It’s been an amazing year, and it’s time to look back on the best of what 2015 has had to offer. It’s been a particularly good year for new artists as debut albums take up half of my top ten, beating some bigger acts such as Tame Impala and Foals who deserve an honourable mention. So without any further ado, here are the best albums of the year based on Belwood Music’s ratings.
10. Florence + the Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
Flo really came into her own this year. She stripped her sound back to the bare bones and rebuilt it from the ground up. The result is her most passionate and powerful album to date. It’s the album that both converted me wholeheartedly to her music and made her a truly timeless artist.
9. Blackberry Smoke – Holding All the Roses
A surprise entry at number nine. I listened to Blackberry Smoke expecting a cheap rip off of southern rock bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers. Instead I found an album that was full of well written songs. heaps of fun and easily gave the greats a run for their money.
8. Holy Holy – When the Storms Would Come
It’s been a grand year for Australian music, and this is the pinnacle of what they had to offer. It’s chock-a-block with bright melodies and is one of the most consistently high quality albums of the year. If that wasn’t enough it also features two of the best guitar solos of recent years.
7. Amber Run – 5am
This is an album that was just meant to be. The lush instrumental builds, the festival ready sing-along choruses, the tattoo worthy lyrics. Everything comes together like a match made in heaven to create a slice of indie pop perfection.
6. Lanterns on the Lake – Beings
This Newcastle band have produced an album that takes you on an emotional journey. The mellow soundscape seeps through your soul and the poetic lyrics speak of both the hurt and the beauty in the world. This is indie rock at it’s most spellbinding.
5. Eaves – What Green Feels Like
What sets this folk singer/songwriter apart from the rest is the range of influences at work. Eaves’ debut has splashes of grunge, blues and indie rock. He mixes in measures of various genres without losing the feel of the album. It’s an album full of promise and is hopefully a solid start to a great music career.
4. Adele – 25
There’s not really much that needs to be said here; Adele made a triumphant surprise return and took the world by storm once again. 25 has broken more records than an explosion at a HMV warehouse. She’s delivered an album that lived up to her opus ’21’ and secured her place as the greatest singer of this generation.
3. Wolf Alice – My Love is Cool
Wolf Alice have been the subject of a lot of hype for a few years, but still managed to exceed all expectations with their debut. They excel equally with the growling grunge and the delicate indie soundscapes. The music is exceptional; combine that with their incredible live performances and you have the world’s hottest new rock band.
2. Algiers – Algiers
It’s rare to find something new in music today, but this debut is in a league of it’s own, combining gospel, punk, indie and electronica. As if the new territory wasn’t enough, Algiers are fuelled by furious purpose. They strike out at the racial inequality in America and hit the mark when things are at their worst. It’s a tempest of passion and anger that sweeps you away.
1. Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear
The lyrics are what are so truly captivating about this album. They are so unlike anything else that they just hit you like a brick wall. Father John Misty delivers the world’s most unorthodox love letter in his own brand of swagger and sarcasm. Even though it’s delivered through a stage-persona it’s an open and honest album that delivers humour, sex, excess, life and love. It truly resonates as something special and so takes the honour of being Belwood Music’s album of the year.