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”
I think I love debut releases the most. They’re are my favorite things to listen to. I know this sounds pretentious as fuck, but I think debuts are the most pure recordings of a band. They’re full of promise for things to come. Long Knives have a great thing going on their debut EP, This Is Your Life. It’s a great introduction to a band with a great future.
Long Knives could be filed under a bunch of different genre tags, and would live up well to any of them. The most common thing you’ll see is some amalgamation of pop punk, emo, and indie rock. The “Recommended If You Like” name drops would have to include The Anniversary and The Get Up Kids. Throw a bit of The Promise Ring and Rainer Maria in there too, maybe? They cover a lot of bases, and take bits and pieces from a lot of places. Everything is tied together with driving, punk rock guitars.
“Bones” and “Unwelcome Guest” kick This Is Your Life off with a really high energy one-two punch. Long Knives are great at writing catchy, hooky songs. They have a strong pop sensibility. Those two songs show it, and really set a great tone for the EP. Even on a midtempo song like “Home” has a lot of kick. I also really love the vocals on this record. Specifically the way Kris Moya and Matt Bartels play off each other. The former is singing lead, but the latter provides great support. Harmonies, call and response, whatever. It works.
Long Knives have me really excited to hear what they do next.
Count Your Lucky Stars