Best of 2015: 20-11

-20: Old Wave- Old Wave

Local group with some real pleasant pop- some songs remind me of Ages and Ages, some even have an early Architecture in Helsinki vibe. It's sweet stuff. 

-19: Joey Bada$$- B4.DA.$$

Stylistically, some of the closest modern hip hop I've heard to the 90's stuff I like. Jazzy beats + scratching + good raps is a pretty knockout combination. 

-18: Milo- So The Flies Don't Come

A lot of the time when I listen to this album, I let it play twice through. It's unassuming and poignant, and I always want more of it. Introspective poetry over fuzzy beats from Kenny Segal, with more focus than ever. 

-17: Unknown Mortal Orchestra- Multi-Love

Nothing else out there like these guys- they toned down the noise and toned up the groove a bit on this one and everybody wins. 

-16: Leon Bridges- Coming Home

Sam Cooke back from the dead, but the the fact that it's a throwback doesn't mean it isn't original and fantastic. He headlined Pickathon for a reson, and I expect we'll get more greatness from him next year. Brilliant soul for all ages. 

-15: The Dodos- Individ

Really interesting guitar / drum interplay throughout the entire album. My introduction to the Dodos, but feels like a great place to start. Endlessly inventive. 

-14: Matthew E. White- Fresh Blood

This guy is the real deal- gospel / soul / rock and roll that is mellow when it needs to be but can also get you moving. Like his last one, instrumentally arranged to perfection and one of my most played living room records of the year. 

-13: Dick Diver- Melbourne, Florida

I was a little surprised when Spotify told me that this was one of my most played albums of the year, but it was kind of a perfect summer album. Breezy, unassuming while still being interesting. There are a handful of styles being crossed over here, but they execute them all to perfection.

-12: Kendrick Lamar- To Pimp A Butterfly

What can I add to the discussion about this album? It fits in here for my "favorite" listens of the year, but no question artistically that it's the "best" album of maybe a FEW recent years. Ambitious and intense, a swing for the fences that I find something new in every time. Deserves a monthly sit down with the lyrics in front of you to fully see the depth of what he's doing. It was too dense (and intense) to put on casually this year, but deserves the effort it takes to digest.

-11: GY!BE- Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress

The most I've liked a Godspeed album since Lift Your Skinny Fists- four tracks that don't waste time and don't leave you wanting more, especially the opener and closer. Nice to see them tighten it up a bit!