In order of release, my Top 5 albums from the first half of 2015…
The Decemberists – What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World
There were three albums by veteran do-no-wrong bands that I had been anxious to hear in the year’s first half. But among releases by Hot Chip, Best Coast, and The Decemberists, What a Terrible World is the one that has been getting the most love on my turntable. “Make You Better” was an excellent first single, but, for me, nothing says twenty-fifteen like “A Beginning Song.”
Fred Thomas – All Are Saved
I’ve been riding the wake of Fred Thomas’s fuzzwave since falling in love with All Your Summer Songs. I’ve endured the inhospitable confusion of City Center and the floating aimlessness of Mighty Clouds (a snoozer, despite Betty Marie Barnes’s best efforts). On his new album, however, Thomas steps out in front of that wall of sonic shyness and delivers all the clever melodies and lyrical twists that made me a fan in the first place. Helps that I gravitate towards parallels and symbols; neither one of us has “time for the burden of nostalgia.”
Moonbabies – Wizards on the Beach
Everything old being new again is starting to look like a pattern. WH hooked us on The Orange Billboard in ’04, and it became a major factor in the birth of a Swedepop obsession. Wizards cast its spell at just the right time: MH was starting to gain traction in his Oceania vs. Scandinavia debate.
Royce Wood Junior – The Ashen Tang
Maybe I’m just a little late to the neo-soul party, or just really disinterested in the revival. But something about the way this kid mixes in neon light dancefloor and AM radio has me hooked.
Wavves & Cloud Nothings – No Life for Me
This is going to sound ridiculously petty, but the more I grow to hate the LA Clippers, the more I distance myself from Nathan Williams. And the DeAndre Jordan circus this week should have prevented me from even listening to the damn record. But I put it on for a run and haven’t stopped moving, as it were. This is more than likely the old this-is-the-best-thing-ever me talking, overdosing on hype and newness until the plastic peels off of its own volition, but… this is better than anything either of these dudes has released on his own. There. Said it.
More Top 5’s!
DH | IP | MH | MMDG | RF | WH