Great Albums 2015

27 Dec

Everyone’s doing end of the year lists! I wanna do one!

Lots of stuff was spinning on my playlists this year (I guess playlists don’t spin, whatever), and here’s a non-comprehensive list of things you should check out.

Brandy Zdan – Brandy Zdan (listen)


Brandy is one of the coolest-but-still-grounded people I know, and that really comes across in her music. This is her first full length solo record, and it’s stunning. The sounds swirl and lift and turn you upside down and back again. You’ll have these songs stuck in your head but you won’t mind. BUY THIS ALBUM.

Michael O’Connor – Bloodshot Vagabond (listen)


Michael is a certifiable songwriting and guitar genius, and lucky us, we get both those things together every time he makes an album. He excels at telling us stories about characters that on first glance we don’t think we have anything in common with, but MOC always finds that thread that takes his songs from observation to personal. BUY THIS ALBUM.


Emily Shirley – Duotone (listen)


I could go on for days about the talents of Emily Shirley (artist, photographer, designer, hip person) but let’s focus on the musical one. She writes smart songs that hit you where you live…and they’re wrapped in this perfect piano-based pop. Oh, and she sings like sunshine. So there we go. BUY THIS ALBUM.


Shawnee Kilgore – A Long and Precious Road (listen)


Shawnee’s got a voice that gets in the cracks and really brings the emotion of a song to the surface. This album feels like you just sat down and had a chat with a really smart writer, and that’s no small feat when making a record. Look for really cool stuff from her in 2016, too! BUY THIS ALBUM.


The Rifters – Architecture of a Fire (listen)

Architecture of Fire CD Cover

The Rifters are a trio of super talented (and really cool) guys whose music is basically the soundtrack of anyone who has lived or grown up in the Southwest. Their heartfelt songs are punched up to another level entirely by the fact that all three of them are stunning instrumentalists. BUY THIS ALBUM.


Carly Rae Jepsen – Emotion (listen)


You didn’t think you’d get a list from me without some hardcore pop music, right? While 1989 basically stayed in heavy rotation all year, I did make room for some new pop glory. This album is a little bit of a sleeper. Carly Rae Jepsen had a massive earworm hit with Call Me Maybe, and then we wondered if she was one of those one-hit-wonders. She is not, though nothing on here has hit the charts that hard. As a whole album it works great, and is full of lush production and good hooks. BUY THIS ALBUM.

Adele – 25 (listen)


Oh come on. Buy it like the rest of us.

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