2015 has seen the release of many incredible (and most certainly noteworthy) albums. There’s been track upon track of future iconic anthems, plenty of stunning debut albums and a fair share of shockingly exciting reunions. In fact, there’s far more than 5 that I’d love to include in this post (and rattling them down was hard).
5) Glitterbug- The Wombats
Glitterbug is The Wombats’ third studio album and their first release in four years. Glitterbug is an 11 track album (released on the 13th April) featuring the singles “Emoticons”, “Be Your Shadow”, “Greek Tragedy” and “Give Me A Try”. In 2013 fans were teased with the release of the single “Your Body is a Weapon” which is also featured on this album. What I love about the album is its typical feel-good indie outlook. It’s honest, somewhat comical and animates tales of teenage years and young adulthood. It’s exactly what I’d anticipated (and more) from the band as a release. My favourite track is “Pink Lemonade” as it’s upbeat and extremely catchy. I’ve seen the band twice this year and each time the crowd has been chanting “PINK LEMONADE” before the band come on stage showcasing its popularity among fans. This album brings back many happy memories of listening to the album over and over (on repeat) with my friend whilst revising in an attempt to learn all the lyrics before seeing the band a week or so after it’s release- it worked.
4) Marks to Prove it- The Maccabees
I reviewed “Marks to Prove it” by The Maccabees earlier this year (which you can find here). The album was released on the 31st July. It’s an extremely well constructed and sensitive album which connotes somewhat melancholic undertones intertwined with happier, more upbeat tunes. It featured the singles “Marks to Prove it”, “Something Like Happiness” and “Spit it Out”. Over the last few months I’ve been listening to the album a lot. It’s extremely easy to listen to and quite unique. It’s perhaps not what you’d expect as a release by the band but it works well (and it worked with a more mainstream audience as well by reaching number one in the UK album charts). My favourite track from the album is “Slow Sun” as it’s slow but triumphant. The album reminds me of seeing the band at Reading Festival this year.
3) How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful- Florence and The Machine
Florence Welch has had the most amazing year this year. She’s headlined Glastonbury, had a number one album (her third consecutive number one), been nominated for 5 Grammy awards and shortlisted for a Mercury Prize Award (it makes me wonder if there’s anything she can’t do)! How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful was released on the 29th May and has continued to dazzle since. Four songs have been released as singles from the album: “What Kind of Man”, “Ship to Wreck”, “Queen of Peace” and “Delilah”. I love how the album appeals to everyone of all ages. It’s large enough to see Florence headline major festivals, concerts and events globally and exciting enough to appeal to the masses. It sounds big and it’s effortlessly exciting and pleasing to listen to. It reminds me of the three hour car journey to Glastonbury and the anticipation of hearing the songs performed live.
2) My Love is Cool- Wolf Alice
My Love is Cool is the remarkable debut album by Wolf Alice. It’s a hugely significant album which has changed the way alternative music, maybe even more exclusive to idea of female fronted indie/alternative, is perceived by fans and radio listeners alike in terms of popular music as well. It was released, in the UK, on the 23rd June (24th in the US) on Dirty Hit Records- the week before Glastonbury Festival. Ironically, despite being a favourite for number one, the album was beaten to number one (but taking number two) by Glastonbury headliner Florence and the Machines’ latest album, “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful”, following her festival performance. Although, “My Love is Cool” was nominated for a Mercury Prize (however lost out to Benjamin Clementine’s “At Least For Now”) and is nominated for a Grammy. It’s laced with indie hits which will, no doubt, continue to be celebrated and played for years to come. Singles have included “Giant Peach”, “Bros”, “You’re a Germ” and “Freazy”. I love the album’s diversity. It’s so different and unique but flows and works really well and almost tells a story with “Turn to Dust” and “The Wonderwhy” being perfect opening and closing songs. It’s a seemingly mature album which is quite classic yet refreshing. I particularly love the innocence and vulnerability of “Silk” which I think is reflected in it’s simplicity (which makes it all the more powerful). The album reminds me of frequent car journeys where it often makes an appearance and falling in love with the band (almost instantly) over the last few months.
1)Happy People- Peace
Happy People by Peace is an explosion of feel good indie-rock which exemplifies everything right about modern day alternative music. It’s non-exhaustive and timeless (it doesn’t ever get boring). It was released on the 9th February and has seen the band through two full UK tours and a load of festival slots. Singles from the album include “Money”, “Lost On Me”, “I’m a Girl” and “Gen Strange”. It’s 90s influence and psychedelic lyrics have created an album which lingers in your mind having the catchy lyrics circulate all day in your mind. I particularly love “Perfect Skin” as it’s quite relatable, lovingly strange and unique (everyone hears it and is left confused at first- but they all remember it!) I took a chance on the album having seen the band once, at Reading Festival last year, and being drawn in by the song “Money”. From the first listen (back in February) until now I’ve always had it down for being in one of my top albums for the year. The band are now one of my favourites and this album is a real triumph.
These are my top 5 albums of this year but it goes without saying that there were albums upon albums of ones that narrowly escaped this list. Albums that just missed this list were: “Mothers” (Swim Deep), “Young Chasers” (Circa Waves), “Anthems For Doomed Youth” (The Libertines), Chaos and the Calm (James Bay), “What Went Down” (Foals), “Get to Heaven” (Everything Everything), “English Graffiti” (The Vaccines), “Danger in the Club” (Palma Violets), “A Dream Outside” (Gengahr), “Are You Satisfied?” (Slaves), “Currents” (Tame Impala). A hugely significant number of these are debut albums which is promising and exciting.
I cannot wait to see what 2016 brings in terms of album releases. There’s already huge albums pending release in 2016 from that of bands like The 1975 and there’s probably more to come!