The Skinny's Albums of 2015

The Skinny's Albums of 2015

Original Source →

50. Gnod - Infinity Machines

April 20, 2015
Critic Score
90
2 reviews

49. Belle & Sebastian - Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance

January 20, 2015
Critic Score
74
35 reviews

Girls in Peacetime… is lovingly crafted, laced with embellishment and detail, and it’s full of unexpected twists

48. Foals - What Went Down

August 28, 2015
Critic Score
75
23 reviews

Foals' latest cleaves closely to the melodic narrative arc set by 2013’s pivotal Holy Fire, but sets itself subtly apart with its insidious, atmospheric chill. 

47. Deradoorian - The Expanding Flower Planet

August 21, 2015
Critic Score
75
15 reviews

Exhilarating, hypnotic and sometimes even danceable, there’s no shaking this record off once it takes root. 

46. EL VY - Return to the Moon

October 30, 2015
Critic Score
74
21 reviews
Melodious and inventive, layered but not overly ornate: EL VY’s debut is too fully-formed to be dismissed as a side project.

45. East India Youth - Culture of Volume

April 7, 2015
Critic Score
76
16 reviews
The record is a determined, forward-looking evolution from last year’s largely instrumental success.

44. Deafheaven - New Bermuda

October 2, 2015
Critic Score
82
16 reviews

New Bermuda emotionally overloads the listener like a mixed-state manic episode; it's a darker autobiographical account than its predecessor, but equally gorgeous sonically.

42. Ought - Sun Coming Down

September 18, 2015
Critic Score
81
17 reviews

Loose and taut in equal measure, Sun Coming Down roars and whispers but never does it hit too hard.

41. Oneohtrix Point Never - Garden of Delete

November 13, 2015
Critic Score
79
24 reviews

If 2013's R Plus Seven was a landscape of delicate synthwork and angelic choral sounds glossing over a murky atmosphere, then Garden of Delete flips the script in this seemingly aggressive record; muscular in tone, schizophrenic in delivery, all the while possessing a maniacal grin on its face.

40. Floating Points - Elaenia

November 6, 2015
Critic Score
83
17 reviews

As befitting a music obsessed neuroscience graduate, the sounds here are as eclectic as much as they are cerebral, with Kenny Wheeler, Toru Takemitsu and Moreton Subotnick all cited as influences.

39. Blur - The Magic Whip

April 27, 2015
Critic Score
78
31 reviews
It's when the riffs seem plucked straight from the annals of 1997 that Blur seem to remember how to have fun

38. The Phantom Band - Fears Trending

January 27, 2015
Critic Score
80
4 reviews

Fears Trending's genesis might have been as an assortment of odd scraps, but as any foodie will tell you, sometimes the leftovers can be tastier than the main meal itself.

37. Garden of Elks - A Distorted Sigh

Garden of Elks - A Distorted Sigh
April 6, 2015
Critic Score
65
2 reviews

35. Hudson Mohawke - Lantern

June 16, 2015
Critic Score
71
21 reviews

Birchard is a long-established talent behind the decks, but Lantern – a defiantly slick sophomore LP – proves that being in high demand has in no way diluted his craft.

34. Everything Everything - Get To Heaven

June 15, 2015
Critic Score
79
15 reviews
It’s a proven formula, but throw in cheeky wordplay and EE are a welcome counterpoint to today’s starchily sincere indie brood. A repeatedly rewarding follow-up.

33. Enablers - The Rightful Pivot

Enablers - The Rightful Pivot
April 13, 2015
Critic Score
90
2 reviews

32. Wolf Alice - My Love is Cool

June 22, 2015
Critic Score
80
19 reviews
They deliver an invigorating, genre-defying debut whose pop savvy sets it comfortably apart from the schmindie workaday.

31. Beach House - Depression Cherry

August 28, 2015
Critic Score
79
30 reviews
You have to admire a band that sees dreaming as a matter of principle. Beach House’s fifth album shows the Baltimore duo turning back the clock with a minimalist collection of songs that meditate on transience and loss.

30. John Grant - Grey Tickles, Black Pressure

October 2, 2015
Critic Score
82
18 reviews
John Grant’s third impressive effort in a row sees the Iceland-based musician reach a new level of maturity, even as his stylistic choices shoot for something wilder.

29. Tame Impala - Currents

July 17, 2015
Critic Score
83
32 reviews

This third outing takes off with Let It Happen, a fanfare of driving drums and kaleidoscopic synths that is reassuringly Tame Impala of old, but as it gains altitude Currents soars to a new level of sophistication.

28. Low - Ones and Sixes

September 11, 2015
Critic Score
77
22 reviews

Ones and Sixes weaves together the strongest elements of their 22-year career – from slowcore sparseness to wiry post-punk to glorious sadrock – and while the results feel as mournfully doom-laden as ever, they still tingle the spine like no-one else.

27. LoneLady - Hinterland

March 23, 2015
Critic Score
80
11 reviews
The points of reference on Hinterland may be remnants now, but Campbell’s still singing of them, reviving them in her own way.

26. Joanna Newsom - Divers

October 23, 2015
Critic Score
87
32 reviews

This dense lyricism is keenly matched with rich, luxuriant instrumentation and Divers perhaps reaches a zenith in Newsom’s arrangement skills.

25. Destroyer - Poison Season

August 28, 2015
Critic Score
82
26 reviews
Somehow, Bejar ensures all these pieces fit together seamlessly, and the picture that emerges feels damn close to perfect.

24. Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress

March 31, 2015
Critic Score
81
19 reviews

Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress is slim but huge, and tests the GYBE aesthetic with courageous enterprise.

23. Outfit - Slowness

June 15, 2015
Critic Score
78
6 reviews

22. Beirut - No No No

September 11, 2015
Critic Score
63
18 reviews

Strung out amidst languid peels of brass, graceful 70’s-style piano, and Condon’s silky, lost and found tenor, the beauty is soft, and fragile, but also fleet of foot, and highly engaging with it. 

21. CHVRCHES - Every Open Eye

September 25, 2015
Critic Score
79
27 reviews
For all the careful egalitarianism of Chvrches’ 2013 debut, the Glasgow three-piece’s second full-length shows their synth-pop becoming braver and brighter, owing in no small part to the growing charisma of lead vocalist Lauren Mayberry.

20. Sleaford Mods - Key Markets

July 24, 2015
Critic Score
75
18 reviews

Maybe that tension’s the whole conceptual point, but it's not unreasonable to want a little more from Key Markets.

19. Preoccupations - Viet Cong

January 20, 2015
Critic Score
82
24 reviews

Viet Cong is a solid, admirable distillation of early 90s US indie that dares to throw in some rewarding ideas of its own, proving that "retro" need not always be a cuss word.

18. Dutch Uncles - O Shudder

February 24, 2015
Critic Score
73
11 reviews
It’s just that, for all its slick slabs of synth and tongue-in-cheek wit, a few tracks don’t quite hit the mark.

17. Deerhunter - Fading Frontier

October 16, 2015
Critic Score
82
31 reviews

Faded Frontier in contrast is a slow release and a desire for solitude.

16. Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

March 24, 2015
Critic Score
84
31 reviews
Still, all this detailed wordsmithery would mean little if Barnett didn’t have the tunes to back it up, and this debut album is full to the brim with irresistible shuffles and subtle left turns.

15. Dr. Dre - Compton: A Soundtrack by Dr. Dre

August 7, 2015
Critic Score
80
26 reviews

Dre often feels everywhere and nowhere throughout Compton, managing to at once deploy and transcend the genre conventions he helped invent.

14. Titus Andronicus - The Most Lamentable Tragedy

July 28, 2015
Critic Score
81
28 reviews
What could have easily been an exercise in pretension is instead filtered through the appealing mediums of heartland rock and Jersey basement punk.

13. Waxahatchee - Ivy Tripp

April 7, 2015
Critic Score
81
24 reviews

It takes considerable talent to pull off sincere, confessional songwriting as favorably as Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield.

12. Django Django - Born Under Saturn

May 5, 2015
Critic Score
73
20 reviews

Every click and stomp has hip-shaking purpose. Bells, whistles, brass, choral backing vocals – Born Under Saturn’s got it all, and knows how to work it. 

11. Faith No More - Sol Invictus

May 19, 2015
Critic Score
71
21 reviews
Passionate, hungry and still hearteningly uncompromising; this is the real thing.

10. Björk - Vulnicura

January 20, 2015
Critic Score
86
30 reviews

9. Kurt Vile - b'lieve i'm goin down

September 25, 2015
Critic Score
78
25 reviews

That this familiar template still manages to sound so completely compelling is testament to both the malleable nature of his craft and the skill with which it's delivered.

8. Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear

February 10, 2015
Critic Score
89
32 reviews
The production is grand and glorious, aping the spaciousness of dusty road Americana without sounding overwrought… Or, if it does, you know that it’s entirely intentional.

7. Young Fathers - White Men Are Black Men Too

April 7, 2015
Critic Score
81
21 reviews

Young Fathers' White Men Are Black Men Too is a gargantuan, fearless record. It’s a celebration, a rebuttal, a call to action; a dance party that won’t for a single minute let you rest.

6. Jenny Hval - Apocalypse, girl

June 9, 2015
Critic Score
80
18 reviews

It's her frequent attempts to empathise with these opposing views – doing so with a stunning vocal performance dilating from breathy spoken word to sky-gazing operatics – that makes for an incredibly arresting commentary on the state of the West.

5. Julia Holter - Have You in My Wilderness

September 25, 2015
Critic Score
87
25 reviews

Uninhibited, focused and majestically crafted, she’s simply never sounded more vital.

4. Blanck Mass - Dumb Flesh

May 12, 2015
Critic Score
77
16 reviews
It’s a volte-face of staggering ambition, and whilst newcomers and longterm listeners alike can expect to be bowled over, Power himself sounds rock solid on his feet here.

2. Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell

March 31, 2015
Critic Score
90
34 reviews

Lyrically it's uncompromising, dark and surprisingly direct – mentions of blood, death and ghosts are plastered all over its 11 tracks – but there's a real beauty to Carrie & Lowell that shines through the darkness.

1. Sleater-Kinney - No Cities to Love

January 20, 2015
Critic Score
89
30 reviews

In an era of cheap-shot reformations, Sleater-Kinney pull the plug on the past and flick the switch on the future.

Original Source: http://www.theskinny.co.uk/music/opinion/albums-of-the-year/50-best-albums-of-2015
Connect with AOTY
2015 YEAR END SUMMARY