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Best of 2015

by Cherie

When it comes time to compile my favorite albums at the end of this year I always have a hard time. Even though I try my best there’s usually at least one or two albums that get missed – whether because I didn’t have time to listen to them during the course of the year or because I simply forget about them. I try my best to listen to new artists but I also tend to stick to a lot of the same ones, so there’s a lot of familiar names on my list: Frank Turner, Laura Marling, and Mumford and Sons just to name a few. There’s also some new names, though, like Willy Varley, George Ezra, and Halsey. Don’t be too surprised to see a lot of Xtra Mile bands on the list either. One side effect of repping the label is that you tend to listen to a lot of amazing music. And so, without further ado, here are my favorite albums from 2015.

Top Ten Albums


#1 Catfish and the Bottlemen – The Balcony

Okay so technically The Balcony was released in 2014 but it wasn’t released in the United States until early 2015 when it was put out by one of my favorite record labels – Communion. If you haven’t heard of this band by now it’s time you stopped to give them a listen. The Balcony is only their debut album but it’s a surprisingly solid album for a freshmen release. The Welsh rock band have won the admiration of critics and fans alike, including Ewan McGreggor who became friends with the band after helping them shoot a video for their song “Hourglass”. The entire album is amazing and every time I listen to it I end up putting the whole thing on repeat.

Favorite Tracks: Hourglass, Tyrants, Cocoon, Kathleen


#2 Frank Turner – Positive Songs for Negative People

As the title suggests, Frank Turner’s sixth studio album, Positive Songs for Negative People contains a mix of optimism and pessimism. “Mittens” is typical Turner song where he laments about a past relationship that “I once wrote you love songs, you never fell in love.” The entire album is a classic example of Turner’s unflinching honesty. Each song rings true even when Turner is being critical of himself and his past relationships. If I had to pick one song that best represents the entire album it would have to be the first single from the album, “Get Better” which proudly proclaims “I’m trying to get better because I haven’t been my best….we can get better because we’re not dead yet.”

Favorite Tracks: Mittens, Josephine, Silent Key, Get Better


#3 Short Movie – Laura Marling

Some things only get better with age. That seems to be the case with young Laura Marling, who released her fifth studio album this year. Short Movie is the first album to feature Marling on an electric guitar, and the album features a completely new sound and a sense of confidence that is striking in someone so young. The album was released after Marling took a year off from music and traveled around the United States by herself. The experience seems to have left a mark on her for she returned with a fifth album that is more mature, more confident, and louder then any of her previous albums. The album is about a woman learning who she is and accepting herself for that person. “Little boy, I know you want something from me / yes I may be blind but I am free / don’t you try and take that away from me,” she warns on the last track, “Worship Me.” Watch out world. Laura Marling is back and this time she’s taking no prisoners.

Favorite Tracks: False Hope, Short Movie, Walk Alone, Gurdjieff’s Daughter


Wilder Mind – Mumford and Sons

I think the world as a whole was probably taken aback when the London based quartet announced a new album in 2015 but warned fans ahead of time that would not feature a banjo. Many people only associate the band with their distinctive banjo backed brand of folk that they’ve become famous for. The truth is, however, that the band was ready for a change for their next album and so this time they opted for a sound more grounded in rock than the folk they were previously known for. They may have swapped the banjo for the fiddle (played live by Noah and the Whale’s own Tom Hobden) but the heart and soul of the band remains the same. The faster tracks are probably the band’s strong point but each song on the album is a reminder that the band is back and stronger than ever.

Favorite Tracks: Ditmas, Tompkins Square Park, Just Smoke, Hot Gates


#4 Blurryface – Twenty One Pilots

Tyler Joseph and Joshua Dun have no concept of genre limiting boundaries. With every song they put out they push the boundary a little further, refusing to be pingeonholed into a traditional genre like pop, rock, or rap. Each song on the album is a different journey with it’s own flavor and sound of it’s own. Blurryface could be considered an anthem for today’s youths – for those who don’t quite fit in or for those who struggle with mental health. It’s an album for the misfits and for people who feel like they are growing up too fast. A lot of people can relate to the songs in some way or another and it’s refreshing to see a young band being open and honest and still be embraced full heartedly by their fans. Despite consisting of only two members the duo put on a fantastic live performance as well, and watching them live you can see their passion first hand.

Favorite Tracks: The Judge, Ride, Tear in My Heart, We Don’t Believe What’s On TV

Honorable mentions


Glitterbug – The Wombats

Favorite Tracks: This is Not a Party, Your Body is a Weapon, Give Me a Try, Greek Tragedy


Anthems for Doomed Youth – The Libertines

Favorite Tracks: Gunga Din, Fame and Fortune, The Heart of the Matter, You’re My Waterloo


Marks to Prove It – The Maccabees

Favorite Tracks: Spit it Out, Something Like Happiness, Marks to Prove It


Down on Deptford Broadway – Skinny Lister

Favorite Tracks: What Can I Say, Cathy, Trouble on Oxford Street, This is War


Wanted on Voyage – George Ezra

Favorite Tracks: Budapest, Casey O’, Can You Hear the Rain, Listen to the Rain


Postcards From Ursa Minor – Will Varley

Favorite Tracks: Talking Cat Blues, Seize the Night, Outside Over There


Badlands – Halsey

Favorite Tracks: New Americana, Colours, Castle, Ghost


Woman to Woman – Esme Patterson

Favorite Tracks: Never Chase a Man, Bluebird, The Glow


Froot – Marina and the Diamonds

Favorite Tracks: Blue, Happy, Savages, Better Than That


All Your Favorite Bands – Dawes

Favorite Tracks: All Your Favorite Bands, Things Happen, I Can’t Think About It Now


Whispers II – Passenger

Favorite Tracks: David, Fear of Fear, Nothing’s Changed


Rolling Up the Hill – Beans on Toast

Favorite Tracks: The Great American Novel, God is a Cartoonist, I’m Home When You Hold Me


Back on Top – The Front Bottoms

Favorite Tracks: Cough it Out, West Virginia, Help


To Us, The Beautiful – Franz Nicolay

Favorite Tracks: To Us, The Beautiful, Marfla Lights, Imperfect Rhyme


Graceland – San Cisco

Favorite Tracks: Run, Snow, Bitter Winter


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New Music // Mumford and Sons – “Snake Eyes”

Mumford & Sons have already released two songs from their upcoming album Wilder Mind but it seems like the band are so excited about their new music that they had to release one more. The band have released a live video for the song “Snake Eyes” which features Tom Hobden, formerly of Noah and the Whale, on violin.


 Wilder Mind will be released on May 4, 2015 and is currently available for pre-order through the band’s website. The band has also announced a series of Stopover Shows as well as shows in the US and Canada.

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Filed under music video, new music