Getintothis’ Top 100 Albums of 2015: A Year In Review

0
100-1

Getintothis’ Top 100 Albums of 2015

The best albums of 2015 are revealed as Getintothis’ Peter Guy counts down his annual top 100.

This is now the ninth annual Getintothis Top 100 Albums of the Year list and each year there’s only one consistency – it’s hugely difficult to whittle it down to one hundred albums.

The simple fact is, even right now, we’re listening to the new Sunn O))) record and resigned to the fact that it’s our very first listen and deep down we know a band who have featured so prominently in our previous lists would have once again been in the mix. But life goes on, and at this time of year you have to draw a cut off point. Having said that, it seems amusing that a large portion of the music industry appears to have decided that the entirety of releases from the second week of December are now exempt what with end of year album lists now appearing before town centres have put the Christmas lights up. I digress.

Yes, the last 12 months have once again been a superlative time for new music. Interestingly, it’s been a time where new bands have succeeded in a critical capacity than the bigger, supposed heavy-weights. For while Adele is bank-rolling the entire industry, it’s the unknowns or under the radar smaller artists that have been gaining more and more of the plaudits. This is reflected somewhat in our Top 100 albums too with a mere eight albums released via the recognised ‘major’ labels and almost 30 debut albums. Plus another 30 of second albums. The list could have been complicated further by factoring in several dozen EPs or unsigned Merseyside artists who would have made the cut in previous years had there not been such a wealth of signed albums to include – all of which is not bad going when you consider the utter dross spoonfed to listeners or viewers up and down the country by commercial television and radio.

This year’s list is once again a banquet of delights, from venomous post-punk, dreamy lo-fi rock through to a handful of Merseyside artists who have been on a roll for sometime. There’s also a record which was sent to us from Belgium in the very first week of 2015 by the band themselves putting to bed daft suggestions that us journalists don’t listen to albums sent to us – over at Getintothis HQ we try our utmost to listen to everything that gets posted to us – we simply haven’t the time to write about the music which doesn’t capture our imagination. After all, with so much great music being made, what’s the point in focusing on the other stuff. Anyways, these albums below are all worthy of your time – check them out, then head to your nearest record shop and snaffle em up. Remember record shops aren’t just for Record ‘Store’ Day.

One key point in all this was driven home to us at the AIM Awards earlier this year, when FKA Twigs received her prize for Best Breakthrough Artist, when she said there’s a distinct difference from being in the music industry and the entertainment industry. Of course, it’s possible to be an artist and exist in both worlds – but increasingly the entertainment side of things dilutes the artistry to such a point that it’s near impossible to know where or what it is. With these albums, and the very many more that didn’t make the cut, it’s damn clear. These are artists all producing stellar music for music fans across the globe who take pride in the art form that is the album. We should embrace them all.

As we’ve said all along, please do share with us your recommendations in the comment section, or alternatively join the discussion on Facebook or Twitter – we look forward to discovering new albums from readers as much as we hope to provide a few new audio treasures for you too. So while soak up the full hit check out our extensive playlist below (only Tidal-bound Prince is missing!) – and happy listening.

Grimes' Art Angels is Getintothis' Album of 2015

Grimes’ Art Angels is Getintothis’ Album of 2015

 

GRIMES

1. Grimes: Art Angels

4AD

Each day this week we’ve waxed lyrical in our ‘Best Of’ introductory paragraphs about the profound strength of the albums released during 2015, however, it wasn’t until late in the year when a clear contender for our number one spot reared it’s head. That became quite obvious with the release of Grimes aka Claire Boucher‘s Art Angels.

In truth, we weren’t sure what to expect of Art Angels such was our initial disappointment with the pre-album demo Go – a track which seemed half-baked and more aligned to disposable Stateside EDM while simultaneously failing to translate into anything approaching the high points of her 2012 album, Visions. Thankfully, any worries were immediately cast aside with the hyper-kinetic opening flourishes of California – a track positively more radiant than anything Visions proffered – and marked her continued identity as a fully-fledged contender for the best pop artist on the planet.

Over the course of 14 tracks, Art Angels is relentless in it’s pursuit of massive pounding dancefloor fillers – and key to it all is Boucher’s production flair. Right up there with Kanye‘s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Art Angels is an exercise in monolithic pop jams. It’s a staggeringly huge listen.

From the Janelle Monae-assisted brutal club banger Venus Fly to the Nile Rodgers does Uptown Funk joy of Artangels through to the Kylie goes K-Pop workout of Pin there’s seemingly no bases Grimes can’t own. Almost every track on Art Angels could be considered a single – and those that have been releaaed thus far are some of the year’s finest. By a country mile. Flesh Without Blood careers around at 200mph as Boucher’s vocal courses atop first-rate cyber-electronica and crunchingly choppy guitars while Kill V. Maim is indicative of the album’s entire identity – sword-slashing ninja-pop with gigantic killer choruses. Elsewhere, there’s a swaggering skip to the record, most notably on the likes of ebullient Easily, the mariachi-infused Belly Of The Beat and the soaring closer Butterfly.

In an era were the likes of Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Beyonce and Rihanna have all dominated with colossal international pop crossover albums it’s Grimes, and only Grimes, who manages to produce self-styled ambition, image and tunes on every level – she’s in a class of her own.

Getintothis on Grimes

chvrches

2. Chvrches: Every Open Eye

Virgin

If there’s a band that have released a better pop album in 2015 we didn’t hear it. For the second consecutive album, Glasgow trio Chvrches delivered a taut, thrilling blockbuster which simply refuses to relent from the off. Once again Lauren Mayberry‘s belting vocals provides the lyrical angst layering the stadium-sized synth hooks. If they build on Every Open Eye  they could just claim Robyn‘s crown as having the perfect hat-trick of pop gems.

Getintothis on Chvrches

julia_kent

3. Julia Kent: Asperities

The Leaf Label

Asperities has barely been off our jukebox since it landed in early Autumn – a pensive, strident yet uplifting and quite remarkably beautiful marriage of cello, subtle atmospherics and sweeping orchestration which works as a complete package quite unlike anything else in 2015. A masterstroke.

Getintothis on Julia Kent

hooton_tennis_club

4. Hooton Tennis Club: Highest Point In Cliff Town

Heavenly

Merseyside music’s 2015 fairytale success story was completed the moment Hooton Tennis Club inked their deal with Jeff Barrett‘s Heavenly Recordings – yet few could have seen how four Wirral lads’ shiny-sloppy intentions could translate into one of UK music’s finest debut albums in recent years. In under 40 minutes, Highest Point In Cliff Town represents 12 sure-fire near-instant winners which simply radiates with effervescent punch-the-air charm. Crammed with singles, it’s almost impossible to highlight the peaks, yet in live set closer, Always Coming Back 2 You, they’ve penned the sound of this year’s summer. Delicious.

Getintothis on Hooton Tennis Club

health

5. HEALTH: Death Magic

Fiction

HEALTH don’t do things by halves – and Death Magic is the sound of them ramping up the ante once again. Yet, what marks this album out as being a career high, is that they’ve channeled their furious extremities cleverly into something which works on an almost commercial tier – it’s hugely accessible and in some places dare we suggest, pop. Nevertheless it’s a relentless listen and when they really tear it up, like at their incendiary Liverpool Music Week show, there’s few bands out there that do it with such clinical ferocity.

Getintothis on HEALTH

follakzoid

6. Föllakzoid: III

Sacred Bones

Föllakzoid are that rare breed who make everything they do seem effortless. Yet III is anything but – it’s cataclysmically huge in scale, steely in it’s power and musically so deft you could be forgiven for missing the intricacy that’s hidden beyond the undulating cavernous rhythmic depths. An awesome live proposition, III is the band’s finest offering yet and a record we’ve returned to one of the most in 2015.

Getintothis on Föllakzoid

my_disco

7. MY DISCO: Severe

Temporary Residence

Melbourne’s MY DISCO formed in 2003 yet they were our great discovery of 2015 and Severe like so much of our favourite music this year contains a propulsive almost industrial kineticism which is as infectious as it is weighty. Another from the trusty stable of Temporary Residence, there’s much beauty behind the cold exterior.

Getintothis on MY DISCO

ziq356-jlin

8. Jlin: Dark Energy

Planet Mu

You don’t wanna hurt anyone,’ comes the plea on Guantanamo. ‘But, I do – and I’m sorry,’ comes the reply.
A ferocious, sadomasochistic force is at work in Jlin‘s debut album for Planet Mu and it makes for compulsive if unsettling listening. It’s been a trait for much of the best electronic records over the last 18 months with Jlin aka Jerilynn Patton‘s work sharing much in common with the likes of Pharmakon, Laurel Halo, Gazelle Twin and guest collaborator Holly Herndon. What makes her stand out is the severity of the attack; 39 minutes of samurai stabbing metallic malevolence with fancy footwork beats to boot. If this sounds intimidating, that’s because it is. The contracting modulators on Ra are so skewed it feels like you’re being consumed by a sink hole, Mansa Musa‘s African loops are preposterously tortuous while closer Abnormal Restriction begins by pummeling your face with the line, ‘I AM NOT ONE OF YOUR FANS!‘ Yet for all this aural violence, Dark Energy is funky, super-sexual and tight as fuck – there’s genuine beauty behind the brutalism. Peter Guy

Getintothis on Jlin

gnoomes

9. Gnoomes: Ngan!

Rocket

The sixth and final Rocket Recordings release in our countdown is the cascading krautrock fever of Gnoomes – chiming almost-Byrds-like guitars trade with dreamy faraway vocals and wired rhythms. It pulls you in with it’s warmth and grips you tight – compulsive listening.

Getintothis on Gnoomes

courtney_barnett

10. Courtney BarnettSometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit

Marathon Artists

For all her obvious anxieties, Courtney Barnett produced one of the funnest albums of 2015 – a record were lyrics effortlessly untangle around a waterfall of melodies, super-catchy riffs and some of the singles of the year.

Getintothis on Courtney Barnett

dommengang

11. Dommengang: Everybody’s Boogie

Thrill Jockey

Exhaustive overblown raucous rock from Brooklyn-based lunatics – Everybody’s Boogie does exactly that – a continual rollercoaster of riffs and high octane rock from the opening title track to the finale.  Every year there’s a record from the Thrill Jockey stable which we fall in love with. This year there were two, the aforementioned Wild Strawberries and this shuddering, boogying blockbuster.

Getintothis on Dommengang

ryley_walker

12. Ryley Walker: Primrose Green

Dead Oceans

Summoning up the spirit of songwriting past masters, Primrose Green takes elements of Van Morrision, Nick Drake, John Martyn and more without ever descending into pastiche – instead it’s a cosmic journey into jazz-inflected summertime rock and roll. The instrumentation positively dances amid brass, organ and fancy fret-work while the dizzying Sweet Satisfaction extends proceedings into a darker, rampaging terrain. His Philharmonic show next year is one firmly locked down into our diary.

Getintothis on Ryley Walker

eternal_tapestry

13. Eternal Tapestry: Wild Strawberries

Thrill Jockey

Coming on like Guru Guru jamming with the Far Out Family Band – this sensational whacked out trip gets better the more you listen to it.

Getintothis on Eternal Tapestry

Josefin_ohrn

14. Josefin Ohrn and The Liberation: Horse Dance

Rocket

Cementing Rocket Recordings‘ status as having one of the most expansive and beguiling rosters, Josefin Ohrn and her apocalyptic Liberation army of sonic warlords, Horse Dance comes on like a propulsive call to arms. Swirling organs, tribal percussion, fuzzy atmospherics and mesmeric vocals are all woven together in one of 2015’s most innovative yet accessible releases. Superb.

Getintothis on Josefin Ohrn and The Liberation

Kurt_vile

15. Kurt Vile: B’lieve I’m Going Down

Matador

It seems ridiculous to suggest that Vile’s sixth studio album B’lieve I’m Going Down was a *little* bit disappointing – but that’s the mark of the standards he’s set himself. To many, this would be a career-best – for Vile it’s simply business as usual.

Getintothis on Kurt Vile

mark_maguire

16. Mark McGuire: Beyond Belief

Dead Oceans

Former Emeralds man, McGuire followed up his incredible debut Along The Way (#6 in our top 100 last year) with more of the same – majestic collages of expansive guitar and gurgling electronica. Three towering centre-pieces stretching up to the 16-minute mark were masterpieces in textured beauty but it was the shorter True Love (Song For Rachel) which truly won us over – heart-melting stuff.

Getintothis on Mark McGuire

Laura_Marling

17. Laura Marling: Short Movie

Virgin EMI

There’s simply not a song-writer in the UK who can match Marling for her consistency. Short Movie is her fifth album to date – and there’s barely a dip throughout. She’s 25.

Getintothis on Laura Marling

lonelady

18. Lonelady: Hinterland

Warp

Taut and loose in equal measure, Julie Campbell once again delivered an infectious package of funk-fuelled rhythmic pleasures – we’re dreaming of the day James Murphy chooses to work alongside her. The results would be out of this world. Guaranteed.

Getintothis on Lonelady

suuns_and_jerusalem_ate_my_heart

19. Suuns and Jerusalem In My HeartSuuns and Jerusalem In My Heart

Secretly Canadian

Two sensational live performers combine on one of the out-rock albums of 2015; desert grooves, seductive ambience, krautrock experimentalism and meditative drone – what more could you want.

Getintothis on SuunsJerusalem In My Heart

anna_von_hauswolff

20. Anna von HausswolffThe Miraculous

City Slang

One of 2015’s most ambitious records, Anna von Hausswolff is a diamond in carving out colossal songs which start in one place and evolve into a myriad of others before, very often, bursting into something quite magnificent. We fell in love with The Miraculous the first time we heard the sprawling 10-minuter Come Wander With Me/Deliverance – before the whole album soundtracked a grey October in Budapest. Tremendous.

Getintothis on Anna von Hausswolff

liturgy

21. Liturgy: The Ark Work

Thrill Jockey

Redolent of These New PuritansHidden, The Ark Work is a sonic battlefield of instrumentation at war – it’s sheer force can knock you for six, but it’s all part of the thrill.

Getintothis on Liturgy

bill_ryder_jones

22. Bill Ryder-Jones: West Kirby County Primary

Domino 

Bill opens up his heart on his most direct album (both musically and lyrically) to date. There’s a raft of stunning tracks most notably You Can’t Hide A Light With The Dark (note Ryder-Jones‘ work with young contemporaries Hooton Tennis Club rubbing off here) and on the hat-trick of tender beauties Wild Roses, Put It Down Before You Break It and closer Seabirds – the latter possibly the finest he’s ever written.

Getintothis on Bill Ryder-Jones

condor_gruppe

23. Condor Gruppe: Latituds Del Cavall

Self-released

This one landed on our doormat back in January all the way from Antwerp. Space cadets Condor Gruppe juggle sandstorm grooves with flourishes of Morricone orchestration and kraut jams the kinda affair Can heads would lap up. Freak out.

Getintothis on Condor Gruppe

cerrone

24. Cerrone: The Best Of Cerrone Productions

Because

We’re cheating by lashing in this reissue but it’s simply too good to omit – wall to wall cosmic disco classics by the master, Marc Cerrone. 100% YES.

Getintothis on Cerrone

foals

25. Foals: What Went Down

Warners

On their fourth album, What Went Down, marked the moment Foals truly went stadium-sized – sure there’s a few hymnal Chris Martin Band fillers, but when they set the gauge to stun they sound gargantuan. There’s few UK guitar bands that can match them in terms of consistency now.

Getintothis on Foals

floating_points

26. Floating Points: Elaenia 

Pluto

This year’s Immunity and in the 10-minuter Silhouettes (I, II, III) one of the year’s finest tracks.

Getintothis on Floating Points

to_pimp_a_butterfly_kendrick

27. Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp a Butterfly

Interscope

It’s difficult to know just how good To Pimp a Butterfly is even at this stage. As an opus it’s thrillingly complex, something that rewards further on every listen (and personally this writer has done so for a tally well into three figures) and is so dense we were able to write nigh on 2000 words merely about a guest verse that appears on it. It seems to be the perfect storm of a release, stunningly timed to reflect an angry America dealing with police brutality and race tensions, conflicted enough with self doubt, loathing and classic b-boy swagger, and both joyous and uncomfortable at the same time. Whilst you could listen to These Walls dreamily on loop in a summer haze for eternity the stark personal trauma laid bare on U is as dark and brutal insight into the depths of desperation and depression as it gets, a track so compelling you routinely skip for fear or it ruining your day. Only to return moments later to be even more captivated and dragged down than you could of ever imagined. Following on from his brilliant good kid MAAD CITY, its ensured hip hop hasn’t seen a one-two sucker punch this good since last millennium, and perhaps never at all by a lone emcee. You could lavish thousands of superlatives and exhaust a thesaurus long before heading to hyperbole when describing Lamar‘s current artist pedigree, but it’s simple enough in four words; all hail King KendrickJimmy Coultas

Getintothis on Kendrick Lamar

Hills

28. Hills: Frid

Rocket

With titles like Death Will Find A Way and National Drone, it’s pretty obvious from the get-go that Hills aren’t messing about – but the extent to which they channel whacked out acid-fried mind-melters is little short of astonishing. Frid is one of 2015’s finest albums truly warranting the tag psychedelia.

Getintothis on Hills

jib_kidder

29. Jib Kidder: Teaspoon To The Ocean

Weird World

One of the year’s early high points, with it’s undulating rhythms and seductive melodies, Teaspoon To The Ocean remained on rotation throughout our year – the sprawling nine-minuter Melt Me a particular fuzzy trip.

Getintothis on Jib Kidder

viet_cong_album

30. Viet Cong: Viet Cong

Jagjaguwar

The audacious distorted bleak abyss that Viet Cong create over the 7 songs that make up their self-titled debut LP is truly from another world altogether. Fusing together the drone rock elements of Deerhunter with the synth wizardry of Brian Eno is no mean feat but one that the post-punk, krautrock noise Canadians create with ease. Some of the melodies are extremely challenging with Continental Shift sounding like something from the depths of Hades expanding into an all-consuming cloud whilst 11-minute final track Death is a sprawling journey into the unknown leading its followers to the promise land. For a debut album Viet Cong is a fantastic achievement and one that should make many peoples lists for album of the year.  Craig MacDonald

Getintothis on Viet Cong

sudakistan

31. Sudakistan: Caballo Negro

PNKSLM

Few bands lay down guitars like Sudakistan in 2015 – their Psych Fest showing was on par with this stunning offering.

Getintothis on Sudakistan

teeth_of_the_sea

32. Teeth Of The Sea: Highly Deadly Black Tarantula

Rocket

Ramping up the industrial noise levels, Teeth of the Sea made a compact snarler of an album. Masterful.

Getintothis on Teeth Of The Sea

Darkstar

33. Darkstar: Foam Island

Warp

Dark yet highly accessible nuanced electronica.

Getintothis on Darkstar

moon_duo

34. Moon Duo: Shadow Of The Sun

Sacred Bones

What’s left to say about Moon Duo – not much, except that they continue on that cyclical drone path into musical nirvana. Divine.

Getintothis on Moon Duo

sufjan_stevens_carrie_lowell

35. Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell

Asthmatic Kitty 

Fuck me, I’m falling apart,” sings Sufjan Stevens on No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross, and it cuts to the heart of this autobiographical tour de force. Stevens ties uncomfortable memories with a very pretty bow, and his latest album is a return to the quietly devastating realm of his earliest albums, traversing a turbulent childhood spent with a loving but often-absent mother (Carrie) struggling with substance abuse, protected by a devoted step-father (Lowell). This collection of sweet, sweet songs whispers oft-disturbing truths in your ear, sometimes swaddled in synth lines, a mandolin strum here, a simple piano chord there. The effect is devastatingly moving, subtle and beautiful melodies belying the rawness and starkness of this musical memoir. Love, death, violence, doubt, God, sex, abandonment, loneliness, drugs – all the grand themes are here. Lullabies for grown-ups. Nick Lodge

Getintothis on Sufjan Stevens

zun_zun_egui

36. Zun Zun Egui: Shackles Gift

Bella Union

Don’t you just hate it when a band release an absolute belter and then split up – nice one Zun Zun Egui, talk about double-edged sword.

Getintothis on Zun Zun Egui

my_morning_jacket

37. My Morning Jacket: The Waterfall

ATO

Jim James‘ rabble returned in glorious style – some of The Waterfall (namely Tropics) was on par with their career highs.

Getintothis on My Morning Jacket

godspeed_you_black_emporer

38. Godspeed You! Black Emperor: Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress

Constellation

Symphonic rock instrumentalism at its finest, darkest (well what do you expect with an album title like that) and a kick in the shins to (the inevitable comparison with) Mogwai. Four tracks and each of them long enough to develop a theme and keep the interest sustained at the same time. An occasional nod to the middle east at times in some of the guitar sound, but this is proper heavy stuff. The wonderfully-titled, final piece, Piss Crowns Are Trebled is a thirteen-minute crescendo as good as anything Mahler or Beethoven wrote and, as it eventually tails off, you still want more. So, that’s a good thing. It’s big and it’s clever. Peter Goodbody

Getintothis on Godspeed You! Black Emperor

goon_tobias_jesso_jr

39. Tobias Jesso Jr: Goon

True Panther

Goon makes us remember what all this gig going, YouTube trawling, record buying and hack writing is actually about: the music. Tobias Jesso Jr plays his tunes stripped back on a piano. He has nowhere to hide but that’s fine. His music stands up for itself under the glaring modern eye of the digital world. Not many albums that have arrived this year offer themselves with such honesty and so little pretension. Jesso’s debut album Goon serves up twelve slices of humble pie, charting his trails and tribulations over the past two years. Although the songwriter claims he was not overly-influenced by past artists, Jesso’s compositions have strong echoes of classic piano ballad performances. This writer’s stand out track, Without You, sounds like it quietly slipped out the back door of a 10CC recording session. Nilsson’s melodies have drifted breezily over from the 70s, making themselves comfortable in the grooves. Randy Newman’s introspective yet universal lyrics seemed to be aped, the narrative being upfront and personal. There’s nothing wrong with any of this. The results are powerful, considered and profound. Jesso’s songs can be easily identified with. He was quoted in an interview “Getting the feedback from how it (the song) relates somebody else, that’s the most interesting part, somebody saying how it relates to their life“.  Tracks such as How Could You Babe? and Just A Dream reach out to affect effectively. Great albums makes the listener think about themselves, their own lives and their actions towards others. Goon does exactly that.  James Elson

Getintothis on Tobias Jesso Jr

holly_herndon

40. Holly Herndon: Platform

4AD

Holly Herndon‘s catalogue is stacking up with winner after winner; this one had grooves aplenty aligned to some pensive beautifully textured gear – ever rewarding on repeated listens. Another Liverpool Music Week highlight.

Getintothis on Holly Herndon

holy_holy

41. Holy Holy: When The Stroms Would Come

Red / Sony

Straddling the commercial comfort-zone and progressive out-rock world, Aussie’s Holy Holy are another of the year’s awesome breakout bands – a big stand out at Sound City and Liverpool Music Week there’s much more to come from this lot. Any discerning Floyd fan should immediately seek out You Cannot Call For Love Like A Dog and bask in that riff.

Getintothis on Holy Holy

metz

42. METZ: II

Sub Pop

The best dive bar rock band on the planet? We think so.

Getintothis on METZ

epic_kamasi_washington

43. Kamasi Washington: The Epic

Brainfeeder

A three hour modern masterpiece has to be amongst the contenders for album of the year. This lavish and unsparing odyssey has revivified the increasingly lacquered legacy of jazz classicism. Kamasi Washington‘s To Pimp A Butterfly credentials have exposed the LA based band leader as a relevant force in contemporary culture. Brainfeeder‘s Coltrane lineage is reiterated too as The Epic reopens the jazz museum to a new generation of listeners. The albums refreshing body of influence pushes the envelope, melding be-bop with fusion and soul jazz with R&B. Each solo surpasses the last as Kamasi Washington delivers a truly epic statement of intent. Although the album is divided into three clear movements, we suggest you clear an evening and witness this behemoth in its remarkable entirety. Philip Morris

Getintothis on Kamasi Washington

gnod_infinity_machines

44. Gnod: Infinity Machines

Rocket Recordings

Defining the psychedelic is a complex, heterogeneous task, especially given a span of half century since the term came into usage. For many, the psychedelic is more than a musical style that evokes a bewildering and sublime aesthetic – it is an ideology that emerges through an intelligent manipulation of art forms. Gnod’s Infinity Machines serves as an excellent definition of a modern psychedelic, merging a series of montages, spoken texts and field recordings to assemble a delicate and ominously deep tapestry of strange melodies and stark rhythmic clusters. Infinity Machines utilises a post-minimalist sensibility to describe a 21st Century obsession with desire and affect, folding between paranoia and electro acoustic ecstasy. Infinity Machines is frightening and divine.  Mark Greenwood

Getintothis on Gnod

blur

45. Blur: The Magic Whip

Parlophone

In all honesty who expected this to be half this good? Perhaps on a par with Think Tank – which is praise indeed. Albarn once again showing his versatility by the bucket load.

Getintothis on Blur

c_duncan

46. C Duncan: Architect

FatCat

Our pick for the Mercury. A quiet yet moving piece of assured song-writing.

Getintothis on C Duncan

lilacs_and_champagne

47. Lilacs and Champagne: Midnight Features Volume 2: Made Flesh

Temporary Residence

Alex Hall and Emil Amos create the ultimate Blaxploitation soundtrack without ever descending into a pastiche of Isaac Hayes. Cool as.

Getintothis on Lilacs and Champagne

girl_band

48. Girl Band: Holding Hands With Jamie

Rough Trade

Following their superlative Early Years EP, Dubliners Girl Band finally released their debut late in 2015, and it’s an astonishing and devastating listen – that they’ve managed to translate their equally awesome live show mechanics on to record is an achievement in itself. Roll on their Buyers Club date next year.

Getintothis on Girl Band

26476-all-we-are

49. All We Are: All We Are

Domino 

It’s incredibly rare to find an album where you can say there’s not a bad song on it. Well, 2015 GIT Award winners All We Are have accomplished this and made it sound effortless. The amalgamation of backgrounds and influences of the three musicians results in numerous highlights; the goose-bump-inducing sign off to Keep Me Alive, the slick bass riff on Utmost Good, and the simplistic beauty of Something About You which epitomised their set on the main stage at Sound City are just a handful. A sign of how remarkable the album is lies in the fact that we’re unable to put our finger on a favourite track – this prestigious title has changed hands at least half a dozen times. Single Honey is a pretty good starting point for newcomers but on an album rife with high points it’s best to digest it all in one hugely palatable portion. Paul Dahill

Getintothis on All We Are

ought

50. Ought: Sun Coming Down

Constellation

Intense, intense, intense.

Getintothis on Ought

stealing_sheep

51. Stealing Sheep: Not Real

The Sheep’s most confident and clever statement to date. Such was the gulf in anything they’d done previously it almost felt like a new band. Where they go next is a tantalising proposition.

Heavenly Recordings

Getintothis on Stealing Sheep

 

arca

52. Arca: Mutant

Mute

There’s a pattern here… A dense mess of explosive electronic vignettes.

Getintothis on Arca

blanck_mass

53. Blanck Mass: DUMB FLESH

Sacred Bones

Another of 2015’s must-listen electronic ear-wreckers. As comfortable a listen as it’s cover art suggests.

Getintothis on Blanck Mass

zombi

54. Zombi: Shape Shift

Relapse

Same again for Pittsburgh synth, bass and drums horror-blizcore duo Steve Moore and Anthony Paterra and quite frankly we can’t get enough of it. Compulsive, thrilling and despite it’s barbarity it’s an infectious listen.

Getintothis on Zombi

outfit

55. Outfit: Slowness

Andrew Hunt takes control of Outfit‘s second album as he pours his heart out about the distance and isolation that can engulf in the big wide world. Perhaps not as instant as Performance but it’s a beautiful, gradual reveal.

Memphis Industries

Getintothis on Outfit

pinkshinyultrablast

56. Pinkshinyultrablast: Everything Else Matters

Club AC30

Another of 2015’s top discoveries this time from St Petersburg, Russia. It’d be lazy to pigeonhole them in the shoegaze camp as there’s far more than mere layers of fuzz going on here, check the rampaging riffs of Metamorphosis for proof – though the near nine minute Marigold could well have dropped off any peak era My Bloody Valentine record.

Getintothis on Pinkshinyultrablast

besnard_lakes

57. Besnard Lakes: A Coliseum Complex Museum

Jagjaguwar

Winner of most preposterous concept and accompanying press release, the Besnard’s returned with another cinematic opus combining their incessant hooks, bludgeoning rhythms and those swoonsome harmonies.

Getintothis on Besnard Lakes

east_india_youth

58. East India Youth: Culture Of Volume

XL Recordings

A more fluid, song-based record than William Doyle‘s debut offering as he ramps up the instrumentation to give a fuller, bigger sound – sometimes even treading into Pet Shop Boys-esque territory. Another fine statement of intent.

Getintothis on East India Youth

In_Black_and_Gold_Hey_Colossus

59. Hey Colossus: In Black and Gold

Rocket Recordings

Appearing in the very first week of the year, there’s been very little music since that even borders on the pulsating intensity of Hey ColossusIn Black and Gold, the doom-psych veterans’ first for Rocket Recordings. Though the record immediately descends like a falling meteor into relentless mid-tempo, it’s a death march of enrapturing appeal that never drifts close to monotony. After an insidiously lightweight opener the band immediately mutate their sound into a cataclysmic, apocalyptic thud on Sisters and Brothers, setting the tone for the LP’s viscous  thrusts and spears.Hey, Dead Eyes, Up! sees the most unforgivingly barbaric assault, while the title track opens shimmers of space only to crash momentously down with a tsunami of ferocious, searing psychedelia. If there’s been a more thrilling 42 minutes’ worth of ear-bludgeoning recorded this year, I’m yet to endure it. Patrick Clarke

Getintothis on Hey Colossus

algiers

60. Algiers: Algiers

Matador

One of 2015’s oddest and boldest discoveries – thudding gospel dark rock driven by 100% menace. A compulsive listen.

Getintothis on Algiers

noel_gallagher

61. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds: Chasing Yesterday

Sour Mash / Sony

The best thing he’s done since Heathen Chemistry. Gallagher was back in mighty form; largely due to resurrecting old Oasis demos and transforming them into bonafide classics – almost every track a winner. How long is it since we’ve been able to say that?

Getintothis on Noel Gallagher

joanna_newsom

62. Joanna Newsom: Divers

Drag City

Getintothis on Joanna Newsom

herbcraft

63. Herbcraft: Wot Oz

Woodsist

Portland noise heads have reimagined Vanishing Point by channeling it through Can‘s most fuzzed out filters. We can’t get enough of the sprawling fug of album highlight Push Thru The Veil.

Getintothis on Herbcraft

gwenno

64. Gwenno: Y Dydd Olaf

Heavenly Recordings

Another jewel in Heavenly Recordings‘ 2015 crown – winner of the Welsh Album of Year and it’s easy to see why as Y Dydd Olaf is loaded with dreamy avant-pop topped off with Gwenno‘s breathy delivery.

Getintothis on Gwenno

julia_holter

65. Julia Holter: Have You In My Wilderness

Domino

More sumptuous otherworldly pop this time with a certain French twist. Grandiose and epic.

Getintothis on Julia Holter

sleater_kinney

66. Sleater-Kinney: No Cities To Love

Sub Pop

While not up there with Woods and the like, Sleater-Kinney prove their still very much a vital and sometimes brutal force.

Getintothis on Sleater-Kinney

ibeyi

67. Ibeyi: Ibeyi

XL Recordings

One of our great discovering of SXSW, two sisters harmoniously in-tune with each other stretching their vocals to the max around a world of percussive and tribal instrumentation.

Getintothis on Ibeyi

everything_everything

68. Everything Everything: Get To Heaven

RCA

Big, big, big tunes – their best offering yet. Just ditch the daft Flash Gordon outfits.

Getintothis on Everything Everything

garbanotas_bosistas

69. Garbanotas Bosistas: Above Us

Papa Goose

One of the big success stories of Sound City this year came not on the main stages but from Lithuanian psychedelic rock and rollers, Garbanotas Bosistas and the accompanying album Above Us illustrates what a mighty proposition they are – fans of Storm in Heaven era Verve are in for a treat – check out the swirling Gėlėta Suknia and get lost in the cosmos.

Getintothis on Garbanotas Bosistas

gengahr_a_dream_outside

70. Gengahr: A Dream Outside

Transgressive

A dark, dreamy dose of romantic pop that rises and falls between icy climes of quivering vocals to the warm, dark depths of fluid driving riffs. There’s touches of psychedelia, swirling elegantly around simplistic melodies that soothe and gently etch themselves into your mind. Gengahr are in no rush to make an impression you, this is no deluge of dream pop, it is not intended to blast you away floundering and wondering what’s going on. It’s a far more gentle, progressive record that washes over you in slight ebbs and flows and allows you to drift away, tuning into the occasional raucous solo. Stick on Bathed In Light and try not to picture yourself rowing a raft, your toes dangling in the water. Delightful grooves accompany perfected guitar effects of John Victor whose style ranges from the unconventional tunings of Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr and the bluesy strums of Allah Las and Growlers. With their plethora of talent, the album could be said to be a little safe in parts, but Gengahr are a band we’re already eager to hear develop, from their already irresistible sound that can slot neatly into practically any mood. Matthew Wood

Getintothis on Gengahr

leftfield

71. Leftfield: Alternative Light Source

Infectious

Hugely welcome return after 16 years away, Alternative Light Source is a better body of work than The Prodigy, Chemical Brothers and most other contemporaries have managed during Leftfield‘s absence. The monsters Universal Everything and Little Fish were outrageously big.

Getintothis on Leftfield

oneohtrix_point_never

72. Oneohtrix Point Never: Garden Of Delete

Warp

A disjointed affair with slightly diminishing returns from one of our big favourites at Getintothis HQ. That said, Garden Of Delete does have it’s high points, not least the skittering oceanic dance breaks of eight-minute Mutant Standard.

Getintothis on Oneohtrix Point Never

la_priest

73. LA Priest: Inji

Domino

Wobbly tricksy electronic pop from former Late Of The Pier singer Sam Dust. Achingly cool but just about thrusts in enough hooks and trippy rhythms to keep you on side. More please.

Getintothis on LA Priest

drenge

74. Drenge: Undertow

Infectious

More crunching full-rottle attack from Eoin and Rory Loveless who’ve endeared themselves to Liverpool on several occasions this year – not least with their binning of an entire newsagents shop of a particular national newspaper. You know the one. Nice one boys.

Getintothis on Drenge

hot_chip

75. Hot Chip: Why Make Sense?

Domino

It must be real weird being in Hot Chip producing really good album after really good album and just kinda being taken for granted as a really good band producing really good records every year. Well, maybe it’s not that weird at all – maybe it’s just the norm. Why Make Sense? indeed, here’s another really good record – our pick is opener Huarache Lights – a slab of funky electronica with some dirty mixing Daft Punk with be proud of.

Getintothis on Hot Chip

us_girls

76. US Girls: Half Free

4AD

Illinois-born, Toronto-based Meghan Remy is one of our favourite breakout artists of 2015 and her 4AD debut is a magpie’s nest of mini treasures; part soul, part lo-fi rock and hugely rewarding. In an alternate universe Window Shades with it’s piano stabs would be the perfect Bond theme – seductive, cool and rather raunchy.

Getintothis on US Girls

fresh_blood_matthew_e_white

77. Matthew E White: Fresh Blood

Domino

Tough ask, this. I’m torn between Kathryn Joseph, Lau, and Matthew E White. All different, all current favourites, and all uniquely special. Another thing that unites them is the heavy rotation they get in my ears. Asking me to pick just one is like asking me to pick my favourite daughter. Forced into my aural corner, I’m going to shout for Matthew E White‘s Fresh Blood. As a follow up to 2012’s Big Inner, Fresh Blood sees White developing and expanding on the luscious, honey glazed themes on his debut album. With an early background in Jazz composing and arranging under his belt, the sound here is unashamedly big. He’s big on big, you could say. Layers of strings, brass, gospel backing vocals, the soul of the south, and a hazed and fuzzy sun bleached Laurel Canyon vibe. All done big. Its not all glorious sunshine though. There are moments of darkness, as he discusses abuse (Holy Moly), and the untimely death of Philip Seymour Hoffman (Tranquility), but from the evening cool breeze of the opening track, Take Care Of My Baby, to the brass backed beauty of the album’s closer, Love Is Deep, it’s all delivered with a rich languid beauty that leaves me wanting more every time I hear it. That’s a good sign.  Paul Fitzgerald

Getintothis on Matthew E White

vessels

78. Vessels: Dilate

Bias

Long time favourites of Getintothis, the Leeds outfit have wisely moved away from the post-rock ventures of previous albums into a more ambient-electronica environment – and for the most part it’s a joy. Take in the sumptuous bliss of eight-minute work out Elliptic for starters. Beautiful.

Getintothis on Vessels

homepage_large.7fb6b99c

79. Lightning Bolt:Fantasy Empire

Thrill Jockey

It is fair to say that the improv-noise duo of Brian Chippendale and Brian Gibson have made a startling return on this their first album on the Thrill Jockey imprint. The duo’s rehoming has, delightedly, not dulled their blisteringly aggressive cacophony. Chippendale‘s heavily distorted drums assault you from the off, while Gibson continues to take his bass guitar to places that  hitherto had seemed impossible. In short the duo still excel in punishing and abrasive walls of sound; music that pins you to the wall in its relentless intensity. In its construct the record differs from its predecessors. This is the first Lightning Bolt LP to be made in a proper studio using modern digital recording equipment and techniques and the effect is clearly audible. The production is cleaner and more spacious and the overall effect lends a more accessible crispness to the band’s sound. That said, the changes have not seen the band’s visceral appeal sacrificed. Not a bit of it. Their monster riffs and propulsive rhythmic bombardment retain the capacity to shock and awe; if not quite a comeback (for they never really went away) it is most definitely a welcome return. Paul Higham

Getintothis on Lightning Bolt

Ezra_Furman

80. Ezra Furman: Perpetual Motion People

Bella Union

Junk-shop pop, vaudeville, rock & roll and who knows what battle for attention in this arresting high-drama cauldron of literally everything.

Getintothis on Ezra Furman

young_fathers

81. Young Fathers: White Men Are Black Men Too

Big Dada

The Mercury winners weren’t messing about, after collecting their winnings they threw this one out double-quick and it’s almost on par with Dead. They straddle so many styles sometimes it gets a tad messy but live they still remain one of the UK’s finest offerings.

Getintothis on Young Fathers

ghold

82. Ghold: Of Ruin

Ritual Productions

Epic drone with punishing drops. Monolithic.

Getintothis on Ghold

bc_camplight

83. BC Camplight: How To Die In The North

Bella Union

One of the early releases of the year got lost among many end of year collections but there’s much to cherish in Brian Christinzio‘s bath of rock and soul.

Getintothis on BC Camplight

battles

84. Battles: La Di Da Di

Warp

Bit by numbers this one, still, it’s Battles and that’s always a good thing. See Deerhunter.

Getintothis on Battles

public_service_broadcasting

85. Public Service Broadcasting: Race For Space

Test Card Recordings

Tackling the US-soviet space race on record could be a contrived GCSE experiment gone wrong, instead PSB have produced a Floyd-goes-super-pop album absolutely lathered in riffs. Well fun.

Getintothis on Public Service Broadcasting

major_lazer_peace_is_the_mission

86. Major Lazer: Peace Is The Mission

Mad Decent

In a world where most music appears to be soullessly manufactured and where disagreements as to what constitutes ‘real’ music (arguably anything remotely consisting of a tune, but let us not get lost in semantics) run rife, it seems that the vast majority of musicians have forgotten to simply have a little fun. Not so Major Lazer, whose latest offering Peace is the Mission is one of the most entertaining records of 2015. While there are more serious moments in tracks such as Be Together and Lean On, it’s gems like Too Original and Roll the Bass that make it absolutely impossible to listen to without flailing madly to the beat. You may of course find yourself immune, but doubtless you’d have a great deal of fun finding out. Laura Coppin

Getintothis on Major Lazer

ghostpoet

87. Ghostpoet: Shedding Skin

Play It Again Sam

Heart-on-the-sleeve lyrical turmoil aligns to metallic rock and soul as Mr Ghostpoet continues to plough his own emotionally-wrought furrow. Heavy.

Getintothis on Ghostpoet

The_Sundowners

88. The Sundowners: The Sundowners

Skeleton Key

Having begun to shed that ‘Fleetwood Mac‘ tag which has weighed heavily on them from the outset, the Wirral outfit’s debut album displayed added bite and in places a propulsive experimental edge; if they can channel their love of great music and awesome live displays into something more progressive they’ll fast become serious ones to watch.

Getintothis on The Sundowners

bjork

89. Bjork: Vulnicura

One Little Indian

String-drenched emotional breakbeat. Yep, Vulnicura is another step away from Bjork‘s commercial heyday – in it’s place is a warped labyrinthine whopper with nine tracks weighing in at just under an hour. She sounds very sad too.

Getintothis on Bjork

Ufomammut

90. Ufomammut: Ecate

Neurot

No discerning end of year album list would be complete without some ritualistic psychedelic slightly sadistic sludge-quaking black metal-esque progressive stoner rock now would it?

Getintothis on Ufomammut

deerhunter

91. Deerhunter: Fading Frontier

4AD

Another solid record from the Bradford Cox-led collective. But we’re pining for something more out there with Fading Frontiers simply doing what Deerhunter do. Maybe it’s just us?

Getintothis on Deerhunter

Prince

92. Prince: HITNRUN Phase One

Virgin EMI

A taut oddball of swag from Prince is nothing new. In fact, it’s pretty much becoming the norm. Failing to build on the impressive Art Official Age, this rag bag contains at least four winners and a handful of oddities. Business as usual then.

Getintothis on Prince

dan_deacon

93. Dan Deacon: Gliss Riffer

Domino

Tablas, electronica, front-porch folk & blues, no one makes music sound so rich and otherworldly like Dan Deacon – this one kinda passed under seemingly everyone’s radar. A shame as there’s some mighty stuff on here – check out opener Feel The Lightning; it’s one of his best.

Getintothis on Dan Deacon

petite_noir

94. Petite Noir: La Vie Est Belle/Life Is Beautiful

Double Six

South African singer-songwriter Yannick Ilunga has produced a mighty fine galloping soul-hip-hop record with a strident brassy edge aligned to delectable poppy hooks – check out MDR for starters.

Getintothis on Petite Noir

Carly_rae_jepson

95. Carly Rae Jepson: E-MO-TION

Polydor

In truth E-MO-TION should have been a monster. Yet, for some reason, it’s an overbaked slightly overthought pop beast which fails to burst out of the cage. That said, there’s a whole heap of bangers and if you’ve not lost your shit to Run Away With Me you’re doing it wrong.

Getintothis on Carly Rae Jepson

Golden_Rules

96. Golden Rules: Golden Ticket

LEX

London producer Paul White and Florida rapper Eric Biddines combine with a trunk load of funk segued with some Aquemini induced hip hop. Down South Boogie may just be the most slammin tune of 2015.

Getintothis on Golden Rules

ba4b63db

97. Unknown Mortal Orchestra: Multi-Love

Jagjaguwar

Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s third album, Multi-Love, has one of the most interesting personal back stories of the year. Ruban Nielsen, the band’s songwriter, and his wife Jenny threw out the rule book on love as they found themselves falling for another woman together. The album’s masterful lyrics, predominantly about Nielsen’s experience of the polyamorous relationship, are skilfully delivered giving you just enough to enjoy them but not enough to instantly know them, and they entice you to listen repeatedly. Whereas UMO’s II let you hear every affectionate scratch of its guitar strings, Multi-Love’s ensemble of organs, horns and guitar are smooth, rich and seductive, with the exception of the album closing track, Puzzles, which wouldn’t be out of place in their previous work. In Multi-Love, UMO have built on their delightfully simple and soulful psychedelic sound and created an encapsulating album whilst telling the most intriguing love story you’re likely to hear in 2015.  Michael Fowler

Getintothis on Unknown Mortal Orchestra

john_grant

98. John Grant: Grey Tickles, Black Pressure

Bella Union

Moving on from 2013’s superlative Pale Green Ghosts, Grant lashes oodles more electronica into his baroque pop cauldron with mixed results. While Grey Tickles, Black Pressure lacks the balance of his previous offerings there’s still enough here to satiate your aural desires.

Getintothis on John Grant

wolf_alice

99. Wolf Alice: My Love Is Cool

Dirty Hit

Bombastic guitars underpinned by winsome melodies neatly repackaging some of 90s Seattle into something hugely palatable indeed.

Getintothis on Wolf Alice

father_john_misty

100. Father John Misty: I Love You, Honeybear

Bella Union

More of the same from Mr Misty – Autumnal, lushly-orchestrated Americana. Ideal for the season.

Getintothis on Father John Misty

Previous Getintothis End of Year Album Polls

Getintothis‘ Top 100 Albums of 2014

Getintothis‘ Top 100 Albums of 2013

Getintothis’ Top 100 Albums of 2012

Getintothis‘ Top 100 Albums of 2011

Getintothis Top 100 Albums of 2010

Getintothis Top 100 Albums of 2009

Getintothis Top 100 Albums of 2008

Getintothis Top 50 Albums of 2007

Comments

comments

Share.

Leave a Reply