There were loads of great albums this year so it was tough to get it down to just five choices. Without further adieu, here are my Top Five Albums of 2015
5. Black Rivers. Black Rivers.
Jez and Andy Williams from the Doves started this side project will their main band was on hiatus. Like Jimi Goodwin's solo album from 2014 (Odulek), Black Rivers sounds a great deal like 5th Doves album. Filled with lush soundscapes and wickedly cool vocals, Black Rivers is a must for your 2015 collection.
4. Gracetown. San Cisco.
The lads and lass from Freemantle, Western Australia turned out another gem with their second offering. Gracetown shows real growth for the band and it's now apparent that like bans like the Arctic Monkeys and the Kooks, San Cisco are just going to keep making good album after good album.
3. 1989. Ryan Adams.
At first glance, an album completely covering Taylor Swift sounds silly. 30 seconds in, no one is laughing. Ryan Adams is a fucking genius and this record takes her upbeat pop songs and paints them with a gray, haunting brush that transforms the tracks into American Gothic. The entire record makes me love life even more than I already do...
2. Blurryface. Twenty One Pilots.
I never would have heard of Twenty One Pilots if it weren't for my 15 year old daughter. I truly appreciate her pushing me to get into them. Every single track on this record is uplifting and wonderful. Is this the future of American music? I hope so because Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun have created a masterpiece with this one.
1. The Balcony. Catfish and the Bottlemen.
I have a series of items on a checklist when I judge a band and their albums. Welsh band Catfish and the Bottlemen crush all of them on their debut album. Are the songs about love, hope, sex and drinking? Yep. Do I find myself magically being able to sing along with every lyric almost immediately? Yep. Do they have the hearts and souls of the British people? Yes.
Most importantly, does the music transport me to that place I know and love so much?
There are other items on the checklist, of course, but these are the main ones and Van and the lads knock each one out of the park. Not only is The Balcony the best album of 2015, it's one of my favorite albums of ALL time.
It's that fucking good.
Here is their set at Glasto this year.