Disclaimer: Arguments may (will) ensue.
We are coming to the end of yet another year, which is why I believe we should all take a moment and give ourselves a pat on the back.
Every year there are successes and inevitable disappointments to go with it, (Adele setting records, The Flaming Lips willing to team up with Miley Cyrus respectively), but at the end of it all certain contributions to the music world stand out.
And for each individual music fanatic out there, the task of choosing the best albums of the year becomes an almost necessary challenge – it just has to be done.
What makes a great album is a collection that was revisited, replayed, and enjoyed over the past 12 months, and will be for years to come. Of course, it helps if it is an emotion-filled, politically-bashing, and/or extravagant piece of art, but what is equally as important is when you hear the final moment of the album and think to yourself, “Let’s do that again!”.
So as the founder of Dusty Organ, I am pleased to share (and be done with deciding) the class of 2015.
Time to pass the torch of 2015 to the new, exciting vastness of 2016!
Share your comments below and let us know what were your favourites. Do you agree with us? Or are we completely wrong in the subjective world of music?
50. The Elwins – Play For Keeps
It was an exciting year for the Newmarket four-piece. They were busy touring, travelling the world, and releasing irresistible, fun-loving pop tunes to the Canadian indie community after signing with Hidden Pony Records (Rah Rah, Said the Whale). With numerous hits lining the track list of Play For Keeps, it’s hard to say no to this one.
(Plus this music video is wicked)
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49. Sun Club – The Dongo Durango
The group of buddies that form Sun Club just do what they do. Giving ordered-chaos a new meaning, The Dongo Durango is a vibrant, colossal burst of energy that sticks like glue, and although the young bunch have been friends for years, their career is just getting started. Hints of experimental creativity, a sprinkle of DYI-fun, and 11-tracks of pure bliss.
48. Drew Holcomb & the Neighbours – Medicine
Nashville musician Drew Holcomb has a certain knack for friendly, celebratory songwriting. He’s been around professional in the American music world for over a decade now, but Medicine has officially solidified his spot outside of Tennessee. The 12-track collection features folk, country, southern rock, and everything Americana to become an ensemble of relaxing, captivating songs to enjoy over and over again.
47. We Are the City – Above Club
West coasters We Are the City are a creative group of guys – their 2013 LP Violent featured a fine-tuned alternative indie rock sound to accompany the 2014 film of the same name directed by drummer Andrew Huculiak, and their 2015 follow up Above Club. Reshaping their indie rock style into a dense, synth-pop frenzy, the new record was an explosive step forward with tracks like “Kiss Me, Honey”, or “Take Your Picture With Me While You Still Can”.
46. Dan Mangan + Blacksmith – Club Meds
Coming off a two-year hiatus, Juno-winning musician Dan Mangan returned to 2015 in full force with his fourth album Club Meds, expanding his sound with his touring band Blacksmith for a stunning and passionate album. Lead single “Vessel” quickly became a hit, and his familiarity as a solo performer came out on a number of emotive tracks including the poetic “XVI”. It sings, it stings, and it downright rings home.
45. Patrick Watson – Love Songs for Robots
Yet another Canadian artist finds their way onto the Top 50 – but like the rest on this list, it is well deserving. Released back in May, Love Songs for Robots showed Patrick Watson at his most creative, incorporating experimental textures and lyrics into his work, including his musical rendition of the Dr. Seuss book “Oh, The Places You’ll Go”.
44. Joywave – How Do You Feel Now
Teasing the world with their 2014 debut How Do You Feel EP, alternative rock group Joywave came out of almost nowhere with their hit “Somebody New”. In April of 2015, the New York five-piece added to their discography with the full-length How Do You Feel Now, giving fans a glitchy, electronic-ridden collection of hits like “Tongues” or “Destruction”. As a bonus, the music video for “Somebody New” is a hilarious parody on pro-skateboarding video games that expertly represents the band’s glitchy, entertaining sound.
(“Next to somebody newewwwew, newwewwewww, newwewwwewww!”)
43. Tyler, The Creator – Cherry Bomb
Hearing the name Tyler, The Creator is bound to ignite a reaction; either a deep-burning sensation of disgust or a fiery feeling of excitement and (potentially) drug-induced adrenaline. 2015 was another interesting year for Tyler, including being banned from the U.K. for his erratic and crude past, but this year hosted the release of his third album Cherry Bomb. And just like the rapper’s actions and thoughts, the album was an unpredictable, irreverent effort that has countless layers and textures that with the first listen, it’s almost a challenge to push through the entire thing. But hey, his “don’t-give-a-shit”-attitude is what gives the unstable collection character and entertainment value.
42. Lightning Bolt – Fantasy Empire
Noise-rock, ironically enough, is a fragile genre. It’s more than just bashing instruments, singing loudly, and chaotic time signatures. All those aspects have to be done properly or else, well, it’s just noise. Brian Chippendale and Brian Gibson know how to control the chaos and noise and turn it into striking and brilliant music. Their first release in over five years, Fantasy Empire instantly blows away listeners.
Chippendale’s spastic drumming + Gibson’s melodic bass playing = Fantasy Empire.
41. CAIRO – History of Reasons
Toronto indie rock pop group CAIRO are off to a strong start with their debut record History of Reasons. A string of high-quality indie pop tracks and alternative rock intensity, the new record is an impressive release from a young band. Lush layers of synthesizers play a powerful role throughout the album, combining with the dramatic vocals and the remaining instruments to become a brick house of stellar indie rock.
40. Milo Greene – Control
San-Fran quintet Milo Greene made the switch from heartwarming folk pop to a more cinematic, contemporary style of upbeat pop songs. Their sophomore release Control has the group’s four vocalists alternating between the role of lead singer throughout the record. And like any solid pop album from 2015, there are still elements reaching back to funk and disco in there as well giving this album both replay value and a charming degree of groovy, groovy danceability.