GIITTV’s Editors 20 Albums of 2015

GIITTV’s Editors 20 Albums of 2015


This year we decided to split our End Of The Year run down into two parts. First up we give you our 20 albums of the year as editors, then next week we will post up our poll of writers best albums of 2015. This was one of our most popular polls ever, we will post the 100 albums for your perusal with a playlist, the list reflects the breadth of taste of our entire staff. In the meantime here are our Editors specific favourite albums of 2015, enjoy!

EzraLE1. Ezra Furman – Perpetual Motion People (Bella Union)

Shamelessly kitsch yet somehow deeply alluring. Maybe it’s because of Furman’s wickedly witty prose that he gets away with it, or maybe it’s because nobody has released anything that’s this much fun in years.  An utterly absorbing record, zealously delivered with the zest and zing of a songwriter right at the top of his game.  (Loz Etheridge)

hval 2
2. Jenny Hval – Apocalypse, Girl (Sacred Bones)

An intoxicating transfixing mixture of multi-coloured shifting found sounds, instrumental loops are the fractured musical backdrops that are decorated by Hval’s unique post-modern, post-feminist voice, and it is truly a unique voice, not just a vocal, slipping between violent, introspective and self-aware spoken word imagery, and fragile vulnerable melodies; this is bold, brave, pop music that dives deep into the abyss.  (Bill Cummings)


IsbellLE
3. Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free (SouthEastern Records)

Children Of Children‘ begins something like a James Taylor record and ends up with the kind of searing, stratospheric guitar work that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. Think Neil Young‘s ‘Like A Hurricane’, but not quite as extreme. I’m pretty sure it’ll make my “Best Songs of 2015” list come New Year’s Eve. (Loz Etheridge)

99338
4. LoneLady – Hinterland (Warp)

LoneLady’s vision of a modern world is haunted by the past and lies decaying at the outer reaches of the urban sprawl. Her view highlights the contradictions of modern living, the need for space yet the need for genuine human contact in a technological driven new millennium culture.  It is also an album brimming with tunes, skeletal, post-punk and artful, yet grooving with the ghost’s of the best disco records. (Bill Cummings)


Decemberists
5. The Decemberists – What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World(Rough Trade)

The Decemberists are one of those bands that I’ve always been aware of, and liked, without ever being particularly blown away by. However, it’s one of those albums that when it’s finished not only do you want to go back and listen to it all over again, but it also makes you want to go and check out their back catalogue. (Ed Jupp)
Gwenno-packshot-square-400x400
6. Gwenno – Y Dydd Olaf (Heavenly)

Gwenno crafts sophisticated suites of sound underpinned by pulsing Krautish rhythms. Her home-made synth lines light up like illuminations in the night sky and her floating, hypnotic vocals are dipped in a Welsh lilt that taps into prescient themes of technology, cultural and political hegemonies, and feminism. (Bill Cummings)

FFS_self-titled_album_cover_art

7. FFS – FFS (Domino)

A transatlantic super-group featuring Sparks and Franz Ferdinand called FFS surely this was some kind of hoax?! But with their self titled effort the mastered the art of an album that is consistently entertaining, efficiently free of irrelevant fillers and portrays an equilibrium of emotions on it’s captivating journey. Funny and thoughtfully it reinvents both bands once again. (Matt Hobbs)

IsraelNash-LoRes
8. Israel Nash – Israel Nash’s Silver Season (Loose)

The recording of ‘Silver Season’ was delayed for four days after the Texas floods came and filled up Nash’s self-built recording studio with “water and muck”. Quite clearly, this had an effect on the compositions herein, most of them creating images in your head of rivers, oceans and rainfall, whether intentional or not. That said, though, it’s also a very radiant record that warms the cockles of your heart. Whatever they are.  (Loz Etheridge)


Bjork
9. Bjork – Vulnicura (One Little Indian) 

Perhaps it’s stating the obvious to say that a break-up album is going to be nakedly personal in nature: for Bjork that means that the lyrics are upfront, rather than coated in mystery. Is it an easy listen? No, it’s not, but then nor is it a particularly difficult one. (Ed Jupp)

ryleywalker-primrosegreen
10. Ryley Walker – Primrose Green (Dead Oceans)

You will hear few full length releases this year with as much substance as ‘Primrose Green’. It’s a vital, vivid, veracious victory that will crush you like a boa constrictor until it releases you from its cheeky grasp and tickles your tummy instead. This is a true colossus of an album and if it doesn’t make your top ten of 2015 come New Year’s Eve, I have to question your sanity. (Loz Etheridge)

halo tora
11. Halo Tora – Omni\One

 

Halo Tora have always had a polished sound, even playing their very first gig to a crowd who couldn’t believe it. Their album Omni\One – their debut, nonetheless – is also incredibly polished. Their blend of post-rock has a certain easy charm and effortless cool; Halo Tora have proved time and again that they’re one of the most exciting Scottish bands to emerge in recent years.

(Toni-Michelle Spencer)

natalie-prass-1200x800
12. Natalie Prass – Natalie Prass (Spacebomb/Caroline)

Wrapped in gorgeous strings and suppressed horns, the record’s 9 songs that marry the infectious groove of late 60s country-soul with the popular confessional classicism of those early 70s singer-songwriters. The end result is a perfect melodic union into which Prass’s soft melancholic voice gently creeps.  (Simon Godley)

FJMLoz
13. Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear (Sub Pop)

We are left in little doubt, from the eponymous opener, that ‘Pet Sounds’ has been something of a touchstone for ‘I Love You, Honeybear’. What’s more, the evidence here suggests that the Marylander has had ‘Caroline, No’ on a constant loop during its conception. The whole thing smacks of Brian Wilson, with a stately but ever so slightly discordant swathe of strings that somehow elevate it above what initially comes across as a throwaway cutesy ballad.  (Loz Etheridge)

WCFW- Album Cover
14.We Came From Wolves – We Came From Wolves (Saraseto Records)

As debut albums go, We Came From Wolves and their self-titled debut is a bloody strong one. Opening with the misleading instrumental ‘Wolves’ and setting the tone for the rest of the album, it starts small and meek but soon ends up in one cacophonous sound and then abruptly shifts gear into ‘Glasgow Stranger’, a snappy indie-rock tune, similar to the likes of fellow Scots Twin Atlantic, but having much more in the way of vocal harmonies and a definite sharpness to the rhythm.  (Toni Spencer)
GreenManFestival_CDuncan_mainstage
15. C Duncan – Architect (Fat Cat)

C Duncan’s Fatcat released album ‘Architect’ was one of the sleeper hits of the year, Christopher wrote and recorded his album alone in his Glasgow flat on a bedroom studio setup. “The album’s delicate folk-pop is both complex, intricate and breathtakingly light. It’s a sprawling, somewhat wintery beauty with a hint of sadness at its core.” (Anastasia Connor)

Viet-Cong-album-cover
16. Viet Cong – Viet Cong (Jagjaguwar)

Canadian band Viet Cong have been called post-punk, which they are in spirit, but it should be noted that their spiritual forebears are more the uncompromising likes of Pere Ubu, Throbbing Gristle and PIL (without so much of the dub reggae of the latter). It is a very good album, and doesn’t take any prisoners. Right from the off, it grabs your attention with ‘Newspaper Spoons’ it holds your ears in its vice-like grip to the closing moments of ‘Death,’ which clocks in at over eleven minutes.  (Ed Jupp)


chvrches
17. Chvrches – Every Open Eye

Every Open Eye is an effective package. ‘Empty Threat’ is the most upbeat and cheesy song of the album, to the point where the chorus might as well feature hand-claps, yet there is still the familiar grin-inducing rush that Chvrches bring. The cleanliness brings professionalism to the usual synth-based euphoria, with the harder songs showcasing what Chvrches could be doing on their next album.  (Liam Whear)


Dylan

18. Bob Dylan – Shadows In The Night (Columbia)

It would be very easy to dismiss Bob Dylan’s 36th studio album – one that comprises 10 tracks taken from the Great American Songbook and previously recorded by Frank Sinatra – as the work of a man who had fast run out of ideas. But that would be to miss its point entirely. Backed by his regular road band, the songs’ sparse arrangements enable Dylan to produce his best vocal performance in years. His delivery – clear, warm, relaxed and impeccably timeless – captures a man who is not afraid to affirm the true meaning of life.

untitled (201)

19. Jamie xx – In Colour (Young Turks)

Like them or loath them The XX, since pervading into music six years ago, have had a massive impact on the UK music scene. Their brand of minimal, electronica and dream pop textures has seen a slew of imitators and XXX. Almost as soon that they arrived, and their music dissected fans have been calling for a solo album by their Svengali Jamie Smith, professionally known as Jamie XX.  (Nick Roseblade)

Kathryn%20Joseph%20legs
20. Kathryn Joseph- Bones you have thrown me and blood I have spilt (Hits The Fan)

Glasgow’s Kathryn Joseph sublime debut won the SAY award this year, confirming her status as one of Scotland’s most unique emerging songwriters. Her debut consists of ten tracks of emotionally raw, meticulously crafted songs replete with naturalistic, gothic and intensely personal imagery, musically comparable to P J Harvey’s stripped back piano and vocal masterpiece ‘White Chalk’ or grand melodrama of Antony and The Johnsons best works. (Bill Cummings)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.