17 Best Albums Of 2015

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2015  was an incredible year for music, full of surprises and second comings, weird new genres and unbelievable evolutions of existing sounds. Of course, every year is great for music as long as you’re open to new sounds. That’s how this whole thing works.

Every year, I enjoy writing down my favorites as I go along, adding them to a simple text file on my laptop. Sometimes I add stars to the albums when I realize I’m completely mad for them. For some albums, this means I find myself listening day after day, racking up dozens of plays. For others, this means that I’m struck so deeply on an emotional, intellectual, or even physical level that I can’t bring myself to listen again for a few days. Both experiences bring lasting rewards, especially when considered in the long view. This is why I love looking back and appreciating the permanent impact from these powerful pieces of music.

As it turned out, this year’s list included over twenty starred albums. I left a handful for my Best of 2015 Honorable Mention list, but the rest were simply indispensable. My list would not be complete without all of these albums.

So please, read on and enjoy. These are the 17 best albums of 2015.

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Sufjan Stevens “Fourth of July”

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Some of my favorite songs hurt too much to listen to very often. They send me plunging into those forlorn corners of memory that I spend most days avoiding. I try to remember these songs, play them, and appreciate what happens when I open the flood gates to total despair.

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Yo La Tengo covering The Cure’s “Friday I’m In Love”

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When I saw that longtime favorite band Yo La Tengo were covering the classic hit Friday I’m In Love by The Cure, I pictured something hushed, understated, and endlessly charming. I wasn’t wrong.

When I watched the music video, however, I was fucking flabbergasted. It’s an epic story about love destroying the earth, as violent and jarring as it is hypnotic. Coming from this 30 year old band, it’s hilarious and.. surprising.

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Julian Lynch – Terra

Julian Lynch crafted the chillest album I’ve heard all year.

First off, watch the video. Starting off innocuously and traveling through the same dreamy territory as the song itself, it’s a perfect realization of Lynch’s fractured hazy diamond of a single. It should also induce an urge to go bicycling, now.

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