It’s almost 2016, Diva and Collectress are back in the same zip code, and we got press badges to SDCC as well as numerous other cons this year. I’d say 2015 has been good to the Collective, and that’s something to dance about!
This is my third annual Top 10 Albums list, and, while there are some familiar faces, I have also stumbled upon a few new, great artists I can’t wait to share. Hope you enjoy the soundtrack to my 2015 and find something that speaks to your soul as much as these tracks speak to mine.
1) Love Stuff by Elle King
Elle King is a gift. Her voice is amazing and I promise she’s not just one-hit wonder. Love Stuff, released February 2015, is full of gems featuring Elle’s sultry alto. Regardless if you’ve heard the song a thousand times on pop radio, take a gander at the video for “Ex’s and Oh’s”. I promise you, you will not be disappointed.
2) Wilder Mind by Mumford & Sons
I’ve loved the easy harmonies of M&S since their first album, and this May 2015 release is a natural progression of a very unique sound. While this album is a bit more bouncy than their others, I don’t miss the meloncholy of their earlier work when tunes like “Snake Eyes” reach down into me and pull out my heart with the poignant lyrics.
3) Carrie and Lowell by Sufjan Stevens
This album, released March 2015, is a chronicle of the death of Sufjan’s parents, who are featured in the album title and cover. I gave Carrie and Lowell to my best friend this year for his birthday on vinyl because I can only imagine how sharp and intense the music might be on a record and he’s the kind of nerd who appreciates that stuff. If you enjoy sad, thoughtful contemplations on death and beauty, Sufjan is the guy for you. While you’re at it, check out all of his other stuff, because it’s amazing.
4) Sound and Color by Alabama Shakes
Probably my favorite find of 2015, this band has been on my side listening list for a while, but Sound and Color moves me like none of the band’s other work. There are a bunch of reasons I love this April 2015 release, not in any particular order: 1) Brittany Howard is my doppleganger and living my dream–she’s a talented black girl singing with a bunch of bearded, musician boys and also has great hair 3) the song lyrics are personal and relateable 4) each song is versatile and varied 5) the title song is super spacey and totally different than any of the other songs on the album 6) I just really want to be Brittany Howard, ok?
5) Sing Into My Mouth by Iron and Wine
Released July 2015, this Iron and Wine release is familiar and yet, there are nuances from the band’s previous work that make it special and fun to listen to. My favorite song on the album by far is “Judgement”, which is a simple, harmonious ditty that epitomizes this group’s style. Have a listen, then go back through their discography.
6) Kintsugi by Death Cab For Cutie
This haunting March 2015 release by DCFC is one that I’d listen to on a long drive, probably on repeat, whilst looking out the window, all melancholy-style, which, to be fair, is the best way to listen to Death Cab. The music is dark, with thoughtful lyrics that make me want to contemplate the meaning of my life, perusual for a Deth Cab release.
7) Made in the A.M. by One Direction
I mean, come on, you know I’m trash and I can’t help but love a pop rock anthem to sing along to in the car, so sue me. Besides, these boys have talent, they’re cute, and they seem to have suffered a huge loss when Zayn left the group to go on to (neither) bigger (nor) better things. This November 2015 is testament to the fact that, nope, they don’t need him. The band still rocks.
8) Honeymoon by Lana Del Rey
Lana has come out with a new album for the last three years, and so each year, she makes my list. Honeymoon is as dark and listless as her previous albums, but there is a progression in theme and sound that might surprise you. I’ve got a few faves on this September 2015 release, but the video below is so catchy and classic Lana, I love it.
9) What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World by The Decemberists
Folk music is my jam, obviously, and it doesn’t get much more folksy than The Decemberists. The acoustics, the harmonies and the crazy lyrics keep bringing me back to this band and especially this January 2015 release. If you haven’t listened to thier stuff before, you are in for a treat with the tune below.
10) 25 by Adele
Collectress made me add this album because, she informs me, it is life changing, or whatever. In the spirit of this list, I’ll add it, although I admit that I can’t get passed “Hello”, which, to be fair, is an amazing song, but seriously overplayed. I really like this video, though! This November 2015 is sure to be played in my blogmate’s car for the next 12 months, whether I like it or not, so I’d better acclimate myself to the music.