A big year for music! I have compiled my favorite tracks from my favorite new albums of my favorite bands in my favorite year 2015. And you know if it's my favorite then you know you are going to love it. no? Well you don't know what good music is. Good music is exclusively from bands that are 20 years old or more.
Listen here at your own risk:
1. Go Out - Blur
Blur is back! We have a lot of reunion albums on this list. Go Out is one of the most successful songs off the album. It's how you remember them, a little bit brit pop and a bit indie rock. The guitars sound like a rusty hinge on a clunky machine and the bass line is a sad bouncy slog. Then there is a sing song pair of background vocals to balance it out. Damon Albarn is such a hunk... I mean punk. Punk Hunk.
2. Lampshades on Fire - Modest Mouse
With this album the band is doing more of the same. This song could have easily been on "We Were Dead..". It feels like a remake of their number one radio hit "Float on". That was a great song, and this is a nice reminder of the heyday of Modest Mouse
3. Way Out - Vertical Scratchers
Vertical Scratchers is new on the scene this year, but the guitarist/singer John Schmershal is an indie darling (Brainiac, Enon). Vertical Scratchers is blistering low fi pop. "Way Out" has Schmershal playing an unplugged electric guitar which adds to its rusty scratchy sounds. *sorry for the scarry music video if you're watching
4. Birch Tree - Foals
Foals new album is muy fantastico. (I'm trying to learn Spanish, I've got 2 words down) There are so many good songs on this album, but for this mix I choose the slow chill out grooves of Birch Tree. Great bass line with a steady drum beat behind it and just enough funk to get you to do the head slide... (is that a thing?)
5. Dreams - Beck
Beck is back with another dance track. Scientology doesn't seem to be preventing him from having a long and fruitful career. "Dreams" is one of those songs that sounds like you've heard it before. This is great for a catchy dance song, just don't expect more from it.
6. Bohemian Groove - Nick Diamonds
Bohemian Groove is a light and floaty synth heavy track. From chirping to growling this track is heavily textured. Some of the sounds harken back to his early work as part of the Unicorns. Nick seems to release something every year or two and the lyric "Like a wave, I crash into you all day" feels all to real.
7. Françafrique - Refused
What would a mix tape be with out an epic politically charged rock track. Refused are reunited and the music still sounds fresh. They broke up in 99 after their chart topping record "The Shape of Punk to Come". This track features some synth, some children singing and some horn. Overloaded? I still like it.
8. Good Help (is so hard to find) - Death Cab for Cutie
A nice mellow and completely unoffensive track. With a bleeping guitar track that bounces between your ears to the buttoned up drum sound this track will keep you motived but not distract you from what you're doing.
9. 40 oz on Repeat - Fidlar
Fidlar released their second album this year. The sound has changed ever so slightly but the content of the songs remains the same. Driving power chords and screaming vocals. West Coast goof punk at its finest.
10. Never Be the Same - Built to Spill
Built to Spill has a new lineup and you can hear it in this track. It's a bit more playful, a bit more low-fi and very much less considered then previous albums. With that said, it is light and airy and will put a smile on your face and get you to tap your foot. So if you want to be the creepy guy at work smiling and tapping his foot, give it a listen.
11. Autumn - The Chapin Sisters
The Chapin Sisters are new to me this year. Their song Autumn is a great mix of psychedelic folk country. Brings me back to San Francisco in the 60s... which I didn't live, but I like the idea of.
12. Competition - The Dodos
The Dodos keep churning out hits. This year they released a new album and although it is not mind blowing, it is chock full of solid tracks. Competition is nice driving herky jerky guitar rock.
13. Indie Cindy - Pixies
The Pixies came back minus their bassist Kim Deal. Indie Cindy feels urgent and melancholy at the same time. If nostalgia is what you're after, you can find it in this track. Just don't look up any current pictures of the band... illusion ruined.
14. I Feel So Free (Citation Needed) - !!!
!!! (Chk chk chk) are a fantastic disco band. This track is a bit more funk and it is reserved for the last place in this list because it is a whopping 8 mins long. I knew I loved this song the first time I heard the band play it live. The album version brings the best parts of the live performance. The lead singer speaks to us directly through the song. And my favorite part, the song swells in the middle and then stops and the singer calls the band out saying "you can't trust these guys, they'll play with you. They're tricky" I guess you'll have to listen for it...