As the year comes to a close, we’re all reflecting and contemplating what we’re going to supposedly do differently next year. But we’re also thinking about all that we’ve accomplished this year. And as I’m thinking about what I’ve accomplished this year, I can’t help but think about all of the new music that I’ve discovered. Music is an integral part of mine and many others’ lives and I think it’s important to share new music. I also think it’s important to be open to new things that may be a little weird.
So to commemorate this year of wonderful music, I’ve picked my top five favorite albums that were released in 2015. As I said earlier, it’s important to keep an open mind, and some of these are very strange. I trust that you’ll remain open, so without further ado, five of my favorite albums.
- I Love You, Honeybear by Father John Misty
- This album is naughty. FJM (Josh Tillman) is badddd, bad, bad. He opens with a love ballad to his wife, Emma, which is not quite adorable, but evokes some sort of romantic feelings but also some disturbing ones, too. Father John Misty’s rough voice will make you want to fall in love and gain a few IQ points, as he makes several jabs at the dull-witted and generic. He’s got some strange, witty wording, giving the impression that he is very much the mad-scientist type. The music itself is of the Indie Rock variety and the album has a nice arc of emotion. He even surprises us at the end with a real-life, genuine show of affection toward his wife.
- Favorite Track: The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apartment
- Medicine by Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors
- This is the album you and your first boyfriend made ‘your’ album. It has a few love ballads that are worthy of tears, and it doesn’t hurt that they’ve got the single ladies covered too, considering that Drew Holcomb is completely adorable (maybe he’ll sing those songs to you one day, huh?). It’s not quite a country album, not quite a folk album, and not quite an Americana album. We don’t know what it is, but we love it.
- Favorite Track: American Beauty
- The Firewatcher’s Daughter by Brandi Carlile
- Brandi Carlile is one of my own personal favorites, so maybe I’m a little biased here. Probably not, though. This album is hot, burning, soul-entrenching fire, not only because it’s called the Firewatcher’s Daughter, but because it’s raw and honest and really nestles itself in your heart. Brandi can rock the throaty vocals of songs from this album like “Mainstream Kid” but she can also bring you to tears with “Beginning to Feel the Years”. Really, she’s got it all covered.
- Favorite Track: Blood Muscle Skin & Bone
- Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit by Courtney Barnett
- Courtney Barnett is one of those artists who we just know is cool. She sounds sleep-deprived and drowsy, but in the best way possible. Another one with some clever wording and a couple neat narratives. This album says Screw it, I don’t care, without ever saying either of those things explicitly. Barnett has carefully concocted a silky, sardonic tone that’s somehow interwoven with a little hope and love. A couple songs are downright depressing, too, so she’s really got the whole spectrum covered (you seeing a trend yet?).
- Favorite Track: Depreston
- Strange Trails by Lord Huron
- Want to feel like a Western mountaineer living off the fat of the land and fighting other men for the woman of your dreams? Well then go and get yourself a pair of headphones and about thirteen dollars and you can be the lucky owner of a truly magnificent album. Lord Huron is comprised of lead singer Ben Schneider and some backup vocalists (who do a great job, even though we don’t know their names) who create music that might just turn you into a cowboy. Not only does each individual song make you want to fight a bull, but the entire album, when listened to beginning to end, is seamless. One song folds into the next without you even noticing, so you can just snuggle up with some candles and a sketch pad and really get lost in it.
- Favorite Track: Frozen Pines
I felt like the last Wednesday of the year was a great opportunity to showcase some of the best albums of the year. And I want to play a little game, so you guys let me know what your favorite album of the year was! You listen to mine, I’ll listen to yours, and we’ll know each other just a little bit better. It’ll be fun.
Bring in the new year with positivity and with the people you love, everyone!
Thanks for reading my brain thoughts this week!