In lieu of an album review today, I thought I’d share some of my choices for the best albums of the year (so far). 2015 has definitely proven to be a wonderful year for music, and with the upcoming releases later on in the year, it might even be one of the best yet.
Dutch Uncles – O Shudder
Dutch Uncles and their wonderfully unique, quirky sounds have grown on me since the release of O Shudder, their fourth studio album. The themes of sex (or lack thereof), narcissism, and the overall fear of growing old and incapable run rampant throughout the album, and the vocals of frontman Duncan Wallis match in tone. It’s a highly underrated album for sure, simply because it takes a few listens for humorous, melodic social commentary on today’s problems with anxiety and technology to sink in.
Essential Tracks: “Babymaking,” “Upsilon”
Crushed Beaks – Scatter
Crushed Beaks are definitely one of my favorite musical discoveries of the year, and it’s all because of their irresistible post-punk sounds, or as they call it, “noise pop.” Scatter is a beautiful nightmare – a wonderful frenzy and fury expressing everything from the raw connection to another human being to the feelings of being insignificant. However, it’s the brief feelings of vulnerability that makes the album a winner for me, and the warm instrumentals that sometimes envelop the cold, dissonant guitar is nothing short of a treasure.
Essential Tracks: “History,” “Overgrown”
Title Fight – Hyperview
Out of all the artists on this page, no band has changed their overall sound more than Title Fight. Formerly brash, hard, and impenetrable, Hyperview shows off the calmer, more shoegaze inspired sounds that the band spent ample time perfecting. The punk foundation is still there, however, but the vulnerability has evolved into something almost sentient. It’s hazy, gauzy, and even angrily romantic at times, but considering it’s coming from Title Fight, there’s a darkness that’s still absolutely beautiful.
Essential Tracks: “Your Pain Is Mine Now,” “Chlorine”
Jamie xx – In Colour
Until recently, I never really favored instrumental tracks, much less a mostly instrumental filled album. But with In Colour, I can undoubtedly say that Jamie xx has released one of the best albums of the year, with multi-textured tracks that ring true to the album’s title. It’s intelligent and highly evocative of feelings of euphoria and instant gratification. It’s dance music for people who despise dancing collectively, and that sort of complex contradiction adds an irresistible tension that elevates each track to the stratosphere.
Essential Tracks: “Girl,” “Loud Places”
Tame Impala – Currents
I recently awarded Currents the highest score that has ever been given on kidwithavinyl so far, and it definitely deserves all the hype. Kevin Parker and his addictive personality ridden with perfectionist tendencies pays off here more than ever – not only because of the highly skilled techniques that are repeatedly heard throughout the album, but because of the pure honesty and passion that practically oozes out of each track. At times, it’s difficult to comprehend the fact that one person could be capable of producing such beautiful, psychedelic sounds, but the lucid daydream that is this album makes your mind wander and eventually become content with what is around you and evict this notion from your mind completely. It’s meticulously crafted for sure, and Currents is the physical interpretation of a person changing with the times and still managing to stay sane.
Essential Tracks: “The Less I Know The Better,” “Let It Happen”
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