December 17, 2015

NightraiN’s Favorite Albums from 2015

Life in Film - Here It Comes
The most carelessly fun album of the year. Reminds me of my days working in bars and listening to brit rock and jangle pop, killing karaoke, and just generally drinking too much, but having a ridiculously good time doing it.

Lord Huron - Strange Trails
Is this country? Is this indie rock? Who cares; who knows… it is really good. These dudes are back with another collection of catchy, smooth tales of who-knows-the-fuck-what that are sure to fulfill your need for addicting toe-tapping tracks.

Bop English - Constant Bop
The 60s and 70s influences (the good ones anyway) run deep on this somewhat-solo project album from While Denim’s front man. The songs taper off in quality toward the end, but the start is so strong that this warrants a top five slot based on my scoring.

Langhorne Slim and The Law - The Spirit Moves
This album is a happy-then-sad rollercoaster of emotions. Sucking you in with the rollicking floor-stompers, but tugging at your heart-strings in the slower tracks. I’m really enjoying the evolution of Langhorne Slim… please continue.

Lucero - All A Man Should Do
Overall the quietest and most tender album from Lucero yet (although the horns remain!), but don’t let that fool you into thinking that it lacks the passion of Lucero’s previous albums. Folks who like to examine Ben’s lyrics, imagine the world or scene he’s weaving, and then sing along with whiskey and beer on their breath will love this release.

Siskiyou - Nervous
Like an intricate piece of artwork, each time I revisit this album it exposes something new and interesting hidden within. Fans of Arcade Fire, Wolf Parade, and perhaps other similarly situated indie rock bands of Canada, should find this recent release from Siskiyou right up their alley.

The White Buffalo - Love and The Death of Damnation
Not as potent as El Buffalo Blanco’s last release, but I find just about everything he puts out to be praiseworthy and I still gravitate to his slower tracks to let the deep baritone wash over me.

Alberta Cross - Alberta Cross
Sometimes those late-in-the-year releases can go almost unnoticed and sometimes they can come in and sweep you away. This album does the latter. Admittedly, I have enjoyed pretty much every track by this band, but I think this is their best release since the original EP tracks.

The Tallest Man on Earth - Dark Bird Is Home
This dude is a fantastic songwriter. I can’t explain what I really like about this album, I just know that it is better than just about everything else I listened to this year.

My Morning Jacket - The Waterfall
My Morning Jacket have ditched the weird and returned to the ass-kicking of Z. Although this album may not offer anything really new to those already initiated into the fold, it circles back around to the type of tracks that brought in fans like me in the first place.

Django Django - Born Under Saturn
On my massive playlist of "Best of 2015 Albums" Django Django tracks would keep playing and I would always stop to check who it was. As the year progressed, always all the tracks were eventually checked as "favorites." Good stuff.

William Elliott Whitmore - Radium Death
I almost forgot this album came out in 2015. WEW sings and plays with so much passion in his stomp and howl fashion that every track leaves sort of a timeless impression.

Mikal Cronin - MCIII
Better than Kurt Vile.

Murder By Death - Big Dark Love
I love this band, but this album dropped off just a little bit. I feel like some of that may be due to the lack of a clear-cut single, but with that said I love "Send Me Home" and happily listen to this album anytime.

Jose Gonzalez - Vestiges & Claws

Hey Rosetta! - Second Sight