12. Lou Barlow ‘Brace The Wave‘
I was fully prepared to earmark this slot for The Wombats or The Vaccines or Surfer Blood or Low. But the truth is, I just loved Lou’s moody solo release more.
11. Czarface ‘Every Hero Needs A Villain‘
7L and Esoteric teamed up with Inspectah Deck again and made one of the greatest hip-hop albums of the year. And the artwork is a friggin’ comic book. Win all around.
10. Title Fight ‘Hyperview‘
Rock made a comeback in 2015, at least from where I’m sitting. And Title Fight were responsible for one of the leanest, meanest rock albums of the year.
9. Superheaven ‘Ours Is Chrome‘
Remember what I just said about rock in 2015? Superheaven took every good 90s rock sound–grunge, alternative, college–and distilled it down into a magnificent modern-day album.
8. Krill ‘A Distant Fist Unclenching‘
Similar to Superheaven, Krill sound like something straight from 90s college radio. But dammit, if they don’t have a vibe all their own. 2015 saw their curtain call, but they left us with maybe the best rock album to come out of Boston all year.
7. Public Service Broadcasting ‘The Race For Space‘
Concept albums are rarely this well-executed. The UK duo soundtracked 15 years of American and Soviet space progress, and “Go!” became a mainstay on the Free-For-All.
6. Heems ‘Eat, Pray, Thug‘
Himanshu Kumar Suri did so much with Das Racist, and is doing so much more as a solo artist. Powerful, sometimes unsettling, always entertaining, ‘Eat, Pray, Thug’ is an essential 2015 release.
5. Alabama Shakes ‘Sound & Color‘
They’d better win a damn Grammy for this album. It’s rock-solid, from front to back. And they set the live bar for the year with their performance on SNL back in February.
4. Failure ‘The Heart Is A Monster‘
Yes, I’m a fanboy. Which accounts in part for how high I’ve ranked this album. But listen to it (preferably after listening to their 1996 classic ‘Fantastic Planet’) and you’ll understand why.
3. Purity Ring ‘Another Eternity‘
2015 wasn’t just good for rock, it was good for pop. And I’m not talking about Taylor Swift. Or thirsty-ass Ryan Adams covering Taylor Swift. I’m talking about the near-perfect album this Canadian duo released.
2. CHVRCHES ‘Every Open Eye‘
Why Top 40 radio isn’t embracing this band is beyond my comprehension. They’re smart, they work hard, and they write huge hooks. I guess we’ll just keep them for ourselves for awhile longer.
1. Tame Impala ‘Currents‘
The best written, best performed produced album of 2015. Thanks for listening.