29. Panda Bear – Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper
Hate it or love it, the music of Animal Collective member Panda Bear (a.k.a Noah Lennox) is wildly artistic. Lennox’s psychedelic musical tendencies give his music an unpredictable and soul-touching spirit. Lennox touches base with his emotions on Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper, giving his neo-psychedelic creations an added dimension.
28. The Underachievers – Evermore: The Art of Duality
Sure, they smoke a lot of weed, might even consider themselves a pair of potheads; but hip-hop duo AK and Issa Gold are pretty smart and know how to use their brain when they need do. Criss-crossed, quick-versed rapping are what make The Underachievers so slick. Their 2015 sophomore release Evermore: The Art of Duality was released under Flying Lotus’ label Brainfeeder, and the table-turning production shines through underneath the captivating lyrics and delivery from the Brooklyn pair. Evermore was definitely an underrated hip-hop album this year.
27. Little You, Little Me – I’d Watch The Day Til It Died
Melodic, noisey, rigorous punk rock. That’s probably the best way to describe St. John, NB anti-pop group Little You, Little Me and their sophomore release I’d Watch the Day Til It Died. A hidden gem in the East Coast music scene, LYLM should be on many more music radars in the upcoming years; they certainly deserve it. “Racket In My Brain”, “Fuckushima”, “Greed”, “It’s Awkward”….take your pick.
26. The Districts – A Flourish And A Spoil
You know the feeling when you find out an athlete is barely in their 20s and they’re already an all-star, so you ask yourself, “What am I doing with my life?” A similar sensation of being impressed but also self-defeated arises when you find out Pennsylvania indie rock group The Districts are barely in their 20s. In fact, the four friends met in high school and released their debut album while still in high school. A Flourish and A Spoil comes only 2 years after graduation, and no surprise: it’s stellar. With a sound that is well beyond their years, the record is littered with fuzzy, alternative riffs and energy. Don’t worry, they’ll be taking over the world soon.
25. Adele – 25
With that absolutely stunning voice, British songstress Adele deserves to be on this list. She may have set records with that wildfire single “Hello”, the rest of the collection follows true Adele fashion, with powerful delivery and passionate songwriting. But then again, so does every Adele album which is probably why it’s #25 on the list…(coincidence?)
24. Twenty-One Pilots – Blurryface
Frankly, the catchy melodies and energetic delivery is just a bonus. Colombus, Ohio duo Twenty-one pilots are a physical representation of the countless 20-somethings who feel unprepared for adulthood. The economy, politics, insecurities, and dwindling self-esteem are reoccurring themes in their music that seem to resonate with youthful spirits. Plus, the music is catchy…and their musicianship and dynamic performances are out of this world.
23. Modest Mouse – Strangers To Ourselves
It’s amazing how this band never disappoints. Formed in 1992, Modest Mouse have a ridiculous streak of quirky, alternative rock that has lasted decades. More amazingly so, founding members Isaac Brook and Jeremiah Green have stuck around for all those years. Brook’s unique, rugged vocals have been a defining quality for the band, and along with their almost circus-like musicality, Strangers To Ourselves keeps the magic flowing after eight, longgg years of silence.
22. Jess Glynne – I Cry When I Laugh
The vocal power behind the hit single “Rather Be” from Clean Bandit, Jess Glynne has released her debut solo album I Cry When I Laugh and the neo-soul, dance-pop power continues in full-force. One of the best pop albums from 2015, I Cry When I Laugh is a blast from start to finish, complete with a few slow songs to induce passionate sing-alongs.
21. Vince Staples – Summertime ’06
2015 was definitely a defining year for modern day hip-hop, and the albums on this list are just the tip of the iceberg. So when an album stands out amongst all the rest, it certainly means something – especially when that album is a debut. His west coast flow and top-notch production makes sure this album does not go unnoticed. “Señorita”, “Blue Suede”, and “Jump Off the Roof” show his potential, perfectly spaced throughout Summertime ’06.
20. Wild Child – Fools
Who can resist such a warm, welcoming, and sincere album? Septet Wild Child use their massive band size to its full potential, creating beautiful, almost orchestra-esque songs that teeter between folk and pop. Lead singers Kelsey Wilson and Alexander Beggins have this unparalleled connection that results in a unique connection, and fortunately they let fans in on it.