Best songs and albums of 2015? Here’s mine:
December 14, 2015
♥ Kendrick Lamar (@kendricklamar) – To Pimp A Butterfly
Flush all memory of bling-laden rappers; the glitter in Lamar’s eyes is #blacklivesmatter and making music.
♥ Otis Taylor (@OtisTaylorBand) – Hey Joe Opus Red Meat
Cornet, violin and muscular drumming add captivating variations on the Hey Joe theme. A right of passage for aspiring axemen (thanks to Hendrix), never before has it soared into such a visionary masterpiece.
♥ Villagers (@wearevillagers) – Darling Arithmetic
Irish and Supreme Court votes and a witless Kentucky licence clerk made for a Hot, Scary Summer for same-sex couples and pulled Conor O’Brien out from behind his usual writing devices to lay bare what it’s been like.
♥ Josh Ritter (@joshritter) – Sermon on the Rocks
Ritter’s two favourite things are intellectualizing spirituality and whiskey; hence the title’s play on words. Known for solemnity, he playfully “leaves a bottle on the table (for us) and the Bible open to the Sermon on the Mount”. Our choice what to make of them, he winks.
♥ Courtney Barnett (@courtneymelba) – Sometimes I Sit and Think…
Mix John Cale minimalism, Black Angels psych guitars and Ryan Adams attitude, and you’ve got an honest to goodness, shit-kicking rock and roll record like they used to make.
♥ Simone Felice (@SimoneFelice) – From The Violent Banks Of The Kaaterskill
The full scope of Felice’s literary intentions were sometimes obscured in a band setting (Felice Brothers; Duke & The Kings). This stripped down career retrospective gives new clarity to his writing and technique.
♥ Public Image Ltd (@pilofficial) – What The World Needs Now
John Lydon has evolved from Sex Pistols’ call for Anarchy In The UK to a global appeal for solidarity against governments, corporations and any other powers that be. Great groove, and he’s still #NSFW
♥ Craig Finn (@steadycraig) – Faith in the Future
Finn couldn’t write about witnessing 9/11 for more than a decade. He was at a rooftop party by chance, and fear and faith got all mixed up. He’s not over it yet.
♥ Robert Earl Keen (@RobertEarlKeen1) – Happy Prisoner
The congenial alt-country raconteur’s bluegrass ‘vanity project’ brings warmth and unexpected song choices to a genre that too often descends into a picking race.
♥ Lianne La Havas (@liannelahavas) – Blood
There is a Hepburn-like grace in the quiet spaces when the breathtaking young British vocalist sings; sensual, aching but hopeful.
♥ Sean Rowe (@sean_rowe) – Soldier (Williams)
♥ Glen Hansard (@Glen_Hansard) – Hold On Magnolia (Molina)
♥ Darrell Scott (@darrellscott) – The One I’m Still Thinking About (Bullington)
♥ Cecile Mclorin Salvant (@cecilesalvant) – Growlin’ Dan
♥ Dayme Arocena (@_HavanaCultura_) – Come To Me
♥ Natalie Prass (@NataliePrass) – My Baby Doesn’t Understand
♥ Barna Howard (@MamaBirdRC) – Quite A Feeling
♥ Bill Fay (billfay.co.uk) – The Freedom To Read
♥ Mark Erelli (@MarkErelli) – By Degrees
♥ Beth Hart (@BethHart) – Tell Her You Belong To Me
♥ Songhoy Blues (@SonghoyBlues) – Soubour
♥ Shemekia Copeland (
#ShemekiaCopeland) – Crossbone Beach
♥ Brandi Carlile (@brandicarlile) – The Eye
♥ Dave Rawlings Machine (@TheDaveRawlings) – The Trip
♥ Jason Isbell (@JasonIsbell) – Speed Trap Town
♥ Malpass Brothers (@Malpassbrothers) – I Met A Friend Of Yours Today (Strait)
♥ Alan Jackson (@OfficialJackson) – Angels And Alcohol
♥ Chris Stapleton (@ChrisStapleton) – Tennessee Whiskey (Jones)
♥ Jazmine Sullivan (@jsullivanmusic) – Let It Burn
♥ Ghostpoet (@ghostpoet) – Be Right Back, Moving House
♥ Suffers (@TheSuffers) – Make Some Room
♥ Lyrics Born & Ivan Neville (@lyricsborn) – Around the Bend
♥ Brooklyn Funk Essentials (@BklynFunkEsntls) – Recycled