tiny Engines)
4) Dads – American Radass (this is important) (Flannel Gurl)
5) State Faults – Desolate Peaks (Tiny Engines)
6) Best Practices – The EP LP (Tiny Engines)
7) Suis La Lune – Riala (Topshelf)
8) You Blew It! – Grow Up, Dude (Topshelf)
9) Beach House – Bloom (Sub Pop)
10) The Dandelion War – We Were Always Loyal To Lost Causes (Deep Elm)
I don’t tend to review this genre very often. I know that seems kind of dumb, but I just find it hard to do. That said, Beach House is one of the bands on the forefront of the whole dream pop resurgence thing. And, by god, they really should be. This genre lends itself to some rather trite bullshit, and to be a band who can do it solidly says something. Never mind being able to do it consistently through four full albums (and countless EPs and singles).
Bloom is nothing if not ambient as fuck. There is a great level of space in these songs. Most are very drawn out, slow burns. The blending of the instruments feeds this. And, honestly, that is the strength of this band and this album. You can put this record on and just feel it. Where punk bands make their bread and butter by stirring the listener up, this just flows along.
What makes Bloom great is that it actually feels like a proper album. A whole lot of bands seem content to make albums that are disjointed, but have a lot of potential singles. Beach House has delivered an album that is seemingly full of single, but retains a cohesive vibe throughout. That is something that deserves praise.
Damn near every music site has fallen all over themselves throwing praise at this record. Let me join in. This shit rules.
Sub Pop Records