39. Hudson Mohawke – Lantern
A little bit of trap, a dash of house, and a hearty serving of hip-hop and dance, DJ/producer Hudson Mohawke‘s release of Lantern brought new life to a genre that is quickly becoming an overly saturated, standardized-rave market. Incorporating varying elements of electronic music, the 14-track LP reshapes the boundaries into something hypnotic, glitchy, and pulsating with energy. (Plus the subtle transition between the orchestral track “Kettles” and cinematically sweeping “Scud Books” is outrageous when cranked to 11).
38. ON AN ON – And The Wave Has Two Sides
After three members from indie rock band Scattered Trees reformed into ON AN ON in 2012, the newly formed trio have since released two albums under the new name. The sophomore, And The Wave Has Two Sides, propelled the group forward with poetic lyrics, intoxicating synth-pop melodies, and just an overall welcoming sound.
37. Refused – Freedom
“…And the award for best comeback of 2015 goes to…Refused“! It may not compare to their stunning ’98 release The Shape of Punk to Come that literally predicted the sound of punk to come (which is why it’s not farther down the list), but Freedom was a close second. After calling it quits during the ’98/’99 tour, they reunited in 2012 and Freedom was the first release in 17 years. 17!
36. Son Lux – Bones
Son Lux is creative to say the least: ad-music writer, and avant-pop artist are just the tip of the iceberg. 2015 saw the release of his fourth album Bones, welcoming into the world roaringly dramatic tracks and experimental creativity that we all didn’t know we needed until now.
35. Ghost – Meliora
Metal albums often get bypassed; the genre is very niche-oriented since its dark undertones and often aggressive vocals leave the general public in an uncomfortable state of awe. But Ghost produced an album this year that shines a light on an often shadowy, twisted style. Incorporating performance art into their work, Ghost give a positive reputation to the world of metal.
34. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Multi-Love
How many people get the opportunity to write a kick-ass alternative rock album about a three-way relationship that eventually ends in heartbreak? UMO lead singer Ruben Nielsen did. Whipping together the sounds of ’60s pop and psychedelic rock, Multi-Love puts the award winning New Zealand band in a sweet spot in 2015.
33. Son Little – Son Little
If you haven’t heard of neo-soul artist Son Little, you’re missing out. His captivating, soulful voice ranges from minimalistic to R&B-infused rock to blues. The self-titled debut is an impressive introduction, and Little certainly has a bright future ahead.
32. Zerbin – Darling
When a band is described as a blend between Young the Giant, The Arkells, and Sam Roberts Band, it’s definitely a good thing. In fact, Canadian indie rock trio Zerbin are unstoppable. Their debut record Darling was drenched head to toe in dominating, irresistible tracks. From lead single “Worlds on Fire” to “New Earth”, the summery-vibe and infectious spirit has granted this record numerous plays since its release in April.
31. Mas Ysa – Seraph
With so many bands coming out left and right as synth-pop and electro-pop, it takes a certain type to reject the guidelines and reconstruct the genre to create something a little different. Montreal-native Thomas Arsenault (a.k.a Mas Ysa) puts a certain edge and passion into his music. The result: looping, textured sounds and subtly poetic lyrics.
30. Everything Everything – Get To Heaven
There’s a certain charm to British indie rock bands; perhaps it’s the accent that soften seeps through the words? Or their slick dance-rock energy that almost always lands one of their hits in an underground dance club? Everything Everything have that (“Distant Past” is the hit), but the Manchester four-piece also use their music to make sense of the world, and their third album Get To Heaven carries with it a celebratory vibe, but at the same time suspicious and cynical of human nature. Also, their choppy rhythms and artistic nuances make all the difference in separating them from fellow indie Brit-rockers.