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”
The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die finally released their first LP. Well, released it digitally in order to combat it leaking a month early. Or whatever. Either way, it’s here. There was a lot of hype leading up to this. The reaction you see is very much dependent on which parts of the internet you frequent. Some people are already claiming it to be album of the year, some people are comparing it to watching paint dry.
No offense to the dude over at Dying Scene, but this record is actually pretty perfect. Anyone familiar with this band should already know what to expect. I feel like calling this exclusively an emo record does it a disservice. There is a lot going on here. While the record heavily features hallmarks of emo, it also touches on general indie rock and even on some post-rock atmospherics. What’s really nice is how it bring back some diverse instrumentation to the genre. First off, it adds great texture to the record. Plus, I always love when there are trumpet flourishes, violins, and piano/synth work on emo records.
Everything flows together well. Whenever, If Ever is an album, not just a random collection of songs. While each song stands on it’s own, everything works better as an entire piece. Every song could be a standout song. Every song could be the a side to a 7″ single. That’s not to say I don’t have some favorites.
I absolutely love the way some of these songs are connected and work together, almost like one long song. Songs four through six function like this. “Picture Of A Tree That Doesn’t Look Okay” flows perfectly into “You Will Never Go To Space,” which leads perfectly into “The Layers Of Skin We Drag Around.” These songs share a similar theme, and each song has a line that connects it back to the song before it. Be it talk of cars parked on lawns, or just the general fear of/desire to change. While it shouldn’t be, I feel like that is something special. A lot of albums always feel a bit disjointed. The band clearly went into this with the mind to produce a full, coherent album.
I can’t say enough good things about this record. The production is spot on. It is adventurous musically and lyrically. The band has stepped up their lyric game beautifully. Like I said earlier, it is basically perfect. Is it album of the year? Maybe. It’s only May though. Who can really tell just yet. It’ll be pretty fucking hard to beat though.
The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die
Broken World Media