Best music albums of 2015

Image from the internet; no copyright intended

The end of 2015 is rapping on the door and what better time than this to look back at the past months and try to evaluate the best albums for this year. This is certainly not an easy task, for 2015 has been a strong year in the music business. But we’re not interested in business, are we? We care for the tunes, the feelings they awaken in ourselves and the way they make us see the world. Because music does tend to do that, or at least helps us see the world with different eyes.

N.B. The choices in the following list are strictly my preferred albums for this year. I don’t wish to impose my opinion on anyone and if you think the top five should be different, that’s completely OK.

I’m not the one who limits himself to a particular genre, but this time around guitar music is on the front line mostly. So without further ado, lets take a look at what could quite possibly be the five best music albums of 2015. In my humble opinion of course, and in no particular order.

“New Bermuda” by Deafheaven
2015, Anti- Records
[ black metal ]

If you are into any kind of black metal music, Deafheaven should not be a name you haven’t come across. They are a five-piece from California and are currently showing us how modern black metal is done.

Their highly-acclaimed album “Sunbather” (from 2013) is one of the best things I have ever heard in the extreme metal part of music in general. And if you think there’s nothing that can surpass what they did with it, just wait and hear what “New Bermuda” has to offer! George Clarke’s vocals are still deep and emotional; the overall vibe of the album is one of hope, and at the same time desperation… No one can beat that, trust me.

And don’t get me started on the cover art… It’s done by Allison Schulnik and is — without exaggeration — the sweetest thing you’re gonna lay your eyes upon this year. Just gorgeous!

Listen to “New Bermuda”: Bandcamp / Spotify / iTunes

“Gunship” by Gunship
2015, Horsie In The Hedge LLP
[ retro / electronic / synthwave ]

Now what you see here is completely bonkers! Gunship is a side project of some people off of the alternative rock band Fightstar. It’s obvious they use this machine to express their love for ‘80s action movies, synths and retro games, which lets be honest — we all love!

When I first heard these awesome tunes, I fell for them — I swear! The tracks are greatly arranged and the LP is not too long, which I don’t particularly like for an electronic album. When you listen to “Gunship”, you slip into the mood right away. The awesome music videos also do the music justice — check out “Tech Noir” for a hint at this retro goodness.

I can’t recommend this thing enough really. If you ever enjoyed watching retro slashers and/or playing MAME arcades, you’ll feel right at home.

Listen to “Gunship”: Bandcamp / Spotify / iTunes

“Why Do You Love Me Satan?” by Fucking Werewolf Asso
2015, Swedish Columbia
[ punk / 8bit / electronic ]

Yep, definitely could battle for album of the year! The infamous Fucking Werewolf Asso have outdone themselves with their latest addition. “Why Do You Love Me Satan?” will exactly be what you imagine when looking at the cover art, whatever that means…

And the cover art is actually great! But lets talk about the music, because that’s what matters the most. FWA have finally added guitars to their arrangement and no, that is certainly not a bad thing. The tracks sound tight, intense and great for partying or long drives with the roof of your car down. The tunes are sinister and at the same time cheerful and funny, which is what the dudes in the band intended, I’m sure.

FWA may very well be one of the coolest indie bands to come out of Sweden in recent years.

Listen to “Why Do You Love Me Satan?”: Bandcamp / Spotify / iTunes

“Purple” by Baroness
2015, Abraxan Hymns
[ stoner / rock / metal ]

I didn’t believe Baroness could pull this one off and make it better that “Yellow & Green”. But they did and it’s awesome! “Purple” is more of an emotional album from Georgia’s finest. You’ll hear less stoner-like riffs and more singing, which blends perfectly with the tone and lyrics of the piece.

The tracks are not too long, not too short and give you enough time to listen and enjoy them as much as you want. “Chlorine & Wine” can easily be the best of all the songs — it reminds me a little bit about “March to the Sea” from the previous album — at least in the overall atmosphere.

The artwork is awesome too, staying true to the tradition of previous pieces. And who doesn’t like a nice cover art?

Listen to “Purple”: Spotify / iTunes

“You Were Never Alone” by Emery
2015, BC Music
[ post-hardcore / emo / punk ]

Here we have something for those of you with a hardcore heart. Emery are a band that can be considered christian in general, although I believe not all members classify themselves as christian. If one listens carefully to “You Are Never Alone”, one can catch the references to the Bible and particular christian elements. If I remember correctly, the boys also state (in a podcast somewhere) that their new album is conceptual.

The songs in here range from heavy to melodic and emotional. They tell the story of struggle, love and faith. The first four songs from the album are a blast, in particular the end of “Thrash” and it’s jazzy elements.

Finally — you don’t need to be christian to enjoy this great piece of art. I strongly believe “You Were Never Alone” could be the best album this year.

Listen to “You Were Never Alone”: Bandcamp / Spotify / iTunes

Worth mentioning:

“Lore” by Elder

This Massachusetts trio rules it from the moment they appeared on the map. For weeks I couldn’t stop listening to their stoner rock riffs and captivating lyrics.

“Quintessential Ephemera” by Rosetta

I love Rosetta! They are one of the best experimental bands out there right now. But this can’t beat “The Galilean Satellites”.

Alright, that’s it for this year’s best music albums one can listen to. I hope I did the bands justice and was able to convey their art as best as I could. Now sit down and start listening — if you haven’t already…

N.B. Again — the choices in this list are strictly my preferred albums for this year. I don’t wish to impose my opinion on anyone and if you think the top five should be different, that’s completely OK.