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Top 25 Albums Of 2015: Part 2

December 11, 2015

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Here are the final 10 entries in my Top 25 Albums of 2015 list!  You can see the whole thing on one page here.  Also, a Spotify playlist of most of the albums can be found here.  Enjoy.

PS – Just in cased you missed my Top 50 Songs of 2015, that list can be found here.

10) Bop English – Constant Bop

Constant Bop is my favorite album to come out of Austin this year.  I adore White Denim and want frontman James Petralli to get things back underway there, but I hope he doesn’t take too long to roll out another Bob English effort.

:Bop English – Dani’s Blues (It Was Beyond Our Control):

09) Youth Lagoon – Savage Hills Ballroom

It took me a few months to get around to giving Youth Lagoon’s Savage Hills Ballroom my full attention, but once I did it pulled me in and refused to let go.  It’s a sprawling effort that’s best experienced via headphones.

:Youth Lagoon – The Knower:

08) FIDLAR – Too

FIDLAR’s Too is a worthy follow-up to their 2013 self titled debut.  I love how sloppy, scatterbrained and loud it is.

:FIDLAR – 40oz. On Repeat:

07) Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly

Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly has grown on me more and more as the year has gone on.  At first I liked about half of its songs, and now I think that from front to back it’s an experience that shouldn’t be missed.

:Kendrick Lamar – Alright:

06) Annabel – Having It All

Whether or not you’re a fan of emo music, you should give Annabel’s Having It All a shot.  It’s really well crafted and the songwriting is fantastic.

:Annabel – Having It All:

05) Tame Impala – Currents

Currents is another stellar set of tracks from Tame Impala.  Now if only I could decide whether it’s their weirdest album or their most accessible.  It might actually be both.

:Tame Impala – Let It Happen:

04) Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit

Courtney Barnett is a woman with a lot on her mind, and she shows it all throughout Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit.  It’s such a charming, interesting album.

:Courtney Barnett – Pedestrian At Best:

03) Screaming Females – Rose Mountain

Every single song on Rose Mountain is fantastic.  I really thought the album would serve as Screaming Females’ big break, but the band seems to still be flying under the radar.  That’s all wrong.  They deserve all the love!

:Screaming Females – Criminal Image:

02) Doomtree – All Hands

Doomtree really hit it out the park with All Hands.  If you like intense, anthemic, energetic, brainy hip hop, then you need to make sure that the Minneapolis collective’s latest effort is in your rotation.

:Doomtree – .38 Airweight:

01) Sleater-Kinney – No Cities To Love

I was packing totally unreasonable expectations for Sleater-Kinney’s No Cities To Love – their first album in a decade – and it not only managed to impress the hell out of me, but it kept me engaged for nearly the entire year (it came out in January).  That means every other album released in 2015 had the chance to dethrone No Cities To Love, and it never happened.  SK forever!

:Sleater-Kinney – A New Wave:

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Top 50 Songs Of 2015: Part 5

December 3, 2015

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This is it!  The end of my Top 50 Songs of 2015.  Dive into the final 10 tracks and then let me know your thoughts.  Enjoy.

PS – You can check out the entire song list on one page here, or the majority of it (47/50 tracks) on Spotify right here.

PS – Look for my Top 25 albums and my Austin Essentials mix next week.

- 50-41
- 40-31
- 30-21
- 20-21

10)  :Chairlift – Ch-Ching:  I never would have guessed that Chairlift had something this edgy in them.  I hope there’s more of the same to come.  From the land of one-off tracks (though I assume it’ll pop up on an album next year).

09)  :Tame Impala – Let It Happen:  This is such a sprawling, wonderful number from Tame Impala.  If I were to rank out all of their songs, I’d put this somewhere near the top.  From Currents.

08)  :Ratatat – Cream On Chrome:  While I’ve been a fan of Ratatat for a long time, this is the first song of theirs that I’ve truly been crazy about.  It’s so very groovy.  From Magnifique.

07)  :Annabel – Having It All:  Earlier in the year my care-level in regards to the resurgence of emo was roughly a 6/10. This Annabel track is what shoved it to 10/10.  It’s just about perfect.  From Having It All.

06)  :Speedy Ortiz – Raising The Skate:  When I ran into front-lady Sadie Dupuis at Fun Fun Fun Fest I had the urge to nervously ramble about how much I love this track and how I think it’s Speedy Ortiz’s most complete sounding effort, but instead I just played it cool and helped her find the bathroom.  Nailed it!  From Foil Deer.

05)  :Sheer Mag – Button Up:  This fuzzy, Thin Lizzy-esque song from Sheer Mag is just about as infectious as it gets.  I blame Christina Halladay’s rad voice.  And the rad guitar riffs.  And all the other rad bits, too.  From the II 7″.

04)  :Built To Spill – Living Zoo:  I don’t remember the last time that Built To Spill sounded so inspired.  The build-up at the beginning of this is something I’ll never tire of.  From Untethered Moon.

03)  :Ought – Beautiful Blue Sky:  Yes, there’s a strong Talking Heads vibe at play here.  Yes, this song is rather pretentious.  Regardless, not much else has captivated me quite like it has over the course of numerous listens.  Good work, Ought.  From Sun Coming Down.

02)  :Kendrick Lamar – Alright:  If I were to sort this list based on “times played” then it’s likely that this hope-themed track would have landed at #1.  It’s one of Kendrick Lamar’s best. From To Pimp A Butterfly.

01)  :Courtney Barnett – Pedestrian At Best:  I like that most artists these days feel lifted out of the 90s, but it’s probably time for everyone to shift gears.  This Courtney Barnett song is as good as that throwback sound is going to get.  Even the video is 90s perfect.  Also, I think “Put me on a pedestal, and I’ll only disappoint you” might be one of my favorite lines ever.  From Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit.

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Quickdraw: Desaparecidos, Sweet John Bloom, Sweet Spirit And Britt Daniel, Annabel, La Luz

May 18, 2015

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Music!  Enjoy.

:Desaparecidos – Backsell:  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, returning to Desaparecidos is the best (and most inspired) thing that Conor Oberst has done in years.  Unsurprisingly, this latest single rips.  Payola is due out June 23 via Epitaph.

:Sweet John Bloom – Night Thing:  I really dig this 90s-ish bit of power pop from Sweet John Bloom.  As I’ve mentioned previously, their debut LP could end up being a really good one.  Weird Prayer is due out in June via Tiny Engines.

:Sweet Spirit And Britt Daniel – Paper Tiger:  This juiced up Spoon cover is the b-side to the one-off track that Sweet Spirit and Britt Daniel did together.  It really makes me want the two acts to join up for much more.  You can find the 7″ at Spoon/Sweet Spirit shows.

:Annabel – Having It All:  Here’s another transfixing single from the emo-leaning Annabel.  I will surprised and disappointed if their upcoming album doesn’t end up on my best-of list at the end of the year.  Having It All is due out in June via Tiny Engines.

:La Luz – You Disappear:  Ty Segall produced this new one from La Luz.  It’s a fuzzy three and a half minute surf pop effort that’s completely inviting and accessible.  Jump into it.  Weirdo Shrine is due out August 7 via Hardly Art.

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Quickdraw: Thee Oh Sees, Sweet Spirit And Britt Daniel, Creepoid, Migrant Kids, Annabel

April 27, 2015

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Music!  Enjoy.

:Thee Oh Sees – Withered Hand:  Here’s the latest ripper from Thee Oh Sees.  At some point they’re going to stop putting out an album every year and then I’m going to be totally lost.  Mutilator Defeated At Last is due out May 18 via Castle Face.

:Sweet Spirit And Britt Daniel – Have Mercy:  Sweet Spirit are currently one of my favorite bands in Austin, and Britt Daniel is, well … Britt Daniel, so their pairing is an easy one for me love.  As for this track, I think it’s a melodic gem.  You’ll be able to grab the 7″ on Spoon’s upcoming tour dates.  See Sweet Spirit at Red 7 on May 10.

:Creepoid – Dried Out:  This new Creepoid single consumed a good chunk of my time this weekend.  It’s just hooky enough to be an earworm, and I (of course) love that it sounds lifted right out of the 90s.  Cemetery Highrise Slum is due out June 23 via Collect Records.  The band will play Levitation on May 9.

:Migrant Kids – Thread:  As I said on Lone Star State of Mind (my new radio show!) last night, Austin’s own Migrant Kids have never sounded more accessible than they do here.  The glossiness is a good fit for them.  Look out for more new music from the band as the year goes on.

:Annabel – Another Day, Another Vitamin:  I’m officially all about Annabel’s upcoming album.  They’re emo but not in an obnoxious way, and I think they have good vocals and a really well crafted sound.  Having It All is expected out in June via Tiny Engines.

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Quickdraw: Bop English, Tame Impala, Annabel, Speedy Ortiz, Part Time

April 6, 2015

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Music!  Enjoy.

:Bop English – Struck Matches:  Of the three singles that have been released off of the debut LP from Bop English (James Petralli of White Denim), this one is my favorite.  I love the way it moves.  Constant Bop is due out April 21 via Downtown Records.

:Tame Impala – ‘Cause I’m A Man:  Over the weekend Tame Impala officially announced a new album and released this “official” single.  It’s a psychedelic slow burner that’s worth all your attention.  Currents will be out later this year via Interscope.

:Annabel – Everything:  Overall, the return of emo continues to somewhat baffle me, but I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t like some of what’s come out of the genre’s comeback.  For instance, this Annabel track, which feels super genuine and is just about perfect.  Having It All is expected to be released in May via Tiny Engines.

:Speedy Ortiz – Puffer:  If you’ve been wanting to hear something different from Speedy Ortiz, then you should give this song a listen.  It’s less of an off-kilter anthem and more of an alt-rock crawler.  Foil Deer will be released on April 21 via Carpark.

:Part Time – Fallin’ 4 U:  This lo-fi pop tune from Part Time is so great.  For whatever reason I find it to be rather whimsical, and then there’s the way that I have yet to be able to get it out of my head.  Virgo’s Maze is due out May 19 via Burger Records.

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