December 17, 2015

Awmercy’s Favorite Albums from 2015

Divers - Hello Hello
It’s embarrassing, but this is just the first of three Party Damage Records on my list this year. No label has ever dominated my list like this. Divers mix heartland punk and slow burning indie rock. Rough and passionate, I’m blown away every time I see them.

Sleater-Kinney - No Cities To Love
After ten years off, their anger and politics resonate and inspire me more than ever.

And And And - The Failure
A wonderfully cathartic release of real adult hardship and pain. It hit a nerve and was an immediate favorite and on constant rotation. I think I feel better.

Heat - Rooms EP
Remember what it was like to be 21 and full of piss and swagger? Me neither. Heat are crushing on Lou Reed just as hard as the Strokes did, and sharp enough to pull it off in style.  Ideal for vicarious reminiscing.

Summer Cannibals - Show Us Your Mind
Fully ascended as one of Portland's best rock bands delivering jagged hooks with serious chops, intensity, and attitude. A tight and ferocious live set not to be missed. Crushing hard on this band.

Lost Lander - Medallion
A grandiose pop album, the band striding out onto the dance floor with their fingers still grasping at the stars.

Sheer Mag - II
The blownout lo-fi might deter some, but to me it sounds like that hidden gem on a friend’s overdubbed radio mixtape. Thanks Larson!

Mascaras - Mascara vs. Mascara
With abundant, vital, ephemeral shows, Máscaras owned the blazing Portland summer with their kick ass "maximalist indigenous psych." Also a reminder that great instrumentals can still be tight and concise.

Woolen Men - Temporary Monument
Portland is in transition, with high rises shoot up faster than the rent, conflicting narratives of nostalgia, utopias, equity, and marginalization. Like a snapshot, this album captures that tension, frustration, and confusion.

Barna Howard - Quite A Feeling
Lazy, hot summer afternoons in the garden shade with Barna Howard's gentle country folk songs on stereo.

Big Quiet - Big Quiet
Great summer indie pop album, recalling Sarah and K Records favorites.

Titus Andronicus - The Most Lamentable Tragedy
They come storming back laying it all out there in the open and cracking everything up to eleven on this massive double album punk opera. It’s a lot to take in, but worth it.

Crocodiles - Boys
Recorded in Mexico City, this album adds some new flavors to their already excellent psych pop.

Library Voices - Lovish
The opening line sets the tone: “All of your heroes, they’re all assholes. That don’t mean you should piss on your dreams.” Makes for some excellent world-weary “bastardization of classic rock.”

Courtney Barnett - sometimes i sit and think, and sometimes i just sit