So yes, I was asked to do a my best of 2015 list… But guess what? I am one of the most indecisive people in the world when it comes to favorite songs, albums and artists. I just know what I like. Yes I know your list will be different and that’s okay. I don’t want to be like you or your list, we will get through this. This list I don’t even want to number because I have what is known as out of sight, out of mind syndrome (yeah I might have made that up) and once another song is playing I am all, “This is totally my favorite song!” Even though I just said that about the last ten songs that played.
2015 in music was a huge year for me… I started working with this blog. I met artists that I would have never had the opportunity, if not for 50third. I heard so many independent artists that are all new and shiny. So I do want to thank these guys for putting up with me and my exhausting, never-ending direct messaging. I have learned so much and am so very lucky to have met some really great writers.
Okay so here goes… It is mostly a list of artists, albums, shows and tracks that I absolutely adore with all my being. Some of these artist I could easily have put on each list and some I may not have listed because well I have a life and this list took long enough!
Best New Albums…
– Dodge and Burn by The Dead Weather (Thirdman) – An amazing American rock album put out late September. I am a huge Jack White fan and he just gets better and better and more perfect. The guitar riffs and drums and of course vocals hit me hard and I never seem to come out the same after listening. Oh how I wish they would tour so that I may see this dramatic, slight aggressive tone and pent-up frustration sound they create in person.
– Global Chakra Rhythms by Jeff the Brotherhood (Infinity Cat). The whole album is smooth and dreamy. This is the tenth album put out by these guys and it has a little bit of everything in the mix. I just keep it on repeat.
– Young Chasers by Circa Waves (Transgressive, Virgin EMI). Released in October, the first single off the album was a huge hit before the record was even released, promising great things to come from these guys.
– Born to Play Guitar by Buddy Guy (RCA). My end of summer blues rocked hard to this one. Reaching number one on the blues albums Billboard charts in late August.
– II by Fuzz (Goner) love, love, love… Garage rock band that just listening once will hook you. This is the band’s second album and collaboratively written together forming pure deliciousness.
– Thank Your Lucky Stars and Depression Cherry by Beach House (Carpark). This amazing band gave us not one but two amazing records this year. This dreamy pop music puts me in the most chill of moods.
– Currents by Tame Impala (Interscope). Psychedelic pop at its best this year with the third studio album released by this band in mid July.
– High Roller by Sugar and the Hi Lows (Ready Set Records) is one of my favorites for so many reasons. This album gets me going and its loaded with all kinds of goodness from Trent Dabbs and Amy Stroup.
– Little Neon Limelight by Houndmouth (Rough Trade Records). Album loaded with song after song of greatness. Sit back and just let the whole thing play on and on, can’t go wrong.
– B’lieve I’m Going Down by Kurt Vile (Matador Records). Honestly if I had to number them, this may be number one… I have listened to it the most and my stomach still jumps when I hear it play.
Best Shows I attended…
Houndmouth (Rough Trade Records) at Live on the Green Nashville. This is probably my most favorite show of the year. Yes it was short and still day time and they were the first to play that night, all these things stacked against them but it never showed. The crowd showed up extra early to watch them and you could tell it was to watch them. The crowd singing along to every word gave me goosebumps as they gave their all. Katie Toupin singing “Gasoline” still rings in my ears and all is good.
Delta Rae (Sire) also at Live on the Green. Just see them. They are full of passion and vocals that will leave your jaw on the ground. I almost feel like any way I describe them does them no justice. Just see them, over and over if you can. Described as roots rock and yes that describes it well.
Beach Slang (Tiny Engines) at The End. Killer performance, if you read my review you know! I fell in love with punk all over again with that show. Now the vinyl streams tirelessly at my house while I still recall the night of punk and poetry and even a bit of comedy. Also an amazing album they put out this year, The Things We Do To Find People Like Us.
JD McPherson (Rounder) at Live on the Green and Americana Fest. He is just amazing at what he does and honestly he gives everything he has into the performance. I love watching him and his band “Let the Good Times Roll”.
Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats (Stax) at Americana Fest… Another that blew me away live. I got to interview him over the phone right after his big Jimmy Fallon performance. He was so laid back and cool about it all, getting ready to tour big. His voice leaves you unable to stop dancing and singing. He is one of the most contagious entertainers I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. He is a must see live! Gospel infused feel with a rock n’ roll attitude…
Down Boy (Mattress House Music) at The End. Sounds of futuristic blues. I just can’t say enough how impressed I am with this band. I get into their music so much and getting to see them perform, well I felt all giddy and excited. Performing bare foot and with extreme passion for his music, lead singer Nathan Aronowitz leaves you wanting more.
Them Vibes at The Basement East. Pure energy and rock. I have said they are like the Rolling Stones with an East Nashville vibe. So personal and they love what they do, and what they do is put on a hell of a show.
Artists you must check out that were new to me this year…