Best of 2015: 50-41

-50: Vetiver- Complete Strangers

I hadn't listened to a full Vetiver album before, and this was dreamy in a way I hadn't expected from the few tracks I'd heard. Still very grounded and tight songwriting, despite the airiness.

-49: Lowland Hum- Lowland Hum

Despite occasionally being generic sad melodic folk, there's a little inventiveness in each song that kept me listening. Often times part way through a song I would write it off, and then it would take a turn that engrossed me- other times I felt a strong connection that was lost as the song went on. 

-48: Ought- Sun Coming Down

Same sardonic post-punk as the last album, with slightly less emotional pull.  There's still a hint of Talking Heads in there as well (more in aesthetic than sound). These guys are definitely bringing something new to the table, and I'm really excited to see where it goes next. 

-47: Happyness- Weird Little Birthday

A little inconsistent but kind of a rougher around the edges Yo La Tengo with a little more of a slacker vibe. Three british kids who can't help themselves with comic lyrics but they still find some real meaning from time to time. 

-46: Paul De Jong- If

Listening to this reminds me that De Jong was so much of what I loved about the Books, and hearing this come so close makes me miss them more. Despite missing the indescribable elements that Nick Zammuto brought to the table, I realize he was probably 60% of what I loved which makes this still a great listen. 

-45: Waxahatchee- Ivy Tripp

Of all of the current wave of angsty singer songwritery rock and rolly type stuff that seems to be everywhere, this is some of my favorite. Courtney Barnett without the snark, but still not afraid to get a little crunchy.

-44: Ratatat- Magnifique

Great to have new stuff from these guys. They didn't lose anything in the time off aside from me taking a break from over-playing them. Such a winning formula. 

-43: Father John Misty- I Love You, Honeybear

Do I truly like Father John Misty? At times his cleverness is overbearing, but his songwriting is undeniable. I do also enjoy the conceptual thread running through this album, but watch yourself counselor. 

-42: Mynabirds- Lovers Know

Dynamic, moody, soulful semi-electronic type stuff that really gets my goat.  I've heard them before (and seen them live?) but had written them off until I got fully absorbed in the first track of this album, which doesn't flag much. 

-41: Kamasi Washington- The Epic

If you had told me I'd get into a three hour jazz album called "The Epic", I would have said (some generic joke ending to this statement). But man, this is a gateway album if there ever was one. Saw him at Pickathon this year, what an incredible tour de force!